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How to Develop an Efficient Value Chain

Develop Efficient Supply Chain, man blowing bubbles

By Terry Weiner,  Senior Consultant with California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC).

The following post is #2 of a series and discusses how to develop an efficient value chain or system. This series of posts will provide an overview of the Supply Chain Optimization process and preview some of the concepts and tools that are part of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Supply Chain Optimization Initiative. Click here to read post #1.



The Value Chain concept was developed and popularized in 1985 by Michael Porter, in “Competitive Advantage.” Porter defined value as the amount buyers are willing to pay for what a firm provides, and he conceived the “value chain” as the combination of nine generic value added activities operating within a firm – activities that work together to provide value to customers.


The value chain and the supply chain are so closely related that it is essentially looking at the same flow from two different perspectives. The supply chain describes the flow of resources from the supplier to the customer. The value chain is the flow of value (as perceived by the customer) from the customer to the buyer. If the customer perceives no value in what the supply chain provides, there will be no demaValueChain-inpostnd. If the supply chain cannot deliver resources that the customer values (at the price the customer is willing to pay) there will be no flow.


Andrew Feller makes this distinction:

“Supply chains focus upstream on integrating supplier and producer processes, improving efficiency and reducing waste, while value chains focus downstream, on creating value in the eyes of the customer.”

– Value Chains Versus Supply Chains by Andrew Feller, Dr. Dan Shunk, & Dr. Tom Callarman – Business Process Trends – March, 2006

(Missed Link 1? Read it here.)

Terry Weiner is a Senior Consultant with California Manufacturing Technology Consulting® (CMTC). He has over 20 years experience in process improvements, quality management implementation and supply chain optimization. Look for our next post or visit California Manufacturing Technology Consulting® (CMTC) to read subsequent posts from Terry.


Meet the Author

Terry Weiner

Terry Weiner, a Senior Consultant with California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC), specializes in crafting business solutions featuring lean enterprise, quality systems, and supply chain optimization. He brings a broad industry background to his position. Terry utilized this expertise to help develop the risk aspect of the MEP SCO program, and is particularly interested in the data side of the equation. He assists companies in translating advanced manufacturing theory into strategic and practical applications. Terry can be reached at His full bio may be viewed here.

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