Understanding Your Supply Chain
This chapter introduces key supply chain concepts, including the definition of a supply chain, the importance of lead time and the different types of lead time, takt time as a yardstick for process performance, the difference between push, pull and flow in a supply chain, and using a value stream map to understand supply chain. In its broadest sense, a supply chain can include all the people, processes, and organizations involved in fulfilling customer demand for a product—from sourcing its raw materials to its delivery to the end user. The best way to describe the supply chain is that it is the series of steps and processes by which value is added to a product, and through which it is delivered to an end customer. This naturally leads to an effective tool for understanding the supply chain—the value stream map.