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Study Questions

The following are important thought starters for class discussions and exercises:

  1. What are the key differences between the traditional business paradigm and the integrated supply chain concept?
  2. What is the total systems approach?
  3. How is supply chain management different from logistics management?
  4. Are there more than semantic differences among the demand chain, value chain, and supply chain?
  5. What is the role of supply chain management in creating and adding value for customers?
  6. Why has supply chain management emerged as a field of important study and practice? What is the driving force behind the supply chain concept? How does supply chain management impact the bottom line of the business organization?
  7. Think of any organizations you are familiar with (e.g., Kroger, Target, Procter & Gamble, IBM, Exxon Mobil, Pizza Hut) and then graphically display their supply chain networks (or develop a detailed supply chain map for your organization).
  8. What are the major challenges for integrating business functions and interorganizational efforts across the supply chain? For example, how can the firm overcome the differences in organizational culture, channel power and leadership structures, and compatibility to make the supply chain integration successful?
  9. On what level should business processes be integrated among supply chain partners?
  10. How would you link between purchasing and logistics? How would you link between manufacturing and logistics?
  11. How would you identify and select the right supply chain partner?
  12. What are the potential barriers to forming the supply chain partnership?
  13. What are four distinctive types of business process links throughout the entire supply chain?
  14. What are the expected payoffs from building the supply chain partnership?
  15. What is the theory of constraints (TOC)? How is it related to supply chain management? Can it help to manage the supply chain better?
  16. How do you prepare for the changes in business practices by taking the supply chain initiatives?
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