A supply chain consists of all parties involved, directly or indirectly, acting to fulfill a customer request. This supply chain not only includes the manufacturer and suppliers, but also transporters, retailers, warehouses, and customers. The supply chain involves everyone or every hand that has been involved in getting a product to a consumer.
An example of a supply chain would be the process of milk production. One would ask: how does it get from the cow, goat, soybean, or coconut to a consumer’s mouth? The agents involved in the production of milk are the farmer, packager, distributor, shipper, and vendor. Together all the processes and steps that take it from the animal to the mouth of the consumer makes up the supply chain. A supply chain is managed by various entities involved in a business. In the example of milk, the supply chain might be managed completely by the farmer who harvests, bottles, and sells the milk at a local market. In a larger business, many individuals and middlemen manage the supply chain.