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What is a Supply Chain?

Think back to your last visit to a Best Buy, Target, or Circuit City store. Remember the assortment of high definition televisions, ready for you to purchase? How did they all get there? The answer is the supply chain. Supply chains include all of the companies that participate in the design, assembly, and delivery of products for buyers like you. Retailers, manufacturers, transportation companies, and distributors are some of the key players.

In the electronics industry (and many others), the supply chain is the central nervous system that governs how companies create products. In the HDTV supply chain, a variety of companies play a role in building the components, assembling the final product, and moving it through the supply chain. The goal of the supply chain is to have the television available when you’re ready to purchase it from your favorite store or website.

Each year, these products get bigger and better, yet the prices drop. How is it possible? It’s the supply chain working together. Members of the HDTV supply chain – LCD glass panel fabricators in South Korea, semiconductor manufacturers in Taiwan, television assembly plants in Mexico, and others – specialize in what they do best and at the lowest cost. These global partners collaborate across time zones and oceans to drive costs down and performance up in ways no single company ever could.

 

© 2011 Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals