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Supply Chain Meaning

A supply chain is a network of suppliers, individuals, technology, organisations, activities, and resources of a business for delivering a product or service. All these entities could be a part of the sourcing, procuring raw materials or equipment, manufacturing, selling, or all logistical processes that ultimately helps to deliver finished goods to the end users.

Understanding How Supply Chain Works

The meaning of supply chain is a network that comprises a series of steps involved to provide the product or service to the customer. These steps include the process of procuring and transforming raw materials into finished goods and distributing them to the end-users.

The important elements of the supply chain process consist of product development, marketing, operation, distribution, customer service, etc. The stakeholders involved in the process are: producers, vendors, warehouses, transportation companies, distribution centres and retailers.

Effective supply chain management is the key to success. If supply chain management is efficient, it helps in reducing the cost of production and increases profits. If one of the links in this process fails, it might result in increased cost for the company.

What are the Different Types of Supply Chain?

Typical of manufacturing companies, supply chain now also extends to other traditional business models. The type of supply chain and its complexity, however, primarily depends on the nature of a business. Like, a business operating on the make-to-order model does not store finished products. Its warehouse thus consists of raw material. Similarly, a business operating in the assembly model requires managing different types of stock.

Considering these requirements, SC has evolved into several different types and its models are followed accordingly. Here is a brief synopsis of different types of SC models.

  • a) Supply chain with continuous flow

    To explain this supply chain meaning, it ensures stability of supply during high demands. This model of supply chain thus suits manufacturers involved in a single line of products manufactured in bulk.

  • b) Fast supply chain

    Businesses that manufacture or sell trendy products that have a short life cycle find a fast model for the suitable supply chain process.

  • c) Efficient model of supply chain

    The efficient model of SC is implemented where supply chains require end-to-end efficiency. Businesses operating in highly competitive market thus opt for this SC type.

  • d) Custom configured supply chain

    Businesses involved with operations in assembling and production line find implementing custom configured SC, which is a hybrid of the continuous flow and the agile model.

  • e) Agile supply chain

    The agile model suits businesses that are involved in production or manufacturing of items with special order.

  • f) Flexible chain of supply

    A flexible SC allows businesses to keep a balance between periods of high demand and low-volume movements.

Supply Chain Management (SCM)

Supply Chain Management (SCM) is thus, explained as the management of a supply chain to increase its operational excellence and improve customer value.

With Supply Chain Finance up to Rs.45 lakh from Bajaj Finserv, your SME business can solve cash flow problems, fund blocked payments from debtors, take up a bulk or new order and ensure the smooth functioning of your business.

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