University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun, India
Integral University, Lucknow
A supply chain is a network of suppliers, factories, warehouses, distribution centers and retailers, through which raw materials are acquired, transformed, produced and delivered to the customer. The supply chain consists all the activities associated with the flow and transformation of goods from the raw material stage, through to the end user, as well as the associated information flows. Supply Chain Management is a set of synchronized decision & activities, utilized to effectively integrate suppliers, manufacturers, transporters, warehouses, retailers & customers so that the right product or service is distributed at the right quantities, to the proper locations & at the appropriate time, in order to minimize system wide costs while satisfying customer service level requirements. Information Technology application has brought enormous opportunities to supply chain management and making it grow at an even faster pace. Role of information is crucial & drives the entire supply chain system. For many companies, it has become clear that a supply chain that flows information and material effectively can be a significant differentiator, the competitive winner. Supply chain management system can be regarded as a type of distributed information management system, of which agent technology provides the ultimate in its development. This paper reviews the state of the art of conventional supply chain applications provided by top manufacturing software vendors. The paper reviews the implemented systems of supply chain management and presents the requirements for the next generation of supply chain management systems.
Supply Chain Management is a major concern in many industries as Companies realize the importance of creating an integrated relationship with their suppliers and customers. According to the Global Supply Chain Forum (GSFC), Supply Chain Management is defined as “the integration of key business processes from end user through original suppliers that provide products, services, and information that add value for customer and other stakeholders.”(Chan & Qi, 2003). We can only talk about Supply Chain Management, if there is a proactive relationship between a buyer and supplier and the integration is across the whole supply chain, not just first tier suppliers.( Cox,2004). The supply chain encompasses all activities associated with the flow and transformation of goods from the raw materials stage, through to 102 Journal of Strategic Innovation and Sustainability vol. 6(4) 2010 the end user, as well as the associated information flows.(Vollmann & Berry 2005) says Supply chain management (SCM) is the integration of all these activities through improved supply chain relationships, to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage . For many companies, it has become clear that a supply chain that flows information and material best can be a significant differentiator, the competitive winner. The Internet is dramatically affecting the way products are bought and distributed. In Internet business, companies have to solve a major supply chain problem - how to efficiently incorporate, integrate, and utilize the rich inflows of information provided by multiple suppliers. Agents are now being regarded as an important technology to assist in helping to solve the problems of information overload and management . Collaborative information agents will play a major role in the supply chain management. This paper reviews the implemented systems of SCM, and presents the requirements for next generation of SCM system. Finally, in end, multi agent system is thought as a vision of approach to next generation of SCM systems.
OVER VIEW OF SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT (SCM)
The pressures of the global competition and the need...