Three years ago, very few people thought about supply chains. “Where did that product come from?” I used to ask my students. “I got it at Amazon,” was often the answer. “No! How did it get to Amazon?” was my reply, which often was met with a shrug.
Now that so many supply chains are a mess, people are paying a lot more attention.
Supply chains are essentially networks that link producers to consumers, often with dozens of steps from beginning to end. The core job of supply chains is to match supply with demand, and when things are going well, we tend to take them for granted. But as we have seen over the past 2½ years, this process can break down under stress.