Supply Chain: Overview, Products & Services

Resources Designed to Support and Improve Supply Chain Management Operations

What is Supply Chain Management?

Supply Chain Management, or operations, refers to a set of functions that control the flow of goods and services between suppliers or vendors, company facilities (manufacturing plants, warehouses, distribution centers, etc.) and consumers. Major supply chain sub-functions include sales and operation planning, procurement, materials management, order management, manufacturing and production, distribution and master data management. Effective supply chain management is essential in industries where goods must be manufactured and delivered to customers through the cost-effective procurement of various raw materials, or inputs, from third party suppliers. This includes retail (e.g., Target, Walmart, etc.), Pharmaceuticals and Consumer Packaged Goods. In some cases, selected supply chain functions may be outsourced to a third party to improve effectiveness and reduce costs.

Org Charts

A typical supply chain management function is composed of several groups, or teams, that work together to develop, manage and improve the company's supply chain strategy. This includes the development of demand forecasts, effective management of third party vendor contracts and arrangements, management of raw materials, distribution channel development, and customer order management. Browse our supply chain organization chart page to learn about the roles and responsibilities of each major function. Then, download our org chart template (PDF, Visio, PPT) to further understand supply chain organizational structure, and support improvement efforts within supply chain operations.

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Best Practices

Check out our supply chain best practices page to view selected descriptions of work methods that have been proven to produce better results (as compared to other, similar methods). Want more? Download our supply chain best practices guide, which provides a healthy selection of valuable best practices that can be incorporated to improve supply chain operations. There might not be only one "best" way to perform every task. However, there is always a "better" way.