Modern Supply Chain Vs. Traditional Distribution Channels

Container Ship

When looking at the supply chain, many people ask themselves the difference between modern and traditional supply chains. This is because, over the years, supply chain management has undergone many changes.

The traditional distribution channel, also known as the traditional supply chain, is what many of us think about when we think of a supply chain; it brings goods from the raw material to the end product and then to the consumer. With the onset of technology, the supply chain has changed to the Modern Supply Chain.

The Modern Supply Chain is more focused on the customers and forming alliances and partnerships.

Table of Contents

Traditional Distribution Channels

Traditional distribution or supply chain management is the supply chain that many of us know or think about when we think about supply chain management. This supply chain distribution channel has been used for many years. It is a traditional distribution channel, supply chain management, or SCM.

The traditional distribution channel focuses on 5 significant steps in the supply chain. Here are the 5 basic steps:

  1. Procurement of Raw Materials – First, the raw materials are procured to produce and make the product. This can be internal in that the company is making the goods themselves or external in that someone else is making the product for them, and they are buying the finished product.
  2. Raw Materials To Manufacture – Next, the raw materials are sent to the manufacturer so that the products can be produced. In this case, the raw materials can either be locally procured, imported, or combined.
  3. Manufacturing – Now that the raw materials have all been procured, the goods are ready to be manufactured. The manufacturer produces the products until the finished product is completed and ready to be shipped.
  4. Shipment and Distribution – The goods are shipped to the wholesaler or distributor. This can be local if the goods are produced locally or overseas if they are export products. This phase is usually the shipment, distribution, and warehousing.
  5. Sold To End Consumer – The good is sold to the end consumer who will use the goods. The end consumer can take them home with them, as would be the case for purchasing retail, or the goods could be delivered to the end consumer by another method.

The traditional distribution or supply chain focuses on how the products go from raw material to the end consumer. This is all about getting the raw materials made into a product that is then shipped and ultimately put into the hands of the end user or customer.

Modern Supply Chain

As technology has become, the focal point of the supply chain has become a more modern supply chain. Today, the supply chain is known as the modern supply chain or modern SCM.

Here are some things the Modern Supply Chain or Modern SCM is focused on:

  • Use of Technology – At the center of the Modern Supply Chain is technology. This is because now at the forefront of the supply chain is the use of technology and how the technology is used throughout the entire supply chain.
  • Logistic Management – The Modern Supply Chain uses logistics management, a system that allows the process to plan, implement and control the flow of goods. Today logistic management is a standard tool used by all freight forwarders and shipping companies worldwide.
  • Partnership Focus – The modern supply chain is all about building partnerships, collaborations, and alliances to help ensure that the supply chain is the best possible. This is because it is no longer just a standalone supply chain; the modern supply chain is about partnerships, alliances and collaborations.
  • Customer Focus – The modern supply chain is also customer focus. Each person in the supply chain understands the customer is essential. In other words, each area of the modern supply chaing is focussed on the customer and the customer’s needs.
  • Service and Speed Oriented -The modern supply chain also focuses on service and speed. Everything from the raw material supplier to the manufacturer, to the distributor has a goal to assure that the goods arrive promptly.

At the heart of the modern supply chain is the use of technology. Technology has changed us in ways we may not realize or understand entirely. The supply chain is an example of how technology has helped the overall processes in the supply chain to be more collaborative, partner-focused, and efficient.

Modern Supply Chain Vs. Traditional Distribution Channels

In comparing the modern supply chain with the traditional supply chain, the modern supply chain is more multi-focused, while the traditional supply chain is a more single-focused process. In other words, the modern supply chain is focused on a more continuous partnership that delivers time and time again.

The traditional supply chain or distribution channel focuses on bringing the raw material to the manufacturer and the end consumer. It was more like a single-line focus than a multi-line focus.

Supply chain management is a great example of how technology has changed the supply chain. Most of us, myself included, have moved from the traditional supply chain to the modern one without thinking about its implications. This is because the world has moved at such a fast pace with technology and the advances of technology that we have had to move along with it to survive.

We have all had to change to survive in any part of this modern supply chain. We have had to change our focus, how we use technology, and how we use the supply chain we are involved in.

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Anita Hummel

Hi, I am Anita Hummel. I am the President of Mondoro. I am passionate about helping you CREATE, DEVELOP, and MANUFACTURE home decor and home furnishing products. I am also an avid blogger with a love of travel and riding my motorcycle around the streets of Hanoi, Vietnam.

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Traditional Vs Modern Supply Chain