Supply Chain Management--case study on IBM

Essay by andyboyjiaC, December 2006

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1.0 Introduction

All business is both customers for some other businesses' product and services, and suppliers of products and services to their own customers or other business. So no operation, or part of operation, can be seen as existing in isolation. Every operation is part of a network of suppliers and customers. In this age of international market and competition, a company's competitiveness rests on its ability to provide desired goods and services.

Supply chain management is one of the hot topics in business today. Render (1997) has defines "supply chain management" is the integration of activities that procure materials and services, transform them into intermediate goods and final product, and deliver them to customers. The strategy is to apply a total systems approach to managing the entire flow of information, materials, and services from raw-materials suppliers through factories and warehouses to the final customer. "The objective of supply chain management is to synchronize the requirements of the final customer with the flow of materials and information along the supply chain in order to reach a balance between high customer satisfaction/service and cost."(Markland,

1998) therefore the goals of supply chain management are to reduce uncertainty and risks in the supply chain, thereby positively affecting inventory levels, cycle time, processes, and ultimately, end-customers service levels.

The report will be under the case to finding the differences between strategic supply chain management and traditional purchasing and supply management; discuss and analyze the contribution of supply chain management to the success of this case organization and the practical implication of the supply chain management approach for operations managers in this case organization.

2.0 Case review

The title of this case is "IBM used backward placement to improve supply-chain operations." The IBM PC Company Europe is facing relentless pressure from formidable competitors who...