A supply chain is the network of all the individuals, organizations, resources, activities and technology involved in the creation and sale of a product, from the delivery of source materials from the supplier to the manufacturer, through to its eventual delivery to the end user. The supply chain segment involved with getting the finished product from the manufacturer to the consumer is known as the distribution channel.
Supply chain management (SCM) is the oversight of materials, information, and finances as they move in a process from supplier to manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer to consumer. The three main flows of the supply chain are the product flow, the information flow and the finances flow. SCM involves coordinating and integrating these flows both within and among companies.
See a video exploring the complex supply chain behind a plastic water bottle: