Supply Chain management is all about effectively integrating the flow of materials and flow of information within the supply and demand process. Supply Chain management supports various processes such as return management, forecasting logistics, order management, procurement and inventory management and also planning and forecasting (Olson, 2012). This shows that the supply chain management is mainly helpful for enhancing the business operations and also maintain competitive advantage in the competitive market. Through effective implementation of supply chain management an organization can enhance its performance and productivity, maximize the effectiveness of cost and also increase its competencies (Kart, Moser and Melliar-Smith, 2010).
With the rapid development in information system integration (ISI) and information technology (IT), and its role in integrated supply chain management have gotten to be imperative to various researchers and executives. ISI speaks to the level of participation in practices of information system between the functions of business inside a firm and between a firm and its partners for trading. It has been reported that the presentation and use of ISI for supply chain management upgrade the organizations' development and competitiveness (Jitpaiboon, 2005). While numerous firms concentrate on accomplishing large amounts of IT use, without high amounts of ISI, members of supply chain management may not accomplish the full advantages of working inside a supply chain. According to the context of hierarchical supply chain, the information technology permits "numerous associations to collaborate with the activities of the organization that facilitate to really deal with a supply chain". With more effective IS practices (external and internal) permits firms to stay focused in a quickly evolving environment. Firms need to oversee distinctive roles of innovations by incorporating and organizing them into a very productive, viable, and responsive framework (McLaren, Head and Yuan, 2004).
For global business firms like Emerson’s, the SCM IS may be advantageous in various ways. A supply chain management information system helps to integrate the primary activities of the organization that is the inbound and outbound logistic with the support activities of the organization. This system supports mainly three fundamental processes: source, procure and resolve which makes the process of the organization more efficient and faster (Kart, Moser and Melliar-Smith, 2010). The advantage of implementing such system is that it enhances the speed of supply and permits the organizations to make their overall process efficient and quicker. Further, the system also enables both the customers and the suppliers to decrease the inventories size and diminish the inventory cost. This would help to grow the company in a long run by maintaining low cost. This SCM IS also helps to improve the delivery process which enables the suppliers to deliver the components and the materials on time and also enables to implement just-in-time processes that permit the manufacturers to handle and reduce the raw materials easily (Balakrishnan, Bowne and Eckstein, 2008; Barut, Faisst and Kanet, 2002).
However, the SCM IS also has some disadvantages like sometimes like it can be complex in terms of learning the system by fewer employees and also implementing the system may be expensive. An alternate reason actualizing a SCM System is a drawback is on the grounds that for a few associations it may oblige them to change significantly on the grounds that their current framework is extremely essential; thusly, usage of such a profoundly praiseworthy framework could change the association impressively (Flynn, Huang and Zhao, 2014). On the off chance that an organization becomes fundamentally, for example, Emerson did, then SCM IS can turn into a deterrent on the grounds that the organization develops and the framework could get to be superfluous towards the organization's key objectives. An extra disadvantage of actualizing a SCM information system is that there could be an absence of appreciation for the framework generally as there was for Emerson; this is focused around the announcement (Lambert and Cooper, 2000). An alternate disadvantage for actualizing a SCM information system is that despite the fact that an organization may imagine that they have prepared their workers enough, the truth of this can be that there is not enough ways to train the employees regarding the system (Zhao and Zhu, 2011).Being a huge organization, Emerson has many divisions with various suppliers working in it. Thus utilizing single supply chain management information system for all the divisions would help the authorities to maintain the system easily without any commotion, further this would help the organization to store all the information properly in a single system and there is no fear of losing the data and also implementation cost gets reduced with single system (Boone, Jayaraman and Ganeshan, 2012).
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.
So as to stay competitive all around and stay on the forefront of a complex business world, more organizations are consolidating innovation into their store network administration frameworks today. The versatility, adaptability and comfort of wireless gadgets mean that the managers of supply chain management can organize forms at each connection in the chain, from any place they want (Vella, 2012). Likewise, vendors, supply chain partners and also employees can play a crucial role in guaranteeing proficiency for instance; truck drivers can utilize GPS-prepared gadgets to instantly report transportation catches that may disrupt the methods further along the supply chain management process. Also the cloud computing and the various software programs have improved way of tracking the materials and also update the real-time status just through a single touch. The use of technologies and devices also helps to reduce the errors in the production and improve the service towards the customers, providing huge benefits to the organization across the industries.
The most emerging technologies that have a strong impact on the supply chain management and can be used for input, output and communication are RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a technology that uses collaboration of electrostatic or electromagnetic spectrum in radio frequency(RF) for identifying the object, Remote management, this is the process in which the controlling device is not attached to the real unit, RTLS (Real Time location system) which mainly allows to track the system through wireless local area network, comprehensive connectivity using the 802.11 wireless LA, Bluetooth – this permits easy access to data and voice, portable printing, digital imaging- this device allows to capture the images, speech recognition is a voice technology which permits free data entry, GPS and Voice communication and also 2D Bar Code which reads the symbols and traces the product (Intermec, 2007).
The two most important inputs that can be used for effective supply chain management are:
RFID and 2D Bar Code.
The advantages of using RFID are that it helps to demonstrate the operations of the supply chain and also asset management. This device helps to decrease the time of inventory process and also further helps to track the loading verification process by automatically recording the products that are being loaded (Brown, 2007; Tajima, 2007). Companies like Emerson, can place the RFID tags on their long range vehicles, mobile assets or trailers to increase visibility of utilizing their business assets. Further this process also helps in protecting the brand image by identifying the counterfeited products. The UIN (unique identification number) on the tags of RFID can be used for verifying the products authenticity. These unique numbers can be collaborated with the encryption algorithms that help to generate authentication schemes and make complex for the counterfeiters to evade (Fosso Wamba, 2012; Attaran, 2007). However, there are various disadvantages of using RFID in supply chain management like the RFID includes inserting and assembling the computerized chip which makes the process costly. Even the readers of RFID struggle in retrieving the information while it passes through liquid or metal. Though RFID tags are beneficial, there might be collision when many tags start responding at the same time (Michael and McCathie, 2005; Vizinex RFID, 2010).
The advantages of utilizing 2D Bar Codes are that compared to RFID it is less expensive because they are mainly printed on paper or plastic. It is a universal technology and can be processed from any part of the world. There exist no privacy issues in Bar Code process. This system also have disadvantages like the codes get damaged easily as it is placed outside the product, there is also need of labour intensive because the products are to be scanned individually (Ray, 2010).
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.
There are various operations for implementing SCM information system for the growing companies like Emerson. However, companies like Emerson are focusing on two main options for implementing the supply chain management system one is the either by buying a specialized software and by hiring a consulting organization who can collaborate with the in-house team of SCM (Hermans, 2014). The advantages of using these options are that by choosing the right partner, the organization has the capability to evaluate the required areas of supply chain and start managing the service immediately. Further, the third-party partnership helps the executives of SCM to manage the operations effective till its execution. Similarly implementing software helps to reduce manual working and also reduce the effort and time (Seuring, 2010).
However, it is to be noted hiring consulting companies to collaborate with the in-house SCM team to handle the activities easily might leave the customers to carry out and sustain the new process by them. Similarly, implementation of software is costly. Further, the software companies sell the capabilities of the supply chain without driving and executing the adoption of the software. Suppose, the company wants to use cloud-based technology solution for sustainable supply chain management, might become costly and needs skilled labour with knowledge of cloud technology to handle the system efficiently (Kumar and Banerjee, 2012).
Thus, it recommended that the team of SCM must focus on the facts instead of emotions or guesswork. They should analyse the preferences of trading partners and consumers, organizations competitiveness, impact of their logistic and production operations and also the strength of their product line or brand. Based on these criteria, the company can focus on the following steps (IMA, 1999):
- Assessing the opportunities of supply chain
- Creating a vision
- Creating a strategy
- Developing the best possible SCM IS based organizational structure
- Establishing the communication and information network
- Translating the strategies into action
Implementing such an integrated supply chain management system would helps to integrate and coordinate with the flow of the services and goods to the customers market making an eminent business. Further, the most benefits of utilizing such a system is that it helps to reduce the cost in various areas like packaging, warehousing, transportation, inventory management, time-based delivery process and also enhancing the revenues. Also, this integrated system reduces the inventory as the manufacturing system together with the retailers, distributors and suppliers gets linked with the electronic system and eliminates the queues and buffers, enhances the flexibility and reduces the lead times. Implementing this system properly also ensures high value added services to the customers and also embraces the financial and service metrics for true profitability. In short, it can be said that the system is a tactical tool that the management can apply for successful ongoing operation like distribution, consumption, eliminating the channel inefficiencies, reducing costs and making the customer service more effective and also controlling the inbound and the outbound logistics.
Q.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.
The supply chain can be described as the generation of crude materials, their exchange to and through different preparing steps, lastly the last product transporting and getting. Each one stage obliges an audit of energy/combustion discharges, waste transfer emanations, transportation vitality expenses and outflows, and packing related emanations. It is like a life cycle or investigation for a product however more identified with the supplier exercises. A product life cycle would need to incorporate any related waste transfer outflows of the product being referred to. Therefore worldwide businesses have expanded endeavours to oversee and decrease their carbon foot shaped impression. These organizations additionally understand that carbon administration in the store network is a vital ability the following incredible venture in decreasing greenhouse gas (GHG) discharges. By synergistically captivating with their supplier systems, organizations can moderate GHG emanations and enhance supplier connections, while boosting proficiency and diminishing expenses (www.epa.gov, 2010).
Some of the companies like Wal-Mart and Procter & Gamble have made commitments to reduce the emission of greenhouse gas through their supply chain. Taking the example of Wal-Mart, in the year 2010, Wal-Mart announced to decrease the emission of GHG by 20million metric tons of supply chain. By implementing this process, Wal-Mart has really benefitted in making their supply chain operation more efficient and also reduces the carbon emission in their organization. Reducing the emission of GHG is mainly associated with the rising voice policy makers, improved public relations, enhanced employee motivation, revenue sources and also cost reduction (Bekkering, Broekhuis and van Gemert, 2010; Theißen, Spinler and Huchzermeier, 2014).
There are four important that has helped achieving this goal (Hanifan, 2012):
- Developing communication to deliver the performance: To express the intention of an organization, communication process plays a vital role and also commitment towards sustainability. By transparently and openly reporting about the reduction of emission of GHG has helped them to meet sustainability target and also effective communication with their stakeholders have helped to meet the goal.
- Setting the right targets: Wal-Mart and its suppliers have distinguished between the targets of intensity reduction and also targets of emission reduction. The organization was able to meet the targets by implementing intensive operations like Wal-Mart eliminated the consignment to China to save both money and time to reduce the emission of GHG. It also eliminated the broker process to reduce the emission through utilization of energy and transportation.
- Integrating sustainability initiatives with information management: The firm has linked all its current IT systems with the sustainability initiatives to reduce the carbon emission.
- Emphasizing on improvement of performance not compliance: Wal-Mart had succeeded in this area by investing in partnership method with the suppliers and also by exploring new business models to grow eco-friendly consumer niche and building the business based on sustainability. Wal-Mart partnered with Unilever to reduce the peatland rainforest and assist the suppliers to improve the performance of the environment.
The advantages that Wal-Mart had received by implementing this system which helped the organization to reduce the carbon emissions are (Plambeck, 2012):
- Cost Reduction Process: Through proper energy efficiency, the organization had reduced the GHG. In the 1st year itself of sustainability program, Wal-Mart was able to improve the fuel efficiency in its network of logistic by 25%. This has helped to make annual savings of $75million and make 400,000 tons of Carbon dioxide.
- Revenue Increased: There are many sources through which Wal-Mart have put effort to reduce the emission of GHG like by improving the public relation, attracting more customers, adding new stores to the community etc. Wal-Mart started offering green products or organic products to its customers at premium price, as the customers were ready to spend more for organic products. Selling organic products have helped to reduce the GHG, CO2 and also nitrous oxide. This provided Wal-Mart and its buyers with unparalleled visibility of its supply chain management process. In the year 2010, Wal-Mart also started promoting the CFL lights (compact fluorescent lights), which helped the organization to achieve sales of around 100million bulbs and also reduce the utilization of electricity by the customers and also reduce the emission of CO2.
- Enhancing the brand Image: In the year 2009, due to its practice of reducing the GHG has helped the organization to increase its reputation among the consumers and also open up new stores to increasing their customer base.
- Motivating and attracting employees: Doing well to the environment, Wal-Mart was able to attract new talented candidates and also motivate the existing the employees. In order to reduce the emission, the firm motivates its tier-1 suppliers or engages with the upstream suppliers.
These kinds of systems also have some demerits. The greatest disadvantage of such system is the heavy investment to design, implement and monitor the system. There is no doubt that the latest and proven technologies would profitably eliminate the emission but adopting such system by the companies is challenging. This would incur designing cost, implementation cost, hiring cost etc.
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