Supply chain in simple words means the movement of raw material to the factory and the final finished goods to the consumers. This function has been a critical a part of the manufacturing industry since ages and is an integral part in the complete product manufacturing set-up. Every enterprise typically manufacturing have a full integrated supply chain division ensuring smooth production of goods and seamless as well timely delivery to the consumers. With the advent of e-commerce, this function has taken an all new meaning where the functioning of supply chain can actually ruin or build an enterprise.
E-Commerce is generally defined as the buying and selling of goods or services over the Internet; it is a commercial transaction conducted electronically on the Internet. Ecommerce has given space and benefit to the firms to establish their market presence and augment the current market position by providing an inexpensive and well-organized distribution for their products or services. This kind of a model is advantageous both for the firms as well as the consumers, where firms save costs on building brick-mortar stores, hiring staff and other administrative costs, the consumers on the other hand take the benefit of shopping from home and choosing from a wide variety of products without going to the market or hunting innumerable stores for that one product.
Supply chain and E-Commerce
Since E-Commerce is buying and selling of goods over the Internet, hence besides payment between the two parties, it is movement of goods that also needs to happen in a correct and timely fashion, hence the need of supply chain. For businesses to boom in time of E-Commerce, supply chain becomes the most critical aspect which needs to be quick, un-interrupted and secure. The competition is fierce as there are not one or two but hundreds of E-Commerce firms fighting for market share, each identifying and developing unique selling and delivery strategies.
Consumers today want quick results, if they can order and have a good delivered at their doorstep today, they would not want to wait for 2 days to have it delivered; they would go with the firm that offers quick and hassle-free delivery.
The 2 way supply chain
E-Commerce works on a 2 way supply chain business from warehouse to consumer and consumer and back. Yes, E-Commerce firm offers the flexibility and scope to the consumers to return a product in case it’s faulty or not of their choice. This in-turn lead the companies to also plan and support a reverse supply chain of getting it back from the consumer to their warehouse.
Critical and Important
Supply chain has indeed become a critical part of today’s business, initially associated with only manufacturing firms it is now an integral part of all enterprises and especially in the online sale business. There is huge scope and demand of supply chain professionals in these industries and are also paid well. A career in supply chain is indeed an extremely profitable and lucrative option with the boom of E-Commerce.