With the development of the integrative supply chain management approach, traditional thinking about concepts such as purchasing, materials management, distribution and logistics management has become outdated.
Speculation on the reasons for dynamic growth of supply chain management in South African businesses ranges from the opening up of the domestic economy to the pressure of global competitors, and technology advancements. The astonishing success of progressive organisations such as SA Breweries (now part of the international group AB-InBev), Sasol, Iscor (now called ArcelorMittal SA), Sappi and a number of retail groups (e.g. Truworths) in the international marketplace, however, is in no small part a result of their early adoption of the supply chain philosophy (customer value creation, total cost of ownership, integration of processes and the reduction of cycle time) and they have contributed significantly to the unprecedented growth of supply chain management in South Africa.
Supply chain management identifies the strategic impact and evolutionary direction of the field in a global market environment and emphasises the changes in processes and management thinking required to introduce supply chain management in South African organisations. It covers topics such as supply chain strategies, supply chain integration, performance improvement, customer service, quality and inventory management, total cost of ownership, green supply chain management, e-commerce and information technology, negotiations, transport and distribution management, the retail supply chain, global supply chain management and SCM in the public sector.