Supply chain management (SCM) represents an effort by suppliers to develop and implement supply chains that are as efficient and economical as possible. Supply chains cover everything from production to product development to the information systems needed to direct these undertakings.
Typically, SCM attempts to centrally control or link the production, shipment, and distribution of a product. By managing the supply chain, companies can cut excess costs and deliver products to the consumer faster. This is done by keeping tighter control of internal inventories, internal production, distribution, sales, and the inventories of company vendors.
SCM is based on the idea that nearly every product that comes to market results from the efforts of various organizations that make up a supply chain. Although supply chains have existed for ages, most companies have only recently paid attention to them as a value-add to their operations.