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Supply Chain Network Actors and Sustainability

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This report is being presented by Mohan Singh (S16070569) to complete the assessment task for Sustainable Business Structures and Networks. This report discusses about the importance and role of supply chain network actors and their importance in sustainability practices. This also gives an idea how it helps to employ new ideas for company innovations.

in simple words, Supply chain network is a pattern, connection among people, distribution channels, customers for communication and distribution. This is a distribution channel connection. This is a channel which initializes a smooth flow of information, communication, products and services. This paper will focus on the basic information regarding supply chain management and how it works; what are the different strategies to bring in the sustainability into supply chain management. This will also discuss the different relationships and their importance with supply chain actors and the company.

Every supply chain network has different actors and players and even their relationship, flow and quantity differs. For example, from point of manufacturing; next comes wholesaler. Wholesaler can be a specific one for that product or a wholesaler who works for different business products. Even their quantity differs. Then are the retailers. then there can be a mixed net of retailers which finally connects with final or end consumer or customers.  For economic factors, supply chain network components are very important as they balance the demand and supply of market. Supply chain factors are the one who manages the demand of market. they make company management aware about the demand and supply about their products in the market.  next factor is the communication flow in actors of supply chain. Proper communication is makes the company operational efficiency better. It informs the management about new opportunity available in the market. Integration of all the actors in all the activities make it more organized. Most of the companies uses a single information network to have better integration. So, they are very important to make a business successful and its products available to the consumers. (Linton, 2016)

In recent years, stakeholders have pushed companies to get more sustainability in supply chains. Companies can employ sustainability in business more by reducing the wastage and resource use in supply chain. this increases productivity and reduces the costs. Effective map design of supply chain help company to reduce the wastage and duplication which makes company more productive. Benchmarking from the supply chain and getting their feedback is more effective to take preventive and corrective steps. As supply chain actors, more related to suppliers and the consumers than company itself. Many companies in US uses their suppliers to get the surveys done and fill out questionnaire so to get feedback for company performance. By the way of this feedback of supply chain company makes performance improvement.  This will also deploy all the robust tracking tools and company will go greener. this gives a chance for improvement. this will also expand the operations for the across the limits for company where company cannot reach by direct sources. But this does not mean that company should stop its direct efforts for feedback and sustainability. (Jessica Wollmuth, 2014)

If looked up to the basic structures for supply chain management of any organization then it has three structures: Horizontal Structure, Vertical Structure, Horizontal Position.  In every structure, number of tiers is different and depends upon the size and product type of organization. These structures basically make the flow of information and services easy and productive. In horizontal structures, all the supply chain actors work across the company they go downwards or upwards. it has mostly one supplier at every tier. A very good example for this one is Hair Salon. They sell variety of brands for products so they are always adding horizontally for the supply chain at their level.  Vertical structure, as name shows, is a line either you take downwards or upwards.  This has number of suppliers or actors at every level. There is another dimension for support structures which is called horizontal position of company in structure. In this structure company position, may be very near to the customer or can at the initial stage of structure. Either it can be positioned between both the starting and ending points. (Kluver, 2016).


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