A supply chain comprises all activities and technologies for the production and distribution of a product. It consists of the provision of raw materials, the production of products, their storage and logistics, and the distribution and sale to the end customer.
Important aspects of a supply chain are information transfer, procurement, production and distribution of the product, and financing. The manufacture of the product begins with the procurement of raw materials from a supplier. It extends through production technology with the manufacture of the finished products and their storage to logistics and the shipment of the products to the points of sale where the end customers can purchase the finished product.
In addition to the production flow, there is also the information flow. This runs in the opposite direction and influences product planning and product changes. The information flow can intervene in production line issues and help reduce costs through improved warehouse management systems or optimized route planning.