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Visualise your Supply Chain: Supply Chain Mapping 101

  • General News
  • 27th January 2016

Adam Voak, IoSCM Australia

So why would a company or stakeholder need to visualise a supply chain? This will depend on what you are trying to achieve and whether you are going to look at the supply chain from either a process or strategic perspective. To create a supply chain map involves a step by step process aimed at gathering and determining information or insights about the environment and distribution channels used to get a product to the end consumer.

Essentially a supply chain map is a representation on paper, using lines, words and symbols, of an existing business process or a strategy to modify or develop a process to better meet these consumer’s needs. As supply chains become longer, and increasingly more complex and outsourced it has become important for companies to better understand visually the impacts these processes have on the overall product value proposition. The supply

Visualise your Supply Chain: Supply Chain Mapping 101

Adam Voak, IoSCM Australia

So why would should a company or stakeholder need to visualise a supply chain? This will depend on what you are trying to achieve and whether you are going to look at the supply chain from either a process or strategic perspective.

chain map, therefore, serves to assist a company to evaluate not only the efficiency but also the effectiveness of these processes.

When imaging a strategic supply chain map it is essential that it reflect the strategic goals of the company. When analysing or gathering information it is also necessary that due consideration is given to how these processes relate to the companies mission and values.

It must be remembered that the supply chain map always has the consumer at front of mind. Processes that might be considered include manufacturing, purchasing, packaging, distribution, shipping, product presentation and safety testing. The complexity and detail of the map will, therefore, be determined by the end users requirements and needs. In all facets of the mapping process, the effective communication and information flow to the end user is the primary goal. The map should serve as a living document as it reflects the supplier network and ecosystem that operates to enable a product to reach a consumer. It is because this system is evolving and changing constantly that the map must be revisited and continually updated to ensure that it accurately reflects an ever-changing data paradigm.

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