A supply chain is the end-to-end system that creates products and services and delivers them to the customer. Goods can also flow in a reverse direction in a supply chain from the customer back to producers for purposes such as returns, reuse and recycling. The following are illustrative examples of a supply chain.
Natural ResourcesThe supply of natural resources such as water.
MaterialsThe production of materials such as steel.
Ingredients, Parts & ComponentsThe manufacturing of parts and components such as a display for a mobile device.
Finished GoodsThe manufacturing of finished goods such as a mobile device. Hundreds of parts and components from dozens of countries may go into a single product.
Retail, Ecommerce & ServicesThe sales of goods and services to the customer such as a fashion retailer or a theme park.
CustomerDelivering the product to the customer or fulfilling a service. For example, the installation of solar panels on a customer's house as part of the fulfillment of an energy service.
Returns, Reuse & RecyclingA modern supply chain can be viewed as a loop where finished goods and services flow to the customer and things flow back for reuse, recycling or as returns.
Distribution & FulfillmentThe delivery of a product or service to the customer. For example, a theme park that puts on shows, operates rides and provides food services to fulfill their obligations to customers. Distribution and fulfillment occurs at multiple levels of the supply chain as each level views the next level up as the customer. For example, the food suppliers who deliver food to the theme park or their suppliers who deliver ingredients.
Transportation & WarehousingTransportation and warehousing, also known as logistics is the process of getting resources, materials, ingredients, parts, components and finished goods to the right place at the right time to keep the supply chain operating efficiently.
This is the complete list of articles we have written about logistics.
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