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Different products require different supply chain arrangements. A firm should analyze the characteristics of the product and choose the supply chain design suited to the product. For example, the supply chains used for consumer and industrial products have to be different from one another. And within each of these broad categories of products, supply chain choices can vary in relation to specific products or product types.

Different products require different supply chain arrangements. A firm should analyze the characteristics of the product and choose the supply chain design suited to the product. For example, the supply chains used for consumer and industrial products have to be different from one another. And within each of these broad categories of products, supply chain choices can vary in relation to specific products or product types.

It is common knowledge that the product aspects change as one moves through the large spectrum of products, from the simplest of consumer goods to the most complex of industrial products. Other items, like consumer durable, consumer specialties, and industrial intermediates, all occupy a position somewhere between the two extremes.

Accordingly, there are a wide variety of possibilities in product-supply chain matching. The fact that supply chain design requires to be linked to product characteristics can be easily understood by considering the distinct requirements of industrial and consumer products in this matter. In the case of industrial products, the size of sales to each customer at a time is very large; the potential buyers to be approached are few; the products are complex and sophisticated; and they are often made to order as per specifications of buyers. Consumer products differ from industrial products in all these respects. Barring a few exceptions, consumer products are mass products, non-technical and non-complex; they are regularly consumed and replaced.

It is these differences between the two categories that necessitate different supply chain designs for them. In addition, the firm should also study the competitor's supply chain patterns before deciding on its own supply chain design. While the firm may not necessarily follow the competitors, it will be worthwhile for the firm to analyze in depth the pros and cons of the supply chain patterns adopted by each of the major competitors.

Supply Chain provides detailed information on Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management, Supply Chain Management Software, Supply Chain Management Solutions and more. Supply Chain is affliated with Knowledge Management Systems.
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