Supply Chain and Logistics

Introduction to Supply Chain Management 115

This class provides an overview of supply chain management. Successful supply chain management requires understanding the complex relationships between customers, product development, materials suppliers, manufacturers, transporters, and others that exchange goods and information to deliver an end product to consumers.

Supply chain management has several benefits, including better customer service, increased productivity, and decreased planning, sourcing, manufacturing, storage, and transportation costs. After taking this class, users will be able to describe the basic parts of a supply chain and the major processes of managing it efficiently to achieve these advantages.

  • Difficulty Beginner

  • Format Online

  • Number of Lessons 11

  • Language English


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Course Outline
  • The Supply Chain
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Five Areas of Supply Chain Management
  • Review: Supply Chain Management
  • Customer Relations and Customer Service
  • Forecasting and Order Fulfillment
  • Just-in-Time Manufacturing
  • Supplier Relations
  • Product Development
  • Returns Management
  • Review: Supply Chain Management Roles
  • Define supply chain.
  • Describe supply chain management.
  • Identify the five areas of supply chain management.
  • Identify the ways supply chain management addresses customers.
  • Describe how supply chain management supports customer demand and order fulfillment.
  • Describe just-in-time manufacturing.
  • Describe the importance of supplier relations in supply chain management.
  • Describe the steps of product development.
  • Explain returns management as part of supply chain management.
Vocabulary Term


The ability to respond quickly to customer needs and market changes while still controlling costs and quality. Agility involves quickly adjusting strategy to meet rapidly changing supply chain requirements.


A manufacturing process in which two or more components are joined together to create a finished part. Assembly may include the use of fasteners, adhesives, or welding to attach parts to one another.


A person or organization that buys goods or services from a business or other entity. Customers are the primary focus of any supply chain.

customer relations

The practice of gathering information from and about customers so that companies can anticipate their needs. Customer relations can include surveys, reviews, and other feedback mechanisms.

customer service

The direct interactions between a company and its customers. Customer service includes providing status updates and product support tied to particular customer order transactions.


Transporting products to customers or warehouses. Delivering is the area of supply chain management that moves finished products until they reach their destinations with other supply chain links.


The amount of product requested by the customer. Demand is closely matched by the supply of products in an effective supply chain.

end product

The finished article in a manufacturing process. An end product reaches a customer via a complex series of supply chain exchanges.

enterprise resource planning

ERP. A specific application of a management information system. Enterprise resource planning systems take the data from internal and external information systems and integrate it throughout the organization.


A prediction of demand patterns for a product, which is used to calculate future inventory levels or manufacturing plans. Forecasting in the supply chain typically results in more accurate estimates when ordering raw material and other supplies.


The amount of raw material, in-process parts, and completed, manufactured products. Excess inventory is considered wasteful.


The process of expending money, time, or other resources for a future positive result. Investment in supplier relations can yield more effective supply chains.


Just-in-time. An approach to production and delivery that emphasizes flexible processes and reduced inventories to decrease costs and improve responsiveness. With JIT systems, materials and products are ready precisely when needed.


An approach to production and delivery that emphasizes creating many products and maintaining a large inventory. Just-in-case manufacturing increases the possibility for waste.


JIT. An approach to production and delivery that emphasizes flexible processes and reduced inventories to decrease costs and improve responsiveness. With just-in-time systems, materials and products are ready precisely when needed.


A company or other entity that takes part in a supply chain. Links on a supply chain may include producers of raw materials, manufacturers, warehouses, and delivery operations.


Manufacturing processes that build, assemble, and test a product. Making generally follows sourcing and precedes delivering in supply chain management.


Concerning daily activities. Operational development considers choices about scheduling, purchases, and other day-to-day plans.

order fulfillment

A response to specific customer demand. The order fulfillment process typically involves receiving goods, short-term storage in a warehouse, and packaging individual products for delivery to the customer.


Making decisions about how to effectively meet customer demand. Planning is usually the first stage of supply chain management.

recall alerts

A communication issued when a product fails to meet minimum safety standards or is found to be an unreasonable safety risk. Recall alerts inform customers that the products they purchased should be returned, repaired, or retired.


A statement acknowledging that something has been paid for or that products have been received. Receipts may provide evidence that a customer is entitled to compensation when returning a defective product.


The quality of reacting quickly and positively. Responsiveness is one goal of planning in supply chain management.


Support for customers after a product has been delivered, especially if there are problems with the products or customers are otherwise dissatisfied with their orders. Reverse logistics, also known as returning, involves replacing, refurbishing, recycling, or disposing of returned products.

reverse logistics

Support for customers after a product has been delivered. Reverse logistics, also known as returning, involves replacing, refurbishing, recycling, or disposing of returned products.


Identifying and contracting with vendors to provide needed goods and services. Sourcing is often an early stage of supply chain management.


Involving high-level decisions. Strategic development concerns an entire organization's plans.

supplier relations

An approach to evaluating vendors that supply materials and services to an organization, determining each supplier's contribution to success and developing strategies to improve their performance. Supplier relations is an important role of supply chain management.

supply chain

The complex relationships of companies and suppliers that produce and distribute a product. A supply chain consists of a company, its suppliers, its distributors, and its customers, as well as the products, information, and financial transactions that move between them.

supply chain management

The process of planning, implementing, and controlling supply chain activities to achieve maximum customer value and sustain competitive advantage. Supply chain management oversees each area of the supply chain, including product development, planning, sourcing, production, delivery, and sometimes returns.

supply network

Multiple supply chains in which an organization is engaged. Many large companies require supply networks of several smaller supply chains.


Seeking cost reductions. Tactical development looks for ways to reduce costs while still delivering quality products.


The examination of a product to ensure that it performs its intended function. Different methods of testing are used to ensure that a product meets specifications.


A real or perceived quality that satisfies the needs and wants of a customer. Value includes the features of a product, as well as other qualities associated with the product.


A large building where raw materials or end products are kept before their distribution. Warehouses provide storage for inventory.


The layout of a process. Workflows can eliminate redundancies and improve quality.