What is Production Chain?
By Olaniyi Opanuga

How nature works is instructive to mankind. The world in which we live provides resources from nature which are used to create wealth through the force of production.
The earth comprises of land, air, water and life. We are blessed with flora and fauna- plants and animals; seas, rocks, organisms, weather and other products of the earth. Production strikes a balance between utilisation and regeneration as we take what we need from the earth to make life increasingly comfortable for ourselves and return the associated waste back to the earth in a way that will replenish it for future generations. Reproduction of living things and regeneration of non- living things are vital to sustainability of the earth’s resources and the survival of the human race.

The system of organisations (producers, suppliers, service providers, vendors- distributors, wholesalers, retailers), and processes and methods used to transform resources ( labour, land, materials, finance, machines, entrepreneurship, equipment,tools,information, knowledge, technology, etc.) into goods and services that satisfy the needs and wants of the consumers for the benefit of all the stakeholders including nature is what I call production chain.

*Production Chain is a network of activities between an organisation and its partners involving sourcing and conversion of inputs into outputs to meet customer requirements and ensuring the sustainability of consumption.
Generally speaking, production chain is the web of producers, suppliers, service providers, vendors and customers involved in end- to-end operations from nature to nature. It is the series of activities carried out by an organisation in partnership or alliance with its suppliers, service providers,vendors and customers to source and utilize resources to meet the needs and wants of the consumers by matching demand and supply for the benefit of all the stakeholders including the natural environment.

*A production chain is a series of steps taken by organisations to transform raw materials from their natural origin or assemble components into finished goods and services to meet market
requirements and make the resultant wastes reusable, recyclable and returnable back to their source of natural origin.

Production chain can be described as supply chain plus (SC+) as it stretches from the activities preceding primary production across the supply chains to the sustainable management of resources and waste to ensure the health of the entire ecosystem. Production chain is a set of links between organisations that transform inputs starting from the extractive industries- drilling for oil and gas, mining for coal, limestone, gravel, stones, metals- ores of diamond,gold, silver, copper, iron,aluminium and other minerals, cutting of lumber in forests, fishing for seafoods and so on and the numerous manufacturing and construction industries using primary and secondary products across the world including the supply chains at all levels and in various sectors and the post- consumption operations involving the use, re- use, recycling and further utilisation of by- products and waste to create wealth until it returns to the earth through landfilling, treatment, composting and by other means of waste management leading to successive production For instance wastes are used as organic fertilizers.They are used to generate electricity. They are a valuable source of industrial chemicals. Wastes from one industry are material inputs or components an another. A whole lot can be benefited by the Society from production activities beyond getting the products into the hands of the consumer. This makes the need to fully explore Production Chain quintessential.

Dr. Olaniyi Opanuga, FNIPM is the President, Nigerian Institute of Production Management ( NIPM) and Research Fellow of the National Production Management Centre (NPMC)

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