Episode01Reading - Feature - Front 9/9/05 1:55 PM Page 10...

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10 B LUEPRINTS O CT /N OV /D EC 2005 By Brian Gibson, Ph.D. t tarting an argument these days is easy — just ask a group of managers to define supply chain management, or SCM. The responses will range from narrow, func- tionally based perspectives to broad, encompassing descriptions that equate supply chain management with business. Then, there are issues of supply chain management as a strategy versus an activity, internal versus external supply chains and the inclusion or exclusion of specific pro- cesses in SCM. It is enough to make the most seasoned executives scratch their heads. At the risk of starting a firestorm, this article will take on the def- inition challenge and more. Key questions regarding the fundamen- tal issues of supply chain management will be addressed, including: • What is supply chain management? • Why should my organization focus on supply chain management? • How can my organization adopt a supply chain perspective? Drawing upon a wealth of research, expert perceptions and com- pany experiences, the nuts and bolts of supply chain management have been assembled in this article. Read on, and you will gain valu- able insights into the purpose, processes and benefits of supply chain management as it applies to the fresh produce industry. Depending on the article, the term supply chain management was coined in the early 1980s by either Thomas Stallkamp of Chrysler Corp. or consultants Keith Oliver and Michael Webber of effort to define supply chain management that continues today. A basic Google search for “supply chain management definitions” pro- duced 522 responses from industry associations, consultants, What is “Supply Chain Management”? Discover why and how your organization should focus on supply chain management. Feature - Front 9/9/05 1:55 PM Page 10
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www.bluebookprco.com researchers and other pundits. A supply chain is a network of facili- ties and transportation linkages that performs the functions of procurement of materials; transformation of these materials into intermediate and finished products; and distribution of these finished products to customers. In the fresh produce industry, the supply chain extends from the field to the shopping cart. Figure 1 on the following page provides a common depiction of a supply chain, its key flows and primary participants. Supply chain management, in turn, focuses on the collaborative coordination and control of the supply chain. This involves the cre- ation of a synchronized two-way flow of materials as well as infor- mation, finances, equipment and manpower resources within and among organizations. The ultimate goals of supply chain manage- ment are to create visibility across the network and to ensure effi- cient, fast delivery of goods and services to end customers. As the definition implies, supply chain management entails both
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Episode01Reading - Feature - Front 9/9/05 1:55 PM Page 10...

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