Issues And Challenges Of Supply Chains

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Supply Chain Management (SCM) goes through all the activities associated with firm including multiple flows of information, products and services starting right from raw material phase till the final product reaches the ultimate customer. This consist of procuring raw material from the right sources, scheduling the production flow, processing the order received from various departments, stock management, shipping (coming in of raw material and delivering end product), production/manufacturing, warehousing, service provided to customer and additional service required to do the core task like information system which monitors all the above mentioned activities. To advance the performance of the supply chain new opportunities have emerged through the increase use of internet and electronic commerce.

To gain market competitiveness many firms are now paying attention on their supply chain to achieve noteworthy improvements. With the advancement of globalisation supply chain has become longer on both input and output front. This makes supply chain management a challenging job when combined with increase in production of products. Keeping all these aspects in mind, I had review some of the technological and strategic innovations in managing supply chain. An innovation in management of products (input as well as output) and flow of information in the supply chain has been specifically discussed. While managing flow of information, the innovation include the use of new information technologies and strategic partnerships to enhance the lucidity of information. I had also review the various strategies such as continuous replenishment, quick response, vendor managed inventory and productive consumer response, which use the improved information flow.

In today's competitive economic environment, firms are putting great efforts to achieve competitive advantage over other firms. To succeed in business by gaining competitive advantage one of the approach that can be applied is to manage the complete supply chain in such a manner that the cost is reduces and thereby improving the performance.

This dissertation (long essay) investigate and explores how well the Supermarket Companies and Organized Chain Stores apply the supply chain management concept in order achieve competitive advantage and thereby lead successful business. My objective of research is to determine those factors which are critical to success also to determine the limitation of recent innovation of managing supply chain. This dissertation includes a theoretical framework to efficiently understand a firm's performance and how supply chain management helps to gain competitive advantage and get successful. And also, how the recent innovations helps to improve company's performance.

1.0 INTRODUCTION

In modern business environments characterized by ever-increasing competition and economy globalization, supermarket companies are exploring new areas of technologies and ways to achieve and sustain an edge over the competitors.

Nowadays, more than ever, companies face an increasing pressure of customer's requirements in product customization, quality improvement and demand responsiveness. On the other hand they need to reduce the production cost, shorten lead time and allow inventory level to ensure profitability.

Chopra defined SCM as a process to connect what customers need with the operations of the organization. Chopra (2003) in his article Supply chain management, strategy, planning & operation illustrated the key drivers in effective management of supply chain.

"Supply chain management (SCM) can be defined as "the process of designing, executing, and controlling the functions of the network with the aim to please customer by fulfilling their requirements as efficiently as possible. It is the integration of various theories and practices that helps the company to find ways of different raw components it requires to produce or manufacture a product or service and deliver it to customers. Chopra and Meind (2003) in their article Supply chain management, strategy, planning & operation of the journal Prentice Hall illustrated that how efficiently one can satisfy the customer by implementing the Supply chain management planning.

In this dissertation, I am to investigate previous research in the application of SCM in the retail industry in the UK. Specifically I will aim to review Journal Papers about this field of study in Management and apply it to the Retail industry. I will illustrate the theories, applications, philosophies of current SCM trends in the retail industry, focusing on Sainsbury plc. Sainsbury is a retail management that utilizes JIT, EDI and this application in this case are appropriate.

BACKGROUND OF SCM IN INDUSTRY:

The expression 'supply chain management' was first used in the early years of 1980 to consign to the concept that firms which usually have core business of manufacturing should ponder about their inner operations as an included entire, rather than as part departments for example procuring, production, stores, warehousing finished goods, delivery and so on.

The concept was rapidly extended by Skjoett, to cover associations with suppliers and with direct customers and to the idea that working more intimately and co-operatively with these counterparts would facilitate a kind of mixing and co-ordination that would guide to reduced inventory, superior feature and distribution performance and less costly for everyone involved. ( Skjoett, L,T. 1999). Skoett also describes SCM as "the requirement for a new model for research in logistic. There are three different theoretical angel to supply chain management: cost approach during transaction, the network view and the supply-based view.

Today, supply chain management is an important concern in large organizations, and in the academic operations management community it is one of the most active subject of research.

SCM can also be a business philosophy across different cultures. Burnes (1996) in his article Understanding supply chain improvement Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management of the journal European, insists that SMC has become an effective business philosophy; supply chain management has gained a tremendous quantity of consideration from the academic as well as practitioner's community in the recent years. ( Burnes, B. and New, S.1996). Burnes in his article "No such thing as a 'one best way' to manage organisational change" in the journal Management Decision, also illustrated that cultures and for instance the JIT philosophy was evidently prominent in Japanese culture.

Strategic Partnerships are important to the business relationship in order to survive under these pressure more and more enterprise are serving to develop long-term strategic partnership with a few component suppliers and collaborate with then in product development, inventor control and non-core process outsourcing. Strategic partnerships will be investigates in the literature review.

Moreover various value-adding processes from materials purchasing, production and assembly to distribution and customer order delivery are integrated and synchronized to achieve the common goal of enhancing customer satisfaction. (Beamon, M. B. 1999).

Haag said that a narrow observation of supply chain management would confine its application to industries such as manufacturing and retailing which are high-volume industries, to optimize stock level and production planning, in order to eliminate quality problems which start from weak inter-organizational communications. (Haag, S. Cummings, M. McCubbrey, D. Pinsonneault, A. & Donovan, R. 2006). These limited observation also ignores the service area and the procurement of stuff apart from inputs to the end product. The fact is organizations usually spend a huge ratio total investment on such inputs. SCM covers all the activities related to transaction and stocking of raw materials, semi-finished stocks and finished products from the point where they originate to their point of consumption. My dissertation will also include investigating the fact that supply chain management involves coordinating and integrating these flows both within and among companies.

I will also try to research how Sainsbury deals with administering the flow of information, services, materials and money from corner to corner of any activity, in such a way that it maximizes the effectiveness of the whole process. Chandra illustrates that this flow on information "is not a one time effort but continuous process". ( Chandra, C. & Kumar, S. 2000). He adds in this articles Supply chain management in theory and practice of the journal a passing trend or a elementary change in industries that helps to bring down costs of clients as well of the suppliers, along with enhancing the added value and margins. This will be illustrated in my Literature review and Findings.

Subsequently, success is realized by those companies that have efficient supply chains. The definition proposed by one American professional association is that "Supply Chain Management includes the scheduling and administration of all activities concerned with procurement, sourcing, logistics management and conversion activities.

The most crucial part is the synchronization and association with channel partners, which include categories of intermediaries, suppliers, customers and third-party service providers. In the real meaning, Supply Chain Management amalgamate demand and supply management within and across companies. ( Giannakis, M, Croom, S. 2004).

Supply chain management is concern with the management of information, materials and financial flows in a complex association consisting of manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and customers. The integration and coordination of the flow of information within and outside the companies is crucial in success of supply chain management. In a supply chain it is essential that flow of material, information and finance are coordinated effectively. A material flow involve flow physical product to customers from suppliers through the chain, as well as the reverse flows via product returns, recycling, servicing and disposal. Order transmission and delivery status knowledge is included in information flow. Financial flows include payments, consignment and title ownership arrangements, credit terms and payment schedules. The flow has various paths it revolves within a particular organization and in-between different companies. In the past few years, many researchers, management consultants and practitioners in academia and industry have been attracted to the coordination and integration of these flows (Cooper, M, C, Douglas, M, Lambert and Janus, D, P, 1997).

1.2 PERSONAL INTEREST AND SCOPE FOR THIS RESEARCH:

I am involved as a family business manager of retail superstores in Bangladesh. The company name is Niknek and we have three shops operate in two cities Dinajpur, and Rajshahi. We have a plan to increase our business in more different cities.

My dissertation would help me achieve the competitive edge for our own business. I will try to grasp all the concepts and theories of SCM and try to apply them in real live in Bangladesh. Additionally my motivation is that through reading the literature review I will get some findings and a good idea of what is effecting.

My decision to do dissertation on Supply chain management and its recent innovation is backed up with my aspiration to pursue career in Bangladeshi Superstore Companies. This will improve my job prospect and not be a waste of time as the dissertation is very valuable to me and my family who invested money in my studies. This initiated from our own business in Supply chain, where I got this brilliant chance to experience the captivating influences of supply chain.

Although the theories might not be relevant and cannot be applies from the US and UK frameworks into the Bangladesh economies. I will still get an idea what should the process for optimum efficiency of process in the superstore.

During my stay in Bangladesh I succeeded is establishing a pressure in our own business in an area of which I had very limited knowledge. I also got involved in a supply chain, where I not only got mixed up in the running of business but also got opportunity to assess my creative skills, by creating a web page to promote the company.

In addition, the Business Management courses I attended during my stay at London School of Accountancy and Management gave me the opportunity to utilize and invest in perspective knowledge that I had previously acquired through personal experience. This made me realize how an Business School education would help me to improve myself as person and as an professional.

In addition to helping out and run my father's business more effectively in future and establish my own career, this project will help me to broaden my knowledge about supply chain management in Supermarket Company and also helps me to understand about the new innovation in supply chain management in SCM resulting improved in company performance.

1.3 PURPOSE OF STUDY

The main purpose of this dissertation is to obtain an understanding of the term "Supply Chain Management" and its recent innovation.

I will try to find out the different factors required to improve the supply chain management in International Business Environment. Additionally I will apply this to Sainsbury plc and try to conduct some survey to get an overview of what is happening inside the organization and how do managers react and think about their supply chain.

The purpose of this dissertation is to understand the fundamental issues of supply chain management in different organizations.

Additionally I will try to suggest some recommendations and identify topics for further research to better tackle Supply Chain Management in multinational organizations.

I will tackle prior research on topics just as JIT, WEB, EDI, the Newbury process, delivery management strategies, JIT at Sainsbury, technology in SCM, SCM and internet.

Each area will have some interesting findings that I can learn from and contract them to Sainsbury current SCM philosophy and also apply at my Bangladesh superstore.

1.4 RESEARCH OBJECTIVE AND QUERIES

There are 4 research objective (a) To determine the importance of supply chain management in British supermarkets: It essential to understand how British supermarkets apply supply chain management and how far has it been effective to lead them to success. (b) To establish the role played by these new innovations to improve company relationship: The advanced technology in form of co-ordination and integration can be widely used to effectively build relationship with external as well as internal parties. The role performed by new innovation in this competitive age is an important point to ponder upon. (c) To determine critical success factors of recent innovations of SCM: It is important to examine and scrutinize the critical factors as it will help to improve the SCM concepts and generate better literature in future. (d) To determine any limitation of SCM in British Supermarkets: There are barriers which had limited the enhancement of SCM, these limitation has great effects on British Supermarkets, which is highly complex in nature. And also queries will be (a) How important is supply chain management in today's business? : We all are aware of the complex nature of material, information and finance flow to-and-fro company as well as within different departments and branches. To manage this flow efficiently one needs to understand SCM. (b) How SCM in different British Supermarkets solve problems related to Proper Logistic management, Controlling Over Cost, Time efficiency, Proper way of exporting, Relationship with customers: (c) What are the new innovations in SCM? And how do these innovations in SCM can improve company performance? (d) What is the role of technology in SCM? (e) How SCM improve company performance?

The basic assumption was "the more incorporation - the superior the management of the chain". This study discusses what the term "management" in the concept of SCM stands for. The integration assumption as a "cure all" prescription for SCM is challenged, and questions raised as to when it is possible and desirable to exercise management in supply chains. The main thesis is that it depends very much on the "environment" of the supply chain and the power relations between the participants in the supply chain. Problem of integrating the individual activities into key supply chain processes.

1.5 SIGNIFICANCE AND SCOPE OF AT SAINSBURYS

This study will examine the supply chain management function in the British supermarkets. The study significant will extend to how far are the recent innovations in supply chain management successfully achieving the SCM goals and objectives in improved company performance. Thus I will evaluate studies from the past on topics such as JIT.

It will also delineate the changing way of doing supply chain management which is likely more technology based. To enhance the supply chain management in the super market industry the study has highlighted areas requiring innovation in supply chain management.

Building customer-supplier relationships:

In my Literature Review I will investigate how SCM is the securing, coordinating and maintaining of formal links with all parties that perform a vital function. In order to do this, company needs first to develop a SCM process map describing the activities of all members involved in the supply chain and the relationships among them in successfully achieving the SCM goals and objectives. Information and communication technologies changed the way firms conduct transactions, particularly in understanding and restructuring relationships because relationship creation and maintenance helps to breed future success. Communicating benefits of relationships, clarifying customer needs and expectations, assisting in problem solving and conflict resolution, improving performance measures with suppliers, and creating competitive advantage help to maintain effective relationships (Foggin, J.H., Mentzer, J.T. 2003). Developing partnerships is one of the most crucial steps in developing and keeping customer-supplier relationships.

Implementing technology for information and communication.

Information and communication technology (ICT) Information and communication technology are a very important strategic factor in managing supply chains; it acts as the disseminator and enabler for process and product communication along with reducing paperwork and lead times.

Rapid developments in technology have created numerous choices from information technology software. However, the brand of technology used is not as important as how effectively it is coordinated with internal and external supply chain partners; along with its compatibility with other relevant technologies used by them. (Graham, G., Hardaker, G. 2000).

The role of transactional IT is to acquire process and disseminate raw data about the company's supply chain and to compile reports to summarize these data. This is particularly important because supply chain managers need timely and accurate information about existing and projected manufacturing capacities and costs, finished and semi- finished goods inventories, transportation costs, and customer demands across the firm's supply chain. The e-commerce systems which are intended to provide supply chain managers the complete and accurate information of this transactional data are Manufacturing resource planning are (MRP II), Enterprise Resource Planning, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and Distribution Resource Planning (DRP) . (Gunasekaran, A., Ngai, E.W.T. 2004). Thus analytical IT heavily involves problem solving modelling process and use of various descriptive and normative models to find solutions to various supply chain problems. The SCM managers need to know the form and purpose of these models before they apply them in their modelling process.

The development of web-based/internet applications is another tool to process information pertaining to supply chain such as processing procurement activities both operationally and strategically. Use of e-mail/faxes, worldwide web (www), EDI, electronic funds transfer (EFT), internet auctions, etc., are the few examples that web-based/internet technologies can offer to perform SCM activities more efficiently. It is not expected that electronic data interchange (EDI) systems might get replace by the use of intranet in near future (Bharadwaj, A.S. 2000). Technologies including EDI are slower, but the efficiency with which it transfers information allows it to maintain its value. New technologies similar to EDI will increase the speed of operations, reduce cycle times and aid management of materials.

Re-engineering material flows:

Many practitioners of SCM have recognized that effectively managing the flow of materials across the supply chain as one of the important strategic success factor. This is because the costs involved for providing ultimate customers and member of supply chain organizations with the necessary materials, in the right quantities, in the desired form, with the appropriate documentation, at the right time, at the right place and at the lowest possible cost are very high. (Duclos, L.K., Vokurka, R.J., Lummus, R.R. 2003).

Quickly communicating with suppliers enhances the use of inventory management techniques as like just-in-time (JIT), which is an inventory system intended to minimize stock levels (White, R.E., Prybutok, V. 2001). Technology will help in managing inventory flow and supply within a given supply channel and is key in evaluating and in reducing resource consuming processes. The development of integrated SCM increased the importance of logistical activities to shift materials in a well-timed and cost effective way across the supply chain. A supply chain wide logistics strategy became an important strategic goal for many companies.

I will investigate JIT, how it will be implemented in future years and studies on benefits of JIT, how it controls the jeopardy of transportation problems, JIT suppliers usually locate their services close to significant customers. In JIT system it requires the supplier to react to very short order lead-times. Mostly, customer's production schedule is the basis of supplier's production. Then I will illustrate JIT within Sainbury.

I will also show how the Newbury Process works. The Newbury is 24 hour ordering of stock, this is basically 'just in time' deliveries, which are designed to reduce the amount of stock being carried over All deliveries to be worked twice in each 24 hour period, resulting in stock being transferred to shelves quickly, Service yard labor to be in place to suit delivery requirements, External product holding areas shall be avoided where possible, Service yard cleared on a daily basis, Stores targeted on delivery vehicle turnaround and I will apply it to Sainsbury.

I will also investigate how the Internet Change the SCM cycle. The Internet changes the way companies do business. The changes are permanent in the transition from the industrial economy to the network economy. I will illustrate some research including from Garg, A (1999) in his journal An application of designing product and processes for supply chain management, where several benefits were illustrated such as Breaking the old paradigms of inter-organizational boundaries, Enabling the trading partners to better coordinate and collaborate and Facilitating global interconnectivity.

In my lit review I will tackle how CRM will benefit both the internal SCM cycle and customers. I will apply it to Sainsbury.

My literature review will also investigate how implementing logistics strategy involving distribution networks, transportation modes, carrier management, warehousing, inventory management, order processing and fulfilment, and all other related activities encompassing the entire supply chain became a necessity to achieve this goal.

I am confident that this study will provide significant inputs to the innovations in supply chain management resulting in better company performance plus help academicians to realise the massive prospective of the British super markets and enable to realize its rightful place in the global economic place.

1.6 ASSUMPTIONS AND LIMITATIONS ON MY DISSERTATION:

Since I am a student I have own limitation. I will base my findings on secondary data that was found from other professors who had the recourses to conduct the study. Although I tried to visit XX number of Sainsbury stores, I had no resources and time to contact each manager within every store. Additionally, the store manager, although knowledgeable about the SMC operation of the stores, where not the Corporate Manager at Corporate HQ deciding how to implement the supply chain innovation. Thus I will base most finding on previous research and some observation I did in the industry

Thus time and resource were the main two limitation factor.Due to limitation of resources, research was conducted in few companies within very short duration of time period.

There might be some biases like sampling bias, response bias and questionnaire bias. Because of limited time I had to depend more on secondary resources like literature study and case studies.

CLASSIFICATION OF THE LITERATURE ON SCM BEST PRACTICES, APPLICATION OF IT AND INNOVATIONS IN BRITISH SUPER MARKET:

The Literature Review will be divided into four broad categories

Overview and Theoretical framework of SCM

In this section the focus will be on supply chain, understanding what is supply chain management and few definitions of SCM from different authors Ire reviewed to get an overview of the subject.

SCM in Sainsbury's

As I am working in the Sainsbury's, I had selected this company as a case study for my research. So in this section I reviewed the literature related to the supply chain management in Sainsbury's, JIT system in general and with respect to Sainsbury's as Ill and also the delivery management strategies adopted by Sainsbury's.

Role of Technology & Innovations in SCM

This was the main topic of my research. In this section, I reviewed numerous articles, books, research papers to investigate the role of various IT systems, technologies and innovations in supply chain management, especially in the British Supermarket Industry. In this section, I reviewed the literature on EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), Internet and E-commerce in SCM, contribution of technology in SCM.

Problems & Success Factors in SCM

In this last section, I tried to find out the most common problems firms are facing now a day in the supply chain management. And at last the attempt has been made to find out the most critical success factors in order to develop the best practice in SCM.

By this scope in mind, I conducted a search using library databases covering topics such as European Journal of Operational Research, Decision Sciences, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, Interfaces, International Journal of Production Economics, Management Science, Operations Research, Production and Operations Management, Transportation Research, etc. I also went through special issues and edited books covering the topic of supply chain management in Production and Operations Management.

With an effort to be current on the research field, I only considered research articles published from 1995 to date. This could be substantiated by the timing of the emergence of SCM and IT concepts. I have looked at the other review articles on SCM, but none of them deals exclusively with a comprehensive review and analysis of best practices, IT and Innovations in SCM.

Chapter 3

Finding from Literature Review:

In this literature review, an attempt has been made to review the concepts and implementation of supply chain management, JIT purchasing , EDI and role of IT and Innovations in SCM. All these points were analysed in general and with respect to the Sainsbury's supermarket Ltd as I am working the Sainsbury's and it was the main organisation of my study.

The development and evolution of supply chain management owes much to the purchasing and supply management, and transportation and logistics literature. As such, the word supply chain management' is used in many ways, but three distinct descriptions dominate prior literature. Firstly, supply chain management may be used as a handy substitute to describe the purchasing and supply activities of producers. Secondly, it may be employed to portray the logistic and transportation functions of the retailers and merchants. Finally, it could be utilised to examine activities which add value to the raw materials extractor to the end users, and including recycling. However, it should be no surprise that the various descriptions overlap in some cases.

Supply chain collaboration and management has been widely used in industries to achieve competitive edge. From the retail industry to the automotive and the agricultural industries, the philosophy has examples of successful applications.

SCM AND SAINSBURY

Successful SCM need a change from administering individual performance to integrating activities into essential supply chain processes (Lambert and Copper, 2000). In our case, Sainsbury's has followed this theory for taking a lead in successful supply chain management initiatives.

An advance electronic automated stock notices (Assn.) via the Web was the key to the supply chain re-engineering in Sainsbury's. Previously the trading partner management (TPM) system called Info link-first went exist last January, and is progressively improving the competence of Sainsbury's getting operations. For instance, even small merchants-farmers, use the Web-support system and manage everything, like printing pallet labels, sending ASNs, etc.. Encouraging fulfilment is far-flung from easy: it engages many rounds of message and schooling, followed by tests with mannequin data and then restricted to trials which are live.

As part of stirring the Sainsbury's business forward, and in particular, rising the non-food operations, to apply an enhanced order-to-cash procedure. Sainsbury's has renowned the need. For that reason, Sainsbury with all their suppliers will initiate an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). They realised that the use of EDI will be equally useful and the supplier's part in this is necessary.

ROLE OF IT & INNOVATIONS IN SCM

It is becoming necessary to integrate e-commerce with Supply Chain Management , as there is significant development of internet. It can maintain across the supply chain various activities. To achieve an effective SCM one should integrate partners related to organization, it has been influenced by B2B e-commerce.

It has been verified that IT is an indispensable element for business continued existence and progresses the competitiveness of firms. From literature review we can say, to achieve successful SCM one should give due importance to IT. Structuring operation to provide best quality service to consumers and also integrating the activities involved in supply chain. Although there are innumerable articles on IT with respect to SCM, but the critical review towards those literature is deficient, which could bring out factors which are pertinent and would influence the unbeaten utilization of IT in SCM area. In my paper , an effort has been made to critically review the literature regarding IT in SCM and also to make skeleton for the enlargement and effective implementation of Information Technology in SCM. Senior executives should determine the IT while determining strategy for supply chain management, during the formulation of strategic plan/plans. Planners and senior managers of the firm should acknowledge the significance of IT in their supply chain and recognize that without IT systems support, it is not easy to provide data to make the finest decisions in supply chain. Several articles focused on constructing frameworks for the growth and technicalities of supply chains. Blackhurst et al. (2005) insists that how supply chain intricacy can make the modelling of the chain such an all-round task. Other authors then add to the general understanding of SCM by explaining the chain and its different machinery. Min et al. (2005) assist to set up frameworks for understanding relationship working together on a project. See combined software and performance within supply chains. A number of articles discuss the approach to management of a variety of efficiencies within the chain, including product efficiencies connected to plan and developed, as well as buyer-seller association structure (Fine et al. 2005; Huang et al. 2005; Lovell et al. 2005). This group also includes a number of definitions and frameworks which were urbanized for SCM (Lambert, Cooper and Pagh 1998; Mentzer et al. 2001). This area in a stable or decreasing state, as researchers come into view to be examining other areas related to SCM, is our analysis. We consider that contributions provided by such studies were significant for structure the foundations of SCM.

SUPPLIER ALLIANCES/RELATIONSHIPS

However, we are required to give attention over the relationship feature of SCM in light of agreement. There leftovers slight conformity as to the terminology and theoretical framework for the idea in aesthetics and art criticism.

COMMON PROBLEMS IN SCM

From the literature reviews of S.J., Briscoe, A.R.J., Millett and G.H., Dainty 2001, Burnes, B. and New, S.1996; the most common problems found were simple, planning, underestimation of the level of commitment and few changes required inside the business. Flow of goods, service, cash and information, lack of clarity in clear objectives, strategies and policies.

According to Swaminathan, J.M., Smith, S.F. and Sadeh, N.M. 1996; employee discomfort is the most common problem in SCM.

Cooper, J. Browne, M. and Peters, M.1994 stressed on the problem of poor choice of partners.

CRITICAL SUCCESS FECTORS OF SCM

I found many critical success factors after reviewing the literature from various authours listed below.

According to Scott, C., Westbrook, R. 1991; the choice and effectiveness of inbound and outbound logistics mode is major way to reduce costs.

Anderson, E., Weitz, B.A. 1992 said Sales and production planning, collaborative planning and generating demand is crucial in SCM's success.

Whereas, Beamon, B.M. 1999; Ballou, R.Stephen, M.Mukherjee, A.2000 stressed on Purchasing, strategic sourcing, vendor management, collaboration and bidding via the supply chain.

Claycomb, C. Dr"ge, D. Germain, R. 1999; Disney, S.M., Towill, and D.R. 2003 argue that inventory management is the most critical success factor in SCM.

Few more success factors were found from the literatures of Gottardi, G., Bolisani, E. 1996; Bharadwaj, A.S. 2000; Disney, S.M., Towill, and D.R. 2002; Christopher, M, 2005; Artiken, J.1998; Ganeshan, R. 2002; Chandrashekar, A., Schary, P. 199; Giannakis, M., Croom, S. 2004. And they are-

Order and information management of products and services

The Internet enabled supply chain and integration of the entire supply chain

Integrating the entire supply chain via a computer network

The Internet-enabled supply chain:

Rebuilding the supply chain:

Successful integration via Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) process

The E-supply chain:

Electronic delivery of products and services.

CHAPTER 5

Scope for Future Research

One of main future directions is modelling and analysis of JIT purchasing system from the perspective of supply chain management. Furthermore, the application of information technologies such as EDI and EFT play a significant role in achieving JIT purchasing.

Changing lifestyles are prompting changes in the business environment. The need for new types of SCM has increased mainly due to deficient time and increase in disposable income. This means that manufacturers, retailers and suppliers must have better information about their customers and have proper instincts to know their future needs. In SCM literature there is scope of improvement. One of the objectives of this dissertation was to explore recent trends in the SCM area. There are few suggestions for budding researchers of SCM, existing gaps have been identified in the past literatures and key challenges that SCM researchers often face. To curb these barriers suggestions are put forward. Various subjects' categories have been outlined in the result section whose business had increased or decreased in the past 10 years in supply chain research. We hope that researchers utilise these identified gaps and produce the conceptual and empirical work in the SCM literature as it is the need of the hour. To analyze this network, there are abundant prospects for various methodological tools. To better understand these network relationship who are complex and interdependent in nature qualitative studies whose focus is on network and using analogies to social networks in the consumer literature can serve as a point of entry for it. Also unit of analysis and other types of analysis were discovered for research purpose. From the top three types of researched for the past 10 years analyzed that, most of the articles fit within the firm and dyadic units of analysis. Empirical analysis techniques were used by most of the articles from top three categories. The categories themselves are not fully developed regardless of the fact that huge number of research come under these categories. And so we suggest that researchers should give importance to fill these empty spaces by studying if or not this findings hold at extended levels of analysis, like networks and chains. We do not hasten to put this forward that although we identified and explored many gaps in the literature we are conscious about the fact that SCM researchers faced different challenges every now and then, which are unique in their nature. Tanner (1999) point out the various challenges faced by organization behaviour researchers, it include (1) limited admittance to research samples, (2) low reply rates, (3) financial support (4) time for studies and (5) poor theoretical combination. Tanner suggested building good relations with trade institution to enhance networking procedure also borrowing approaches and answer to complement new studies and build up new theory precisely to the field of SCM. Despite of Tanner's suggestions to overcome present obstacles, there are still shortcomings in SCM research. Taking this research as base we offered a compilation which includes some historical shortcomings in the SCM literature and the probable solutions to defeat these issues and enhance the by and large quality of SCM research. The subsequent categories: (1) one-tier research, (2) undersized sample sizes, (3) inadequate methodological analysis, (4) incomplete findings presented, (5) lack of longitudinal studies and (6) restricted global supply chain scrutiny.

How this research would help me and the company

I have made my mind to develop my career in supply chain management since I acknowledged that the area was new and rapidly growing. Companies are recognizing that strong supply chain management is essential to good performance. It is such a wheel rounded profession supply chain is not just a procurement but also carrying and process. There many other prospect for me to make my career. I have done my dissertation in supply chain management because I believe it will give me an excellent exposure to the industry, to the network and to further my training as I build on my MBA degree. Having a dissertation in supply chain management, which in today's chaotic economic environment, firms are searching ways to gain competitive advantage. One of the ways to handle supply chain could be to cut cost but not comprising on the performance. My dissertation is elaborates how the Supermarket Companies and Organized Chain Stores apply supply chain management concept to achieve an edge over the competitors and increase the chances of getting successful. To find out the critical success factors was one of the research objective was and also to explore the limitation of recent innovation of Supply Chain Management.

This dissertation describe a conceptual framework to recognize a firm's performance and debate that supply chain management can help out a firm to be competitive and win, this will be a symbol to all my colleagues in my selected field of practice. And I have also learnt from my dissertation that how companies make every effort to increase market share, increase corporate profit, and achieve strategic advantage. In order to realize these goals, supply chain capability must be placed at the centre of a company's business model. Firms acknowledge that the competition is determined by customer demand. The customers can get elevated quality products and services in considerable low price through efficient use of supply chain management.

Supply chain management (SCM) is also an important part of comprehensive enterprise functions. SCM provides as the back-end service by connecting sellers of raw material, producers, dispensers, and resellers in an organized production and distribution network. The new economic relationship is enhanced by network economy which combines human knowledge and computer networks. The connectivity is largely achieved through the use of intranet and extranet that is made available inside the firm and transversely different firms. SCM functions make use of these networks in order to manage costs, minimize paperwork, keep down inventory, and curtail product cycles. These days, the World Wide Web and the Internet are extensively acknowledged and so connectivity among individuals and businesses is easily achieved. Web has facilitated firms to co-ordinate with business partners regarding several issues like, cutting cost, improving customer satisfaction and to maintain competitive edge. It has often been suggested that technology should not be implemented merely for technology's sake, but rather to meet a specific business need. Then, the implementation of the technology can be closely aligned with business needs and the greatest advantages obtained.

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