Value Chain Definition:

It is a set of activities that a firm operating in a specific industry performs in order to deliver a valuable product or service for the market, and also defined as “A high-level model of how businesses receive raw materials as input, add value to the raw materials through various processes, and sell finished products to customers”. Porter’s Value Chain represents a systems that explains that how inputs are changed into outputs. In addition to the value chain definition, below video explains more aspects required to understand what is value chain?

What is Value Chain – At a Glance:

  • Supply chain management is about creating net value. Early efforts at managing chains often focused only on cost reduction – on making the chain leaner. Unfortunately, these efforts sometimes reduced the ability to create value more than they reduced costs, for a net negative effect. As we’ll see, there’s more to creating value through intelligent management than simply squeezing costs out of one or another activity in the chain.
  • There should be value-creating activities in the supply chain that transcend the activities of particular entities in the chain. Supply chains are generally organized by one strong firm called a channel master or nucleus firm—often a manufacturer, sometimes a powerful retailer, which often manages those activities. Nevertheless, the chain has to produce value for more than one stakeholder in addition to generating value for the consumers or investors.
  • Managing supply chains requires a balancing act among competing interests. Given the complicated nature of group dynamics, this can be a challenging task, especially in “worldwide” chains. Consider the rivalries that arise among and between the 50 American states, the 25 nations in the European Union, the various sects of any world religion, and the divergent cultures around the globe.

Supply Chain Management System:

Supply chain management is defined as “the design, planning, execution, control, and monitoring of supply chain management systems with the objective of creating net value, building a competitive infrastructure, leveraging worldwide logistics, synchronizing supply with demand, and measuring performance globally.” (Globally, in this case, can mean either worldwide or applying to the chain as a whole rather than to a particular entity within the chain).

The value chain definition of supply chain seems fairly solid when you consider the chain as linked organizations—supplier, producer, and customer connected by product, information, and payment flows. But the supply chain is more accurately viewed as a set of linked processes that take place in the extraction of materials for transformation into products (or perhaps services) for distribution to customers. As it is given in value chain definition, those processes are carried out by the various functional areas within the organizations that constitute the supply chain. When considered as a set of processes rather than a succession of companies, the supply chain becomes just a little more difficult to identify – let alone manage.

Figures mentioned below shows flow chart of supply chain management system or process as per value chain definition.

what is value chain

Porter’s Value Chain:

What is Porter’s Value Chain?

Porter’s Value Chain focuses on systems, and how inputs are changed into the outputs. Using this viewpoint, Porter described a chain of activities that are common to all businesses, and he divided them into two types of activities:

  • Primary activities.
  • Support activities.

Primary Activities in Porter’s Value Chain:

They are relate to the physical creation, sale, maintenance and support of a product or service. The primary activities of Porter consist of following:

Inbound Logistics: are the processes related to receiving, storing, and distributing inputs.

Operations: are the activities that change inputs into outputs. Here, operational systems create value.

Outbound Logistics: are the activities that deliver your product or service to your customer.

Marketing and Sales: are the processes you use to persuade clients to purchase from you instead of your competitors.

Service: are the activities related to after sales service.

Support Activities in Porter’s Value Chain:

They support the primary activities. Each support activity in Porter’s value chain play a role in each primary activity. For example, procurement supports operations with certain activities, but it also supports marketing and sales with other activities. Support Activities are:

Procurement: is what the organization does to get the resources it needs to operate. This includes finding vendors and negotiating best prices.

Human resource management: is how well a company recruits, trains, motivates, and rewards its workers.

Technological: development activities relate to managing and processing information.

Infrastructure: is company’s support systems, and the functions that allow it to maintain daily operations. For example, Accounting, legal, administrative, and general management.

porter's value chain

What is Value Chain Mapping?

Although many would assume that a supply chain is, in fact, a VC at least it is if well managed—others may draw a distinction between the two. It is a string of collaborating players who work together to satisfy market demands for specific products or services. The VC is made up of “the functions within a company that add value to the goods or services that the organization Bells to customers and for which it receives payment.”

As it is also explained in a value chain definition, they integrate a variety of supply chain activities throughout the product/service life cycle, from determination of customer needs through product/service development, production/operations, and distribution. The intent of a value chain is to increase the value of a product or service as it passes through stages of development and distribution before reaching the end user.

Not all VC activities are technically part of the supply chain, and those engaged in them may not understand their role in supporting the supply chain. Those activities might include engineering, marketing, finance, accounting, information technology, human resources, and legal. For example, managers from outside the supply chain often don’t understand the requirements of supply chain management, can’t distinguish it from a supply chain with or without SCOR, and consequently don’t provide the SCM support required from their areas.

value chain

Value Stream:

Two closely related terms are value stream and value stream mapping. A value stream is the processes of creating, producing, and delivering a good or service to the market. For a good, the value stream encompasses the raw material supplier, the manufacture and assembly of the good, and the distribution network. For a service, the value stream consists of suppliers, support personnel and technology, the service “producer,” and the distribution channel. The value stream may he controlled by a single business or a network of several businesses.

A value stream encompasses all the primary actions required to bring a product or service from concept to placing it in the hands of the end user. It also includes timing. Mapping the stream aids in process improvement. A value stream encompasses all the primary actions required to bring a product or service from concept to placing it in the hands of the end user. It also includes timing. Mapping the stream aids in process improvement.

This lecture covering “value chain” is designed by AIMS. This lecture is a part of logistics certification and mba in logistics and supply chain management. The mba also leads to the phd in logistics and supply chain management.

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