Introduction and Background
The success of many organizations, private, public, and military, majorly depends on the ability to manage information. The concept of supply chain is a broad one and involves the flow of material, information, payments, and services. The flow starts from suppliers of raw material, then to factories and finally to the end consumers. IT provides effective solutions to supply chain problems. The computerization of supply chain activities helps to provide certain advantages in the concept of supply chain (Supply Chain Management, n.d.). Such advantages include; parallel processing, simulation capabilities, electronic documents and communications systems, information sharing and also facilitates monitoring and tracking purposes.
My quest for curiosity led me to research more on how the use of Supply Chain Management Systems creates a strategic powerhouse on business processes. Therefore, I decided to interview, Eric Smith, the Logistics Supply Chain Development Manager at Dyne Enterprises. Dyne Enterprises is a supply chain company that manufactures and deals with the distribution of soaps, detergents and an assortment of other laundry products. I conducted an interview on November 05, 2014 at about noon in his office. The interview duration was about an hour, and it was interesting to find just how the implementation of Supply Chain Management Systems in the company could be such a revolution.
I had a list of questions to guide the interview process, but, needless to say, the informed way in which Mr. Smith answered the first questions drove the rest of the interview. As a manager in charge of the Logistics department in the company, Mr. Smith has a wealth of experience in the implementation of Supply Chain Management System in the company. He has seen Dyne Enterprise transform from brick and motor operations to more automated and efficient operations.
The advancement of an enterprise-wide client server computing poses the challenge of controlling major business processes with single software architecture in real-time. An integrated system termed Enterprise Resource Planning manages all resources and their use in the entire enterprise in a coordinated manner. The systems major objective is to assimilate departments and their corresponding operations to a single information system that takes care of all the enterprise’s needs.
The Logistics Supply Chain Management System supports Dyne’s objective of managing end-to-end supply chain. Mr. Smith confirmed that, currently, a Logistics Supply Chain Management System is responsible for the management of the supply chain process.
Supply Chain Management in the company
The Logistics Supply Chain Management System also enhances the management process of the supply chain system, organizational knowledge, and performance management reporting. Mr. Smith points out that throughout his career as a logistics manager, he has noted that system technology upgrades have the potential significantly to augment the processes of supply chain management with the result of increased productivity. The system helps to integrate sales, operations and finance. It also gives employees visibility on how they impact the customer.
Eric Smith believes that the main challenge is to overcome diverse technical competencies between participants in the supply chain community. Hardware and software platforms together with knowledgeable and technical staff greatly reduce the duration and costs related to training. He also notes the importance of performing logistical activities in a connected supply chain. Every enterprise must drive mechanisms that eliminate the costs of inefficient supply chain arrangements (Schiff, 2011). Selection of the rights ingredients that portray the health of business operations bring about efficiency in supply chains.
Benefits of supply chain management
“Our biggest competitor is any company that implements computerized supply chain management through-out the organization,” said Mr. Smith. He also emphasized of how supply chain management systems provide companies with an upper hand as opposed to those that do not implement the same. A convinced Mr. Smith reported that, “The system provides a holistic view of the entire enterprise operations, and as such, we can monitor and track relevant changes to establish whether we are progressing.”
Real-time Information Access
Data Encryption Mechanisms
I found out that, in this era of system-based design, companies must share their product information with suppliers in order to benefit from improved supply chain management systems. As such, the company must balance the need to share information and the need to limit information exchange to protect data security (Data Security Policy Trade Card, n.d.). “We use business case studies to classify SCM threats into three major categories which include; technical loss of proprietary information to rivals, system malfunctions and compromised bidding systems,” replied Mr. Smith. “As such, we use Secure Information Exchange System where we have a unique and one-time-only secret key generated for each session. There hasn’t been a breach in Dyne’s system by an employee so far. In the event of such an instance, it would be easy to trace as we practice strict procedures of authentication and authorization in order to protect data confidentiality and integrity”.
Creating satisfactory value without spending too much
I found out that the company uses Supply Chain Management to ascertain efficiency and cost-effectiveness of our supply chain methods. Supply chain management consists of several basic stages for converting raw materials into finished products. About how the company creates value without spending too much, Mr. Smith responded, “We develop a strategy to determine goods and services that address the customers’ requirements. A significant portion of the strategy usually focuses on planning a profitable supply chain. At the logistics and supply chain management stage, we ensure the delivery of good to customers as planned”. Ultimately, the technology of efficient Supply Chain Management enables Dyne to generate the highest level of customer satisfaction at the lowest cost.
Value Chain Innovation
The company is familiar with the concept of value chain innovation. According to Mr. Smith, to the company, complimenting the supply and value chain enables the flow of products and services in one direction (Value Chain Innovation, n.d.). I quoted Mr. Smith putting as saying, “We seek to invest in such innovation in the future.” He continued to describe that such would help them to attain benefits such as; increasing competition, attaining evolving governance model in the entire enterprise and globalized supply and production”.
Data Security Policy Trade Card. (n.d.). Retrieved November 6, 2014, from http://www.gtnexus.com/data-security-policy/
Hanks, G. (n.d.). Example of a Supply Chain Management System of a Company. Retrieved November 6, 2014, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/example-supply-chain-management-system-company-69953.html
Kaemmer, B. (2011). Three Steps To Improving Supply Chain Management. Retrieved November 6, 2014, from http://www.manufacturing.net/articles/2011/04/three-steps-to-improving-supply-chain-management
Schiff, J. (2011). 13 Ways to Improve Your Supply Chain Management. Retrieved November 6, 2014, from http://www.enterpriseappstoday.com/supply-chain-management/ways-to-improve-supply-chain-management.html
Supply Chain Management. (n.d.). Retrieved November 6, 2014, from http://www.itinfo.am/eng/supply-chain-management/
Value Chain Innovation. (n.d.). Retrieved November 6, 2014, from http://www.oracle-downloads.com/value-chain/