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Definition: supply chain system

A computer system (essentially the software) that is used to reduce inventory and lower costs of assembly and distribution in the supply chain. Traditional supply chain systems supported only two organizations; for example, between the wholesaler and the retailer. Today, more sophisticated systems integrate three or more organizations, so that for example, a retailer can signal a reorder to its wholesaler and to its wholesaler's supplier at the same time.

In the business world, supply chain management and supply chain systems became the buzzwords of the late 1990s. A whole raft of software came to market, offering enhanced analysis and scheduling algorithms that refined the process. See supply chain management.