supply chain

Definition

Entire network of entities, directly or indirectly interlinked and interdependent in serving the same consumer or customer. It comprises of vendors that supply raw material, producers who convert the material into products, warehouses that store, distribution centers that deliver to the retailers, and retailers who bring the product to the ultimate user. Supply chains underlie value-chains because, without them, no producer has the ability to give customers what they want, when and where they want, at the price they want. Producers compete with each other only through their supply chains, and no degree of improvement at the producer's end can make up for the deficiencies in a supply chain which reduce the producer's ability to compete.

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