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Analyse and evaluate the supply chain

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Introduction

The success of an organisation lies in the operational management policy of the company including the logistics operations and supply chain. Logistic operations are generally conducted to fulfil the requirements of the customers and supply the goods to them according to their demand. Along with the logistics operations the supply chain system of a company ensures the process of marketing their goods. Nowadays, it has been the era of a competitive market and to match that level of competition and globalise their product every company is trying to get themselves accommodated to the modern technologies and policies. In order to generate a successful business chain, the company UNILEVER is aiming at strengthening its logistics operations and supply chain.

Discussion

 

Background of the company

In this generation of the competitive market, UNILEVER has stepped into the business in the 1890's with a purpose of making the world a great place worth living. The major focus of a healthcare company has always been to provide healthily and tidiness to the people and make them able to look good while feeling good (Liberatore et al. 2014, p.11). The company has started its business in Victorian England and now has reached the broad globalised market. William Hesketh Lever who founded the Lever Brothers had come up with the Sunlight Soap to popularise their product and uplift hygiene and cleanliness in Victorian England in 1890’s (unilever.com, 2018).

Area of business and further scope

With an agenda of spreading their business worldwide, UNILEVER has introduced various kinds of home appliances and products related to the human resource. As their main agenda is to promote hygiene and cleanliness, the company focuses on the basic need of their consumers and produce every possible product to ensure the healthy and tidy state of their customers. UNILEVER provides its consumer with a large range of products starting from affordable soaps, shampoos to foods and ice creams along with 400 brands to choose from. The company targets to satisfy the everyday needs of people regarding their domestic area. UNILEVER has 400 companies that operate in 150 countries to meet that target of the organisation. In order to expand their business, UNILEVER follows the strategies to buy the local companies and creates a greenfield site in the country where the company is located (unilever.com, 2018). It also focuses on importing from external sources if it is possible and profitable for them. One of the major marketing policies is to categorise their products on the basis of the countries and their uses (Brandenburg et al. 2014, p.301). Among the various ways of entering the local market, UNILEVER prefers to purchase a local company to raise the standard of the product and to increase its market value. This Aggressive Globalisation Policy has helped to the company to be recognised as one of the leading global companies in the world.

Features of the company’s supply chain and logistics operations

The supply chain works as the most important instrument in the company’s growth (Hinkka et al. 2015, p.59). UNILEVER generates a supply chain containing 100,000 staffs who take good care of the services and ensures that the customers are being provided with all the required products. The supply chain of UNILEVER consists of a manufacturing team and a delivery department as well. Both of the sectors assure the company to promote the quality of the products while fulfilling the requirements of the consumers. The supply chain consists of some sectors like the first one being the raw material supplier (Christopher, 2016, p.121). The next step follows by the manufacturing department following the distribution sector. Through the above-mentioned stages, a product is delivered to the consumers (Ellram and Cooper, 2014, p.10). 

 

Each department involved in the supply procedure has their respective duties to ensure the product quality and the consumers' comfort is up to the mark (Prajogo et al. 2016, p.221).

With an aim to reach the pinnacle of success a company needs to perform some logistic operations (Heckmann et al. 2015, p.129). According to Lai and Cheng (2016, p.21), the logistics operations have an important contribution to the supply chain and profit of the company. Logistic operations provide a company to maintain both the global partnership and minor partnerships with the local companies while providing an effective supply chain to process their goods in the market (Jaaron and Backhouse, 2016, p.949). Talking about UNILEVER, it produces a number of logistic operations to maintain its partnerships with the major leading companies as well as purchased small local companies. Through the logistics operations, a company becomes able to meet the requirements of the customers while bringing a change in the supply chain (Drucker and Garn, 2016, p.23). UNILEVER has decided to purchase the shares of the local companies to introduce a brand in that place while commenting an entry in the local market. The executives employed in the logistics operations needs to come up with the idea to simplify the process of delivering goods in order to make the appliances available to the consumers (Touboulic and Walker, 2015, p.17).

As a result of the logistics operations, a company becomes able to see the changes in the process and has also been able to calculate the cost of serving, volume phasing and the current position of effective networking (Tatoglu et al. 2016, p.190). Another outcome of the operation is the discovery of the inefficiencies of the services. The company is working on this process of improvement while innovating new ways to modify the operational systems. [Refer to the appendix 2]

Activities used by the company for sustainability

Being a Globalised company the UNILEVER has the aim to provide the products to their consumers with a purpose of hygiene and cleanliness. The sense of sustainability is in the core policy of UNILEVER as it follows various ways to gain sustainability of their product. Talking about the process in which the company maintains sustainability is the adoption of the practices that are sustainable as well as the cost saver. The main sustainability strategy of the company lies in their commitment to improve health and ensure the well-being of the people, reduction of the environmental impact and enhancement of livelihood (unilever.com, 2018).

 

The company claims to improve their sustainability programme by achieving the promised goals within the upcoming decades. As the company deals with human resources and domestic appliances the main strategy of its sustainability always follows the satisfaction of the consumers. These plans help the company to reduce risk in the market and help them to build the relationship of trust with the customers. It also serves as an advantage to the stakeholders to rely on the company for better business purposes. A company needs to focus on their logistics operations to meet the expected customer satisfaction (Özdamar and Ertem, 2015, p.57).

Collaboration with the suppliers and logistics partners for customer satisfaction

In order to get success in the collaboration, a company needs to focus on some simple strategies. For example, while establishing a collaboration with a company the organisation needs to keep some simple strategies of the process that how to collaborate and where to collaborate (Stevens and Johnson, 2016, p.21).

 

Conclusion

The combined effort of the employees and the management of a company are responsible for the overall growth of the company. In order to maintain that progressive improvement a company should identify the sectors that need to be modified. The company UNILEVER is considered to be one of the leading human resource companies that supply a large number of home appliances for over a hundred years. The main strength of the organisation lies in the strategic measures taken by the company and its way of spreading the business worldwide. The appropriate application of the sketched plan and the collaboration of the local and international companies make it possible to ensure the overall growth of the company while satisfying the consumers need.

Recommendations

As UNILEVER is a globalised company it already has a list of advantages with it, still, some modification in the relationships with the suppliers and the international marketing system would bring a better change in the company's graph. The Aggressive Globalisation Policy has helped the company to participate in any market in terms of purchasing the local companies. However, sometimes this can become a risk for the company to set the standards of the products to generate the promotion of a branded company. In order to lower this risk and gain a better-improved result, the company should bring some modification in their marketing policy for the further enhancement of their business.

 

References

Brandenburg, M., Govindan, K., Sarkis, J. and Seuring, S., (2014). Quantitative models for sustainable supply chain management: Developments and directions. European Journal of Operational Research, 233(2), pp.299-312.

 

Christopher, M., (2016). Logistics & supply chain management.United Kingdom: Pearson UK.

Drucker, P. and Garn, W., (2016). Modern Logistics & Supply Chain Management.

Ellram, L.M. and Cooper, M.C., (2014). Supply chain management: It's all about the journey, not the destination. Journal of Supply Chain Management, 50(1), pp.8-20.

Heckmann, I., Comes, T. and Nickel, S., (2015). A critical review on supply chain risk–Definition, measure and modeling. Omega, 52, pp.119-132.

Hinkka, V., Häkkinen, M., Holmström, J. and Främling, K.,( 2015). Supply chain typology for configuring cost-efficient tracking in fashion logistics. The International Journal of Logistics Management, 26(1), pp.42-60.

Jaaron, A.A. and Backhouse, C., (2016). A systems approach for forward and reverse logistics design: Maximising value from customer involvement. The International Journal of Logistics Management, 27(3), pp.947-971.

Lai, K.H. and Cheng, T.E., (2016). Just-in-time logistics. Abingdon: Routledge.

Liberatore, F., Ortuño, M.T., Tirado, G., Vitoriano, B. and Scaparra, M.P., (2014). A hierarchical compromise model for the joint optimization of recovery operations and distribution of emergency goods in Humanitarian Logistics. Computers & Operations Research, 42, pp.3-13.

Özdamar, L. and Ertem, M.A., (2015). Models, solutions and enabling technologies in humanitarian logistics. European Journal of Operational Research, 244(1), pp.55-65.

Prajogo, D., Oke, A. and Olhager, J., (2016). Supply chain processes: Linking supply logistics integration, supply performance, lean processes and competitive performance. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 36(2), pp.220-238.

Stevens, G.C. and Johnson, M., (2016). Integrating the supply chain… 25 years on. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 46(1), pp.19-42.

Tatoglu, E., Bayraktar, E., Golgeci, I., Koh, S.L., Demirbag, M. and Zaim, S., (2016). How do supply chain management and information systems practices influence operational performance? Evidence from emerging country SMEs. International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications, 19(3), pp.181-199.

Touboulic, A. and Walker, H., (2015). Theories in sustainable supply chain management: a structured literature review. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 45(1/2), pp.16-42.

unilever.com (2018) Our history Available at: https://www.unilever.com/about/who-we-are/our-history/ [Accessed on 25 March 2018]

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