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A supply chain is the network of retailers, distributors, storage facilities, transporters and suppliers that participate in the sale, delivery and production of a particular product. The supply chain includes many things such as purchasing, manufacturing, warehousing, customer service and supply planning. An example of a supply chain; The first supply chain I am going to write about is Warburtons, they have three sectors that they work with.

These are the primary sector, this is where the first stage in production is done it includes all the extraction of raw materials such as farming and fishing. In Warburtons case this will done by farming, and even though they don’t own farms they use suppliers in the UK and Canada and can specifically ask the farmers the types of wheat that they want grown. By having a close relationship and working closely with their suppliers they make sure that their standard is met.

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The next sector that they work with is the secondary sector; this is the second stage to Warburtons and this involves processing and manufacturing from raw materials. This stage in this business involves manufacturing products and turning them into part finished or finished goods. The wheat grown for Warburtons is kept separately; this is so that supply can be tracked back to that farm and is also milled separately. In this sector they have a manufacturing process that they go through, this is the wheat is shipped to the ports closest to the mills.

The mills then turn the wheat into flour, they send the wheat to the closest mills nearest to their bakeries this is to save money by reducing transport costs. The next stage is to turn the flour into mixing dough then send it to the bakery so that it can be baked and made into bread. After this is done they finally send the product for packaging, where they package the product ready to be sent to the stores so the retailer sells their products to the consumers. The diagram below will illustrate the process in the second stage;

The next sector that Warburtons work with is the tertiary sector; this is the third stage of production which involves the provision of services. In this sector it provides a range of services through out the supply chain. Although the services themselves are not physical goods, they provide added value for customers linked with the products that they buy; this is because they have a number of bakeries and depots so that fresh bread can regularly be sent to retailers.

The next supply chain I am going to write about is the fuel supply chain. This uses a number of suppliers to make sure that fuel is made to then sell to the petrol stations so it can then be sold to the consumers. The first supplier that is used in the fuel supply chain is a construction service, this is used so that they design and construct a suitable machinery or product to extract the oil and natural gas. They usually make oil rigs, as most oil and natural gas is found now on the ocean floor.

Once this product has been made, it then goes onto the next stage of the suppliers which is the exploration of oil and natural gas. Once they have found a spot that has the deposit of oil and gas they then get the product. The next stage to this is then the world marketplace, this is where the price of oil and natural gas gets checked and gets sold to a supplier. Once they have found a supplier to buy the product, they then use another supplier to transport the goods to a refinery.

Once the product is at the refinery it then refines the oil and gas and is put on the gasoline market. This is where it gets sold again to another supplier once it has been cleaned and can then be sold to a retailer or consumer. Once a supplier has bought the product they then will use their own transportation to take that product to a storage depot, where they will store the product to sell to a retailer. When this retailer has placed the order they will then use their gasoline transportation to deliver it to them.

Below is a diagram of the supply chain; The next supply chain I am going to look at is Dairy Crest; the first process for them is at their dairy farms, here is where they have a vast amount of cows which they milk to get the raw material for their product. They collect all this milk and send it in bulk to the dairy processor. At this place they put the raw material into two categories; these are dairy products and secondary dairy products.

Once these have been split into their categories they are then either made into cream or whey if they are in the dairy product category or yoghurt, cheese, juices, baby foods, flavoured milk, milk powders, pasteurized milk, UHT milk/cream and condensed milk if they fall into the secondary dairy products. Once these have been processed they are then finally made into whey powder and butter if processed into the dairy product or butter, ice cream, milk surrogates and processed cheese if secondary. When these have been finally made it then gets sent to the retailer so that they can get sold to the consumer.

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