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Chapter 9. Implementing Supply Chain Man... > The Basics of Supply Chain Managemen...

The Basics of Supply Chain Management

Defining SCM

What will my supply chain look like next month? Next year? Ten years from now? Over the past two decades, SCM's evolution has been swift and sure. Before deregulation, every company had a traffic department responsible for deciphering the tariff and regulatory mysteries associated with moving freight. The emergence of the physical distribution management approach in the 1980s was an acknowledgment that transportation managers could not work in a vacuum, independent of their colleagues in purchasing, materials management, and warehousing. Logistics management evolved from physical distribution management to link sales order processes to manufacturing and distribution processes. In the 1990s, SCM represented a further expansion of logistics management.

In the simplest sense, the supply chain is a "process umbrella" under which products are created and delivered to customers. From a structural standpoint, a supply chain refers to the complex network of relationships that organizations maintain with trading partners to source, manufacture, and deliver products.


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