Case Study: Control of the Supply Chain Turns Critical

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Case Study: Control of the Supply Chain Turns Critical

BHO2259 Product and Services Innovations

October 13, 2011
Executive Summary

Our objective for the project was to find out about supply chains, and how companies implement them to create an environment suitable for innovation and therefore satisfy the customers’ needs. We researched books, databases and journals to get a more complete idea of what a supply chain is, who uses them, and how they are being used. Based on the Case Study of Ahmed and Shepherd’s book, along with the information we researched we reached a conclusion listed below. Our research was somehow limited by the vast amount of different companies across the world. Supply chains vary from industry to industry. We could, nonetheless, build a general idea of how a supply chain must be composed in order to offer an extended product to consumers. Our findings dictate that every company that want to offer a complete, extended product, must offer an integrated supply chain that has a high level of communication, that is coordinated in all of its parts, and that at the same time reduces the final cost of the product.

Table of Contents

Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………………… 4

Why is supply chain management important for innovation? ……………………………………….. 5

In what way is the supply chain process connected to the innovation process?.................................... 7

Integrated supply chain system: advantages and disadvantages……………………………………… 8

Technology in the supply chain……………………………………………………………………….10

Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………………………… 11

References……………………………………………………………………………………………. 12

Introduction

The following report is a study on supply chain management. This being the oversight of materials, information, and finances as they move in a process from supplier to manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer to the consumer (Supply Chain Management, 2000)

"A general idea of the supply chain is formed, however the fact that different organizations have varying degress of their own supply chain, this depending on the size of the organization and also the type of product that is manufactured (RCG University, 1999) limited the amount of research that could be conducted."

The report looks at innovation throughout the supply chain, as ‘adapting, collaborating and integrating’ are currently being used by some companies in order to improve innovation across the supply chain. The report also shows how the relationship between the supply chain process and that of innovation are linked. Advantages such as; satisfied customers and stronger relationships across the supply chain and disadvantages, including; complexity of an integrated supply chain system are also discussed. Finally the role of product tracking, RFID, 3D and colour barcodes are looked as this implementation of technology has helped ease the supply chain.

(i) Why is supply chain management important for innovation

The supply chain encompasses the integration of organisations and activities to drive greater customer responsiveness and push down overall costs to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage (Ahmed, P & Shepherd, C 2011). Innovation in the supply chain allows for companies to view the way it applies its assets, operates their resources and also analyse the new ways in order to satisfy the needs and wants of customers (Inbound logistics, 2011). Customer input is one of the main driving forces in innovation, from the overall product concept, to the timing of the launch to packaging and delivery. The supply chain must be able to keep up with on the ongoing change of consumers and respond directly with this, but also remain cost effective (Harvard Business School, 2005) Market shifts such as; product differentiation to solution customisation, transaction to relationship intimacy and standalone competition to network rivalry are just some of the reason as to why some...
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