What is a supply chain


A supply chain is a system of information and resources, people, organizations, technology, activities all involved in moving a product or service from supplier to customer. Supply chain methods change raw materials, natural resources and components into a finished product that is delivered to the end customer. In complex supply chain systems, used products may re-enter the supply chain at any point where residual value is recyclable.

Supply chains link value chains

Supply Chain Management can be explained as follows, Supply Chain Management is the management and planning of all methods and activities involved in the conversion, planning and management, sourcing and procurement and all logistics management activities.   Importantly, it also includes communication and partnering with partners, who can be intermediaries, suppliers, customers and third-party service providers. Essentially, supply chain management amalgamates supply and demand management within and across many different companies. Supply Chain Management integrates and links important business functions and processes within and across companies into a well oiled and high-performing business model. As well it also includes management activities as well as manufacturing operations. Good supply chain management powers activities and processes across company functions such as sales, product design, marketing, information technology and finance.

A typical supply chain

A typical supply chain may begin with the biological and ecological management of natural resources, followed by acquiring raw material before then moving towards storage facilities in many locations before the product finally reaches the consumer.  

Many of the exchanges in the supply chain will obviously be between different companies that are trying to maximize their revenue within their sphere of interest, but may have little interest in the remaining stakeholders in the supply chain.


Gideon Hillman Consulting have been supplying specialist supply chain consulting for over 10 years. 

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