There is no doubt that the World Wide Web has changed the way of how one works and communicates. At the same time, it is also an incredible truth that it has changed the way in which firms conduct their business in today’s era. One of the business fields undergoing a great change is supply chain management. It is predicted that the robustness and influence of this technology will facilitate this field of management to evolve in different ways for changing the way in which inventory, orders, and relations with the suppliers are regulated. In short, it is ensured that enhanced supply chain management will bring improved profits and inventory control. So, are you interested in knowing which emerging practices or technologies in the virtual business world will be greatly influencing the supply chain management? Okay, let’s take a look!
Also known as e-markets, these markets are characterized by dependency on the Internet, no intermediary, equal treatment to buyers and sellers, and complete information on the go. Primarily, a virtual market aims at bringing together sellers and buyers via the World Wide Web. Significantly, such a market gives both the buyer and seller an opportunity to reform their different business processes such as sales administration, estimation, scheduling, cash cycles, and customer service. At present, virtual market places exist for steel, automotive, and agricultural industries. In such a market, one can find all types of information such as those on products, vendors, specifications, analysis, and comparisons. However, there are some challenges that one encounters while the setting up of an e-market. These include identifying the tools, setting the right price, ensuring security, and determining the legal jurisdiction of functioning. Although a virtual market is global by nature, defining the legal system for solving problems is yet to evolve completely.
This is one of the most interesting developments in the world of supply chain management. It exists in the form of coordinated manufacturing, mutual forecasting, shared replenishment, timely information updates, ensured associations with the big systems, and capacitative inventory planning. Such a well coordinated planning involves the key phases such as information integration, workflow synchronization, planning harmonization, and new effective models. Information integration focuses on sharing information for maintaining transparency amongst the supply chain members. This will ensure better job scheduling. Planning harmonization defines what can be done with the shared information whose benefits are enhanced quality of service and reduced cost. The workflow synchronization phase focuses on ‘how’ aspect of the planning phase to give the benefits of efficiency and enhanced service.
However, synchronized planning is only possible if there is a strong association amongst all companies engaged in supply chain. It is vital to define communication mediums, key performance areas of each employee in the chain, and monitoring criteria for each member. Each member must be held responsible for contributing their role to the integrated supply chain management. In this way, synchronized planning can ensure that supply chain is run by consumer demand, not by employees’ desires.
Radio Frequency Identification Tags (RFID)
A basic RFID system has an antenna, transceiver, and a tag or transponder. While the antenna turns on the tag for retrieving and storing data to it, the tag allows transmitting the information to a host computer. Majority of RFID systems have their personal power source, work at a low frequency, and charge you less, operate very quick, does not require a particular sight line, and function in any weather condition. SamSys is one of the RFID systems made for supply-chain management. It is meant for an open system environment to allow vendors and entrepreneurs to work together without any protocol restrictions.
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