How Operations & SCM work together? [A Complete Guide]


Operations and Supply chain management, better known as OSCM, is the backbone of almost all industries that deal directly or indirectly with consumers. Unbeknownst to many, the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s was based on the concepts and ideologies of OSCM. The theories of OSCM helped those people find a solution to two of the most challenging problems faced during those times: productivity and efficiency. In this article, we will be discussing this phenomenal theory which is being used by many companies and holds a lot of importance, the OSCM.

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What is OSCM?

Before we understand what Operations and Supply chain management are, let us first break down the term to learn what the individual keywords mean. 

Operation management or simply operations are the processing stages through which a company turns its resources into goods or services that consumers want. Thus, operation management is basically the manufacturing sphere of a company. The resources that are turned into goods or services through operations can be anything, from raw materials, machinery, clothes, food items to books, schedules, conversations, etc. 

The supply chain refers to the activities that transmit the goods and services generated through the operations or manufacturing phase of the company to its clients or consumers. So, a supply chain is actually a network that connects a firm and its suppliers in order to create and transport the goods and services to the end-user. Global supply chain management also entails dealing with customer service and refunds.

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OSCM or Operations and supply chain management refer to the collection of strategic skills and tools from both operations management and supply chain management that companies employ to succeed. The objectives of OSCM are to manage and decrease expenses through enhanced productivity, cost savings, sourcing and procurement, and improved logistics chain efficiency and effectiveness. It also includes forecasting and planning supply and demand, which are utilized to manage and organize all of these operations’ relative amounts and levels. It is the process of designing, implementing, and improving the systems that generate and distribute a company’s principal goods. The OSCM is in charge of the complete product and service production system.

Stages in OSCM

As the name suggests, OSCM includes the roles of both operations and supply chain. In the operation or manufacturing stage, OSCM caters to a company’s need to get the highest levels of efficiency and effectiveness for its goods or services using effective plans and measures. This plan of OSCM, when executed rightly according to the consumers’ needs and companies’ requirements, helps the company gain profit. Leading fast-food chains like McDonalds have used OSCM to provide low-cost food with uniform quality to its consumers. 

In the supply chain stage, OSCM follows the same process as simple supply chain management follows. It includes five steps that deal with the companies’ interaction with its customers. These five activities are supply chain planning, manufacturing, assembling and making, transporting and delivering, and service support. These activities have been explained below.

  1. Supply chain planning deals with all the activities necessary to deploy the supply chain strategically. In this step, the firm considers a plan that will fulfill demand using the resources at hand. Supply chain planning helps to keep an eye on the supply chain to ensure that it’s running smoothly and provides high-quality service to consumers.
  2. Manufacturing or sourcing deals with how the firm chooses suppliers that offer the commodities and services it needs to manufacture its products.
  3. The assembling and making activity is concerned with the location of the product’s or service’s manufacture or provision. It’s also about keeping track of things like speed, quality, and staff output.
  4. Transportation and delivery deal with the picking up and toting of merchandise to the consumers, who are either in the form of department stores or direct customers. The clients are also part of the logistical procedure of delivery. This step ensures that the flow of goods and services must occur through the supply network, and product transportation is well coordinated.
  5. Service support refers to the process of receiving defective items and assisting consumers who have issues with the products or services they have received.

Being U.S.’s largest private employer, Walmart has been one of the big retailers who have grown successful using OSCM. Walmart’s supply chain leverages economies of size and breadth, which is a crucial strategic part of its success. 

Future in OSCM

Learning operations and supply chain management equip professionals with the skills and knowledge required in the field of operations and supply chain. OSCM professionals are responsible for the planning, manufacturing, and distribution of goods and services. Because every firm relies on effective outcomes in order to achieve long-term success, there are always opportunities in this industry. Sourcing, Acquisition, Purchasing, and Planning are all aspects of manufacturing and operations which create more opportunities for OSCM professionals. Also, professionals can find careers in OSCM in a variety of other industries. Medical, finance, education, administration, military, consultancy, aviation, entertainment, nonprofit, retail, energy, and the transportation and third-party logistics business carry out crucial procedures, and things or materials are transferred, so OSCM professionals also get the scope in these industries.

If you’re interested in going deeper into the field of Operations and Supply Chain Management, then you should check out the Global Master Certificate in Integrated Supply Chain Management offered by Michigan State University, ranked No. 1 for Supply Chain graduate degree programs by the U.S. News & World Report, in collaboration with upGrad. This course offers interactive discussion boards, quizzes and assignments, interview preparation, career guidance, a strong peer network, access to the MSU Canvas platform to attend live sessions, and much more.


The necessity for efficient operations and supply chain management has multiplied due to the dynamic and competitive character of global firms and the ongoing expansion of information technology. To summarize, OSCM is a combination of managing people (both employees and customers), producing and disseminating goods and services, and utilizing technology. As a result, OSCM and its professionals strive to efficiently generate value and wealth via the provision of high-quality goods and services.

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How does OSCM help companies?

OSCM helps companies by providing two of the most vital things needed by them, efficiency and effectiveness. Efficiency refers to completing a task at the lowest feasible cost. As a result, you employ as few resources as possible. Effectiveness entails doing the proper things in order to provide the most value to the consumer. The two aims of optimizing efficiency and effectiveness are sometimes at odds, creating problems for firms. But this problem is solved when companies make use of OSCM as OSCM provides methods that help in gaining both efficiency and effectiveness.

Why are Operation management and Supply chain management important?

The aim of operations management is to control the manufacturing procedure and functions of a company as efficiently as feasible. To optimize net operating profit, Operations Management professionals try to balance operational expenses with revenue. Supply chain management is crucial because it can aid in the achievement of numerous company goals. Supply chain management allows businesses to increase their profit margins in a variety of ways, and it is especially crucial for companies with big and multinational operations. Both of these processes are extremely important for the prosperity of a business.

What are the examples of Operations management and supply chain management?

Planning, implementing, and overseeing the production of products and services in order to optimize efficiency and success is what operations management is all about. It covers a variety of topics, including human resource management, manufacturing, and technology, with the overarching goal of maximizing an organization's resources. The healthcare, finance, retail, and food industry employs a lot of operations management professionals. The technique of coordinating the many operations required to create and distribute goods and services to a company's clients is known as supply chain management. The designing, framing, manufacturing, packing, and transportation of goods and services are all examples of supply chain activity.

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