WEBSTER UNIVERSITY (Mid-Term Exam)
Question # 1
Within the content of the evolution of Purchasing & Supply Mgt. From a transaction based (i.e. clerical/mechanical) function to one that is strategic based (i.e. proactive/world class) in the private sector, how has the emergence of a strategic focus affected the propagation & implementation of the 5 Major Developments (as stated in the textbook) in the area of Purchasing and Supply Management? In addition, how has this strategic focus influenced the interaction & collaboration of Purchasing & Supply Mgt, with other departments of the organization (e. g. Finance, Legal, Human Resources, Marketing, Manufacturing, Logistics, Engineering & Quality) and with its external supplies and customers?
The role of Strategic Focus has revolutionized the business world in every aspect including and not least important in the realm of Purchasing and Supply Management. The clerical days of old are long gone and have been replaced with vastly more efficient, modern behaviors that better propagate and implement or spread and execute commerce via WCSM. Instead of traditional clerical roles where goods and services were purchased and sold from an adversarial viewpoint, alliances where all parties win are fast becoming the norm. Building coalitions between the producer and supplier make much more sense for all parties than the former example of “survival of the fittest”. The 5 major developments in Strategic Focus have been instrumental in this. Cross-Functional Teams for example which tend to be improvised panels of inter and intra-related personnel are assembled to meet specific stated objectives such as product development or negotiations on the terms and conditions of a purchase agreement are a key player in the drive to this end. Individual teams can facilitate excellence in business through; materials review, specification development, decisions on whether to make-or-buy, determination on inventory levels, quality requirements levels and more. Teams composed of Supply Management working with, not against, Engineering and other key individuals will make easier the propagation of new products and services. Involving customers and suppliers is also a solution-based method of getting products to market quicker and in a more cost-efficient manner. These teams may be part-time members loaned out for specific time periods who still retain their individual corporate identities [the departments they come from], but who enrich the whole process through their input. [They] are usually made up of those who in addition to their core-competency, posses excellent team behavioral skills
Marc L. Bellucci
Supply Chains and Supply Networks are perhaps the most interesting and challenging aspect of supply management is the development and management of the organization’ supply chain or supply network as our text states. The chain consists of members from the end user all the way back to the entities that remove the raw materials from the ground. In the Supply Chain, all members perform some type of value added task that reaches the ultimate consumer. These Networks or Chains are challenging aspects to be sure, but thrilling in their advent as well, with technological advancements paving the way for ever-increasing efficient, conservative, and cost-effective ways of producing goods. This dovetails into the first tenet where Cross-Functional Teams are in-play, to say that the first tenet is linked to the next and so on. For instance, each company; the supplier, the company who initiated the need, and possibly the customer can all have teams within their organization and supply expertise in one or more areas to aid in smooth production. This leads to Supply Alliances. Supply Alliances exist in parallel to chains and networks. Alliances are not legal entities, but “mutually...