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Discuss About The Principles Of Supply Chain Management A Balanced Approach.

Benefits and weakness of 3D printing in supply chain management

In the modern world, supply chain management plays an important role in the success of an organisation. According to Christopher (2016), supply chain management is the flow of goods and services that involve the movement of raw materials from one part to another. With the advent of the internet, supply chain has become cost effective. The concept of e-business can be written down as a proper relationship between the internet and the supply chain integration. The relationship helps in transforming many processes that are within the supply chain management. Hence, as stated by Monczka et al. (2015) procurement of customer management as well as product design can be related to the supply chain management and internet. At the same time, 3d printing is one of the emerging concepts that are adopted by organisations which helps to create a three-dimensional object. The 3d print can be applied to any objects irrespective of its shape, size or devising.

The report focuses on the implementation of 3d printing in supply chain management and the benefits it can provide to the organisations. The benefits and the weakness of 3d printing in supply chain management is discussed along with the risk and implementation of technology in the supply chain management. A case study example is provided that highlights the importance of 3d printing in the modern world and the manner in which it can be implemented in the market. The future of 3d printing is predicted based on the analysis of its characteristics and its implementation in the modern supply chain management structure.

Jacobs, Chase and Lummus (2014) is of the opinion that 3d printing may provide an opportunity for improvement the supply chain management in organisations but the weakness that it may provide them with also cannot be discounted given the fact that every people is not technically sound. Hugos (2018) countered this statement by saying that the implication of 3d printing often provides individuals with an opportunity to be innovative which in turn may assist the organisations to continue its dominance in a competing market. Thereby, the advantages and disadvantages of 3d printing in supply chain management can be analysed. One of the biggest advantages that 3d printing can provide is the fact that it reduces the cost of warehousing.

As stated by Boonjing, Chanvarasuth and Lertwongsatien (2015) the reduction in the cost of warehouse can help in improving the level of production of an organisation. 3d printing is commonly known an additive manufacturing which implies that materials are added to the process rather than its subtraction. The fact that less material is wasted makes the manufacturing process sustainable. As stated by Mangan, Lalwani and Lalwani (2016) sustainable is important for every organisation to maintain as it can help in maintaining a balance between the laws of the Government and of protecting the environment. 3d printing also helps in making the transportation system convenient. This is mainly because the 3d printing can help in directly providing the items to the people rather than provide it to the factories.

Risk and implementation of technology in supply chain management

At the same time, Brandenburg et al. (2014) observed that 3d printing not only help in improving the supply chain management and making it more environmental friendly, it also provides opportunities for speeding up the process of production. This particular provision can be of advantage to countries that have a less economy as the excess cost of manufacturing the products as well as its shipment can be controlled. Fredendall and Hill (2016) is of the opinion that another advantage of 3d printing is that helps in reducing the storage material. In the earlier days, the tools required for manufacturing a product required the existence of spare parts and other equipments that can be used for supply chain.

However, in the modern world, the implementation of 3d printing can help in storing the materials in a single CAD file at a computer. This implies that the warehouses of the organisations do not have to be filled and it can be used for purpose that can help in the expansion of the business. At the same time, storing the required tools in a CAD file makes it transportable and easier to carry around thereby; the implementation of innovative tactics can be adopted at any time. Fahimnia Sarkis and Davarzani (2015) are of the opinion that 3d printing provides several barriers that can hinder the progress of an organisation. These drawbacks can be costly, as at times companies may not have the provisions to bear the cost of the production using 3d printing.

One of the huge drawbacks that can be seen from the application of 3d printing is its slowness in providing the final product. As stated by Wang and Cullinane (2015) attaining a certain quality standard is necessary for every organisation so that it can attain customer satisfaction. However, 3d printing can provide quality work but at a very slow pace. The evidence points to the fact that 3d printing cannot be used for mass production (Wisner, Tan and Leong 2014). At the same time, the tools and techniques that are required for the implementation of 3d printing is costly. Excessive cost of identifying the resources along with the research and development used for the product can be unbearable for small-scale organisations. This provides a huge drawback in its progress in the society. In this regard, a more comprehensive detail can be provided that highlights the advantages and disadvantages of 3d printing in supply chain management.

Advantages

Disadvantages

Shortening of production and supply chain

The built up speed is slow

Reduction of waste materials

The size of the resources required is limited

Formulation of complex internal structure

Costs for adopting resources is high along with research and development costs

Reduction of transportation cost

Quality issues due to lack of uniform guideline

Portable

Production steps need to be followed systematically

Less shipments of items needed

Right to intellectual property

Production can be made on demand

Lack of safety of products

Limited number of products needed

Cannot be used for bulk production

Design file can be stored in computers

Requirement of repeatable and reliable machines

Table: Advantages and disadvantages of 3d printing in supply chain management

(Source: Created by author)

Beske and Seuring (2014) are of the opinion that technology in the modern world provides success as well as promote risk factors that may deal a critical blow to the progress of organisations. Twenty years ago, supply chain was considered as an activity that was continued behind the scenes. The number of resources and employees required to make the process a success was not taken into consideration. However, with the increase in demand of the customers and the competition in the market, supply chain management have developed to grow in the foreground and have been a constant source of success (Genovese et al. 2017). The expectations of the customers have grown due to the development of technology.

This is mainly because customers can identify the products that can help in meeting their requirement and compare it with others before purchasing it. Hence, it is fitting that the application of e-business in the supply chain management is made so that people can understand the effectiveness it has on the market. Mylan et al. (2015) is of the opinion that growth of competition is another reason behind the application of technology in supply chain. The expansion of roles and responsibilities in an organisation can bring about a technical competence and provide employees with an opportunity to contribute for an organisation. As observed by Schoenherr and Speier?Pero (2015) technology has emerged in the supply chain management in a systematic manner.

The risks involved in the implementation of the technology in supply chain management are that it involves the ignorance of the people implying supply chain. Results from over 500 businesses have shown that about 75% of the people were not sure about the method and about 12% wanted a more visible process to be followed for supply chain management. As stated by Meixell and Luoma (2015) the disapproval of technology in supply chain is mainly because the people do not trust the advent of technology in supply chain management. This is evidenced from the fact that the 75% of the people that have expressed concerns about supply chain management have stated examples of incidents that have disrupted the supply chain of an organisation.

Ross (2016) is of the opinion that disruption in supply chain can be caused by a variety of factors. One such factor is that the management is incapable of leading the employees in a proper manner. The incapability of the managers can provide hindrance to the employees particularly if new technologies are implemented in the supply chain management. Accounting, providing blame on the technologies does not bring about solutions for an organisation. At the same time, technologies can provide loss for the companies if it is not implemented in a proper manner. Therefore, changes can be made that can help in bringing about changes in an organisation and provide technologies with an opportunity to assist in the process of supply chain management.

An example can be provided that defines the manner in which a small scale company like Wohler Associates had to suffer from a considerable loss in the company. It has been seen that Wohler Associates had applied the implication of technology in supply chain management and had suffered loss as much as $1 million. This provided the company with a disadvantage and provided the employees with an opportunity to doubt the implementation of technology. As stated by Christopher (2016) the risk of implementing technologies in supply chain can be severe but it is also the duty of the managers to ensure that proper training is provided to the people so that they can embrace the process in a proper manner.

Nike is one of the most reputed organisations in the world that supplies quality shoes for different purpose. The supply chain process applied by Nike consists of digitalising the method that is required for success. Monczka et al. (2015) is of the opinion that the companies mainly focus on increasing efficiency and sustainability as a method of gaining a competitive advantage. In the case of Nike, the implementation of 3d printing for supply chain management have provided differentiation of its products and the manner in which transformation in the manufacturing industry can be maintained (Nike.com 2018). Nike managed to implement 3d printing while manufacturing shoes so that the craftsmanship required by the use of hands can be prevented.

The focus of Nike has been on sustainability and the advancement of supply chain has helped Nike to change the process it adopts in designing its shoes. With the application of 3d printing, Nike has managed to reduce 3.5 million pounds of waste (Nike.com 2018). The reduction of wastes had started since 2012 and Nike managed to incorporate an effective application of supply chain management in the company. With the help of 3d printing Nike developed a Flyknit technology that helps in the reduction of wastes and assists athletes to wear shoes that bring about success for them (Nike.com 2018). Thereby, the popularity of Nike in the business world as well as in the sports world is maintained with the assistance received from 3d printing.

This particular example provides an idea about the capabilities technology can achieve in supply chain management. It has been evidenced that Nike had conducted research on the application of 3d printing supply chain using the vast research and development department it has. At the same time, it can be said that Nike managed to implement unique techniques that can help in the growth of the product and ensure that a better and final product is manufactured for the customers to remain satisfied. The successful innovation managed by Nike and its implementation of technology in the market have made people believe that 3d printing have a future that can be used effectively by every organisation.

According to Pagell and Shevchenko (2014), research has shown that the benefits that are gained from the implication of 3d printing is destined to have a huge impact in its survival. Most of the managers of reputed organisations have given their vote about the adoption and implementation of 3d printing for supply chain management. Coyle et al. (2016) is of the opinion that for manufacturing industries the application of 3d printing can bring about a huge amount of success and at the same time ensure that it provides an opportunity for improvement in the business sector. Despite the support from important people such as the President of countries, 3d printing have received several criticism that question the existence and implementation of the system in the long-run.

Power and Simpson (2016) is of the opinion that misconception about technology and its effective use in the organisations are the reasons behind the doubt on implying 3d printing. Statistical report can prove that the implementation of 3d printing can provide organisations with an opportunity to increase its profits. Within a few years, the application of 3d printing for supply chain management can help in the growth of every company and achieve more than the target revenue that is set for themselves. For example, Nike can attain a profit of US$20 million by the end of 2020, if it continues to implement the application of 3d printing (Hazen et al. 2014).

Figure: Prediction of increase in the use of 3d printing and the increase of revenue for Nike

(Source: Nike.com 2018)

Xu et al. (2017) is of the opinion that development of a new procedure in the 3d printing department can help organisations to continue its business process. The effect of contour constructing is that it can revolutionise the manufacturing sector and provide with an added advantage in the industry. The fact that 3d printing does not require any additional materials provide it with an advantage to prolong its implementation in the modern world. In the case of supply chain management, 3d printing can help in reducing the work load of the people along with the transportation cost of movement. However, Chia and Wu (2015) provided caution that the development of 3d printing for supply chain management can be used at home as well. An example can be given in this case, in which a bunch of high school boys in the United States managed to implement 3d printing for the supply of guns.

Therefore, the example provides evidence that 3d printing can be used effectively by people at home. Despite this Muth et al. (2014) is of the opinion that due to the advanced research required along with the costs of implementation of the process, people at home may find it difficult to continue using the system and provide a threat to the existing manufacturing industry. However, the example provided here ensured that such threat to the business can be provided and based on this, it can be said that the future of 3d printing is secured (Beske, Land and Seuring 2014). Another reason for the long-term future orientation of 3d printing is that it does not require any additional material or resources for implementation (Hong et al. 2015). Therefore, the requirement of advanced technologies in the form of conventional resources such as high graphic printers or computers can help in its implementation in the market.

Hong (2015) is of the opinion that 3d printing in supply chain can help in improving the catastrophic areas of management. For example, it can be provide an opportunity of growth in the market and ensure that the organisations implementing the process deliver quality products. Tests conducted by experts in the field of technology provide evidence that there is no significant decrease in the quality of products during mass production. However, as stated earlier the slowness of the process may hinder the chances of organisations to fail in meeting its deadline. Touboulic and Walker (2015) are of the opinion that despite its potential to succeed in the market and its approval from managers of organisations, 3d printing require the implementation of proper regulations and laws.

The legislation of countries needs to be restricted upon the use of 3d printing for purposes that provide profit and an increase in the economy. For example, designing of guns, as stated in the previous example need to be banned by the law with the help of 3d printing. Overall, the implementation of 3d printing for supply chain can help organisations to succeed and at the same time ensure that associated materials, software and manufacturing tools are gained using less cost. The legitimate use of 3d printing for production can help in the development of companies in a competitive market.

Conclusion

Therefore, it can be concluded that in the modern world, 3d printing plays an important role for the manufacturing industries. The new advent of technology that is provided to the organisations plays an important role for a business to succeed. It needs to be considered that 3d printing provides benefits that are helpful for an organisation for its long term implementation of plans. However, the weakness provided can even deter an organisation from carrying out its mission and provide a competitive disadvantage to the business.

At the same time, the case study presented for Nokia provides an analysis of the way by which 3d printing have become famous globally and based on its fame the implementation of the concept in supply chain management can help in providing companies with an added advantage of maintaining its profitability. The fact that e-business have made supply chain convenient for the organisations is one of the biggest advantages that is provided. The future of supply chain management and 3d printing is one of the biggest positives that can occur in a market and the analysis provides evidence that the concept can play a bigger role in supply chain.

Reference

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

Beske, P., Land, A. and Seuring, S., 2014. Sustainable supply chain management practices and dynamic capabilities in the food industry: A critical analysis of the literature. International Journal of Production Economics, 152, pp.131-143.

Boonjing, V., Chanvarasuth, P. and Lertwongsatien, C., 2015. An Impact of Supply Chain Management Components on Firm Performance. In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Engineering, Project and Production Management (pp. 555-565).

Brandenburg, M., Govindan, K., Sarkis, J. and Seuring, S., 2014. Quantitative models for sustainable supply chain management: Developments and directions. European Journal of Operational Research, 233(2), pp.299-312.

Chia, H.N. and Wu, B.M., 2015. Recent advances in 3D printing of biomaterials. Journal of biological engineering, 9(1), p.4.

Christopher, M., 2016. Logistics & supply chain management. Pearson UK.

Coyle, J.J., Langley, C.J., Novack, R.A. and Gibson, B., 2016. Supply chain management: a logistics perspective. Nelson Education.

Fahimnia, B., Sarkis, J. and Davarzani, H., 2015. Green supply chain management: A review and bibliometric analysis. International Journal of Production Economics, 162, pp.101-114.

Fredendall, L.D. and Hill, E., 2016. Basics of supply chain management. CRC Press.

Genovese, A., Acquaye, A.A., Figueroa, A. and Koh, S.L., 2017. Sustainable supply chain management and the transition towards a circular economy: Evidence and some applications. Omega, 66, pp.344-357.

Hazen, B.T., Boone, C.A., Ezell, J.D. and Jones-Farmer, L.A., 2014. Data quality for data science, predictive analytics, and big data in supply chain management: An introduction to the problem and suggestions for research and applications. International Journal of Production Economics, 154, pp.72-80.

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Hong, S., Sycks, D., Chan, H.F., Lin, S., Lopez, G.P., Guilak, F., Leong, K.W. and Zhao, X., 2015. 3D printing of highly stretchable and tough hydrogels into complex, cellularized structures. Advanced materials, 27(27), pp.4035-4040.

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Meixell, M.J. and Luoma, P., 2015. Stakeholder pressure in sustainable supply chain management: a systematic review. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 45(1/2), pp.69-89.

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Muth, J.T., Vogt, D.M., Truby, R.L., Mengüç, Y., Kolesky, D.B., Wood, R.J. and Lewis, J.A., 2014. Embedded 3D printing of strain sensors within highly stretchable elastomers. Advanced Materials, 26(36), pp.6307-6312.

Mylan, J., Geels, F.W., Gee, S., McMeekin, A. and Foster, C., 2015. Eco-innovation and retailers in milk, beef and bread chains: enriching environmental supply chain management with insights from innovation studies. Journal of Cleaner Production, 107, pp.20-30.

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Power, D. and Simpson, D., 2016. Aligning Goals and Outcomes in Sustainable Supply Chain Management. In Sustainable Value Chain Management (pp. 161-172). Routledge.

Ross, D.F., 2016. Introduction to e-supply chain management: engaging technology to build market-winning business partnerships. CRC Press.

Schoenherr, T. and Speier?Pero, C., 2015. Data science, predictive analytics, and big data in supply chain management: Current state and future potential. Journal of Business Logistics, 36(1), pp.120-132.

Touboulic, A. and Walker, H., 2015. Theories in sustainable supply chain management: a structured literature review. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 45(1/2), pp.16-42.

Wang, T. and Cullinane, K., 2015. The efficiency of European container terminals and implications for supply chain management. In Port management (pp. 253-272). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Wisner, J.D., Tan, K.C. and Leong, G.K., 2014. Principles of supply chain management: A balanced approach. Cengage Learning.

Xu, Y., Harrison, D., Fyson, J. and Areir, M., 2017. 3D printing of highly flexible supercapacitor designed for wearable energy storage.

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