Supply chain management (SCM) is a process approach for managing the flow of requirement information from final customers through the tiers of suppliers. Implementation of SCM requires emphasis on what the end customer wants, when he or she needs the product and/or service, where it's needed, and how it's to be delivered. There is, however, a natural tendency toward competition by the suppliers in the chain, which complicates the implementation of SCM. The net result of this competition is a cloud of secrecy that hampers the ability of purchasing and supply managers to influence the first-tier supplier in the selection of second- and third-tier suppliers. This means purchasing and supply managers will have little influence on the selection of third-tier suppliers by second-tier suppliers and so forth, for the particular products or services requested by the end customer.
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