Exploring Supply Chain Management and Operations Management

We, Americans love to eat and shop. It kills us if our products are not delivered on time, or the quality falls below our expectations. Did you know supply chain and operations are two areas that take care of this process? Are you aware what each area of management is responsible for? If you have been scratching your head, trying to think over how is one different from the other, rest your case. We’ll take the pain to elaborate on the two. Read on to find out.

Exploring Supply Chain Management and Operations Management

What is the difference between Supply Chain Management and Operations Management?

Supply chain management (SCM) and operations management (OM) are not Black and White. They are more like hue of Grey. It wouldn’t be wrong to say, SCM is a subset of OP. While the activities of two are dependent on each other, this is what distinguishes the two.

SCM collaborates activities with the external stakeholders. It coordinates and monitors procurement and logistics for delivering material back and forth from factories. From procuring to distributing goods, SCM handles it all.

On contrary, all the internal activities that take place during the process of production are done by OP. Managing work flow to use the material provided by SCM in manufacturing to finally converting it into finished goods.

Linking with the situation mentioned earlier and putting it in simple words, the delivery of your products is SCM’s responsibility and to maintain the quality would come under OP’s umbrella. While all external activities are handled by supply chain management, operations management takes the charge for internal ones.

Supply Chain Management

  • Analyze and coordinate an organization’s supply chain
  • Develop business relationships with suppliers and customers
  • Direct the allocation of materials, supplies, and finished products
  • Design tactics to minimize the cost or time required to move goods
  • Work out policies with suppliers, such as when products will be delivered
  • Meet with staff and vendors to discuss defective or unacceptable goods or services and agree on corrective action
  • Evaluate and monitor contracts to ensure vendors and supplies comply with the terms and conditions of the contract and to determine need for changes
  • Maintain and review items bought, costs, deliveries, product performance, and inventories

Operations Management

  • Evaluate and provide systematic direction of the entire range of processes that transform inputs into finished goods or services
  • Responsible of managing the resources that are dedicated to the production and delivery of products and services.
  • Redesign business operations in the production of goods or services when the need develops
  • Improve quality, efficiency, and receptiveness of the firm

The next time you see a production incharge screaming for supplies or perhaps a baffled, aggressive vendor, and feel that you can tame him in no time; guess what, supply chain management field might just be right for you. While you decide which area suits you best, leave a comment if you’d like some help or simply a word to appreciate us. Now that would be good.


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Christine S. Baker is a professional blogger and webmaster of AboutOnlineDegrees.org. Her main area of focus lies with the educational sector. Check out aboutonlinedegrees.org for useful information, tips and resources that can aid you in earning your degree successfully at your own pace.

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