Supply Chain Management – Key Shipping Terms You Need to Know

Supply chain management is the centralized handling of the flow of goods or services in a production line, from purchasing raw materials to delivering the finished product to the intended customer. In simpler terms, it is the coordination of activities necessary in the conversion of raw materials to goods or services that meet the needs of the targeted customer in terms of profitability, quality, and customer experience.

Supply chain management includes purchasing physical goods, services, information, and any other necessary resource that influences the operation and growth of a company. Examples of supply chain management activities are manufacturing, farming, transporting, and designing.

Supply chain management is a promising career due to the plenty of job opportunities available in the field. This job also pays well, and you can have significant room for career improvement.

Terms Used in Supply Chain Management

These main terms are also the components of supply chain management. They are plan, source, make, delivery and return.


Planning can help streamline operations, avoid delays in the company processes, enhance efficiency, and bring down operation costs when done in the right way.


Is the process of identifying those who can provide the inputs that an organization needs in its operation. It is research, defining the quality and quantity of the goods and services available, formulating strategies, and choosing suppliers that meet these criteria.


The production of activities, packaging, staging the product and releasing it to the intended customers.


This means transporting goods effectively and efficiently from one location to another. Effective transport improves the supply chain by decreasing the wastage of time and materials. Whenshipping goods internationally, it is good to use an International Air Waybill, a document containing the items. It informs the person receiving the document of the charges they need to collect from the recipients.


This is a post-delivery customer support process associated with all kinds of returned products. It is also known as reverse logistics. It helps minimize the potential deterioration of relationships with the customers.

Other supply chain management keywords;


It is all about the efficient and effective movement of materials, personnel and products from one point to another to accomplish the objective of a business. It mainly focuses on transportation and warehousing.

Supply Chain Sustainability:

This one looks at the issues that could affect the company\’s production, storage, transport and delivery operations. The aim is to make sure an organization is environmentally friendly by minimizing the consumption of utilities such as energy and water and the production of wastes.

Supply Chain Visibility:

Offers more time and information about supply chain orders to companies and customers.

Inventory Management:

When a company has inventory management software, it is easy to take records of every product going out or in of the company.

Supply Chain Execution (SCE):

Focuses on the flow of supply chain tasks such as identifying orders that need fulfilment, making necessary procurements, transportation, and storing the procured materials in warehouses.


The main aim of supply chain management is to control costs, efficiently allocate resources, risk in management, and effective gathering of information for business decisions.