Evolution of the supply chain
Procurement, materials management and logistics management activities can be combined by the integration of software packages such as ERP. For many companies, the potential for competitive advantage is found from both reduced cost and improved customer service. The cost of distribution may account for 25 per cent of the cost of goods sold. Therefore the integration of material sourcing and distribution represents possibly 75 per cent of the cost of the product. In integrating and managing information along the supply chain offers companies enormous scope for improvement. This is illustrated in this figure (adapted from Cap- Gemini Ernst and Young, 2001) and in the table below.