Supply chain management is the streamlining of a business' supply-side activities to maximize customer value and to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Supply chain management (SCM) represents an effort by suppliers to develop and implement supply chains that are as efficient and economical as possible. Supply chains cover everything from production, to product development, to the information systems needed to direct these undertakings.
Typically, SCM will attempt to centrally control or link the production, shipment and distribution of a product. By managing the supply chain, companies are able to cut excess fat and provide products faster. This is done by keeping tighter control of internal inventories, internal production, distribution, sales and the inventories of the company's product purchasers.
SCM is based on the idea that nearly every product that comes to market results from the efforts of various organizations called the supply chain. Although these supply chains have existed for ages, until recently most companies have paid only scant attention to them.
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