The stages are however not exhaustive. In spite of the goodness of the resultant globalisation due to spreading of the production chain across the globe, it renders labour a face-less force thus lacking in ethics and human values which are important ingredients for motivation.
The objective of this paper is to examine what production chain is and how it has transformed over the years within the context of globalisation. The outline of the analysis will be definition of the supply chain, its components, and the production chain as one of them. An industry will be studied for the purpose of learning how a production chain will operate. Further, the purpose of the supply chain and how globalisation has impacted the production chain and the emerging ethical issues will also be examined.
Supply chain describes or portrays the logistic flow of materials from front end to back end of a firm. At the front-end is the raw material supplier and at the back-end is the customer. In between, there are manufacturing, transportation and distribution. . The supply chain management aims at a seamless flow of materials through these links so that maximum efficiency is achieved through what is known as logistics. Supply chain has much to do with its management rather than knowing what the supply chain is since the links have been there ever since businesses started. Only it has now been scientifically stated as links mainly for the purpose of their management. As stated, it starts with raw material supplier who supplies material to the manufacturing firm which in turn transfers the manufactured product to the transporters known as logistical support who ultimately delivers it to the consumer through wholesaler and retailer. These are entities playing integral roles in supply chain of the manufacturer in the chain. For him, it is the flow of materials from front-end i.e the raw material supplier and back-end, i.e the consumer. In reality it is not as simple as it may appear since it becomes complex in real terms since raw material suppliers are numerous, products are many as also customers. And this is what supply chain management is all about. Besides, in the supply chain, unique to the industry, there will be additional links such as marketing and R & D etc. (David 2003, P 41) A supply chain management is interpreted as
the systemic, strategic coordination of the traditional business functions and the tactics across these business functions within a particular company and across businesses within the supply chain for the purposes of improving the long-term performance of the individual companies and the supply chain as a whole. (Braithwaite, 2002, p3)
The following figure depicts supply chain. (IKEA)
Production is a link in the supply chain. This link has its own chain on analysis. It can be called a chain of production. An independent analysis of this production chain facilitates understanding of different components being linked to one another. Thus a weak link in the chain can lead to poor performance of the entire production chain. And a production chain as a link of the supply chain can render it weak or strong in performance. Similarly a performance of a value chain can also be affected by the supply chain. Pharmaceutical production chain has been chosen for the study for the unique characteristics of the industry. Further, since increasing