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Supply Chain Strategy Definitions You Should Know

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

Defining your C-parts supply chain strategy is a detailed and complex topic. Becoming a true supply chain expert takes years of study and experience – unfortunately, this isn’t possible for all of us.

Here are six vital terms and definitions you should know to have a solid foundation in your supply chain strategy and maybe help provide some clarity within your organization on the key pillars to prioritize in future discussions.


When considering C-parts, the notion of 'quality' may not necessarily pertain to the quality of the parts, despite its importance, mainly when products are intended for use in challenging conditions.

Instead, the quality of service provided by the supplier holds greater significance. Are they swift and flexible in response to changes in your requirements? Can you rely on their ability to maintain a high level of availability? Are they genuinely invested in learning about your company's unique needs and challenges? Are they responsive and proactive in keeping you informed throughout the process? If the answer to these questions is affirmative, then it is likely that you are dealing with a top-tier supplier, and it is appropriate to proceed with confidence.


Regarding the procurement of C-parts, it is not solely the cost of the parts themselves that warrants attention. Instead, it is critical to focus on the total cost of ownership (TCO) when assessing the purchase process. This includes all activities related to sourcing, negotiation, delivery, and storage of the parts, with indirect costs accounting for approximately 80% of the TCO.

Therefore, it is imperative to identify a supplier capable of providing a lower TCO, which can be achieved through consolidation or digital tools to streamline ordering and replenishment procedures.

In addition, partnering with an experienced supply chain professional can aid in the identification of the most cost-efficient source for product specifications and volume requirements. It is important to note that the optimal source may change over time with fluctuations in volume and specification.


The timely and accurate delivery of goods is a critical aspect of your supply chain that directly impacts production. Failing to meet these requirements can result in disruptions and downtime. Therefore, selecting a supplier who can reliably provide C-parts per your specifications is crucial.

Adopting a 'Just in Case' approach is wise in light of the current global disruptions. To support a 'Just in Time' strategy at your production facility, it is best to choose a consolidated supplier base that can provide adequate buffers and replenishment methods for C-parts. Keeping this in mind while selecting a supplier is crucial for the success of your supply chain strategy.


For manufacturers, it is of utmost importance to have a sense of security regarding the availability of essential parts. Companies grapple with supply chain disruptions and escalating costs in today's volatile market. Nevertheless, C-part availability is non-negotiable and remains a top priority, irrespective of the global situation.

Therefore, ensuring that your suppliers or supply chain partners can provide this level of security is crucial.

Recent trends indicate that the most dependable source for this type of security is through the prominent players who possess a vast and flexible global supplier network, multiple distribution centres, and even their manufacturing facilities. When assessing your strategy, it is imperative to keep this in mind.


When formulating a supply chain strategy for your business, it is essential to consider its current requirements and future needs in the next five, ten, or twenty years. It is crucial to keep future changes and expansions in mind to ensure the strategy remains effective in the long run. An ideal supplier is proactive and prepared, monitoring trends and setting them as necessary.

Sustainability is a significant trend that manufacturers must consider. In the future, sustainability will not merely be a trend but an integral part of manufacturing. Companies will face pressure from stakeholders and regulations to adopt more sustainable production processes. As such, your supply chain strategy should account for this.

Other trends, such as digital transformation, localization, and remote work, should also be on your and your supplier's radar. By anticipating and preparing for these trends, you can future-proof your supply chain strategy and ensure it can handle any changes.


When devising a successful strategy and selecting dependable partners, prioritizing adaptability is paramount. Even the most reliable supply chain can experience disruptions, which are becoming increasingly common. As such, it is essential to promptly identify the root cause of any issues and maintain an uninterrupted flow of necessary components for production.

One practical approach is collaborating with a supply chain expert (Like Kian Soon) who can source alternative parts if the customary distribution channel is disrupted. Considering the current unpredictability of international trade, the ability to pivot quickly during times of crisis is critical for achieving success.


Hopefully, this article will give you a steady foundation in your thinking around supply chain strategies and your choice of suppliers. If you want to learn more, make sure to also take a look at a few of our other articles on the site:

Original article adapted from parent company - Bufab Supply Chain Strategy Definitions You Should Know (

About Kian Soon Mechanical Components

Kian Soon Mechanical Components was founded in 1977 and is one of South-East Asia's leading distributors of C parts. Aside from its head office in Singapore, the company also has subsidiaries in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. The company was acquired by Bufab in 2017.

For more information, publication, and other queries, don't hesitate to get in touch with us at


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