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Supply Chain Security

A firm is a large system contains smaller systems which operate for survival of the larger system. The larger system (the firm) can only survive if it can perform its function within its environment and satisfy stakeholders within that environment. All systems within a firm have a role that must be performed diligently to ensure that the larger system (the firm) will be able to perform its function and survive in its environment.

If one system or more within the firm fail to fulfill their roles, the function performed by the firm will unavoidably be disturbed, which usually lead to decreased quality and perhaps upset the firm’s stakeholders. Managing these systems to satisfy stakeholders and perform the core function of a company has proven not to be an easy task. Owners and Managers must have sufficient managerial abilities to ensure that each part of the firm is performing their tasks diligently and fulfilling their roles as a part of the firm as a larger system.

One of the managerial philosophies that guide managers in managing all parts of a company is called the Supply Chain Management concept. The Supply Chain Management helps all parts of the firm understand the final function of

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a company and directed all their efforts to support that function. The concept helps each part to maximize their work for the ultimate purpose of giving value to customers, instead of working for individual or group benefits. The Supply Chain Management Concept is nevertheless, only a fraction of a larger business philosophy called operations management.

Operations management is simply the management of all activities that generate profit for a firm or help companies achieve its goals. It includes production, marketing, distribution, and all other activities that allow a firm to achieve its goals. Concerning the supply chain, this paper will analyze an article from James B. Rice, Jr. , and Philip W. Spayd in IBM Center for The Business of Government. The article is Investing in Supply Chain Security: Collateral Benefits. The report describes the benefits of investing in security.

It also looks at the important question of whether greater collaboration between government and the private sector leads to improved supply chain security, reduces overall cost, and improves efficiencies. Supply Chain Management has similar end-goal as the Operations Management philosophy. It aims to satisfy customer requirements as efficiently as possible. However, the SCM specifically focuses on the planning, implementing and controlling the movement of goods from the point of origins to the point of consumption, this includes transferring raw materials, managing work-in-process inventory and delivering finished goods to consumers.

Another definition of the SCM concept describes that SCM includes planning and management of sourcing activities, procurement of the materials, conversion of the materials into saleable products, and product logistic management. This means that the Supply Chain Management activities involve coordination and collaboration with various partners in achieving its goals. These partners include suppliers, service providers, intermediaries and customers.

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