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The Total Scope of Supply Chain Management

Principal Consultant, Art of Planning

Wednesday March 11, 2015

Defining the total scope of supply chain management—as an association professional, advocating for supply chain professionals—is one of my biggest challenges.

@ Supply Chain Management is an excellent blog run by Chris Jacob, a senior consultant for IBM. I am a little behind on my reading, so only today did I come across his post from February 11 in which he reproduced a graphical history of logistics and supply chain management originally published It is a really interesting and valuable chart; however, it fails to present supply chain management as a holistic discipline that is more than the sum of its parts.

We do not share a common definition of supply chain management across the industry. Just take a look at the various professional associations to which you belong. Procurement organizations and logistics associations alike claim supply chain management as their expertise. And to be fair, APICS, which defines supply chain management from end to end, has its roots in planning and production. Even so, the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional designation uses the SCOR model to validate candidates’ knowledge and skills from planning through returning.

Defining supply chain management

The APICS Dictionary, 13th edition, defines supply chain management as “the design, planning, execution, control, and monitoring of supply chain activities with the objective of creating net value, building a competitive infrastructure, leveraging worldwide logistics, synchronizing supply with demand, and measuring performance globally.” This definition of supply chain management first appeared in the 9th edition of the APICS Dictionary in 1998. As we are in the midst of producing the 14th edition of this reference, it is a good time to ask: Is this an accurate definition of supply chain management? Does it adequately capture the scope of supply chain management today?

All comments will be published pending approval. Read the APICS Comment Policy.


Leave a comment
  1. Amir July 14, 2018, 05:32 AM
  2. Jerry Jacob November 16, 2017, 05:05 AM
  3. ALI March 18, 2017, 03:35 PM
  4. Hedayati February 12, 2017, 12:36 PM
    I am staying in Iran
    My degree is in Industrial Engineering.
    A master's degree.
    Possibility to participate in conference there for us?
  5. Bruno Dikens March 11, 2015, 11:23 AM
    Management in all business and organizational activities is the act of coordinating the efforts of people to accomplish desired goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively. Management comprises planning, organizing, staffing, leading or directing, and controlling an organization (a group of one or more people or entities) or effort for the purpose of accomplishing a goal. Resourcing encompasses the deployment and manipulation of human resources, financial resources, technological resources, and natural resources.;,.’

  6. K S Ganapathi March 11, 2015, 11:23 AM
    Thanks a lot for the kind explanations.
  7. Sreeraj,CSCP March 11, 2015, 11:22 AM
    Supply chain management can not be restricted just in businesses but it happens in our day to day life.We try to manage the supply of every item (eg:milk) in comparison with our daily requirements.When it comes to business I believe, the right word could be ‘value chain’ management since at every stage value addition happens.The cost of value addition (the cost you spend on each stage) may vary depending on your product group, demand patterns, market conditions etc. In fact, what supply chain does is synchronizing customer demand with our product/ solution.Our ability to provide a solution in time is very much associated with the brand .

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