5 components of supply chain community management

Supply chain community management is a necessary practice for all companies utilizing a stable of partners. Withdescribe the image various organizations, partners and customers working toward a single end, it's necessary that the process avoid becoming fragmented and bogged down with inefficiencies.

In order for a supply chain to be most effective, there are five components that all management strategies and practices should include.

1.  Prepare

Managing a partner community takes a lot of planning and preparation. Companies need to devise strategies for getting a product to the market as quickly as possible, while still optimizing the resources needed to complete the project.

Much of this planning should be centered on developing and instituting a set of performance metrics. They will allow a company to oversee the supply chain and ensure it is running efficiently, costs are kept down and high quality is delivered.

2.  Choose

Companies must be picky about what organizations are included in the supply chain. Just because they're not the ones manufacturing the product doesn't mean they'll share in the responsibility should something go wrong or a defect arise. After all, the company's name is the one on the finished product, not those of the partners.

Within the sourcing of the supply chain should be a set of pricing, delivery and payment processes with suppliers, as well as a means for building relationships. A supply chain will run smoothest when all partners are fully vested in each other.

3.  Manufacture

After planning out the supply chain and choosing who to involve in the partner community, it's time for the actual manufacturing stage. Here is when the real work begins.

During the manufacturing portion of the process is when companies must schedule a timeline for when projects must be completed. Still, often you see product releases pushed back by weeks or months, with rumors surrounding the latest iPhone the most recent example, because of delays during the manufacturing process.

4. Release

After all that work, it's finally time to release the finished product to the market. But more is still to be done.

Managing this component means getting ready to handle orders from customers, organize receipts and focus on warehouse management. Here, companies also have to select carriers for delivering the product to customers and set up transaction management systems for handling payments. Is your supply chain seamless?