Global Supply Chain Management Quality Strategies and Techniques

Global Supply Chain Management Quality Strategies and Techniques

MGT 370 International Supply Chain Management

Companies should develop comprehensive supply chain management techniques that integrate quality management to ensure customer satisfaction. An effective supply chain management strategy provides the guidelines needed to ensure that customers get high-quality items at reasonable prices delivered free of damages and promptly. Also, companies should efficiently coordinate the internal procedures such as strategic planning and facility set up, adequate storage accommodations, and arrange or provide transportation for goods. “It is fair to say that customer satisfaction is now the primary concern of logisticians: not only does the shipment have to be accurate (the right parts, in the right quantity), complete (no back-ordered parts), and the packaging appropriate so that the goods arrive undamaged and ready to be sold, but it must also be delivered within a very specific time frame” (David, 44). Taking into consideration all the moving pieces that are involved, the Supply Chain Management strategies have to be implemented, monitored and continuously improved to ensure that they are ready to meet the challenges of a competitive market and its able to react and forecast disruptions in its functions.

“SCM is regarded as a management philosophy which consists of a set of managerial processes with the aim of improving the long-term performance of the individual companies and the supply chain as a whole” (Mentzer, 2001). Supply chain as a whole encompasses several independent suppliers up and downstream. The quality of their processes affects the reputation positively or negatively of all parties involved. With that in mind, quality and supply chain management should not be separate tasks but related and supportive of one another. Strategically implementing quality management into supply chain operations is essential to the success of any enterprise.

In the case study “Quality performance in a global supply chain: finding out the weak link,” the authors discuss the weaknesses reflected of M case and H case as data was compiled and researched. The research provided the customer’s perceived flaws and a better look at both company’s SCQM from the employee’s perspective. The M and H case are manufacturers of athletic and casual footwear and apparel for Nike, Reebok, Adidas and other well-known brands in South Asia.

M-Case presented a problem with duty positions and clearly outlining their roles and responsibilities within the company. The company lacked a vice president and the operations manager also served as a mid-level manager. They required a feedback mechanism from the customer, and their workforce identified a hostile environment to work in and low morale. Employees were often blamed for errors in production and management took credit for things that went well. Some recommendations for M-Case are to look into their positions and lay out exactly who they have, what position they hold, and ensure that employees are aware of what is expected of them. Ensure those in critical areas have the experience and education to perform the necessary duties and that is not overtasked. M-Case should look into hiring qualified personnel, training current employees on quality management tools and strategies or firing those that cannot perform. Also, the company should establish a customer service line where they can receive feedback on their products and tend to customer concerns. They could also implement a survey that goes to customers and gets their view on their experience. Lastly, M-Case needs to pay close attention to the morale of their employees. Mid-level managers should receive human relations training to ensure they understand how mission suffers when employees are not engaged and the ramifications of treating personnel poorly. As the case study describes it, M-Case has internal issues, lousy management and faulty processes that only worsen because they are not in touch with their customer base.

H-Case showed a lack of responsibility for the quality of their products. In the past, employees described their techniques for quality management as close hold were them employees had to be continuously monitored. Employees who made mistakes were singled out and punished for their bad performance. Instead, the company should provide concurrent training scheduled throughout the year to ensure that personnel are proficient at their jobs and avoid costly mistakes. The real issue with the quality of their products was that the company steered towards cheaper products and compromised quality. In this case, employee treatment should be addressed as well. It is common for people to make mistakes, but it should be understood that too many errors cost the company money. Also, H-Case should look into the quality of the material they use and know that it hurts their reputation for producing mass amounts of worthless items. They should also look into a lean six sigma initiative where they can cut costs elsewhere while avoiding waste and employ that money into better quality materials.

The supply chain has to be integrated with functional quality management to ensure its success. Internal processes should be strategically planned and developed. This includes having trained qualified personnel assigned to key positions, quality of products manufactured should be of high interest as well as monitoring employees’ treatment and training. In addition, companies can always benefit from initiatives that promote resource management thus avoiding waste and abuse. Lastly, customers satisfaction should be at the forefront of any course of action they decide to implement. Lines of communication and feedback must be established to ensure companies are delivering the right products, the right quantity, free of damages, good quality for a reasonable price.

References

David, Pierre A. International Logistics: The Management of International Trade Operations,

4th Edition. Cicero Books. VitalBook file.

Mentzer, J.T., et al., 2001. Defining supply chain management. Journal of Business Logistics, 22

(2), 1–25.


Soltani, E., Azadegan, A., Liao, Y., & Phillips, P. (2011). Quality performance in a global supply chain: finding out the weak link. International Journal Of Production Research, 49(1), 269-293. doi:10.1080/00207543.2010.508955