Supply chain and logistics management history
If you are a business owner you must have come across the supply chain in your business life. It doesn’t matter whether your company is big or small. The supply chain is an integral part of the trade. This process is so natural to every company’s day to day operation that some might not recognize it as a separate unit.
What is a supply chain?
In simple words, it is a system that deals with every kind of movement in a company. If we are dealing with a factory, for example, part of the supply chain would be moving a product from one conveyor belt to another where it undergoes further processes in order to become a finished product. For a hairdresser, a part of the supply chain will be a delivery of shampoos and conditioners.
To sum up, the supply chain is a chain that leads from the creation of the product through suppliers to finished merchandise that is offered to the customer.
Supply chain vs Logistics
Supply chain and logistics are often referred to collectively so many people who are not directly involved in this aspect of the company might think these words are referring to the same feature. Although supply chain and logistics regard same matter, the terms are not interchangeable.
Logistics apply mainly to the distribution of a finished product or its components. Whenever a transportation is involved, that is where logistics come in. Whereas supply chain is a broader term which on top of all transportation, deals with manufacturing. It is safe to say that all the major processes involving production and distribution in a company fall under supply chain.
Supply chain management
The BusinessDictionary defines supply chain management as “management of material and information flow in a supply chain to provide the highest degree of customer satisfaction at the lowest possible cost (…) coordinate order generation, order taking, and order fulfillment. “ 
Since supply chain plays such important role in the company existence it is understandable that businesses look for professionals who can manage the processes ensuring that all operations run smoothly.
Not only a good supply chain manager should be able to maintain current flow, but also look for improvement of operations and implement solutions that will be more cost effective. However, the implemented changes cannot negatively influence produced products or services. The key is to reduce the cost and maintain or improve customer satisfaction.
Is it worth hiring a supply chain manager?
Not every company has a supply chain manager. Some businesses, even big production companies, might have responsibilities of supply chain manager divided within several people. However, it is most beneficial to have one person responsible for all aspects of supply chain. There are few reasons for that:
- Unifying all processes
- Clear instruction
- No shift of responsibility in case of problems
- Effective optimization of processes
One person steering the supply chain can unify the processes in the company, so other employees have clear instructions, how to proceed with every query or problem. Also, such person will clearly be in charge and will be able to make fast decisions and take responsibility for problematic situation. When having a full view of the processes a supply chain manager might be able to implement changes to maximize speed and efficiency of the company’s operations.