Supply Chain Management

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In this section we will discuss the basic beliefs and attitudes that organizations want to promote as well as recognizing that there can be different pressures on owners and managers at different stages of a company’s life as it moves from start up, through growth and maybe to some form of end stage.

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Boundaries of the Firm

In section 2 we discussed the strategic choices involved in the Make/Do or Buy/ Trade decision and the answers to this will largely determine to where the boundaries of the firm or business extend. Activities performed by third parties in the supply market are definitely supply chain ones with the opportunities and threats that that implies.

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Strategic Role of Purchasing

Purchasing function has a strategically indispensable role to play in supply chain management. It covers the sourcing end of supply chain management interfacing with the delivery end of the suppliers.

The classical definition of purchasing is: to obtain materials and/or services of the right quality in the right quantity from the right source, deliver them to the right place at the right price.

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The Need for Agility

Having understood the impact and the indisputable success of the lean philosophy applied in many organizations world over. Can we come to a conclusion that the next milestone, after the craft production and mass production, is going to be the lean production? To answer this question, one needs to first establish whether the lean approach can fit all business environments now and in the future. Researches and literature so far appear to believe the otherwise.

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For years, researchers and practitioners have primarily investigated the various processes within manufacturing supply chains individually. Recently, however, there has been increasing attention placed on the performance, design, and analysis of the supply chain as a whole.

This attention is largely a result of the rising costs of manufacturing, the shrinking resources of manufacturing bases, shortened product life cycles, the leveling of the playing field within manufacturing, and the globalization of market economies.