Compare and Contrast Two Supply Chains, Drawing on Concepts Used in This Course

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To start, it is vital to clarify the concept of a supply chain. It consists basically of all the process that the materials suffer as they flow from the source to the final customer. There are many concepts linked to this term, purchasing, warehousing, manufacturing, etc. Or more precisely: “a supply chain is a system of business enterprises that link together to satisfy consumer demand. The elements of a supply chain can be contained in the same business or be part of different companies” (Riddalls et Al., 2000) For this essay I have chosen two very different companies; Zara, a Spanish fashion collection manufacturing company, and Dell, American multinational information technologic corporation. Some years ago, in the fashion industry there was a relationship between price and quality. For high quality brands, there was a need to spend a high amount of money. Zara was one of the first companies that changed this assumption by introducing good quality clothes at a good price. Normally, if you look at any other brand such as Loewe, Louis Vuitton, etc., you will realize that they basically have two different collections of clothes: autumn- winter and spring-summer. Zara does not use in this way of supplying their stores. On the contrary they believe in change. They are constantly changing their clothes and supplying their stores (over 14,000 stores in the whole world) with new and different outfit two times per week (only for the European stores) to satisfy the needs of their customers. Traditionally all the fashion companies required long time to supply the stores with the clothes. Basically the whole supply chain has very long lead times; if you want to produce a new t-shirt, the production, manufacturing, packaging and specially distribution will require a lot of time which will make the planning for weeks or even months. Zara, on the contrary, has manage to minimise the time to supply the demand as much as possible but, how do they do that? First of all...
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