Supply chain management - Essay Example

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How do e-business and e-commerce affect the supply chains? Introduction The ways of doing business have evolved a great deal since the past couple of decades; from the traditional brick-and-mortar model, to a mix known as click-and-mortar, and from there on towards a click-and-click strategy – the concept of business has moved from the tangible commerce to e-commerce as a drastic change (O'Connor, 1998, p…
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Download file to see previous pages One of the major issues that businesses face while switching to the ‘e’ channels is the fact that they can convert themselves to the same in isolation; however, the supply chain network does not allow isolated implementations to be a success (Ginkel, 1998, p. 313). For higher chances of a success i.e. to reduce the risk of failure, a business should move towards ‘e’ or any other channel in collaboration with its network of stakeholders, in particular its supply chain (Houlihan, 1985, p. 17). Traditional Supply Chain Mechanisms Traditionally, prior to the era of 80s, supply chain management was assumed as a part of the business, and restricted to the supplies of inventory or raw material, depending on the nature of the business under consideration. The era of 80s and 90s has brought about changes in the way supply chain looks today (JOHNSON and WHANG, 2002, p. 411). Serving as the era of transitional changes, the big names of the business industry such as Unilever and P&G realized that streamlining the supply chain can prove out to be a highly cost effective solution for running their business. Thereon, the phase initiated in business history, where supply chain networks gain importance (Wisner and Tan, 2000, p. 35). As the era of mid and late 90s saw the rising need of supply chain integration and businesses moving towards the ‘e’ channels, the early years of 2000s saw the application of ‘e’ channels across the supply chain network, keeping it tightly integrated from the rise of the raw material to the selling of the final commodity in the retail stores (Vickery et al., 1999, p. 18). Impact of e-business and e-commerce towards supply chain The add-on of the ‘e’ variable in business cycle has had a significant impact on how businesses have been conducted (Audy et al., n.d., p. 111). However, prior to moving forward with the discussion, it is critical to define the difference between e-commerce and e-business. Despite the fact that the terms tend to be used interchangeably today, e-commerce is about conducting a transaction which could either be B2B or B2C, or even C2C. On the contrary, e-business is about the application of the technology to enhance or improve a process or even replace it on the whole (Carter et al., 2000, p. 17). Adding up ‘e’ towards the business and commerce activities pulls the supply chain towards the core business processes for ensuring the network is integrated in a manner that does not allow any loophole, as that can turn out to be fatal for the business (Gurnani et al., 2011, p. 301). Classical example of how ‘e’ factor on the business and commerce can tightly couple the supply chain requirements is shown in the case of Dell. Dell, long back, has implemented e-business and e-commerce to their business; e-processes in terms of build-your-own-pc and e-commerce in terms of online purchases (Harland, 1996, p. S64). Such an application requires extensive cooperation from the supply chain; the process of supply chain remains transparent to the customer. As a customer assembles their computer on the website, at the back-end, the support team needs to ensure that the required components are readily available or ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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