The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the emergence of supply chain management, the underlying concepts and its development as an important influence upon successful strategies and operations. The chapter begins with a discussion of historical developments generally and in organizational management that have created the necessary conditions for the emergence of supply chains as an important focus for managers. It then moves on to address contemporary issues that

occupy the mind space of practising managers. Empirical examples demonstrate the importance of the supply chain phenomena in creating successful strategies, structures and relationships that enhance organizational value. Finally, future directions are considered before outlining a new research agenda for this developing and important aspect of business management.