China Industry Spotlight: Supply Chain Management
Almost every company in any given industry has a supply chain. Without one, they would not be able to get their products to their customers. The supply chain usually makes up the biggest expense for a company as it includes several departments such as raw material sourcing, customer service and order fulfillment management, manufacturing, quality, and logistics. Producing a quality product as cheap as possible and shipping it the most efficient way is a major priority for supply chain professionals.
Supply chain management also focuses a great deal of effort on forecasting to ensure they have just the right amount of raw materials to manufacture just enough end product to meet demand.
They have to anticipate not only future demand but future problems such as raw material price increases or raw material shortages. For example, if your supplier is located in South Asia and it is monsoon season, there may be a delay in shipments for several weeks, if not longer.
The sourcing team needs to have alternative suppliers on hand or enough extra stock to safeguard the supply chain against shortages. However, carrying too much inventory is also to be avoided as the cost of those parts sitting in the warehouse means wasted opportunity to gain back that expenditure as revenue for the company. The supply chain is constantly performing a balancing act between having enough and having too little.
Supply chain managers also spend a great deal of energy on the manufacturing process. Should the factory run all night long? Or is the overtime employee cost greater than the extra revenue brought in by making additional products? Can the products be made quicker? Even cutting seconds off the manufacturing time for each product can save the company thousands of dollars. Is there any way to make the product cheaper but retain quality? Reducing the cost per product by just a few cents can save the company millions of dollars. What is the back up plan if the machinery in one of the manufacturing lines breaks down? There are many factors to consider in just this one department.
Logistics is equally complex with many daily problems and quick decision making. Although every company will have regular contracts with various logistic partners around the world which stipulate the average number of days they expect products to be delivered within, what happens when there is an emergency? If the manufacturing of an important client’s prodcut is delayed, for example, logistics may be asked to express delivery the product so that the customer stays happy and receives their shipment on time. On-time delivery is an essential KPI (key performance indicator) for the logistics team.
Chinese companies are competing internationally more and more these days and are looking for international talent to help them both communicate with the West and also to learn best practices from around the world. If you are looking for an internship in supply chain management, China is the perfect place for you to start your career or to simply get experience working in China. Since China has such a large population, understanding how China can produce and deliver products to so many people around such a large country is an excellent case study for any student or professional interested in supply chain management. A very popular Chinese website called Taobao, can deliver products from anywhere in China to anywhere in China within 1-2 days. Can you imagine how efficient their supply chain is!
Gi2C Group can help you find an internship in Supply Chain Management and learn more about China’s unique culture along the way with an internship in Beijing or an internship in Shanghai. Internships are the perfect opportunity to test different industries and company environments to learn about what type of career best suits you. Internships also help you get your foot in the door and provide great opportunities to network in your desired industry.
- Supplier communication in terms of delivery and pricing
- Purchasing, logistics, and manufacturing support as needed
- Project assistance and process efficiency analysis
- Assist the sourcing team with forecasting of international parts
- Analyze KPI, market trends and high risk clients
Experience and qualifications
Preferably a graduate with a Bachelor’s in Business or Supply Chain Management. Excellent analytical skills and able to communicate effectively. Experience with ERP is a plus. Able to use Microsoft Office to its full abilities and possessing an understanding of basic industry concepts. Must be able to multi-task and meet deadlines as well as work hard.