Tutorial 1 Answers 1. In your own words, summarise your understanding of the terms ‘supply chain’ and ‘supply chain management’. A supply chain is the set of value-adding activities that connects a firm’s suppliers to the firm’s customers. It consists of all parties involved, directly or indirectly, in fulfilling a customer request. The supply chain, which is also referred to as the logistics network, consists of the suppliers, manufacturer centers, transporters, warehouses, retailers, and customers themselves. The reverse logistics activities are also included in the supply chain. Supply chain management is the integration of key business processes from initial raw materials extraction to the final or end customer, including intermediate processing, transportation, and storage activities and delivery to the end customer.
2. Provide your reasons why is supply chain management more popular today. There are a number of reasons including emerging trends, the development of faster and bigger computing systems, successes of other companies, software development, the advent of the Internet, and more competition.
3. How can a small business like a local sandwich shop or bicycle shop benefit from supply chain management? All businesses including small ones can adopt SCM in piecemeal fashion to suit their needs. Small businesses can still develop supplier alliances, use the Internet to find supplies, and find ways to endear themselves to their customers 4. How do the firm’s customers benefit from supply chain management? What about the final or end customers? Customers benefit from better service/prices/quality from their suppliers, and lower inventory levels. End customers also benefit in the same way, as lower prices, higher customer service and better quality makes its way through the supply chain.
5. Could a firm have more than one supply chain? Most firms do. If firms carry or sell different types of products, each has an associated supply chain.
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