A supply chain is the set of raw materials, finish goods, and information systems that delivers finished goods in customer's hands. Sometimes the supply chain is referred to the channel that companies used to reach their consumers or their distribution networks.
Supply chain management is usually an integral part of operations management and when run well as a pull system it can deliver a significant competitive advantage to businesses. It can be aided by an inventory management system.
Inventory turnover is a key measure of supply chain effectiveness, the bigger the need for work in progress or inventory of raw materials and finish goods; the more unreliable the supply chain is deemed to be. Most inventory levels have an intended purpose. For example Safety or buffer stock is usually there to absorb any stoppages, unreliability or shortfalls within the supply chain. A better explanation of supply chain and process KPI's can be found on our KPI page.
Supply Chain Strategy
A supply chain can both be internal or external to the organization. Supply Chains can also vary in complexity and may have many stakeholders. It is important to understand the stakeholders' needs and understand the bottlenecks and capacity requirements to be able to both manage and improve customer service, reduce lead times, inventory holding costs & inventory levels.
The following supply chain strategies are the most common in most organizations and businesses:
-Lean Just in time supply chain
-Flexible supply chain
-Risk adverse supply chain
More lean concepts and terms