Meeting the Challenge of Today’s Global Supply Chain Imperatives.

Topics: Supply chain management, Supply chain, Logistics Pages: 13 (4128 words) Published: November 12, 2008
Meeting the Challenge of Today’s Global Supply Chain Imperatives. Abstract
This paper talks about the current challenges that Supply Chain managers face in an increasingly complex global competitive environment. In addition, based on the performed research, it proposes three different aspects Supply Chain managers should focus on in order to deliver outstanding performance and add value to their companies’ financial health. A competitive environment without any territorial boundaries and with an ever increasing complexity also adds to the managers’ dilemma. In the present days of global competition, online business and seamless communication, continuous improvement in the supply chain is a must, and who manages and uses better information throughout his value chain, will have the best chance to succeed in the current market conditions. This research concludes that, overall supply chain management success is tightly related to how well the company manages and uses its information. It is not sufficient to develop reliable and user friendly information systems to collect data. Data itself will not suffice to aid management to come up with better decisions. The company needs to develop business logic to take the most out of the data collected. Moreover, this logic must not only be limited to support monthly reviews and decisions, but also the daily decisions. Simply put the business logic must be not only reactive but also proactive towards decision making. Therefore, this paper addresses as well what are some of the current and upcoming information and technology solutions that will assist managers to affront and achieve in this global competitive environment.

Introduction
Nowadays, we can really talk about the Earth as a unique globe. The term “global” like never before has remarkable significance and importance. The technological advances have enable people to communicate and interact seamlessly. This shortening of virtual distances between people has comprehensively driven people to also expect shorter times for being attended in their products and services they acquire. Moreover, this ever-accelerating advances in technology also have flattened the world (Friedman, “The World is Flat”, 2005). This latter has caused companies to affront an increasingly complex competitive environment with no longer territorial boundaries. Sales & Marketing areas will now how to obtain a good understanding about how their now diverse target markets behave. Financial areas need to increase awareness about multiple currency fluctuations. Not surprisingly, Operations areas are also affected and thus, they need to grow in extension and efficiency. Organizations may need to add new facilities, design new distribution channels, improve their planning tools, etc. The number of impacted supply chain activities could be endless, and is not an objective of this paper name them all. This paper, on the other hand, tries to narrow the scope and group the impacted areas in three different significant global imperatives to address. Doug Lawson, President of Incuity Software, in his article for industryweek.com, proposed the following areas that entail the most remarkable challenge in Supply Chain Management for this new globalized environment (Lawson, 2008, industryweek.com). 1.Global environmental awareness – rising cost of energy and the environmental impact 2.Ever-Increasing need to be more agile – People and Organizations increasingly expect more responsiveness from their providers. Manufacturers, retailers, and service providers need to increase. 3.Response to competition in a global economy.

Lawson also asserts that these three “new global imperatives” are fundamentally information problems. The extent in which organizations ace these three major concerns is crucial for their prosperity in the long term.

Current global imperatives and how to develop a supply chain that delivers competitive advantage. As we said lines above, the world...

Bibliography: - Chopra, Sunil. 2005. “Supply Chain Management: Strategy, Planning, and Operation”
- Hult, G. T. M., D. Ketchen, Jr. and E. Nichols. 2002. "An Examination of Cultural Competitiveness and Order Fulfillment Cycle Time within Supply Chains." Academy of Management Journal 45 (3): 577-5
- Lawson, Doug. 2008 “Meeting the Challenge of Today’s Global Manufacturing Imperatives”. White paper. Retrieved August 6, 2008 from IndustryWeek.com
http://www.industryweek.com/Whitepapers/WhitePaper.aspx?WhitePaperID=249
- SupplyChainDigest.com (2007) “The 10 Keys to Global Logistics Excellence” Retrieved on August 6, 2008.
http://www.scdigest.com/assets/Reps/SCDigest_Global_Logistics_Excellence.pdf
- Johnson, L. (2002, Spring2002). Becoming an Internet Generation Company. MIT Sloan Management Review, 43(3), 12-13. Retrieved August 9, 2008, from Business Source Premier database.
- McAfee, A., & Brynjolfsson, E. (2008, July). Investing in the IT That Makes a Competitive Difference. Harvard Business Review, 86(7/8), 98-107. Retrieved August 9, 2008, from Business Source Premier database.
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