Supply Chain Process View

A supply chain is a sequence of processes and flows that take place within and between different stages and combine to fill a customer need for a product. Two ways to view the processes performed in a supply chain

  • Cycles view and
  • Push/pull view

Cycle view

It defines the processes involved and the owners of each process. Process in a supply chain is divided into a series of cycles. Cycles are performed at the interface between two successive stages of a supply chain

Supply chain process can be broken down into four process cycles such as

  • Customer order cycle
  • Replenishment cycle
  • Manufacturing cycle
  • Procurement cycle

Each cycles occurs at the interface between two successive stages of the supply chain. A cycle view of the supply chain is very useful when considering operational decisions. It clearly specifies the roles and responsibilities of each member of the supply chain. It helps the designer to consider the infrastructure required to support the processes.

Push/Pull View

Categorises processes in a supply chain based on whether they are initiated in response to

a customer order (pull) or in anticipation of a customer order (push). Categorisation is based on the timing of process execution relative to end customer demand.

At the time of execution of a pull process customer demand is known with certainty. In case of push process at the time of execution of a process demand is not known and must be forecasted.


  • Pull process – reactive process
  • Push process – speculative process

Push/pull boundary in a supply chain separates push process from pull process. Very useful when considering strategic decisions relating to supply chain. Forces more global consideration of supply chain processes as they relate to a customer order. More the pull process better the supply chain.

Supply Chain Decision Phases
Achieving Strategic Fit

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