Supply chain Linkages

Topics: Supply chain management, Supply chain, Logistics Pages: 7 (1990 words) Published: November 5, 2013


Student Number: DLSCM/NRB/3384/13
Course: Supply Chain Management


Table of Contents

Supply chain is a system of organizations, people, activities, information, and resources involved in moving a product or service from supplier to customer (Anna, 2006). It is also defined as a set of linkages providing goods and services to end users and to intermediate customers (Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, 2009). It is a complex dynamic supply and demand network which is also regarded as part of the overall value chain, which has both demand and supply components that need to be balanced dynamically at levels of uncertainty and risk, and which focuses on optimizing net value added at each linkage, as well as in total to the end user (Wieland & Wallenburg, 2011). A linkage is defined as a connection or relationship between two or more parts; a part that connects two or more things (Merriam Webster, 2013). According to Business Dictionary (2013) linkage is defined as relationship and interaction between tasks, departments and organizations that promote flow of information, ideas and integration in achievement of shared objectives. Shared objective in supply chains is customer satisfaction through timely delivery of the right product in the right condition (Coyle, Bardi & Langley, 2003). Supply Chain Linkages

Supply chain consists of various linkages: upstream linkages also known as sources of supply, internal linkages inside the organizations involved in supply chains and downstream linkages which include distribution and ultimate customers (Hugo, Badenhorst-Weiss & van Rooyen, 2002). Upstream Linkages

Upstream linkages consist of suppliers and manufacturers/producers. Suppliers include suppliers who supply materials and other goods required by producers. The upstream linkages are important in ensuring material flow from suppliers and their upstream suppliers (Baltzan, 2008). Suppliers and their Upstream Suppliers

The suppliers in supply chain focus on the supplies into the supply chain. They come in a variety of forms. They provide additional capacity as well as other commodities to the supply chain arrangement. For example, there are those that provide raw material, transportation and logistics services and other professional services as accounting, legal and contracts management (Saungweme, 2009).

There is need therefore to assess all suppliers’ core or strategic competencies with a view of identifying capable suppliers who fit well into the entire supply chain arrangement (Saungweme, 2009). Critical to this function is the need to make appropriate sourcing decisions. Proper mechanism for supplier selection must be put in place to ensure that identified and selected suppliers of either goods or services are in line with the strategic vision of the supply chain arrangement in place. Importance of Suppliers to Modern Business

A supplier is conversant with all product regulations that apply to the business and is always informed about any changes to them. Suppliers checks the list of  mandatory standards and bans  within the supply chain, he gets and supplies copies of relevant standards and related documents and assesses a product’s risks and identifies its hazards. Suppliers make sure they have regard for product end user, place of use, any sort of possible miss-use, hazards related to the supply and end product, shipment and storage effects on the supply among other issues (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, 2013). Using an effective safety compliance program to comply with the law is a requirement for suppliers in supplying safer materials/products within supply chains. Supplier compliance programs include quality assurance systems and staff training. Failure to comply with supplier requirements may make business face penalties and other consequences which may affect the supply chain negatively....

References: Anna, Nagurney, (2006). Supply chain network economics: dynamics of prices, flows, and profits. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (2013). Product safety, Australia. [Online] Available at: (Accessed 31st October, 2013).
Baltzan, P. (2008). Supply chain fundamentals. Mc Graw Hill, Irwin.
Coyle, J. J., Bardi, E. J. & Langley, C. J. (2003).Management of business logistics: a supply chain perspective. C John publication, Mason: Ohio, South-Western.
Hugo, W. J. N., Badenhorst-Weiss, J. A. & Van Rooyen (2002). Purchasing and supply chain management. D. C. 4th ed. Van Schaik Publishers, Pretoria, South Africa.
 Lee, H. L. and Billington, C. (1995). The evolution of supply chain management models and practice at Hewlett-Packard in interfaces 25
Saugweme, P. (2009). Value chain linkages in agri-business supply chains in South Africa. July, 23 – 29, Soreze, France.
The Times 100 (2013). Improving the performance of manufacturers.
 Wieland, A. & Wallenburg, C. M. (2011). Supply chain management. Berlin: TU University Press.
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