Supply Chain Management
Purpose – This report will explain and describe the essential and critical practices and functions of the SCM regarding the impacts of the technology on supply chain efficiency. This report will discuss the also current challenges which are looked by an organization in operating the functions of the supply chain in the international market. It will also describe the issues which make the global SCM supplementary complicated to the organizations.
Scope – This report will help the organizations to consider the aspects of the challenge described in this report to improve the performance and efficiency of the management of the supply chain. This report will also explain the benefits of global SCM for the organizations in gaining its advantages in performing and achieving business objectives.
Methodology – This report analyses the published works of literature and journals which content focuses on the efficiency of management of supply chain in the global context. Selected literature for review belonged from the last decade reflects towards the current challenges which are faced by the organizations in performing the activities involved in the management of SCM.
Findings – This report describes that the handling of technology and employees’ motivation towards the adaptation of technology are two main areas which are also challenging for the organization and need to address quickly otherwise. The success of an organization may not be possible in the local or international markets.
Recommendations – As per the identified challenges through the investigation of literature review and discussion of issues, it can be stated that effective implementation of technology and its integration with the strategy of the organization will only help make the supply chain more effective. After this, the success of an organization's supply chain is possible in the local and international market. Organizations can improve the efficiency of the current supply chain through effective strategies for improving the process.
Table of Contents
SCM includes several different disciplines, namely, marketing, R&D, transportation, operations management, purchasing, and logistics. These are not very efficient for an organization without the involvement of the technology. Issues related to the association of technology in a movement of the tangible products and required information flow along with the processes of business seem for dominating the current concept of selected supply chain discipline.
This report will explain and describe the essential and critical practices and utility of SCM (SCM) regarding the effect of technology on the efficiency of the supply chain system. This report will discuss the also current challenges which are confronted by an organization in operating the functions of the supply chain in an international market. It will also describe the issues which make the global SCM more complicated to the organizations.
The surge of global business activities has prompted the manufacturing organizations to meet the legal and business related compliances in the context of SCM related practices because of its impacts on their competitive performance. Therefore, the report on the chosen topic will help the manufacturing industry to realize the significance of the adaptation of technology in the effective management of practices of SCM. It is because many research studies have also explored the use of technology in the performance improvement of the manufacturers for gaining a competitive edge from their business rivals not only in the local but also in the global market.
As per a definition of supply chain given by Ramanathan and Gunasekaran (2014) management of the supply chain encompasses every activity that is related to the supply or the movement of the goods. It includes events from the flow of raw materials, sourcing, procurement, scheduling of production, processing of orders, effective management of inventories, transportation, warehousing, and post-sales services to the customer after delivery of the products.
Importantly, this definition focuses on the effective use of technology for the timely sharing of valuable information through the employ of the IT management systems used in the supply chain of the company. Technology related to the SCM includes the generation of order to the suppliers for raw materials, production stage-based information to the production team, quick response to the query of the inventory staff, and the significant use of Internet (Maestrini et al., 2017).
Figure 1: Role of Technology in Supply Chain
(Source: Awesome Inc., 2014)
In the modern global business environment, the competitive edge is an essential aspect for every organization in a relevant term for their survival. It cannot be possible without the effective use of the supply chain related technologies that facilitate procurement manager and other staff members to perform each aspect of the supply chain (Hallikas and Lintukangas, 2016) as described above with an effective manner. Supply chain technology also consists of the element which improves the firm’s operating systems.
In the present business context, globalization has increased the movement of the goods from a country to the other nations which offer several types of opportunities as well as challenges to the companies in performing actions associated to logistics and the strategies and operations of SCM.
Technology helps the companies to make effective scheduling for the production and supply of the final goods to the market and customers. Technology also facilitates the supply chain department of an organization to offer a self-tracking system to the customers, which assists in knowing about the exact location of their products after purchasing.
The technology of the SCM helps the companies to conduct the online screening of the suppliers and take their active involvement in producing and supplying quality products to customers without affecting their desires. Technology also improved the collaboration between the SCM team with the other departments of the organization, which promotes their managing capacities.
At present, the role and use of technology in the management of activities of the supply chain cannot be ignored. Technology facilitates the organizations to analyse the production process in such a manner which can reduce the wastage of the materials, improve the communication between the stakeholders of the supply chain and improve the strength of the supply chain. Technology also facilitates the team to collect the data related to the processes of supply chain activities for knowing whether it is performing adequately.
Many companies produce materials after out-sourcing non-core activities. Such activities are performed to get low-cost materials from global business places. On the other hand, the volatility of the worldwide market is also a problematic area for organizations to predict the future of business activities. In this context, technology related to the supply chain also facilitates the managers to not only monitor supply chai but also evaluate their effectiveness and use the collected data to make business decisions (Lin, 2014). Therefore, it can say that SCM related technology helps companies to implement the decentralized structure within the workplace without changing the hierarchy of the structure.
Similarly, the effectiveness of any SCM depends on the alignment of information sharing and its use in decision making (Gattorna, 2017). In this context, technology facilitates the managers to ensure the maximum utilization of the resources to reduce supply costs and improve the outputs of the companies.
As per the research cited by Maestrini et al. (2017), technology impacts positively on the performance of the employees. It facilitates the managers to measure the performance of the followers in the term of the delivery timing of products and satisfaction of them. Eckstein et al. (2015) say that the confidence of the employees can be enhanced with the help of effective alignment between the daily tasks of the employees, along with their technology tools. Technology related to the supply chain also facilitates the employees to perform activities as per the expectations of the consumers by integrating functions of the supply chain with other departments.
Historic conscious of the SCM reflects the significance of the technology for performance of the employees (Ramanathan and Gunasekaran, 2014) otherwise; the lack of tools restricted them by performing role and responsibility effectively. Technology is a tool for the managers to show the global supply chain process without going or learning other countries business culture or language.
Every organization selects the technology for supply chain based on their SCM policies, needs of customers, nature of the market, and available facilities.
Figure 2: Process for Supply Chain
(Source: Holisol Logistics Pvt Ltd., 2018)
Sayogo et al. (2015) describe the needs of the comprehensive planning for the SCM activities before purchasing the technology; otherwise, the entire supply chain may become a burden for the organizations.
For enhancing global capabilities of supply chain department, SCM must consider the structure of current business cycle, process and system of transportation, operational activities from purchasing of raw materials to production of final goods, skills and competencies of employees, needs of the integration of the departments and external stakeholders as well as the association of the information system. Global supply chain process of the company cannot be done without incorporating these considerations.
In this context, this research report does not elaborate on each above-described aspect because they are easy to understand. But it is also expected from the researcher to consider few aspects such as the competencies of employees in using the supply chain technology for performing its management effectively. It will help the researcher to explore the role of human resources in the use of technology for managing the activities related to supply chain management.
As per the above discussion, it concluded that this report gave a clear understanding of the practices and functions related to technology in the SCM system by an organization in the global context. Further, this report explained the significance of technology as well as its drawbacks to the organizations in the form of the adaptation barriers. Literature review reflected the challenges that may be faced by the organizations and the benefits of the technology to overcome the negativity of the challenges and make improvement in the performance of the existing supply chain.
As per the above discussion about issues, followings are recommendations that will help a global company to address technology-related challenges:
By employing the above-presented recommendation, an organization can reduce the technology related challenges from both internal and global business operations. As a result, the business will give profit to the owner, and the company can perform more competitive with the compelling supply chain aspects