The 3 P’s of Supply Chain Management

There are three areas that efficient supply chain management depends on: Physical resources and operations, Processes and People. 

According to the Global Supply Chain Institute, supply chain management depends on three elements, or what they term the 3 ‘P’s: 

This is what most people think of when they hear the term ‘supply chain’. It’s the physical movement of parts, materials, machinery and products from their country of origin to ports, factories and warehouses, and on to laboratories, building sites, retail outlets and homes.  

Before the pandemic, it was an invisible process that was taken for granted. But the sight of the Ever Given container ship stranded in the Suez Canal in 2021, and the disruption that that caused, was a reminder of how reliant the world of commerce is on the frictionless flow of global trade. 

Ship containing storage containers stuck in the Suez Canal

The physical parts and products are the what, your business processes are the how. What are the systems and processes that you need to put in place to ensure that everything is where it is supposed to be, when it’s needed?  

What are the tools you need to digitize and then analyze all the data that your parts, materials and fixed assets generate, so that you can get insight into where and how efficiencies can be made? Which are the areas that could benefit from investment in automation? 

Do you have enough appropriately skilled workers to be able to deliver the projects you’re committed to? What can you do to ensure that the right people are deployed on the right projects, and for the correct length of time? 

The first of those three, the physical movement of parts and products, is largely subject to external forces. The world has suffered a succession of economic shocks and disruptions, with the pandemic, the inflation that followed, the US-China trade war and actual wars in Ukraine and the Middel East. With the result that: 

“Companies are shifting from efficiency to resilience.”

The Economist 

The world is moving away from off-shoring everything to wherever the cheapest labor market is. When disruptions arise, you need to have taken steps to anticipate them, by increasing the choice of suppliers you partner with, and by relying less on just-in-time manufacturing models. Ultimately though, there’s little an organization can do to mitigate those sorts of global events.  

Businesses therefore need to focus on the second and third of those three elements, as they’re the areas that they have control over. When it comes to internal processes, the most important factor is the software solution you employ to coordinate your different systems.  

The main pain point that enterprise organizations suffer from is the fact that their business units and departments operate as individual siloes. They each employ their own set of practices that they’ve developed their processes around.  

The result is that teams end up working from different and contradictory data sets, and are each focused on their own particular goals, instead of working together towards their agreed set of strategic objectives. 

You need to employ a software solution that digitizes all your data and documents so that everything is organized through the one, central hub. That way, everyone is kept permanently up to date, in real time and has immediate access to reliable and consistent data sets.  

An image of many blue and red storage containers with two engineers standing in front wearing white hard hats and one is wearing an orange high vis

Cora Supply Chain Management enables you to track all the data that your parts and materials generate as they move through your supply chain. If parts, materials or machinery get delayed, anyone associated with that project gets sent a notification, and a series of alerts get triggered so that appropriate action can be taken immediately.  

Most of the costs that accrue from a delay that occurs somewhere in your supply chain are not because of that initial delay. They are the result of the cumulative effect that each delay produces, because information about the event in question hasn’t been properly communicated to the relevant stakeholders.  

In other words, increased costs during a project’s lifecycle, and the deviation that results between planned and actual costs occurs because of inadequate and disconnected communication channels.  

By addressing this element, you will significantly reduce the impact of cost increases from unexpected delays, and ensure speedy delivery of scheduled projects.  

Cora PPM will also help you with that third element, people. Our Workforce Planning module will ensure that the right people are deployed on the right projects, and for the correct duration.  

Whilst also helping you to make sure that your organization is staffed with people who have the correct mix of skill sets and capabilities to meet current and future demand.  

Supply chain management is a challenge, but there’s nothing complicated about mastering it. All you need is the right software. 

Find out more about Cora PPM 

Related Insights

A man with dark hair and glasses wearing a blue shirt working in an office. A pink and purple lens graphic is in the background.

12 Reasons to Implement Resource Management Software

Overview Implementing resource management software to help manage projects pays big dividends. Project managers are constantly juggling projects, tasks,...
A group of engineers wearing orange high vis coats looking at plans for a project on a large sheet of paper. A pink cora lens is circling the group.

5 Biggest Trends for Engineering and Construction

We examine the biggest trends for Engineering and Construction in 2023, explore five in detail, and look at the impact of utilizing the right software.

Futuristic city with cora systems logo in the top right corner.

5 Tips To Accelerate Digital Transformation

Jeff Hopkins, Honeywell’s Global Program Management Office leader and Program Management Office leader for Honeywell Intelligrated shares five tips to...
Team of lab analysts in having a team discussion. All of them are wearing white lab coats and safety goggles.

6 Trends for the Biopharma Industry in 2024

There are 6 trends that Deloitte identify in their series of annual surveys on biopharma, at the top of which are market competition and generative AI.