Defining SCM has been one of the most vexing challenges for supply chain professionals. It's kind of like artwork – you know what art is and what you like, but other people have a slightly different interpretation. Such is the case with SCM . You don't have to look far to find a range of definitions (Google “supply chain management” definition and you'll get 32 SCM definitions in nine languages). Each one is a bit unique but they focus on the same issues.
Here are definitions that have been developed by widely recognized SCM organizations:
Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals
Supply chain management encompasses the planning and management of all activities involved in sourcing and procurement, conversion, and all logistics management activities. Importantly, it also includes coordination and collaboration with channel partners, which can be suppliers, intermediaries, third party service providers, and customers. In essence, supply chain management integrates supply and demand management within and across companies.
Ohio State University Global Supply Chain Forum
Supply chain management is the integration of key business processes from end user through original suppliers that provides products, services, and information that add value for customers and other stakeholders
Supply Chain Council
The supply-chain encompasses every effort involved in producing and delivering a final product or service, from the supplier's supplier to the customer's customer . Supply-chain management includes managing supply and demand, sourcing raw materials and parts, manufacturing and assembly, warehousing and inventory tracking, order entry and order management, distribution across all channels, and delivery to the customer.
University of Tennessee Supply Chain Research Group
The systematic, strategic coordination of the traditional business functions within a particular company and across businesses within the supply chain, for the purposes of improving the long-term performance of the individual companies and the supply chain as a whole.
SCM is a management process that deals with inbound and outbound flows from the perspective of the focal organization, its suppliers, and its customers.