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Emerson Transaction Hub: A Bright Idea Thatâ€™s Paying Off
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1. Briefly describe the business processes supported by a Supply Chain Management (SCM) information system. In a global business like Emerson what are the advantages and disadvantages of using a SCM information system? With Emerson’s many divisions using different suppliers, what would be the benefits of using a single SCM information system for all of its divisions?.
2. Global companies like Emerson have suppliers, manufacturing, distribution, and retail operations. List and briefly describe the technologies and devices (used for input, output, and communication) that are used with SCM information systems. Choose two different input devices and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each. Discuss the benefits that they provide to the business..
3. Consider that you have to implement a new SCM information system for Emerson. Describe each of the different implementation options. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the different implementation options. Make a recommendation and justify..
4. Modern SCM information systems and with the use of other technologies have supported businesses in improving environmental sustainability by reducing carbon emissions. Research and find an example. Briefly describe the system and how it works and how carbon emissions where reduced. Discuss what decision making is performed and how does the SCM information system contribute to the decision making. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages to the business.
1) Supply Chain Management supports various business processes like that of stock administration, request administration, logistics, acquirement, determining and additionally arranging, and that of return administration. This is useful for the organizations working in the current business environment to attain to and also keep up focused edge by upgrading their streamline and additionally encouraging all operations. A firm may expand cost adequacy, upgrade profit, and furnish them with expanded capabilities in the most aggressive business environment.
With the quick advancement in information technology (IT) and information system integration (ISI) and its part in incorporated store network administration have been able to be basic to different specialists and officials. ISI addresses the level of cooperation in practices of data framework between the capacities of business inside a firm and between a firm and its accomplices for exchanging. It has been accounted for that the presentation and utilization of ISI for inventory network administration update the associations' advancement and intensity (Jitpaiboon, 2005). While various firms focus on achieving a lot of IT use, without high measures of ISI, parts of store network administration may not achieve the full preferences of working inside an inventory network. As indicated by the connection of various leveled production network, the data innovation grants "various relationship to work together with the exercises of the association that encourage to truly manage a production network".
For current business firms like that of the Emerson, production network administration may end up being tremendously valuable from multiple points of view. It furnishes the business with favorable element inside the commercial center that aides in moderating the dangers identified with the procuring of crude materials and also convey of items or administrations. With fruitful execution of production network administration framework, the firm may diminish waste, delivery defers, and even overhead expenses enormously. A portion of the points of interest of inventory network administration upon the business firm may be enrolled as: quality affirmation where the firm may enhance its operation by method for powerful quality systems; stock cradles where the store network administration framework incorporate the level of the stock cradle with consideration examination of past patterns. Frequently the idea of variability inside client using requests for administration of inventories in way which minimizes beginning holding expense amid producing sufficient adaptability to fulfill customer requests. An alternate point of interest the framework may render is danger alleviation. The framework helps in arranging dangers and evaluating the potential for different disappointments whether inner or outer. Without such a framework, this specified firm may experience the ill effects of legitimate dangers and liabilities(Kart, Moser and Melliar-Smith, 2010).
Execution of such a supply chain management system framework bears a few disadvantages too. The most concerning negative mark is that of the substantial venture of fund, assets, and time that are obliged to execute and additionally keep up the framework. The choice of outsourcing of an item or administration decreases the cost of business of a firm by method for supply chain management system; however it can bring about customer recoil. It is insufficient just to consider cost and in addition quality, however a firm needs to verify that each members of the organization participates for profiting the firm.
2) To stay competitive globally it is very important to incorporate the latest technologies in the supply chain management. This is because there is high increase in the demand of the customers and also their expectation about the service and quality. Thus the managers of supply chain management have realized that the technologies ensure better visibility and accountability. The latest technology helps the organization to keep a track of production, anticipate and repair the mistakes and make changes for providing the best quality product. Through the utilization of latest technologies, the manager can monitor and automate the notification system of the supply chain. Technologies like electronic invoice, computerized tracking and shipping are also the key technological components of supply chain system that for keep the satisfaction level of the customers high (Vella, 2012). Also the smart phones and related apps are adding value to the supply chain management system. For excellent warehousing operations the managers of supply chain can use the barcode scanning, speech recognition features, keyboard capabilities, smart phones and tablet computers. All these technologies are making the supply chain process more convenient, flexible and mobile which is helping the managers to coordinate the process with each supply chain links, regardless of the location they are in. Then the cloud computing are enhancing the tracking process of products and materials by providing a real-time status and also by increasing the inventory levels and production schedules (Djelloul, Estampe and Lamouri, 2012).
The two most important inputs that can be used for effective supply chain management are (Nair, Raju and S P, n.d.):
- EDI( Electronic Data Interchange) for communicating among the branches
- Bar-Coding and Scanners system in the logistic systems
The EDI (Electronic data Interchange) can be used by the firms like Emerson, to facilitate exchange of information and transactions. It can be termed as an automatic process that helps to exchange structured data via computers. EDI has various advantages like that it provides information timely with efficient and accurate data about the sales, it can be used for sending invoices, lading bills, dispatch confirmation and also details of shipping and various other information that can be used to for organization. This system makes the overall process more quick, makes the customer service better, reduces paper work, improves expediting and tracing and also increases productivity. Through this technology, the partners of supply chain can overcome exaggeration and distortion in the demand and supply information through real time status. However, utilizing this technology might sometimes create issues for supply chain management system. There is a need of regular updates for the EDI systems. The systems should be provided with electronic protection or else there might be issues of fraud, hacking and virus. Firms like Emerson need to also invest in the backup systems ad there is chance of failure of systems (Ryan, 2013).
Similarly, Bar Code Scanners are also useful form checking and tracking the codes. This scanner can widely be used to track and identify the goods at every stage of the process. Through this technology, the suppliers can identify the goods received and also the stocks. The bar-code can also be used for store location and dispatch the stock recorded. This increases the speed of the supply chain operations. However, there exist some disadvantages of using this technology. The supply chain partners might face issues if the bar codes are vandalized and there is chance of system failure which might delay the process. Any kind of crumpled and scratched barcodes also causes issues (Basker, 2012).
3) For effective operation of the business, there is a need of effective supply chain management process. There are various options to make the supply chain process of the organizations like Emerson. These include (Toolkit.smallbiz.nsw.gov.au, n.d.):
- Logistic management which can be applied to coordinate with various stages of supply chain like risk management, scheduling, planning, disposal and recycling, wastage, goods handling, warehousing and storage, facility location and transportation. Some of the issues of this option include determining the tracking value and also tracking the routing and warranty status.
- Inventory management: In this stage the organization can avoid excess stock of storage, distribution and production and also reduce the cost of stock. This process helps to make the demand of customers available efficiently. Inaccuracy is one of the most common problems of inventory, also the capacity issues equate the issues of inventory are some of the issues of inventory management.
- Total Quality Management: This is effort that the organization can put in to make continuous improvement in the process of supply chain. There are two major issues that can lead to issues one is the lack of knowledge about the system and also their business experience and another is the shortage of human and financial resource.
- Strategic Outsourcing: This helps to decrease the supply chain cost and also manage negative results like unreliability and quality. Challenges like optimization of various product lines, keeping pace with the fast followers and also reducing the international delivery cost are faced by the supply chain partners.
- Partnerships for Supply Chain: This formed among two different firms for increasing the stability level and also encouraging the commitment towards reaching the goals. This option involves choosing the right partners and also recognizing the opportunities. However, choosing with right partners is one of the main issue because there are lot of partners in the market whose expertise are to make the supply chain process more effective and efficient.
- Utilizing latest technology: This can be implemented to make the process of supply chain more accurate and effective. Here analytic systems and resource planning systems should be utilized to progress the efficiency and helps the decision makers to make effective decisions. Implementation of latest technologies or upgrading the system incurs huge cost. Thus, it is a costly option.
- Customer Service: Some of the factors that has to be taken care of for maintain the best customer service are delivery time, product suitability, supply quantity, pricing and after sales service. One of the issues with this option is the changing demands of the customers.
The best recommended option is to utilize a flexible approach to design, develop and implement the solutions of supply chain problems. This flexible approach includes the strategic analysis, specification and implementation. The special agenda to implement the supply chain process is carry out individual project teams and categorize the team in to designing, re-engineering and reinforcing processes (Zigiaris, 2000). This would help to keep the system updated and also make the strategic, operational, and tactical decisions effectively.
4) There is an increase in the rising concerns for the environment by both customers and also firms. The organizations are focusing on innovative model that helps the suppliers to invest in the saving the environment which would help to sustain in the competitive market. For example Tesco, that aims at linking the line of products with the efforts of sustainability directly and promotes healthy environment relationship. This helps the organization to enhance the community. The main aim of Tesco is to run a zero-carbon emission business by the year 2050. They have decided to reduce the impact by emphasizing on two methods one is tackling the changing climate and other is the utilizing the scare resources correctly. They have fixed two targets (Carbontrust.com, 2013):
- To divide the emission per square foot from distribution centres and stores by 2020.
- To decrease the distribution emission per delivered goods by 25% within 2020.
They have decided to achieve these targets by decreasing the refrigerant gases leakage, using natural refrigeration, improving the efficiency of energy of the distribution centres and stores. The step Tesco had decided is to conduct analysis of carbon hotspots which would help to identify the overall carbon footprints, through which they would decide which stages of lifecycle and product categories have the highest intensity of carbon emission. Further Tesco have decided to accelerate their work by involving the stakeholders and improve their business. In the year 2007, Tesco also established the first green distribution centre in Livingston, which permitted natural light in the buildings. Tesco has also installed the rotating solar panels which help to track the sun light and increase the solar energy captured (Tesco plc, 2015).
These changes have ensured towards reduction of carbon emission from the worldwide distribution of Tesco by 4.7%. They were able to decrease the emission in UK by 10% and also had transformed its fleet into 50:50 biodiesel. By utilizing the Manchester Ship Canal they were able to reduce the emission by 80% compared to its present transportation methods. The trains of Tesco had saved around 6,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide within a year. By raising the utilization of double deck trailers, Tesco has saved around £1.9million every year (Igd.com, 2008).
However, the Tesco might face issues in building sustainability and awareness among the technical managers and also the buyers. Another challenge that Tesco can face is defining and identifying the carbon hotspots because this requires a deep technical knowledge which would help to examine the effectiveness of reducing the carbon emission. Third challenge is the motivation and engaging the suppliers to emphasize on reducing the carbon emission and make proper measure aligning with the objective of the business (Pe-international.com, 2011).
Basker, E. (2012). Raising the barcode scanner. Cambridge, Mass.: National Bureau of Economic Research.
Carbontrust.com, (2013). Tesco case study - Carbon Trust.
Djelloul, S., Estampe, D. and Lamouri, S. (2012). Real-time information management in supply chain modelling tools. IJSOI, 7(4), p.294.
Igd.com, (2008). Tesco - Reducing carbon emissions in distribution.
Jitpaiboon, T. (2005). The Roles of Information Systems Integration in the Supply Chain Integration Context - Firm Perspective.
Kart, F., Moser, L. and Melliar-Smith, P. (2010). An Automated Supply Chain Management System and Its Performance Evaluation. International Journal of Information Systems and Supply Chain Management, 3(2), pp.84-107
Nair, P., Raju, V. and S P, A. (n.d.). Overview of Information Technology tools for Supply Chain Management.
Pe-international.com, (2011). Helping Tesco drive 30% cut in supply chain emissions by 2020 : PE INTERNATIONAL.
Ryan, V. (2013). ELECTRONIC DATA INTERCHANGE (EDI).
Tesco plc, (2015). Reducing our impact on the environment.
Toolkit.smallbiz.nsw.gov.au, (n.d.). Supply Chain Management Strategies.
Vella, D. (2012). Using technology to improve supply chain management | Supply Chain content from Global Purchasing.
Zigiaris, S. (2000). Supply Chain Management Implementation Procedure.
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