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An Introduction to Supply Chain Management Supply chain management--delivering the right product to the right place at the right time and at the right price--is one of the most powerful engines of business transformation -- IBM Supply chain management is a concept that is well known and well used throughout the business world today It has brought along many changes in business that have produced long term benefits for companies and most importantly consumers What is a Supply Chain A supply chain is a network of facilities and distribution channels that give a company the ability to receive materials and supplies manufacture goods and distribute goods to wholesalers retailers and customers Supply chains exist in both manufacturing and service industries Supply chains come in two basic formats single stage and multi-stage A single stage supply chain is typically found within a company and incorporates every function performed by the firm Some of the processes involved with the single stage supply chain include the flow of raw materials or sub-assemblies manufacturing inventory control distribution the handling of funds and working capital and equipment management A multi-stage supply chain is usually associated with multiple companies but they are basically several single stage supply chains put together Despite the close similarity between the two types of supply chains the multi-stage supply chain has far greater complexity This is due to its main function which is to integrate the operations of several different companies so that they each receive the products and information necessary to work with each other while maintaining their relationships with other companies outside the chain The multi-stage supply chain represents the future of supply chains What is Supply Chain Management Supply chain management SCM is the process of organizing operating and controlling supply chains The concept of supply chain management began in the early sixties however it has changed
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