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A supply chain is composed of a system of people, organisations, activities, resources and information involved in providing a product or service from a supplier to a customer.(Wieland, 2011). It involves the transformation of raw materials, natural resources and components into a finished good or product that is delivered to the end customer. Kozlenkova et al (2016). Supply chains link value chains(.Nagurney, 2006)
According to the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), supply Chain Management encompasses the planning and management of all activities involved in sourcing and procurement, conversion, and all logistics management activities. Importantly, it also includes coordination and collaboration with channel partners, which can be suppliers, intermediaries, third-party service providers, and customers. Supply chain management integrates supply and demand management within and across companies. Supply Chain Management is an integrating function with primary responsibility for linking major business functions and business processes within and across companies into a cohesive and high-performing business model. Its primary objective is to fulfill customer demands through the most efficient use of resources, including distribution capacity, inventory, and labor. In theory, a supply chain seeks to match demand with supply and do so with the minimal inventory.
World‐Class supply chain management
In world class supply chain management, the design is an integrated end‐to‐end business process that optimizes service, inventory, capacity, and total cost. Supply Chain Execution (SCE) systems are well integrated and perpetually managed to ensure a balance of stability and responsiveness. The process of efficient execution begins with a solid Supply Chain Planning (SCP) , commencing with a world‐class supply chain vision.
World class supply chain firms are organizations that are recognized as having superior supply chain management concepts and strategies in place:
• They view the organization, customers, and suppliers as a dynamic integrated entity instead of fixed individual functions.
• the company’s supply chain agility and flexibility is customer driven and market-focused with a strongcommitment to Operational Excellence and Continuous Improvement.
• Senior management is committed to support the supply chain with adequate resources: facilities, equipment, personnel, and technology.
• Value Stream Mapping is utilized to understand and optimize activities along the supply chain continuum, not within each function. Lean principles are applied throughout the supply chain in the relentless pursuit of eliminating waste and increasing velocity.
• All supply chain processes are documented and have a clear ownership with corresponding responsibility and authority; departmental goals and objectives are aligned with the supply chain vision. Best‐practices are maintained through education and training.
• The company understands the strengths and weaknesses of their supply chain processes. Gaps from current performance and the strategic vision are understood with realistic improvement plans in place.
• Upstream and downstream demand changes are managed in real‐time and the rhythm of demand consumption (Takt Time) is felt throughout the supply chain instantaneously. Key Performance Indicators that monitor the pulse of supply chain are benchmarked and visible throughout the organization.
• Improvements in supply chain agility, velocity, and total cost can be demonstrated with data and facts.
• There is strategic synchronization of demand and supply, through Sales and Operations Planning, with a direct correlation to the Business Plan.
• Solutions are implemented beyond Enterprise Resource Planning and functional SCE including: Supplier Relationship Management, Customer Relationship Management, Distribution Resource Planning, and Advanced Planning Systems.

• Best‐practice processes are implemented and standardized across all supply chain functions prior to the installation of enabling technologies. If failed business processes are not corrected, the implementation will involve additional customization and not provide the desired results.

Above is an excerpt of an assignment submitted to the International School of Management, Paris, France, March, 2018

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