a. Define what is meant by Supply Chain Management
b. Describe the five basic elements of supply chain
a. Definition of Supply Chain Management
Supply Chain Management refers to the management of the network of interconnected businesses involved of product and service packages required by the end customers in a supply chain.
Another definition also defines that supply chain as the flow and management of resources across the enterprise for the purpose of maintaining the business operations profitably.
Managing resources is an activity of 4M on which it comprises the management of materials, manpower or people, money and physical assets such as machines or buildings. It flows across the enterprise through nodes of supply chain operations as it involves the planning and execution processes across several functions. These processes include planning processes such as supply planning followed by execution process of purchasing, manufacturing, stocking and distribution of inventory through a network of warehouses and transportation.
Management in all business and organizational activities is the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively. Flow and management of these resources which is lay down from upstream to downstream is a key to a strategic supply chain management.
A material can be anything a finished product in its own right or an unprocessed raw material or work in progress ( WIP ). Raw materials are first harvested from the source and divided into a form that can be easily transported and stored, then processed to produce semi-finished materials. These can be input into a new cycle of production and finishing processes to create finished materials, ready for distribution, construction and consumption. A finished product of retail industries for instance, will be exposed to the sales and marketing challenges such as :-
1. Below Stock or Out of