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Sustainability and Supply Chain Management

Discuss about the Importance of Operations for Sustainability.

Operations are concerned with creation of services or goods in workplace for its ultimate success. The importance of operation management is infinite starting from manufacturing to retail for performing the services (Russell and Taylor, 2011). The activity involves creating products for delivering it to customer starting from procurement-conversion and distribution. In simple terms operations management is delivering value by establishing it through transforming the input into output.

The term operation management got recognition in public from the Japanese manufacturers by realizing it soon that importance is not limited but, wide inclusive of marketing and finance. The process involves integrating the resources for getting the right product at right place within stipulated time and cost (Russell and Taylor, 2011).  The assignment consists of three topics of operations management- supply chain management sustainability, incorporation of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) on management accountants and strategies implied for manufacturing competitiveness a case of Sweden and Australia.

According to Lambert, (2008) the term supply chain management was first introduced in the year 1982 that captured attention of academics and industry. The definition of supply chain management is use of integrated approaches and technique by stores, warehouses, manufacturers and suppliers for distributing the merchandise in right quantity and location for satisfying customer service requirement at levels. As opined by Simchi-Levi, Kaminsky and Simchi-Levi, (2008) the design of supply chain consist of strategic partnering, inventory management and distribution and logistics strategies. It acts as a conflicting tradeoffs and objectives for providing maximum value to customers by reducing the cost of supply chain (Varsei and Polyakovskiy, 2016). This is possible with the help of sustainability required for meeting future needs without any compromise in the coming future generations for meeting individual needs.       

As discussed by Hassini, Surti and Searcy, (2012) supply chain management in sustainable terms can be defined as managing of information, resources, funds and operations by maximizing profitability and additionally the damage on social well-being and environmental should be minimized. The concerns related to environment such as global warming including social issues like human safety and rights as company’s works on greater objectives rather than just focusing on achieving economic goals. With the introduction of environmental legislation, frameworks and standards the companies are forced to achieve sustainability by balancing it in three dimensions. As said by Pullman, Maloni and Carter, (2009) the first dimension is economic that addresses economic stability for long-term and financial performance as an indicator of service level or cost of supply chain.  

The researchers found out that linkage between maintaining environmental or social initiatives and three dimensions provides economic advantage like minimising cost of recycling, redesigning it for use and remanufacturing along with packaging of waste (Beske and Seuring, 2014). The study undertaken for more than 20 years states that link between accounting operational and supply chain in environment with performance in market research base depicts significant and positive impact. As per Srivastava, (2007) the second dimension is environment in supply chain process in regards to transportation, operations, product design and selection of supplier for managing it end of life for used products. The two elements required in environmental dimension are green design and operations where, green operations involve waste management and reverse logistics.  

Impact of ERP on Management Accountants

As stated by Varsei, (2016) the third dimension is social related to code of conduct, reporting frameworks and corporate social responsibility (CSR) for running the business. The dimension set by Global Reporting Initiative is human rights, product responsibility, labour practices and working conditions. The implementation of social dimension is adhering to two challenges- how companies and executives commit to sustainability (Andersen and Skjoett-Larsen, 2009).  The second option is working on making decisions for business and models for the issues underlying on managing and designing supply chain sustainability.

As said by McGaughey and Gunasekaran, (2007) enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a database that performs multiple functions in business units. It helps in automation and synchronizing of reports consisting of spreadsheets and databases for merging the reports and providing reports. The system helps in providing reports for each department in workplace by driving results in quick and accurate manner than traditional method like books. The implementation of ERP helps in replacing financial reporting by integrating operation of all workplace. As opined by Chen et al., (2012) the importance of ERP is having different views for managing and comparing risk management to highlight the potential impact of ERP projects for its success. The research conducted on management accounting for implementing ERP systems provides insight on the fact that business consultant is evolving.

It was viewed that ERP fundamentals has no impact on information gathered from management accounting. As discussed by Kihn and Lepisto, (2011) the change in the system of working than traditional accounting system considers operating managers for accessing the information. It is accessed by the individual by using ERP system irrespective of waiting for accounting report. According to Sangster, Leech and Grabski, (2009) the implementation process of ERP is a success in itself only when organization changes its focus by being process orientated rather than adopting functional orientation. It brings change in the accounting structure of management for working on the functional areas. The study conducted by Velcu, (2010) concluded that strategic enterprise management (SEM) system impacts in positive order upon practices established by management and transactional accounting.  

When a project of ERP is less successful the activity works on existing tasks by saving time through absorption by spending less time on other tasks. ERP system is improving and powerful for conducting transaction in company that includes varied transactions happening daily. As per Chapman and Kihn, (2009) the record needs to be maintained for working in more coordinated manner by removing the unnecessary costs and avoiding data duplication. The organization must be able to implement ERP system successful for storing information centrally by integrating the revenue, cost and profit for adopting positive opportunity. The study conducted by Kim, Nicolaou and Vasarhelyi, (2013) an organization states that implementing ERP impacts on audit report lag as it is associated with significant approaches for 3 years after implementing it initially.

The worldwide market is facing downturn so being competitive is important for survival as it depends on the capability of manufacturing firms for working toward changes with regards to competitors, technology, government regulations and customer preferences. As discussed by Machuca et al., (2011) manufacturing strategies helps in building resources creating product advantages and sustaining cost for maintaining market position. The manufacturing strategies undertaken provide sequential decisions for achieving the desired specific capabilities, infrastructure and structure. It helps in providing competitive advantage by designing the manufacturing systems that leads to strategic advantage. As per Bhattacharya, Momaya and Iyer, (2009) implementation and development manufacturing strategy helps in generating solution by defining the problem and generating solution.

Strategies Implied for Sustaining Competitiveness in Manufacturing: A Comparative Case of Sweden and Australia

The external and internal contexts of operation strategy consist of two elements- push and pull. In this case new emerging trends can also work for satisfying customer requirements like focusing on environmental issues with respect to manufacturing strategy. The use of manufacturing strategy is criticised as the empirical investigation affects both external and internal factors. The study conducted by Soosay et al., (2016) in New Zealand in manufacturing firms found out that most was based on price configuration. The organization successful in the sample is intangible in nature with respect to performance objectives like flexibility and agility in firms of Australia (Fayezi, Zutshi and O'Loughlin, 2015). It is said that manufacturers need to examine the manufacturing policies for promoting consistent management and coordination for conducting production process defined as value chain.   

The large sample conducted on New Zealand and Australia focus more on softer aspects of human for achieving the better performance. This learning from organizational perspective works on implementing manufacturing technology that works towards development of competences. As said by Shelar, (2016) the recent trend affecting manufacturing strategy is consequent dispersal and globalisation a natural increase in terms of defining complexity and difficulties. The choice of location has gained great importance because of reshoring, off shoring and globalisation along with environmental sustainability for undertaking the strategy. According to Tabor, (2014) manufacturing organization aim towards remanufacturing, reusing and reducing (waste, energy and resources) a challenge promoted for managing life cycle of product.   

The firms are adopting product-service system by adopting manufacturing strategy at this level as the debate driving servitization seems to be growing. When viewing the firm from competitive perspective the affordable technologies need to be implemented an important element in servitize manufacturing. As per Soosay et al., (2016) the global companies like Rolls-Royce, MAN Trucks, Caterpillar and Xerox adapted servitization strategy to position themselves in world market.


The above discussion works on three aspects of operation management-sustainability, manufacturing strategies and implementation of ERP for management accountants. It deals with an important element supply chain management by managing the sustainability. It includes transportation, extraction, recycling and production of materials working on three aspects- social, environmental and economic dimension. This dimension helps in working for the betterment of future for gathering sustainability across organization. The servitization strategy is implemented by the workplace for working in worldwide market by conducting trade-offs. The implementation of ERP is important for managing and sharing the database in right manner.


Andersen, M. and Skjoett?Larsen, T. (2009). Corporate social responsibility in global supply chains. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 14(2), pp.75-86.

Beske, P. and Seuring, S. (2014). Putting sustainability into supply chain management. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 19(3), pp.322-331.

Bhattacharya, S., Momaya, K. and Iyer, K. (2009). Enablers of Sustaining Competitiveness. Global Business Review, 10(1), pp.45-66.

Brennan, L. (2011). Operations management. 1st ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Chapman, C. and Kihn, L. (2009). Information system integration, enabling control and performance. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 34(2), pp.151-169.

Chen, H., Yan Huang, S., Chiu, A. and Pai, F. (2012). The ERP system impact on the role of accountants. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 112(1), pp.83-101.

Fayezi, S., Zutshi, A. and O'Loughlin, A. (2015). How Australian manufacturing firms perceive and understand the concepts of agility and flexibility in the supply chain. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 35(2), pp.246-281.

Hassini, E., Surti, C. and Searcy, C. (2012). A literature review and a case study of sustainable supply chains with a focus on metrics. International Journal of Production Economics, 140(1), pp.69-82.

Kihn, L. and Lepistö, L. (2011). Management Accounting in Enterprise Resource Planning Systems. European Accounting Review, 20(2), pp.418-422.

Kim, J., Nicolaou, A. and Vasarhelyi, M. (2013). The Impact of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems on the Audit Report Lag. Journal of Emerging Technologies in Accounting, 10(1), pp.63-88.

Lambert, D. (2014). Supply chain management. 1st ed. Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida: Supply Chain Management Institute.

Machuca, J., Ortega Jiménez, C., Garrido-Vega, P. and de los Ríos, J. (2011). Do technology and manufacturing strategy links enhance operational performance? Empirical research in the auto supplier sector. International Journal of Production Economics, 133(2), pp.541-550.

McGaughey, R. and Gunasekaran, A. (2007). Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). International Journal of Enterprise Information Systems, 3(3), pp.23-35.


Russell, R. and Taylor, B. (2011). Operations management. 1st ed. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Sangster, A., Leech, S.A. and Grabski, S., (2009). ERP implementations and their impact upon management accountants. JISTEM-Journal of Information Systems and Technology Management, 6(2), pp.125-142.

Shelar, P. (2016). Operation Management Strategies Implemented in Manufacturing Companies: Review of Literature. We'Ken- International Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 1(3).

Simchi-Levi, D., Kaminsky, P. and Simchi-Levi, E. (2015). Designing and managing the supply chain. 1st ed. Boston [u.a.]: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Soosay, C., Nunes, B., Bennett, D., Sohal, A., Jabar, J. and Winroth, M. (2016). Strategies for sustaining manufacturing competitiveness. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 27(1), pp.6-37.

Srivastava, S. (2007). Green supply-chain management: A state-of-the-art literature review. International Journal of Management Reviews, 9(1), pp.53-80.

Tabor, J. (2014). Implementation of the Sustainable Development Concept in Manufacturing Companies. Management of Sustainable Development, 6(2).

Varsei, M. (2016). Sustainable supply chain management: A brief literature review. The Journal of Developing Areas, 50(6), pp.411-419.

Varsei, M. and Polyakovskiy, S. (2017). Sustainable supply chain network design: A case of the wine industry in Australia. Omega, 66, pp.236-247.

Varsei, M., Christ, K. and Burritt, R. (2015). "Bottling Location and the Global Wine Supply Chain: Dollar, Water and Carbon Trade-offs". Academy of Management Proceedings, 2015(1), pp.12112-12112.

Velcu, O., (2010). Strategic alignment of ERP implementation stages: An empirical investigation. Information & Management, 47(3), pp.158-166.

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