Karachi: The raw material supplies through imports and domestic markets and its timely connectivity through streamlined logistics to production units, value-addition of the made-ups and its packaging.
Then the finished products supplies to wholesale, retail and exports markets to ensure their availability to million customers for their daily use.
The production and supply cycles are carried out more or less every day at every manufacturing companies particularly at Fast Moving Consumers Goods (FMCG) sector but it is not all smooth sailing and materialized with proper strategy, effective planning and cost-efficient resource management.
It is called as Supply Chain Management, one of the strong fields of business in trading and manufacturing industries in the world but it is now emerging in the country for enhanced productivity and flourishing sales of products.
Supply chain management is the backbone of the business especially under the prevailing economical pressure where cost and speed matter the most, said Qaysar Alam, President Supply Chain Association of Pakistan in an interview to The News Tribe. Alam is also the Vice President Supply Chain at Unilever Pakistan, one of the country’s largest consumer goods company and home to brands such as Lux, Lifebuoy, Lipton, Surf and Walls.
Though supply chain management varies on the nature of business but it plays a pivotal role in boosting sales of the products in the local retail markets hence the importance of this field is inevitable in any company whether the product is manufactured or traded.
Alam added that advance tools of supply chain management provide cost and service efficiency in the whole supply process because the retail markets are bridged in accordance with supply and demand on time which give confidence to various stakeholders of the system particularly the availability of the products to consumers through small retailers.
The supply chain management is effective way to discourage bad practices and prices manipulation in the wholesales and retail markets because when management of supplies is done effectively through uninterrupted channels and logistics, the menace of hoarding and profiteering is automatically reduced to greater extend, Salam added who is also Vice President Supply Chain at Unilever Pakistan.
In Pakistan, the supply chain management is even more crucial when law and order situation is always uncertain and abrupt shutter down strikes are called upon in the country, which hampers the business and supply cycle from the backend. Therefore, it is important to tackle the challenges of law and order through proper supply chain management for uninterrupted supplies of your products to consumers.
Supply chain in fact has not been recognized fully as field because of lack of understanding and expertise. “First you need to invest which is a cost but benefits are long term. Otherwise over time survival would be difficult as with the passage of time supply chain capability will become the competitive advantage.”
I suggest all large and medium sized corporations making the right supply chain organization, developing the resource and prepare for the future challenges because it will give you cost savings and service efficiencies.
Supply Chain Association of Pakistan (SCAP) is working to explore different ways to cope up surprising challenges in the country aimed at maintaining unstoppable cycle of productions and sales of the companies at local level, Salam explained.
That is why forums like SCAP are trying to spread the knowledge and bringing the professionals under one roof to discuss the common issues and the counter measures.
Because it is high time that professional working in Pakistan need to develop the skill to manage their respective supply chain under the prevailing environment. There is a need for greater flexibility and collaboration.
Supply chain is an evolving field and there is a need for greater focus on the resource development and planning. There is a scarcity of trained with right education resource from the universities. So, in house resource development plan is a mandatory requirement.
SCAP is a forum of supply chain professional and is a non-profit organization where the members meet network share the knowledge and help each other to improve. It organizes discussion forums and seminars on different occasion but the conference is a mega event where a large number of people get together to raise their common voice and understand the future trends.
At the end, I also encourage youngsters to opt for this field of business, which is evolving and growing in the country at handsome pace and make their future bright through unleashing their potential in challenging projects of different companies.
Presently, the industries are lacking of trained supply chain managers and it is high time for professionals to get training and degrees in this field to have better employment opportunities in near future.
There will be lots of learning and networking opportunity for people in this field particularly supply chain managers, warehouse and procurement managers, demand planners and logistics directors, Vice President Supply Chain forUnilever Pakistan concluded.