The paper 'Supply Chain and Operations Management' is a great example of a Management Case Study. Empirical studies have led to the conclusion that the activities structure within and among organizations is an imperative foundation of creating unique and superior supply chain performance hence the importance of supply chain management (Wisner, Tan & Leong 2015). Supply Chain Management involves planning, design as well as control of materials, finances, and information along the supply chain to enable the delivery of superior value to the end customers in a proficient and effective way (Lambert 2008).
It plays an important role in maximizing customer value and the achievement of sustainable competitive advantage for many firms. SCM represents the conscious endeavor by firms to implement and manage supply chains in the most efficient and effective means possible. The supply chain involves all activities involved in transforming products from the raw material phase to the final stage when the goods reach the end customers (Pilbeam, Alvarez, & Wilson 2012). Figure 1: Key Supply Chain Management processes The managing of inter-firm relations with supply chain members includes people, processes, and organizations (Lambert 2008).
Physical flows and information flow link the organizations that make up the supply chain. A supply chain is run link-by-link, relationship-by-relationship, and the firms that manage these connections best are very competitive (Lambert 2008). Definition Simchi-Levi, Kaminsky, & Simchi-Levi (2000, p. 2) defined SCM as “ a set of approaches used to effectively integrate manufacturers, suppliers, stores, and warehouses so that merchandise is produced and distributed in the right time, at the right quantities, and in the right locations in order to curtail system-wide costs while satisfying service level requirements. ” Aitken in Christopher (2005) defined SCM as a network of mutually dependent and connected firms that collaborate and mutually work together to direct, manage, and improve materials and information flow from suppliers to end customers.
According to the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) (2007), SCM covers the planning as well as management procurement and sourcing activities, as well as every logistic management activity. Most important, it also encompasses collaboration and coordination with supply chain partners who include end-users, intermediaries, third-party service providers, and suppliers. Fundamentally, according to CSCMP, SCM brings together supply and demand management within and amongst firms.
Discrepancies exist among the definitions of supply chain management on the number and type of organizations that are part of the supply chain. In addition, authors also differ in the perception of the activities related to SCM. Nonetheless, CSCMP evidently designates the key SCM activities. The process of developing a definition of SCM is still on-going (Gibson, Mentzer, & Cook 2005). The notion of SCM has been considered from varied perspectives by many authors. However, the concept of SCM is based on the key idea that practically all products that reach the customers represent collaboration among many organizations.
Jointly, these organizations are regarded as the supply chain. Secondly, the main important idea of SCM is to manage integrated flows on products and information in the company and between and amongst firms in order to reduce inventories and to attain optimum use of production resources. SCM as a concept is widely discussed in theory as well as applied in practice. SCM has evolved along two parallel paths: the supply management and purchasing emphasis from industrial buyers and secondly, the customer service and logistics emphasis from retailers and wholesalers (Wisner, Tan & Leong 2015).
The growth of SCM has been accompanied by the need to assess the relationship with third-party logistics providers. Relationship building has taken place increasingly with numerous third-party logistics providers to ensure an uninterrupted and continuous supply of goods. Firms are facing the challenge of adequately assessing their overall performance in often extremely global and complex chains. Firms have to evaluate the performance of supply chains from numerous perspectives including, sustainability, financial, risk, and speed.
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