As a human being, we all consume products and/or services all the time. This morning you got up and ate your breakfast, e.g., eggs, milk, bread, fresh fruits, and the like. After the breakfast, you drove your car to work or school. At your office, you used your computer, perhaps equipped with 27” LCD monitor. During your break, you drank a cup of coffee and played with your iPhone. So on and so forth. You probably take it for granted that you can enjoy all of these products. But if you take a closer look at how each of these products can be made and eventually delivered to you, you will realize that each one of these is no short of miracle. For example, which fruit do you like? Consider fresh strawberries. In order for the strawberries to be on your breakfast table, there must be numerous functions, activities, transactions, and people involved in planting, cultivating, delivering, and consuming strawberries. Moreover, all of these functions, activities, transactions, and people are connected as an integral chain, through which physical products like strawberries themselves and virtual elements such as information and communication flow back and forth constantly. By grouping related functions or activities, we have a supply chain, comprised of four primary functions such as supplier, manufacturer, distributor, and finally consumer. A supply chain is essentially a value chain.
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) was established in 1971 by the Korean government as the nation’s first research-intensive graduate school for science, engineering and technology. It has now grown into one of the world’s best universities, delivering top notch education and research programs for undergraduate and graduate students. KAIST encourages interdisciplinary and convergent research across a wide spectrum of disciplines, as well as strong collaborations with industry and global institutions.