“A supply chain consists of all stages involved, directly or indirectly, in fulfilling a customer request. The supply chain not only includes the manufacturer and suppliers, but also transporter, warehouses, retailers, and customers themselves.”
- Chopra Sunil, Peter Meindl, 2001, Supply Chain Management: Strategy, Planning and Operations
“A supply chain is a network of facilities and distribution options that perform the functions of procurement of materials, transformation of these materials into intermediate and finished products, and the distribution of these finished products to customers.”
- Ganeshan, Ram and Terry P. Harrison, 1995, An Introduction to Supply Chain Management
A supply chain can be either physically efficient or market-responsive, or a mix of them. The table below compares the differences of these two types of supply chain. (Click for larger image.)
Fisher, M. (1997). What is the Right Supply Chain for Your Product? Harvard Business Review, March-April 1997, 105-116.
Hugos, M. (2003) Essentials of Supply Chain Management