The series of activities that create and add value as a product or service progresses from concept into the hands of the buyer. The value chain is often conceptualized as comprising:
1. inbound logistics;
2. processing or manufacturing;
3. outbound logistics or distribution; and
The primary activities are supported by overhead functions such as procurement, R & D, human resource management, and organizational structure. The concept of the value chain was introduced by Michael Porter in his 1985 book Competitive Advantage. Value chains are increasingly international in their operation, creating so-called global value chains.