The importance of supply chain management (SCM) is undeniable. Companies have invested a significant amount of time and money hiring personnel and implementing expensive software systems to help realize improvements. Although SCM is now offered as a course in many universities, the reality is that the knowledge required by the practitioner has mainly been gathered tediously on the job. The reason is that, unlike manufacturing and engineering, SCM is a relatively new field that originated in the industry in the early 1990s; as a result, it has not had the time to mature and become well understood.
Compounding the problem is that the term supply chain is now used in several industries with differing interpretations. For ...