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14 The PCB Magazine • July 2015 that while supply chains have been around for thousands of years, most companies have only been concerned with what was happening in their own sandbox, so to speak. Few businesses took the time to understand, much less manage, the entire "chain" of suppliers and activities that were required to transform raw materials into finished, delivered product to the end customer. This lack of understanding often led to extreme - ly dysfunctional supply chains, and of course, unacceptable delivery and quality performance. A recent chief supply chain officer survey shows just how concerned supply chain execu- tives are (Figure 1). Respondents from 18 dif- ferent market sectors participated in the sur- vey including high tech, industrial, consumer products, automotive, aerospace & defense, and medical equipment. Interestingly, more than half of the survey participants value the sup- ply chain function as equal to sales/marketing, R&D and product development. What is Supply Chain Management (SCM)? Supply chain management is quite simply the process of actively managing supply chain suppliers and activities to maximize customer value and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. Supply chain activities cover ev- erything from product development, supplier selection and qualification, sourcing, manu- facturing, and logistics. The most visible side of supply chains are the physical flows: trans- portation, transformation and storage of goods and services. However, just as important are SUPPLy CHAIN IN THE 21 ST CENTURy continues Feature Figure 1: results of a supply chain officer survey.

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