Companies that opt to participate in supply chain management initiatives accept a specific role in enacting. They have a mutual feeling that they, along with all other supply chain participants, will be better off because of this collaborative effort. The fundamental issue here is power. The last two decades have seen the shifting of power from manufacturers to retailers.
When we talk about information access for the supply chain, retailers have an essential designation. They emerge to the position of prominence with the help of technologies. The advancement of the inter-organisational information system for the supply chain has three distinct benefits. These are:
• Cost reduction: The advancement of technology has further led to the ready availability of all the products with different offers and discounts. This leads to the reduction of costs of products.
• Productivity: The growth of information technology has improved productivity because of inventions of new tools and software. That makes productivity much easier and less time-consuming.
• Improvement and product/market strategies: Recent years have seen a huge growth in not only the technologies but the market itself. New strategies are made to allure customers and new ideas are being experimented for improving the product.
It would be appropriate to say that information technology is a vital organ of supply chain management. With the advancement of technologies, new products are being introduced within a fraction of seconds increasing their demand in the market. Let us study the role of information technology in supply chain management briefly.
The software, as well as the hardware part, needs to be considered in the advancement and maintenance of supply chain information systems. The hardware part comprises computer’s input/output devices like the screen, printer, mouse and storage media. The software part comprises the entire system and application program used for processing transactions management control, decision-making and strategic planning.
Here we will be discussing the role of some critical hardware and software devices in SCM. These are briefed below:
Electronic commerce involves the broad range of tools and techniques used to conduct business in a paperless environment. Hence it comprises electronic data interchange, e-mail, electronic fund transfers, electronic publishing, image processing, electronic bulletin boards, shared databases and magnetic/optical data capture.
Electronic commerce helps enterprises to automate the process of transferring records, documents, data and information electronically between suppliers and customers, thus making the communication process a lot easier, cheaper and less time-consuming.