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Supply Chain Management

Discuss about the Mobile Technologies and Supply Chain Management.

This report is about the role of technology and information in the supply chain management of the organization. The mobile technologies and the supply chain management play a very vital role in the success of the organization because it will help to provide the best ways of checking the stock delivered and   to find out the best resource available. As we know in today’s world the people and the organizations are greatly relied on the computers and software to run their business successfully. Many of the companies are implementing mobile technologies to improve the organizational operations and to increase the response of the customers. In the current report, I will be identifying the issues and the impact of the people’s digital supply chain management.

The information technology is adopted by the companies on a very large scale. The main objectives of this report are as described below in some points: -

  • To explain the role of technology in supply chain management and its impact on SCM
  • Mobile technologies in Supply chain Management
  • Impact of mobile technologies on the supply chain and organization operations.

This report will cover all the important aspects like the initiatives taken by the IT and their implementation, Impact and challenges of mobile technology on the SCM. The technology has positive as well negative impacts on the business operations.

A successful supply chain management is very important for the companies to make a different position in the market. The supply chain Management is the process of gaining advantage by making new position in the market in the world of competition. It is very important to understand the concept of supply chain management. The supply chain management is defined by the council of professionals as the process of planning and managing all the operations related to the sourcing and supplying of stock and the activities related to logistics. In simple words, the supply chain management refers to the process of controlling the flow of raw materials from the suppliers to the end users. Information is the key part, on the basis of which the supply chain managers take decisions. The main objective of IT is to provide the information and enables the supply chain partners collaboration and coordination. The decision support is the key role of technology in supply chain management as it contains tools used to gain and analyze the information to improve the working of the supply chain. Managers must understand how to analyze and use that information because technology consists of hardware and software (Paulraj & Paulraj, 2009). The functional roles of technology in Supply chain are divided into 3 parts which are: Transaction execution, Collaboration and coordination and Decision support. Transaction execution is done with the help of knowledge and information between the partners of supply chain though the cost effective flow of information. The collaboration and coordination among the partners is very important and possible because of the sharing of accurate information.  It acts as a support to decisions because the analytical skills or powers of the electronic devices used to provide help to take all the important management decisions (Moharana, 2010).

Mobile Technology and Supply Chain Management

For Example, with the improvisation of mobile technology and evolution of various digital techniques, the art of recording has taken a shift. The documents that were earlier stored as heavy paper files and now stored as a PDF and word documents and find their places in people’s laptops, pen drives, hard disks and even their mobile phones. As we know that the model of supply chain involves customers, retailers, distributers, suppliers’ manufactures and service providers and sharing of the information among all these partners is important for the better performance of the supply chain.

There are many initiatives taken by the IT in supply chain management and these initiatives are:

  • Development of smart phones
  • Modern business models
  • Online Transaction on the phone
  • Internet and web services (R.Nair & Raju, 2008).

Mobile technology plays crucial role as it has changed the lifestyle of people and also make a difference in the everyday business and the mobile technology is used by all the modern business. The performance of business activities is improved because of the increase in the number of mobile phones in the world and internet access regardless of the location of the users.

The business is being rapidly replaced by the electronic environment because of the continuous improvements in mobile technology.

From the era of 2000, the mobile phone industry has drastically taken a 360 degree change and many new applications and software have been introduced and web interactivity has increased and has reached at a next level to make it convenient for people. It is very easy to access every website on our mobile phones and we don’t have to go at every place to get our work done and we can do our transactions sitting at homes through our mobile phones. The advancement has taken place in all the aspects in the mobile industry. The mobile phones were very simple in older days and now they are completely functional and can be used for various purposes. They have become so handy and light. They have all the features which the computers or laptops have these days. In 1990, the innovation of 2G took place, but it did not gain popularity during that year, but in the year 2005, it gained tremendous publicity and then 3G came into a market which has become very important now a days. In 2010, almost 60% of smart phone users use the 3G network as it is fast and convenient. It has become important for faster business transactions and now the trend of 4G has arrived which will take a few more years to gain publicity and for wider usage. This has made communication very easier and every country is focusing on improving its networks and better smart phones so that they can support the latest internet connection. At that point of time it was the first real mobile phone though in today’s world, there are a huge number of mobile phones. Initially, the mobile phones were only meant for business, but not very famous for private use, but now it has gained enormous publicity and its use for personal purposes has also been widened.

A case study of Lewis using mobile Technology

Lewis, who owns a mobile company takes his company to an altogether new level by using advanced technology. It is very essential for any organization, to cope up with the changing environment in order to survive in the market. The introduction of new mobile technology reduces the cost and improves the productivity. Lewis has expanded his business to the next level and has performed phenomenally. He started his business from scratch and grew his business into a chain of eleven retail stores. The first four shops were opened from scratch, but in January 2014, Lewis bought ‘PhoneBits,’ a group of three outlets, which he intends to operate under the Azzaz brand. Lewis is planning to set his foot in European market and has decided to open a warehouse in East of England and support the business by adding the element of ecommerce. Lewis wants to do this with nominal additional overheads (UES Team, 2013). Lewis plans to add b2c eCommerce functionality in business in order to make the two IT systems of Azzaz and PhoneBits work in harmony.

Traditional versus modern approach- The traditional approach includes a huge number of intermediaries which makes reaching the product from manufacturer to consumer very slow which leads to wastage of time and customers have to wait for quite some time which is proved frustrating for customers as per the surveys done. On the other side, modern approach has reduced the number of intermediaries which has reduced the time, which is generally consumed in the traditional approach. In the traditional approach of commerce, there are many intermediating people like wholesalers, distributors, retailers between manufacturer and consumer. In B2C approach, manufacturers are able to sell the products directly to customers. This system of reduction of business layering which is responsible for intermediary functions is known as Disintermediation. However, in the business owned by Lewis, he is not the manufacturer he is only a retailer so instead of involving other intermediaries, he can directly buy the product from the manufacturers which will not add to the cost (Rigby, 2015).

Online transactions - The online purchasing in today’s era has proved very beneficial. Lewis has planned to add a tint of ecommerce to reduce the time spent by customers on visiting the stores in person. However, Lewis wants to make the system flawless and wants to address all the queries which they face while purchasing the product online. (Addo-Tenkorang & Helo, 2011).

Traditional versus modern approach

This report explains how the mobile technology makes the supply chain management more efficient, customer focused and agile. To understand the supply chain management the Micheal porter introduced a model that focuses on the seven dimensions which are customers, production systems, suppliers, logistics, HR and information technology. There are many benefits as well as challenges faced by the organization while adapting the digital techniques. The implementation of technological innovation creates competitive advantage because of the improvement in costs, quality of product as well as the access to information. 

Digital customers: - The mobile has a great impact in understanding the needs of customers by offering them digital product and customer services. This is possible by generating the online shopping websites through which the buying behavior of the customers can be easily identified. Trend mining becomes very easy with this approach. The challenge faced by this is that there are still some of the people resides who are unaware about the technology so those customers needs cannot be identified (Kearney, 2015).

Digital archives and record managements: - There is a need to record the information of day to day transactions. Hence, Azzaz has adopted database management system in order to avoid any overlapping. This system makes the information properly stored and organized so that it can be easily accessed by the people who want the information. The end users have the power to create, edit, modify and delete and update the data. The DBMS takes care of three important elements: the data, the database engine that helps the people to access the data, secure it and edit it and the third is database schema, which explains what the logical structure of the database is.

Improves productivity: - The implementation of the digital tools helps to improve the productivity of the goods as the most of the small activities now can be performed electronically like managing the information and data, entering of data of stock, etc. are now easily done by the digital way as a result of which the production houses now can focus more on the quality of product without any burden.

Development of Mobile technology leads to tracking of Staff: - The adoption of the mobile technologies helps in improving the performance of the staff members through the various training and development programs to motivate them by informing them about their performance and shortcoming. This is possible only because of the tracking of the workforce by adopting the technologies. In today’s era, every second person owns mobile phones and most of them are smart phones which affects the news production as well as news consumption. Every mobile phone has features of videos, photos, etc. to capture the news and disseminate it. The mobile phones are used by public to capture the news and send it to the respective channels to scatter the news worldwide. People have started taking interest in sharing the news with the public at large. The sources explain different types of aspects in which news is produced using mobile phones. The people who are at the site accidently and who are amateur send the data which is raw in nature and not at all refined (Pfohl, Yahsi, & Kurnaz, 2015).

Decision Making Support: - The Mobile technology in supply chain management helps in taking the best decisions for the optimal outcomes or to achieve the goals of the organization. The decision in the supply chain management is totally dependent on the changing environment and use of mobile technology by the customers.

Conclusion

The report demonstrates mobile  technology initiatives that are currently working in the organization like online transactions, mobile phones and Internet, etc. and these all techniques proved best for the largest organization as they help to reduce the cost, time, efforts. It is vital that the mobile technologies in Supply chain management should be adequately maintained and preserved. Thus, according to my point of view, Shopify is the best software for Azzaz since it has many suitable advantages with fewer disadvantages. These can be summarized. Shopify covers many features and will help Azzaz manage and launch an online store. It also doesn't require any technical or complicated coding skills to get started and the software will grow as Azzaz grows. This also covers one important facility that is offline sales with the Shopify POS system. Shopify also offers telephonic customer support service and that too 24*7 and also through email and live chat. As a result, the implementation of the innovative techniques in supply chain management has made our lives simpler cannot be denied. The similarity between the functioning of the two has made their management simpler. No doubt, with the advancement of technology, preserving one’s data has become as simple as any other day to day act.

References

Addo-Tenkorang, R., & Helo, P. (2011). Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP): A Review Literature Report. WCECS. Retrieved from https://www.iaeng.org/publication/WCECS2011/WCECS2011_pp1126-1134.pdf

Farahani, P., & Meier, C. (2015, June). Digital Supply Chain Management 2020 Vision. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301350882_Digital_Supply_Chain_Management_2020_Vision

Griffin-Cryan, M., & Griffin-Cryan, B. (2011). Digital Transformation of Supply Chains: Creating Value – When Digital Meets Physical. Capgemini Consulting. Retrieved from https://www.capgemini-consulting.com/resource-file-access/resource/pdf/Digital_Transformation_of_Supply_Chains.pdf

Hanifan, G., Sharma, A., & Newberry, C. (2008). The Digital Supply Network: A New Paradigm for Supply Chain Management. Retrieved from https://www.accenture.com/t20150708T025455__w__/fr-fr/_acnmedia/Accenture/Conversion-Assets/DotCom/Documents/Local/fr-fr/PDF_5/Accenture-Digital-Supply-Network-New-Standard-Modern-Supply-Chain-Management.pdf

Kearney, A. (2015). Digital Supply chains: Increasingly critical for competitive edge. WHU. Retrieved from https://www.atkearney.in/documents/10192/6500433/Digital+Supply+Chains.pdf/a12fffe7-a022-4ab3-a37c-b4fb986088f0

Li, S., Ragu-Nathan, B., & Rao, S. (2006). The impact of supplychain management practices on competitive advantage and organizational performance. OMGA Journal, 107 – 124. Retrieved from https://mcu.edu.tw/~hyu/paper/4.pdf

Martyn, P. (2015, June 23). Risky Business: Cybersecurity And Supply Chain Management. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/paulmartyn/2015/06/23/risky-business-cyber-security-and-supply-chain-management/#4d7c1081723b

Mehta, L. (2017). Cyber Security Risk in Supply Chain Management. Retrieved from https://resources.infosecinstitute.com/cyber-security-in-supply-chain-management-part-1/#gref

Moharana, H. (2010). Importance of IT for effective supply chain management. International Journal of Modern Engineering Research (IJMER), 1(2), 747-751 . Retrieved from https://www.ijmer.com/papers/vol%201%20issue%202/BU012747751.pdf

Moon, Y. (2007). Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP): a review of the literature. Syracuse University. Retrieved from https://surface.syr.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1007&context=mae

Paulraj, I., & Paulraj, A. (2009). The role of Information Technology in Supply Chain Integration. Cleveland State University , Nance College of Business Administration . Retrieved from https://gebrc.nccu.edu.tw/proceedings/APDSI/2005/SessionIndex/Supply%20Chain%20Management%202/SCM-23.pdf

Pfohl, H., Yahsi, B., & Kurnaz, T. (2015). The Impact of Industry 4.0 on the Supply Chain. HICL. Retrieved from https://hicl.org/publications/2015/20/31.pdf

R.Nair, P., & Raju, V. (2008). Overview of Information Technology tools for Supply Chain Management. State University of New York. Retrieved from https://www.csi-india.org/document_library/Overview%20on%20Information%20Technology%20Tolls%20for%20Supply%20Chain%20Management3963.pdf

Rigby, C. (2015, February 03). John Lewis Case Study. Retrieved from https://internetretailing.net/issue/iruk2015brand-and-engagement-report/iruk-500-2015-brand-report-john-lewis-case-study/

Smith, R., Smith, M., & Oliva, T. (2000). The Role of the Internet in Supply Chain Management. Elsevier Science Inc. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/13cd/5062cc86f614a943d197e68c532748e4b4df.pdf

UES Team. (2013). Azzaz and PhoneBits have different IT systems, and in addition to integrating the two parts of the business there is the need to add ‘b2c’ eCommerce functionality. Retrieved from https://universityessayservices.com/blog/azzaz-phonebits-different-systems-addition-integrating-two-parts-business-need-add-b2c-ecommerce-functionality/

Zigiaris, S. (2000). Supply chain management: dissemination of innovation and knowledge management techniques. Retrieved from https://www.adi.pt/docs/innoregio_supp_management.pdf

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