Supply chains have become have become increasingly important as organisations have moved from competing on a stand-alone basis to recognizing that their success depends upon their trading partners. This includes their upstream suppliers and downstream customers. A supply chain involves a number of tiers of suppliers and customers that extends from the initial source of raw materials through to the final consumer of the finished product. Supply chain management involves the coordination of a number of functional areas in multiple organisations. Large amounts of information can be captured describing the activities in these organisations. It is possible to use this information in order to assist in decision making at strategic, tactical, and operational levels of the supply chain. The large volume of information available and the interdependencies between the activities within these multiple organisations means that it is necessary to employ computerized decision support systems to optimize supply chain activities.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Supply Chain Management: Supply chain management is the set of activities carried out at strategic, tactical, and operational levels to manage the interorganisational processes involved in providing products that meet the needs of end-customers.
Process Architecture: A process architecture is a hierarchical description of the large scale processes, subprocesses, and activities that occur within an organisation.
Information Flow Facility: An information flow facility is the combination of information technologies which facilitates the bidirectional flow of information between participant organisations in a supply chain.
Warehouse Management System: A warehouse management system is used to control the movement and storage of materials with one or more warehouses in a manner which seeks to optimise the use of space, labour, and equipment.
Transportation Management Systems: A transportation management system (TMS) is used for the short term planning of movement of material in a manner which optimises the use of resources. A TMS facilitates the scheduling of both intercompany and intracompany movement of materials, processes the associated transactions and assists in the preparation of associated documentation.
Supply Chain: A supply chain is a network of organisation involved in producing and delivering a finished product to the end-customer. Supply chains exist for goods and services. From the viewpoint of a focal organisation, a supply chain involves a number of tiers of suppliers and of buyers. A supply chain involves the flow of products, funds, and information.
Manufacturing Execution System: A manufacturing execution systems allows for recording, reporting, online enquiry, planning, and scheduling of production floor activities.