Supply chains are generally considered as a network of nodes with each node adding value to products that swiftly flow through the logistics and IT pipelines connecting the nodes, finally emerging out as finished products for consumption. From the single owner vertical integrated network, supply chain networks have evolved into a globally dispersed multiple owner networks, each controlling the respective nodes and the links, in coordination and collaboration with other stakeholders. Further, many networks currently are global with majority of the nodes and links in emerging economies. The evolution of vertical foreign investments has increased the global trade and lead to the evolution of world class service organizations such as logistics firms, consulting organizations, etc. However, recent events have demonstrated that the efficiency contributors of SCNs can turn into risk creators.
This is evident from the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and decline in trade threatening de-globalization and the 2011 March 11, earthquake, tsunami, nuclear crisis & plant shutdowns in Japan that threatened supplies of semiconductors to car parts to the globe. There are also lots of government interventions in the production matters in the form of protectionist regulations and preferences to local firms in government procurements. Thus we see that the supply chains are affected by factors other than those relating to their partners and their performance such as the political and economic climate in the locations of the partners, delivery infrastructure in those locations, availability of the resources and host of other factors. There is a tremendous need for supply chain redesign. This course is a first step in that direction. The material of this course can be extended in several directions for further research.