Supply chain management (SCM)

Supply chain management (SCM) is the process of planning, implementing, and controlling the operations of the supply chain with the purpose to satisfy customer requirements as efficiently as possible. Supply chain management spans all movement and storage of raw materials, work-in-process inventory, and finished goods from point-of-origin to point-of-consumption. The term supply chain management was coined by consultant Keith Oliver, of strategy consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton in 1982.
Supply Chain Management encompasses the planning and management of all activities involved in sourcing, procurement, conversion, and logistics management activities. Importantly, it also includes coordination and collaboration with channel partners, which can be suppliers, intermediaries, third-party service providers, and customers. In essence, Supply Chain Management integrates supply and demand management within and across companies.
Supply chain management is much of Supply Network Management., since it must address the following problems:
  • Distribution Network Configuration: Number and location of suppliers, production facilities, distribution centers, warehouses and customers.
  • Distribution Strategy: Centralized versus decentralized, direct shipment, Cross docking, pull or push strategies, third party logistics.
  • Information: Integrate systems and processes through the supply chain to share valuable information, including demand signals, forecasts, inventory and transportation etc.
  • Inventory Management: Quantity and location of inventory including raw materials, work-in-process and finished goods.
Supply chain management is a cross-functional approach to managing the movement of raw materials into an organization and the movement of finished goods out of the organization toward the end-consumer. As corporations strive to focus on core competencies and become more flexible, they have reduced their ownership of raw materials sources and distribution channels. These functions are increasingly being outsourced to other corporations that can perform the activities better or more cost effectively. The effect has been to increase the number of companies involved in satisfying consumer demand, while reducing management control of daily logistics operations. Less control and more supply chain partners led to the creation of supply chain management concepts. The purpose of supply chain management is to improve trust and collaboration among supply chain partners, thus improving inventory visibility and improving inventory velocity.

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