Essay On Supply Chain Management

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Supply Chain Management Introduction: Supply chain management (SCM) is both art and science that helps to increase the productivity of the company, find the raw components it needs to make a product or service and deliver it to customers. SCM helps the companies compete with the dynamic international market. According to Christopher (1994), a supply chain is “a network of organizations that are involved, through upstream and downstream linkages, in the different processes and activities that produce value in the form of products and services in the hands of the ultimate customer.” Background of SCM: Even though the term "supply chain management" was first coined by Keith Oliver in 1982, the concept was of great importance from the early 20th century especially when the assembly line was created. SCM has risen to eminence over the last ten years. Some authors defined SCM in operational terms involving the flow of materials and products, some viewed it as a management philosophy, and some viewed it in terms of a management process (Tyndall et al., 1998), some viewed it as integrated system. Authors have even conceptualized SCM differently within the same article: as a management philosophy on the one hand, and as a form of integrated system between vertical integration and separate identities on the other hand (Cooper and Ellram, 1993). Evolution of SCM: Supply chain management has become known with the increase in use of systems for electronic data interchange (EDI) in the 1960s and through the 1990s with the introduction of enterprise resource planning (ERP). Specialization within the supply chain began in the 1980s with the onset of warehouse management, transportation brokerages and non-asset-based carriers and has matured be... ... middle of paper ... ...nt-office" functions such as sales force automation (SFA), marketing automation and ecommerce. Companies in broad range of industries use ERP solutions for wholesale distribution and ecommerce. Even though the "E" in ERP stands for "Enterprise," high-growth and mid-size companies are now rapidly adopting ERP systems. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions also known as "cloud computing" have increased its growth. Cloud-based solutions not only make ERP software more affordable, but also make them easy to implement and manage. ERP enables real-time reporting and BI, making them even valuable to executives and staff seeking visibility into the business. As a result, many companies of various sizes and a wide range of industries are transitioning to cloud ERP systems. Also, there is a prediction that SaaS-based ERP adoption will rise 21 percent annually through 2015.

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