What is a Supply Chain

What is a Supply Chain?

In its simplest form a supply chain is the activities required by the organisation to deliver goods or services to the consumer.

A supply chain is a focus on the core activities within our organisation required to convert raw materials or component parts through to finished products or services. We look upstream to our suppliers and their supply of raw materials or components into our own organisations supply chain.

In a traditional manufacturing environment the activity of interfacing with suppliers is generally supported by “Procurement”, the materials will then pass through goods in warehouses (if products) through the manufacturing site and onto the finished goods warehouse, this activity is the core activity of “Operations Management”, throughout the supply chain logistics will play an integral role in the movement of inbound materials and outbound goods in order to ensure the finished product flows downstream to our consumer.

SCM process flow

A supply chain can take on the form of a product based supply chain or that of a service, where services come together to offer an overall customer service as opposed to a finished product, an example of this would be the shipping of customers goods, staff, supply of vessel and fuel are all required in order to provide the shipping service to the consumer.

When our supply chain is connected with that of our suppliers and consumers, we start to build a supply chain network, where we can then go onto understand the flow of both materials and information in a much more complex way.

What Are the Stages Within a Supply Chain?

In its simplest form the stages in a supply chain are as depicted within the Porters Value Chain and this can be considered a good guide to a supply chain structure

  • Logistics
  • Operations
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Services

What Is Supply Chain Management?

Supply chain management takes a broader view of influences that will impact our supply chain, and when we discuss supply chain management we must start to understand the strategic decisions that influence the supply chain activity.

There are many tools that can support the building of the supply chain strategy, value as perceived by our consumer must have full consideration when building any strategy. Value is usually delivered through differentiation of our product or service offering through innovation or cost.  Cost or differentation will form part of the main corporate strategic objective.

Once the strategy has been set for the organisation, any decisions then made within the supply chain must ensure that they deliver against the corporate strategy, this is supply chain management in operation.

Within supply chain management as a topic we will go further into strategy, identifying the importance that organisational strategy plays on our operational supply chain activities, along with the role that other functions within the organisations play in supporting the decisions made within the supply chain to ensure alignment to the corporate and operational strategy.

How we remove waste activities in the supply chain in order to drive value will be influenced by micro and macros factors, STEEPLED factors can influence our supply chain decisions.

What Is the Main Goal of Supply Chain Management?

The goal of supply chain management is to look holistically at the entire supply chain from supplier through to the consumer, and review three core areas of people, process and systems in order to maximise value from all activities.

What Is Supply Chain Management and Why Is It Important?

A concern, at the most fundamental level, is that unless we can describe what we do and demonstrate our success to our stakeholders we cannot win their recognition and support.

By defining ‘Supply Chain’ as the functions and activities that go into producing goods or services from supply of components/raw materials through to finished goods being provided to the consumer, then this starts to build a picture.

To find out more about this subject read the full knowledge papers:

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What is a supply chain

 

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Knowledge Topics:

Supply Chain Mgmt. Tools

Supply Chain Mgmt. Tools

See how global supply chains give procurement the opportunity to take advantage of the strengths and innovation of other countries

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Global Supply Chains

Global Supply Chains

Global supply chains are networks that can span across multiple continents and countries for the purpose of sourcing and supplying goods and services

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The Future of Supply Chains

The Future of Supply Chains

Supply chains are constantly evolving, technology along with diversification of staff skill set is playing a key part in this development

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Networked Supply Chains

Networked Supply Chains

Coming soon

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Managing the Supply Chain

Managing the Supply Chain

You can work in various areas of the supply chain, but the main goal when managing a supply chain is adding value

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Strategic SC Management

Strategic SC Management

When we discuss supply chain strategy we are discussing ‘value’ that can be derived from our supply chain

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Demand Driven Supply Chain

Demand Driven Supply Chain

A demand driven supply chain focuses on the demand from the consumer data and feeds this data through to the supply base so driving greater efficiency

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Technology in Supply Chain

Technology in Supply Chain

“The Future of Procurement and Supply Management” paper offers a reflection of what the profession may look like fifteen years from now

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Supply Chain Network Design

Supply Chain Network Design

SCND covers all movements and storage of raw materials, work-in-process inventory and finished goods from the point-of-origin to point-of-consumption

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Agile Supply

Agile Supply

See how organisations which are ‘agile’ react as quickly as is practicable to provide a cost effective response to customer demand

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Lean Manufacturing

Lean Manufacturing

Organisations which are ‘agile’ react as quickly as is practicable to provide a cost effective response to customer demand

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Models

Models

Collaborative procurement is a method by which companies can engage with each other to enhance the effectiveness (SC/Sourcing/Procurement/Cost)

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