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Scope of Consultancy Services in Supply Chain Management

By Manish Kumar Gupta, Founder & CEO, IndoGlobal Institute of Supply Chain Management

Most of the times the term supply chain management seems to be confusing and people may wonder what exactly supply chain management is. For many people, the term is like a jargon that could only be meaningful to those working in certain industries, but in reality, supply chain management is something that affects almost everyone in the world and we can find the concept in the manufacturing and distribution of any product that we are using today.

A supply chain is the integration of group of organizations, individuals, process, resources and information required in moving an item or product from the point of production to the point of ultimate consumer. The supply chain activities exercise the transformation process of natural resources, raw materials and components into the finished products which is delivered to the end user. Number of other industries is correlated with the functioning of supply chain industry. Logistics is one of the major components of SCM whereas; warehousing, transportation, custom clearance, freight forwarding, cold chain management, port operations etc. are few others to name.

Present Scenario

Indian logistics and supply chain industry is on its journey to the peak. The industry is bagged with all the necessities to grow up by its leaps and bounds. It is one of the significant industries, which support the growth of all other industries. The development of e-commerce industry is an added fuel to the high growth of logistics and supply chain industry. Organized e-retail is no more an urban phenomenon. With widespread urbanization of rural areas and tier II and tier III cities inching a notch up, the employment concentration is changing and so is the need for training more and more people in the sector. But unfortunately, the level of inefficiency in logistics and supply chain performance in the country is comparatively much higher among all modes. There is an acute shortfall of qualified personnel with adequate training and education.

Role of Consultancy Services in bridging the Gap

A consultant can play the role of a doctor, an expert and as a process consultant in an organizational environment. As a doctor the he will analyze the pain of his client and can suggest for better treatment which cures the decease. As an expert he always carries a well defined and measurable solution to the problem. As a process consultant, he creates a better relationship with the business’ clients which permit the company to understand and act in a cordial manner to meet the clients’ expectations and requirements. A consultant can act as a change agent in an organization by designing and implementing unique and optimal changes in the organizational environment by studying and analyzing the competitive strategy and market trend. In a way he is bridging the gap between the companies’ requirements and availability. However, it is difficult to say that obtaining a business consultancy will replace the skill gap in the industry, but instead it will assist the companies to reduce the effects of supply chain skill gap with the help of expert services by a better consultant. In a supply chain business environment, consultant can be a useful resource in problem identification, analysis, problem solving, research and development, client relationship management, human capital development and re-investment, business opportunity analysis, marketing and many more.

The industry is always in look for qualified and able candidates to implement their dreams and goals. However the skill gap always stands as a hurdle in getting the right brain and talent to materialize their dreams. This is the situation which creates the need for an expert advice to bring the organization to the new heights. This is true that Consulting assignments are always begin with an organizational issue where the companies realize that there is a need, that they lack some talents or skilled manpower to address the issue in house. Consultants are always equipped with skills and expertise to define and achieve the organizational goals through improved utilization of resources.

No business can run solely with the help of consultancy services. The role of a consultant is always limited to the study, analysis and advising the solution to the problem identified. The implementation part is always vested with the dedicated employees of an organization. A good consultant may become a boon to the company and on the other hand, inexperienced and unprofessional ones can have a reverse effect also. Hence, what we need is an optimum combination of right level of employees and the consultants where the organizational interests are getting protected. This will create a best combination of professionalism and responsibility which lays the foundation stone of a successful business. 

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