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Supply Chain & Logistics Glossary

Supply chain and logistics professionals speak their own language. Here’s your guide to cracking the code.

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What Is S&OP (Sales & Operations Planning)?

S&OP (Sales & Operations Planning) is a cross-functional process that aligns sales forecasts, production plans and inventory management.

What Are Sortation Systems?

Sortation systems are automated systems that sort and divert items based on predetermined criteria (such as destination, size or weight) within a distribution center.

What Is Sourcing?

Sourcing is the strategic selection and management of suppliers to ensure a supply chain has a reliable supply of materials, goods or services.

What Is a Stacker Crane?

A stacker crane is an automated crane used in high-bay warehouses to stack and retrieve pallets or containers from racks.

What Is a SKU (Stock Keeping Unit)?

A SKU (stock keeping unit) is a unique identifier for a specific product or item, often used for inventory tracking and management.

What Is a Stockout?

A stockout is a situation where an item is out of stock or unavailable when needed.

What Is Supply Chain?

Supply chain is the end-to-end network of organizations, people, activities, information and resources involved in producing and delivering goods or services to customers. A true E2E supply chain consists of six processes: PLAN, BUY, MAKE, MOVE, DISTRIBUTE and SELL.

What Are Storage/Retrieval Machines (S/R Machines)?

Storage/retrieval machines (S/R Machines) are automated equipment used to store and retrieve items from storage locations, such as AS/RS systems.

What Is Theory of Constraints (ToC)?

Theory of constraints (ToC) is a management philosophy that focuses on identifying and addressing bottlenecks or constraints to improve overall system performance.

What Is a Supply Network?

A supply network is a broader view of the supply chain that includes suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers and customers.