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The model applied to the recommendations for GSL is the GSCF framework. The Global Supply Chain Forum (GSCF) developed a definition of supply chain management (Cooper, M et al 1997). The GSCF defines supply chain management as “the integration of key business processes from end user through original suppliers that provides products, services, and information that add value for customers and other stakeholders” (Lambert, D. et al 1998:1).
This model was chosen to be a framework for the recommendations as it encompasses all areas of the organisations, valuing input from the stake holders. It will focus the organisation on key issues, and highlight areas that either not operating to full potential or that are wasting resources.
Customer relationship management will provide a structure for maintaining and developing with customers at GSL. The introduction of cross-functional customer teams will tailor product and service agreements to meet the needs of customers This will include free site survey to reduce incorrect data, and therefore save time and money. The take up of the survey when charged is small; this has led to problems in production of the unit. Introducing free surveys will be cost effective (Croxton, K. et al. 2001).
GSL will appoint a Customer Service Manager (recruited internally or externally) to provide a single point of contact for the customer throughout the whole process. This manager will be responsible for administering the product service agreements during their term. This is fundamental to the success of the recommendations, a point of contact for the customer whether an initial inquiry or some query further down the process. The role will successfully smooth out any concerns that the customer has (Bolumole,Y et al 2003).
Demand management will provide a structure for balancing the customers’ requirements with the supply chain capabilities. This area will look at the conical tanks and assess whether they are cost effective. Instead of sub contracting an introduction fee could be charged to the manufacturer of them, and allow them full control over the sale of the unit. This will reduce demand variability and increase the supply chain flexibility. Review of all tanks is necessary to concentrate efforts on offering only standardised units, reducing the cost of moulds (Croxton, K. et al. 2003).
Order fulfilment will review all the activities that are necessary to define customer requirements. When there is a full order bank the introduction of overtime will speed up delivery and enable the firm to meet customer requirements while reducing the total delivered cost. Although the overtime will increase costs, more units can be produced. It could be more cost effective to review the shifts patterns of the production employees, to cover longer hours of manufacture When the drying out procedure commences this could be when those operators have finished their shift (Croxton, K. et al 2003).
Manufacturing flow management will review all activities necessary to obtain, implement and manage manufacturing flexibility and move products through the plants in the supply chain The manual lifting of tanks can be replaced by a fork lift operator, who can also pick the raw products necessary for production. This also will prevent operators being pulled of production to move tanks (Goldsby, T et al 2003).
Supplier relationship management will provide the structure for relationships with suppliers, and then allow the developing and maintaining of them. Reviewing all suppliers and identifying weak links, that can be either improved or replaced will ensure the best service from suppliers (Croxton et al. 2001).
Reviewing and developing multiple uses for the product has already been demonstrated by GSL. This product development and commercialisation will provide a structure for further developing of the product. This will bring in new markets and products. These products will be designed so they o not interfere with production of the core product. Whilst time is elapse in drying the machinery will be utilised, on either making stock items or a complimentary product (Rogers, D. et al 2004).
The most important area is returns management; this includes activities related to returns, reverse logistics, gate keeping, and avoidance. The follow up calls and the level of maintenance with all sold units is vital to increase the company’s reputation. This area can be covered by customer service, just ensuring that the customer is happy with the product (Rogers et al. 2002).
The strength of GSL has been its entry into a niche market and the product development. These strengths must be developed and concentrated on for the long term survival of the organisation. The strict limitations on finance will prevent growth, therefore a full review of finances with qualified practitioner will advise the company. This is the only way that any of the recommendations can be implemented.
Customer relationship management and supplier relationship management form the critical links in the supply chain, with the other areas coordinated through them. Each of the processes are cross functional and cross firm. Each is broken down into a sequence of strategic sub processes, where the blueprint for managing the process is defined, and a sequence of operational sub-processes, where the process is actualised Every sub-process is described by a set of activities. Cross-functional teams are used to define the structure for managing the process at the strategic level and implementation at the operational level.
Bolumole, Y. et al (2003), “The Customer Service Management Process,”
The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 15-31.
Cooper, M. et al (1997), “Supply Chain Management: More than a New Name for Logistics,” The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 1-14.
Croxton, K.. et al (2001), “The Supply Chain Management Processes,”
The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 13-36.
Croxton, K. (2003), “The Order Fulfilment Process,”
The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 19-33.
Goldsby, T. et al (2003), “The Manufacturing Flow Process,”
The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 33-52.
Lambert, D. et al (1998), “Supply Chain Management: Implementation Issues and Research Opportunities,”
The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 1-19.
Rogers, D. et al (2002), “The Returns Management Process,”
The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 1-18.
Rogers, D. et al (2004), “The Product Development and Commercialisation Process,”
The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 43-56.
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