Chapter One: Introduction
Supply chain as a whole can be seen as the flow of water in a river: organizations located closer to the original source of supply are described as being 'upstream', while those located closer to the end customer are 'downstream'. The flow of the whole river is being concerned. In other words, supply chain is a network, which for tangible goods covers purchasing of raw materials, manufacturing, assembly and distribution of finished goods to the client (Burch, 2007 , 14). The supply process acts as the bridge between core competencies and markets. The ability to manage this process along with the strategic core is crucial to market success. There is a need to contemplate the scope of strategic thinking and action at two sections. The first is the strategic role of supply chain management, and the second is the benefit achieved from supply chain management (Basu and Wright, 2007, 11). This research looks to study the evolution of supply chain management in retail sector of Tesco .
1.2 Research Background
In today’s business world competiveness is the key to success experts and entrepreneur worldwide looking for solutions that can bring all there major business major functionality under one roof. The aim has been to drive minimize costs, maximize profits and make the business environmentally sustainable (Wang, 2010. 6). One approach to achieve these goals and one that has recently been the focus of the business academic field is the management of the business through supply chain management.
Blanchard (2007) describes a Supply Chain in the following words,
“A supply chain, boiled down to basics, is the sequence of events and processes that take a product from dirt to dirt.”
In simple words, supply chain management is a holistic management of the business. Instead of looking at each firm individually, the aim of the management when following the supply chain management policies is to work for the benefit of all the members of the supply chain (Basu and Wright, 2007, 11).
During the last few decades, supply chain management has been both fundamental and a dynamic aim of organizations. By working to coordinate between the areas of manufacture, consignment, and delivery of the goods required to meet their operational needs, firms using tools of supply chain have been able to more easily meet the demands of their clients. However as we enter the 21st century, supply chain management is transforming into what many experts term as synchronized supply chains.
Through the supply chain policies, a business can make sure that it reduces costs through the entire supply chain. This means that even the welfare of the customers, who under normal policies are only concerned to gain the maximum amount of money for a given commodity, is considered and thus managed . However, a supply chain may be very hard to manage because of the complexity of operations that it faces .
Operations strategy is defined as "the total pattern of decisions which shape the long term capabilities of any type of operation and their contribution to overall strategy". Slack et al. (2004) also states that operations performance objectives relate to the interests of the operation's stakeholders. Applying to Tesco, customer's satisfaction is particularly important to its business. Therefore in order to satisfy its customers and contribute to competitiveness, Tesco's operations
performance objectives are mainly reflect on cost, quality, speed, dependability and flexibility five aspects (Burch, 2007 , 3).
1.3 Research Context
The research focused on Tesco as it is in the United Kingdom. This means that the research has basically studied how effective supply chain management is in improving the businesses in the United Kingdom (especially the retailing ones like Tesco). The point however is...