In-house activities are the activities performed within the borders of the respective company. Normally SCM’s biggest focus lies within production management, but other areas such as customer intimacy and close collaboration with external stakeholders such as e.g. suppliers and customers, must also be regarded as very important internal SCM activities.
Within the production scope, SCM highlights the importance of utilizing production capacity to the fullest and most efficient extend. Production should be set up to match the needs of end customers, and also be able to match and exploit the inbound resources coming from the supply chain.
Regarding customer intimacy, companies should be able to meet the requirements of the marketplace for e.g. quality, time of deliveries flexibility of manufacturing etc. Therefore, companies need to shape both its upstream and in-house activities according to demand and requirements, and develop and maintain innovation and production competencies to do so.
Companies can shape their make-up of both upstream and in-house activities by exploiting a plentitude of different managerial tools that will support development of new products, strengthen capabilities of upstream counterparts, secure lean production principles and maintain production quality and precision.
Below, a short presentation of different SCM related tools that can be used internally in modern companies is listed. The list is by far not exhaustive, and should only be seen as examples of different managerial tools that might be used in internal SCM improvement initiatives.
- Concurrent engineering: This managerial tool seeks to develop new products in line with production capabilities. Likewise, the competencies of e.g. suppliers can be evaluated to secure those incoming resources match the new product requirements.
- Lean Manufacturing: This managerial approach seeks to make production efficient, and to secure both quality and precision within the company internal processes.
- Customer relationship marketing: This marketing approach seeks to evaluate the needs and wants of customers, so that that the company essentially knows what value needs to be added the product, and so that the company knows which value added activities need to be incorporated into the design of the supply chain.
In short, In-house SCM activities should be developed so that they match to customer expectations, and so that the internal activities may foster and exploit the total pool of competencies and resources found in the entire supply chain.