Like many other areas that lean is applied to a company's supply chain or "extended value stream" is a tightly linked set of processes. These processes extend beyond one's organization and connect the entire system together. The Apics dictionary ©2015 defines the term supply chain as the global network used to deliver products and services from raw materials to end customers through and engineered flow of information, physical distribution and cash. This includes everything from purchasing, manufacturing, moving, storing and selling.
Lean principles and concepts can be applied to this global network just like it can be applied to our door to door value streams. Some benefits of applying lean principles to the supply chain are: