The aim of this essay is to identify and describe a service supply chain, and clearly identifying the organisations involved, the flow of services and any other flows (including products) that are significant to the effective working of the selected supply chain, and the challenges that service supply chains face. Additionally, a tool / framework will be identified and will be critically applied to the service supply chain that will be the basis of this essay, with a view to provide recommendations for improvement. The development of the services sector has been remarkable, especially within the Asia-Pacific area, with services taking over manufacturing as the main supply chain. This essay will be looking at telecommunications sector; mainly, the rise of India’s growing Mobile network market, the flow of service from support functions to the delivery of consumer services. Logistics and operations of the organisation of the service supply chain (telecommunication) will be touched upon. More specifically, this essay will be focusing on the following telecommunication service: Vodafone India, located in Mumbai, is a provider of telecommunications servicesThe telecom sector mentioned above will be used as an example of the service supply chain, and will be analysing its relationship. Service supply chain is the planning and management of activities, but from support functions (as opposed to raw materials like Supply Chain) to the delivery of end-user service. Telecommunications, the growing of the mobile network market, such as Vodafone India, is a great example of a service supply chain. With its organisations and flow of services, Vodafone India has become one of the top subscription based telecoms in India. Vodafone India is made of up several organisations, with 2 new organisations within its infrastructure that was introduced in 2012 for the development and growth of the company. Vodafone India’s addition of the 2 new roles – the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) – goes to show that such a major restructure of its management may have been the key success for Vodafone India being the second largest subscriber base. In any firm/company, organisations implement its numerous functions to reach their aims. The accomplishment of the organisations depends on the amount of support and understanding between different departments that are involved. For Vodafone India, the following organisations are involved that help make it a success. Vodafone India pursuing a horizontal organisational structure portrays an emphasis on teamwork and collaboration. This structure will allow lasting improvement in the company’s goal. Vodafone India has divisions with different focuses and as a result, having a horizontal organisational structure makes logical sense. Additionally, employees can focus and invest their time and energy on company goals, focusing on customers, enhancing the ability of Vodafone to deliver services to larger companies/corporations, facilitate the delivery of 4G across all markets of Vodafone whereas adopting the vertical organisational structure, causes a disruption in the flow of information as decisions come from the top to the bottom. This is a waste of time and may not be informative as those in the upper tier of the company may not fully comprehend the needs of those in the lower tier side of the company. Focusing on the Operations function, there are many organisations that need to be taken under consideration. Vodafone India has many services within the operations functions. Many electronic products, such as mobile phones, landlines, iPads, can all be serviced by Vodafone.Firstly, the services behind the landlines require the setting up of landlines to telephone pylons to be able to set a stream for customers to be able to make and receive calls. Additionally, mobile phone networks need to be connected to cell towers to be able to allow Vodafone to function as a network and thus allow customers to use Vodafone Sim Card to have full access of their mobile phones, and thus can make and receive phone calls. For this to work, setting up the Sim Card requires a team of coding specialists to set up the sim card, to allow it to function within the appropriate mobile phone and/or iPad.Additionally, the Internet service needs to be connected to a large existing network, or the company (Vodafone), seeing as it is massive company, needs to set up a Point of Presence (POP), to provide the service so customers can access internet on their laptops, phone, iPad without having data roaming switched on – only using Wi-Fi.Another service that Vodafone provides is messaging – both SMS and MMS. SMS allows customers to able to send and receive texts only and the MMS service allows customers to send and receive multimedia such as pictures, music, video, sounds. A team of engineers is needed to code such a language to allow such complicated scheme such as MMS to be possible between customers.Another Service that Vodafone provides is DATA. The three categories follow are:- “Vodafone Live” – is the brand name for multimedia portal service and the purpose of the functions of the services that Vodafone provides is to access a variety of browsing such as Google Search, can download music, games, or download (or watch) television- Data Roaming – Provides the customer with the access to the services that the country, which the customer is visiting, has to offer, such as search engines.- Mobile Application – Be able to access Vodafone Email PlusUsing Christopher’s 4R framework will not only improve the supply chain but will increase the ability of meeting the customer demands, coping with disturbances, managing relationships, and having the quality of being reliable and dependable. Martin Christopher adopted the 4R in 2001 and argued that being cost-effective and having a fast and efficient Supply Chain is not enough for suppliers to remain competitive and/or to have an advantage above other suppliers, as every supplier can be cost-competitive and have everyone can find the right supplier. As such, Christopher concluded that a Supply Chain needs to be the following 4R:- Responsiveness- Resilience- Relationships- ReliabilityEach of these factors plays a role in improving the Supply Chain and as such improve customer relationships. Responsiveness is having the ability to meet customer demands by responding to changes in the market. This response needs to be in fast-paced and efficient, as meeting customer demands in short time frames is now a critical demand. This is similar to Lee’s Triple A (2004) “Agility” who emphasises that it is important to respond to short term changes in demand or supply quickly, as well as handling external disruptions. This is portrayed within Vodafone industry, as technology and operations, such as swapping SIM cards fron one service to another, such as Three to Vodafone, takes no longer than 24 hours to complete. Additionally, in February 2016, Vodafone India had launched a new mobile communications standard called 4G (4th Generation) and it was envisioned to replace the older version, 3G. The purpose is to allow wireless Internet access at a much higher speed than 3G, which was successful. Vodafone India now offers 4G across the country, to meet customers’ demands. Resilience is the ability of managing and coping with unexpected disturbances, in order for a Supply Chain to be efficient. With today’s market, there will always be disturbances and disruptions, with unexpected turns coming from economic and political environment for example. As such, supply chains are extremely vulnerable to risk. Similarly, Lee’s Adaptability requires the adjustment of supply chain’s design to meet structural shift in markets for an improved service. Within Vodafone, there was a period of abrupt policy reversals that made Vodafone struggle under something known as the “capricious regulation”, where an unreasonable action is carried out without thought or consideration of the law, as they were hit by an unforeseen cut-throat competition (excessive competition). Even though Vodafone has a massive subscriber base and revenue, “generating around €1.65 trillion of revenue”, Vodafone India has been struggling with positive contribution to cash flow due to the interest charges being high as well as high Capital Expenditure costs. As such, Vodafone and other companies, according to Christopher need to be more resilient to progress their industry further, to outweigh and outgrow their competitors. Building a strong positive relationship with their customers’, their suppliers (both internal and outsourced), Christopher argues that it is an important factor in progressing a company. The ability to managing relationships is considered to not only improve the quality of products and sharing innovation, but can also “reduce costs and integrated scheduling of production.” Similar to Lee’s Alignment, it is considered best for the development of both parties to exchange information and knowledge freely with customers and vendors. Vodafone India have built their relationship with their supply chain employees effectively. Unlike many other supply chains and companies, such as Primark or Benetton and their supply chain factory in Bangladesh, Rana Plaza, which caused many hundred deaths, Vodafone works closely with their supply chain employees, taking in their opinion and treating them with respect. Additionally, to keep their company achieving the best and preventing any scandals, Vodafone makes their supply chain employees complete a Code of Ethical Purchasing (CEP) refresher training every year in order to interconnect well with Vodafone suppliers. Christopher mentions that it is important for a company to be reliable. Being reliable has many qualities such as suppliers will not only see you as being reliable, but also dependable and trustworthy. To improve supply chain reliability, it can be done by increasing standardisation or by decreasing process variability. These contribute to reliability. With a market share 22.7% as of 2017, Vodafone India is the second largest mobile telecommunications network. This is set to increase due to the availability of inexpensive smartphones as well as the cheap rates. Such concepts are set to increase growth in the Telecommunication industry within India. This is supported by the increasing use of internet through mobile phones. Indian Telecom Industry has the third highest number of internet users with 462.12 million internet subscribers as of 2016.There are many methods that Vodafone India can carry out in order to improve. Executing Lean Six Sigma would be an effective method for improvement, which can be used to deliver excellent services. Lean Six Sigma’s main aim is to reduce variations in processes. This is achieved by having a structure that organisations can constantly improve in terms of waste management, eliminating defects, reducing cost, removing inefficiencies, removing mistakes but at the same time, improving customer satisfaction. Should Vodafone India implement the Six Sigma within their supply chain, it could potentially see their revenue increasing annually, thus slowly but surely beginning to solve their cash flow problem. Consequently, another method of improvement can be adopting Peter Kralijic’s method (1983). Its purpose is to help purchasers maximise supply security and reduce costs by making the most of their purchasing power. Organisations use the below 2 * 2 matrix to classify their suppliers. Kralijic stated that the type or product or service you are supplying to the firm, will determine the type of supplier you are. Additionally, Kralijic stated that in terms of Supply Chain Management, it would be best to move Bottleneck Items into Strategic Items quadrant, and move more Leverage Items into Non-Critical (Normal) Items. Should Vodafone India adopt this method within their supply chain, it may be an improvement to their business.