VII. The Supply Chain Today
A. The Global Supply Chain Forum (Stanford - in partnership with the European Forum on
Global Supply Chain Management at Eindhoven University in the Netherlands and with the
Hong Kong Logistics and Supply Chain Forum in Hong Kong) have set out the following
1. Key Supply Chain Processes (in alphabetical order)
a) Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
b) Customer Service Management (CSM)
c) Demand Management
d) Manufacturing Flow Management
e) Order Fulfillment
f) Product Development and Commercialization
g) Returns Management
h) Supplier Relationship Management
"A picture is worth a thousand words"
B. "Supply chain management software is possibly the most fractured group of
software applications on the planet. . . . No one has a complete package."
- Christopher Koch, "The ABCs of Supply Chain Management," CIO.com
C. Buy? Build? Blend!
1. Each of the Key Supply Chain Processes listed above has individual software applications
devoted to its process. But, even the "big" integration packages cover only a few of the
processes listed (see "The Buzz - EAI".)
So, the questions faced by supply chain managers today are:
a) Do we buy individual software applications for one (or more) of these processes?
And then customize where necessary to interface with the other systems that we
already have in place (or are thinking of buying or building)?
b) Do we build our own individual software applications for one (or more) of these
processes to better interface with the other systems that we already have in place
(or are thinking of buying or building)?
2. You can easily see that the answers will most likely be a blend of both buying and building!