A supply chain is the cumulative network of people, entities, activities, information and resources involved in moving raw materials, components and finished products from original suppliers to end users.Supply chain management is crucial for most companies, and can involve hundreds of links at large corporations, thus it requires considerable skill and expertise. When done effectively, supply chain management lowers costs and makes a company more profitable. Supply chain and logistics are often used interchangeably. But logistics simply refers to the transportation of goods, and is thus only one part of the supply chain. The entire chain involves coordination of not only logistics, but also how products are made, when they are made, etc. Conglomo manufactures a widget it sells in its retail stores. The widget has ten components, eight of which are premade parts. The other two are raw materials. The widget’s supply chain includes all eight of the component manufacturers, along with the two raw material suppliers. In addition, it includes all the suppliers to those manufacturers. If one of the raw materials is regulated in some way, the supply chain also includes the government regulating authority. The transportation companies for all the components and raw materials are also part of the widget’s supply chain, plus any transportation company that ships the widgets to Comglomo’s retail stores. Finally, the retail stores themselves are part of the chain.