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An interconnected and coordinated set of elements and processes that converts inputs to desired outputs

value chain

All the elements and processes that add value as raw materials are transformed into the final products made available to the ultimate customer


Contracting out certain business functions or operations to othe companies

value web

Multidimensional networks of suppliers and outsourcing partners


Transferring part or all of a business function to a facility (a different part of the company or another company entirely) in another country

supply chain

A set of connected systems that coordinates the flow of goods and materials from suppliers all the way through to final customers

supply chain management (SCM)

The business procedures, policies, and computer systems that integrate the various elements of the supply chain into a cohesive system

inventory control

Determining the right quantites of supplies and products to have on hand and tracking where those items are


The acquisition of the raw materials, parts, components, supplies, and finished products required to produce goods and services

production and operations management

Overseeing all the activities involved in producing goods and services

capacity planning

Establishing the overall level of resources needed to meet customer demand

critical path

In the PERT network diagram, the sequence of operations that requires the longest time to complete


The efficiency with which an organization can convert inputs to outputs

lean systems

Manufacturing systems that maximize productivity by reducing waste and delays

just-in-time (JIT)

Inventory management in which goods and materials are delivered throughout the production process right before they are needed

mass production

The creation of identical goods or services, usually in large quantities

customized production

The creation of a unique good or service for each customer

mas customization

Manufacturing approach in which part of the product is mass produced and the remaining features are customized for each buyer


The potential to increase production by expanding or replicating its initial production capacity

quality control

Measuring quality against established standards after the good or service has been produced and weeding out any defective products

quality assurance

A more comprehensive approach of companywide policies, practices, and procedures to ensure that every product meets quality standards

statistical process control (SPC)

Use of random sampling and control charts to monitor the production process

total quality management (TQM)

A management philosophy and strategic management process that focuses on delivering the optimal level of quality to customers by building quality into every organizational activity

Six Sigma

A rigorous quality management program that strives to eliminate deviations between the actual and desired performance of a business system


Goods and materials kept in stock for production or sale

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