Supply Chain and Marketing are more connected than most people think. The definition of supply chain management has gotten broader over the years. In most organizations the supply chain and Marketing groups are distinct entities, with different, non integrated, and often conflicting approaches.
This approach sets up many obstacles in the face of growth of any company. One of the roles of supply chain managers is to ensure the flow of information throughout an organization which includes keeping everyone in the company informed of the marketing efforts and making sure that the information being disseminated is accurate.
Here are some examples how Supply Chain and Marketing are connected:
Let us assume that you have a distribution business, and your marketing department promoted next day delivery as a key benefit of working with your company. Your Marketing team fails to discuss the details with your shipping department. This could lead to problems as your shipping department has certain restrictions where they can deliver next day and there might be limitations on the the number of products that can be delivered. This spell disaster. Most marketing departments do not have a full understanding of the logistics services offered by their by organization. That is why the director of supply chain should have an active role in the planning for marketing.
Many companies resort to hiring a Third Party Logistics Provider because 3PL Companies have a broader understanding of the integration between supply chain and marketing.
Another example is from real life and it did occur. A company shipped a rather large product to a foreign country, the marketing department designed an appealing product label and spent a large sum of money on marketing the product.
The shipping Company loaded the product into containers and shipped to the final destination. Upon arrival of a total of 10 containers to the port, the customs agents seized the cargo. The problem was that the product labeling was not in compliance with the country’s regulations. In order to admit the product into the foreign country, the labels had to be replaced.
What happened in this case is that the marketing department failed to get the approval from the Director of Logistics Solutions.
Supply Chain is the umbrella that should cover all the activities of a business.