7 Key Components of Supply Chain for Success

Table of Contents

Supply Chain & It's Factors

The simplest of resources, products of daily needs like bread and butter, are made available to the consumer through several processes. For instance, the journey of bread begins with the farmer who sows the seeds and sells the wheat to the businessman. The businessman  in turn sells it to the baker, who then bakes the bread.

In a nutshell, the supply chain management comprises of these processes of supply and delivery. Supply chain management is a network of businesses that are interconnected with each other through manufacturing of products, delivering services, and consumer requirement.

For an effective supply chain, it is important for businesses to ensure two primary factors. One factor is that the supply chain should be cost effective, and second is that it should deliver the results on time. The bread chain elaborated upon is a simple supply chain management structure. Supply chain management can be way more complicated.

The management processes may differ with the difference in the size of the business, the complexity of the chain, and the number of products involved in each step. However, the consistent fact is that the supply chain management begins at the origin of the product or service, and ends with the delivery and consumption of the same, by the end user.

There are innumerable products of daily need and consumption. The supply chain management interweaves a network of supply through all these products, creating a harmonious and efficient environment of supply, transport and delivery. A minor break in the supply chain can result in disruption of the system, with a domino like effect.

components of supply chain

Key Components of Supply Chain

There are a few key components of supply chain management system. Supply chain is a series of steps involved in getting a product from the manufacturer to the consumer. It includes manufacturers, vendors, warehouses, carriers, distribution centers, and retailers. A thriving supply chain has a lot of moving components, literally and symbolically.

Managing all of the components, per se people, places, and things involved, can be a daunting task, even for an experienced businessperson.

The Navata Road Transport experts have compiled some key components of Supply Chain that ensure success and efficiency in the supply chain at all levels. These are listed below.

1. Alignment

A good alignment of all components is of utmost importance for success and smooth functioning of the supply chain. The overall business goals and the supply chain goals should be in sync and be strategically aligned with each other. To start with, it is important to ensure that the upper management team is aware of this correlation. Taking the company’s top decision-makers in the loop, and ensuring that the supply chain needs are a top priority for them too, helps in the long run.

For instance, in the situation of a “tough decision”, like additional last minute shipping costs, it is easier to take a decision and sanction action, when the company sees the supply chain needs as a high priority, and understands the importance of the decision or action.

components of supply chain

2. Technology

Technological support is no more an option in the Transportation industry. It is a necessary pillar of support. IT is a need-to-have, not just a nice-to-have situation anymore. All successful supply chains have made the latest technology an integral part of the operations, with technological support like Transport Management Systems (TMS), and Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) becoming a key component of the Supply chain. The latest logistics technology and daily proactive tracing is of great advantage in supply chain management. Companies that are right on top and way ahead of competition, are those companies that have fully embraced technology, and utilize it to its fullest potential.

components of supply chain

3. Performance Measurment

Awareness of the most optimal procedures helps to effectively measure performance. It is important to know and establish the ideal supply chain solution. It helps in building the performance measurements based on these processes. In measuring cost effectiveness, efficiency and quality must not be forgotten or ignored.

components of supply chain

4. Future Thinking

Keeping an eye on future goals with the workplace of the future in the mind, is the key to establishing a sustainable supply chain. Steinberg said. “This includes building streamlined processes that are designed to handle employee turnover, in contrast to developing tribal knowledge. Gone are the days of lifetime jobs. Supply chain companies should focus on creating enriching positions and career development programs that care for the most important asset a company has, its people. By doing this, businesses remain agile with the evolving workforce.”

components of supply chain

5. Planning

The strategy for the supply chain must be considered from the earliest stages of planning and product development. All details must be considered. For instance, in designing the packaging, one needs to be mindful of the method of shipping. Due consideration must be given to space optimization to make the process cost effective. Alan Lakein, the time management expert says “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” Planning ahead clears the mind-space to help make better decisions, under less pressure.

6. Flexibility

A robust supply chain must have the ability to accommodate fluctuations. From a strategic viewpoint, flexibility wins over a “one size fits all” kind of rigid mentality. Quick thinking and agility is the much needed weapon to tackle market fluctuations, the uncertainty in the marketplace, and possible changes in the demand. The ability to navigate these changes better than the competitors, gives the edge and helps to be on top of the game and rule the market.

7. Full Integration

It is a data-driven world today. A good data integration is imperative to establish a good network and improve efficiency. DeNardo said, “To ensure smooth operations, the supply chains need to be integrated across not just the company, but across suppliers, co-manufacturers, third-party logistics providers, customers and even consumers”. Sensors on products, pallets, trucks, containers, etc., enable real-time track-and-trace to aid this integration. The planning processes pull together internal and external data from across the ecosystem to better forecast, plan and execute.


Innumerable supply chain solutions float the arena. These above discussed key components of supply chain are very essential for effective. However, they may not all adapt to the specific needs of a particular supply chain. Hence, a partnership with a trusted and experienced 3PL, that cares about the business and the freight, helps give peace of mind, knowing that all is taken a care of, and a dedicated Customer Service Representative is present at every step of the way.

Blog- 7 Key Components of Supply Chain For Success.

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