Inventory and supply chain strategies

Published on December 6, 2012 Reviewed on October 29, 2020   43 min

A selection of talks on Technology & Operations

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Hi, I'm Jeannette Song, a professor of Operations and Management at a few classical business Duke university. My lecture focuses on inventory and the supply chain strategies.
Here is the outline of the lecture. We will first discuss what a supply chain is? We will then talk about why we need inventory in the supply chain. After that, we'll discuss how inventories can be managed to gain supply chain competitiveness. This part includes a brief summary of optimal inventory policies and the laws. From these laws, we identify some basic principles on how to reduce inventory to increase efficiency. Finally, we'll present a several examples to show how some companies apply these principles inevitably to achieve a competitive advantage.
What is a supply chain? A supply chain is a network of organizations that conduct activities to make products and deliver them to the consumers. These activities include procurement of materials and components from the suppliers and then transforming those materials and components into finished products at the factories. After that you should built in the finished products to the customers just through a distribution network consisting of distribution centers and retail stores. There are three flows in a supply chain. The first is the material flow, which goes from the suppliers to the manufacturers and to the distributors and retailers and finally arrives at the customers. The second is the information flow that transmits customer orders through the retailer's regular orders to the distributors, distributor orders to the manufacturers and the manufacturer orders to the suppliers. The information flow can go from upstream to down stream too such as communicating capacity and production changes. The third flow is the money flow between different parties.