The Supply Chain

Supply chain management refers to the close linkage and coordination of activities involved in buying, making, and moving a product. It integrates business processes to speed information, product, and fund flows up and down a supply chain to reduce time, redundant effort, and inventory costs.

The supply chain is a network of organizations and business processes for procuring raw materials, transforming these materials into intermediate and finished products, and distributing the finished products to customers. It links suppliers, manufacturing plants, distribution centers, retail outlets, and customers to supply goods and services from source through consumption. Materials, information, and payments flow through the supply chain in both directions. Goods start out as raw materials and move through logistics and production systems until they reach customers. Returned items flow in the reverse direction from the buyer back to the seller.