Supply chain management Definitions

  • #

    3PL (third-party logistics)

    A 3PL (third-party logistics) provider offers outsourced logistics services, which encompass anything that involves management of one or more facets of procurement and fulfillment activities.

  • A

    ABC classification

    ABC classification is a ranking system for identifying and grouping items in terms of how useful they are for achieving business goals.

  • advanced shipping notice (ASN)

    Advanced shipping notice (ASN) is a document that provides detailed information about a pending delivery. The purpose of an ASN is to notify the customer when shipping will occur and provide physical characteristics about the shipment so the customer can be prepared to accept delivery.  

  • asset performance management (APM)

    Asset performance management (APM) is both a strategy and a set of software tools for tracking and managing the health of an organization's physical assets.

  • Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC)

    Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) is a broad set of technologies used to collect information from an object, image or sound without manual data entry. The actual technologies involved, the information obtained and the purpose of collection vary widely. AIDC systems are used to manage inventory, delivery, assets, security and documents.

  • B

    bar code (or barcode)

    A bar code (often seen as a single word, barcode) is the small image of lines (bars) and spaces that is affixed to retail store items, identification cards, and postal mail to identify a particular product number, person, or location.

  • bill of materials (BOM)

    A bill of materials (BOM) is a comprehensive inventory of the raw materials, assemblies, subassemblies, parts and components, as well as the quantities of each, needed to manufacture a product.

  • Bullwhip Effect

    The bullwhip effect is a supply chain phenomenon describing how small fluctuations in demand at the retail level can cause progressively larger fluctuations in demand at the wholesale, distributor, manufacturer and raw material supplier levels.

  • C

    closed loop manufacturing resource planning (MRP)

    Closed loop manufacturing resource planning, also known as closed loop MRP (CLMRP), is a manufacturing resource planning model that includes returned products in the supply chain.

  • computer numerical control (CNC)

    Computer numerical control (CNC) is a method for automating machine tools through software embedded in an attached microcomputer. CNC is commonly used for manufacturing metal and plastic parts.

  • cross-docking

    Cross-docking is the practice of unloading goods from inbound delivery vehicles and loading them directly onto outbound vehicles.

  • D

    Demand Planning

    Demand planning is the process of forecasting the demand for a product or service so it can be produced and delivered more efficiently and to the satisfaction of customers.

  • Demand signal repository (DSR)

    Demand signal repository (DSR) is a database that aggregates sales data at the point of sale (POS). DSR systems capture, clean and harmonize large data sets so the data can be queried.

  • digital supply chain

    A digital supply chain is a supply chain whose foundation is built on Web-enabled capabilities to fully capitalize on connectivity, system integration and the information-producing capabilities of "smart" connected products.

  • distribution requirements planning (DRP)

    Distribution requirements planning (DRP) is a time-based systematic process to make the delivery of goods more efficient by determining which goods, in what quantities, and at what location are required to meet anticipated demand.

  • dual sourcing

    Dual sourcing is the supply chain management practice of using two suppliers for a given component, raw material, product or service. Companies use this approach to lower the risk of relying on a single supplier, a practice called single sourcing. Sole sourcing, in contrast, means only one source is available.

  • E

    Epicor Software Corp.

    Epicor Software Corp. is a global business software vendor that sells ERP and other software to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and large enterprises.

  • What is ERP? Guide to enterprise resource planning software

    ERP, or enterprise resource planning, is modular software designed to integrate the main functions of an organization's business processes into a unified system.

  • G

    GDSN (Global Data Synchronization Network)

    GDSN (Global Data Synchronization Network) is an internet-based network that enables trading partners to exchange product-identification data in a standardized way in real time.

  • GS1

    GS1 is a global, not-for-profit association that maintains standards for barcodes and RFID tags and for supply chain messaging such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).

  • I

    Industry 4.0

    Industry 4.0, which refers to the fourth industrial revolution, is the cyber-physical transformation of manufacturing.

  • inventory management

    Inventory management is the supervision of non-capitalized assets, or inventory, and stock items.

  • inventory optimization

    Inventory optimization (IO) is a strategy for balancing the amount of working capital that's tied up in inventory with service-level goals across multiple stock-keeping units (SKUs).

  • J

    JDA Software

    JDA Software is a software and consultancy company that specializes in selling supply chain management products and services to businesses.

  • K

    Kaizen (continuous improvement)

    Kaizen is an approach to creating continuous improvement based on the idea that small, ongoing positive changes can reap significant improvements.

  • L

    lean manufacturing (lean production)

    Lean manufacturing is a methodology that focuses on minimizing waste within manufacturing systems while simultaneously maximizing productivity.

  • liquid logistics

    Liquid logistics is a specialized material-handling and transportation discipline that is used when moving liquid products through a supply chain.

  • logistics

    Logistics is the process of planning and executing the efficient transportation and storage of goods from the point of origin to the point of consumption.

  • logistics management

    Logistics management is the governance of supply chain management functions that helps organizations plan, manage and implement processes to move and store goods.

  • M

    material requirements planning (MRP)

    Material requirements planning (MRP) is a system for calculating the materials and components needed to manufacture a product. It consists of three primary steps: taking inventory of the materials and components on hand, identifying which additional ones are needed and then scheduling their production or purchase.

  • mobile application vetting

    Mobile application vetting is a process that app developers take to verify the compliance of mobile applications with a specified security requirement or standard.

  • O

    order management

    Order management is the administration of business processes related to orders for goods or services.

  • P

    pick to light

    Pick to light is order-fulfillment technology that employs alphanumeric displays and buttons at storage locations to guide the manual "picking" and recording of items for shipment.

  • R

    replenishment

    Replenishment refers to the movement of inventory from upstream -- or reserve -- product storage locations to downstream -- or primary – storage, picking and shipment locations.

  • reverse logistics

    Reverse logistics is the set of activities that is conducted after the sale of a product, such as servicing, refurbishment and recycling, for the purpose of recapturing value or proper disposal.

  • RFI (request for information)

    An RFI (request for information) is a formal process for gathering information from potential suppliers of a good or service.

  • S

    Sage Group plc

    Sage Group plc is a global enterprise software vendor. Its portfolio of business software includes accounting, ERP, payroll, customer relationship management (CRM) and human capital management (HCM).

  • sales and operations planning (S&OP)

    Sales and operations planning (S&OP) is a process for better matching a manufacturer's supply with demand by having the sales department collaborate with operations to create a single production plan.

  • SC sustainability

    Supply chain sustainability is a holistic perspective of supply chain processes and technologies that goes beyond the focus of delivery, inventory and traditional views of cost.

  • SCEM (supply chain event management)

    Supply chain event management (SCEM) refers to software that is used to manage events that occur within and between organizations or supply chain partners.

  • service supply chain

    The service supply chain is the part of the supply chain dedicated to providing service on products.

  • SKU (stockkeeping unit)

    SKU (stockkeeping unit, sometimes spelled "Sku") is an identification, usually alphanumeric, of a particular product that allows it to be tracked for inventory purposes.

  • smart factory

    A smart factory is a highly digitized and connected production facility that relies on smart manufacturing.

  • strategic sourcing

    Strategic sourcing is an approach to supply chain management that formalizes the way information is gathered and used so that an organization can leverage its consolidated purchasing power to find the best possible values in the marketplace.

  • supplier relationship management (SRM)

    Supplier relationship management (SRM) is the systematic approach of assessing suppliers' contributions and influence on success, determining tactics to maximize suppliers' performance and developing the strategic approach for executing on these determinations.

  • supplier risk management

    Supplier risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings that are caused by the organization's supply chain. 

  • supply chain analytics

    Supply chain analytics is the application of mathematics, statistics, predictive modeling and machine-learning techniques to find meaningful patterns and knowledge in order, shipment and transactional and sensor data.

  • supply chain execution (SCE)

    Supply chain execution (SCE) is the flow of tasks involved in the supply chain, such as order fulfilment, procurement, warehousing and transporting.

  • Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR)

    Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) is the process reference model used across industries as a supply chain management diagnostic tool.

  • Supply Chain Planning (SCP)

    Supply chain planning (SCP) is the process of anticipating the demand for products and planning their materials and components, production, marketing, distribution and sale.

  • supply chain security

    Supply chain security is the part of supply chain management (SCM) that focuses on minimizing risk for supply chain, logistics and transportation management systems (TMS).

  • supply chain sustainability (SCS)

    Supply chain sustainability (SCS) is a holistic view of supply chain processes, logistics and technologies that affect the environmental, social, economic and legal aspects of a supply chain's components. Typically, sustainability initiatives include identifying the source of raw materials, ensuring good conditions for workers and reducing the carbon footprint.

  • supply chain visibility (SCV)

    Supply chain visibility (SCV) is the ability of parts, components or products in transit to be tracked from the manufacturer to their final destination.

  • SYSPRO

    SYSPRO is a vendor that specializes in providing ERP and other integrated business software to midsize manufacturers and distributors.

  • What is supply chain management (SCM) and why is it important?

    Supply chain management (SCM) is the broad range of activities required to plan, control and execute a product's flow from materials to production to distribution in the most economical way possible.

  • T

    traceability

    Traceability, in supply chain management, is the ability to identify, track and trace elements of a product or substance as it moves along the supply chain from raw goods to finished products. The concept applies to both the discrete manufacturing industry, which produces products such as automobiles, and to the process manufacturing industry, which includes products such as chemicals.

  • Transportation Management System (TMS)

    A transportation management system (TMS) is specialized software for planning, executing and optimizing the shipment of goods.

  • V

    value driver

    A value driver is an activity or capability that adds worth to a product, service or brand. One of the key ideas in defining value drivers is determining which factors provide the organization in question with a competitive edge.

  • vendor-managed inventory (VMI)

    Vendor-managed inventory (VMI) is an inventory management technique in which a supplier of goods, usually the manufacturer, is responsible for optimizing the inventory held by a distributor.

  • virtual commissioning

    Virtual commissioning is the practice of using 3D technology to create a simulation model of a manufacturing plant so that proposed changes and upgrades can be tested before they are implemented to the actual plant.

  • W

    Warehouse control system (WCS)

    Warehouse control system (WCS) is a software application for orchestrating activity flow within a warehouses and distribution center.

  • warehouse management system (WMS)

    A warehouse management system (WMS) is software and processes that allow organizations to control and administer warehouse operations from the time goods or materials enter a warehouse until they move out.

  • working capital

    Working capital is the difference between a business's current assets and current liabilities.

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