Today I’d like to write about supply chain in general because it’s a considerable topic for me. For being successful on the market it is not enough just to look at the company itself and consider only the inhouse activities but to look at the whole supply chain.
„Supply chain logistics […] is the flow of material, information, and money between corporations (interworkstation, interfacility, intercorporate, and intrachain) [connecting the supplier’s supplier to the customer’s customer].”
(Edward Frazelle: Supply Chain Strategy, p. 8)
Depending on the kind of activity the supply chain can be quite long. There can be multiple suppliers, suppliers´suppliers as well as multiple customers and customers´customers. Supply chain describes the network of the different facilities, vehicles and logistics information systems. The flow of the supply chain is optimized when material, information and money are exchanged coinstantaneous, in real time and via electronic systems, without any paper necessary.
(Compare: Edward Frazelle: Supply Chain Strategy, p.10)
The logistics organizations along the supply chain have to collaborate. Supply chain management is necessary. Supply chain management stands for “[t]he management of upstream and downstream relationships with suppliers and customers to deliver superior customer value at less cost to the supply chain as a whole.” (Martin Christopher: Logistics and Supply Chain Management, p.5)
Effective logistics and well-oiled supply chain management can be an eminent competitive advantage. A competitive advantage should be reached by distinguishing the company from the competition. The company should be something special, unique for the customer. Moreover good quality at acceptable prices should be offered. The enterprise should concentrate on efficient processes and continue on improving them. The possible cost savings are immense. (Compare: Martin Christopher: Logistics and Supply Chain Management, p.13f)