An Investigation into the Best Current Practice of Supply Chain Management

An Investigation into the Best Current Practice of Supply Chain Management

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An Investigation into the Best Current Practice of Supply Chain Management

This report documents an investigation into best current practice of
Supply Chain Management. Various methods of materials procurement are
outlined in addition to their relevance to examples in modern
industry. The report discusses the ideal characteristics of a
successful supply chain. From a traditional perspective, this has
proven to be based around the development of strong inter-firm
relationships among the participating organisations that make up the
supply chain. Additionally, a detailed strategy of materials
management is proposed for a manufacturer of earth moving equipment;
JCB, and a digital camera manufacturer; Sony.

Management Practice Supply Chain Management

Materials procurement from the 60s to the 90s

Although developed prior to this period, Henry Ford introduced a
strong foundation for businesses of the 1960s with Vertical
Integration. Ford attempted to control all of the operations in his
business by buying other companies in the distribution channel. The
Ford Motor Company owned the suppliers up the channel in backward
integration and down the channel in forward integration, thereby
gaining total control of all stages of the process from raw material
extraction to finished car showrooms. Organisations of the 1960s
maintained this Vertical Integration structure, in addition to
somewhat adversarial inter-firm relationships that were a prevalent
characteristic among 1960s businesses. Buyers and sellers typically
operated at arm's-length, independent relationships, competing for
resources rather than collaborating. The primary benefits associated
with the arm's length philosophy were concerned with cost
effectiveness when managing external sources. This arm's length
approach to merchant and customer relations was balanced with the
vertically integrated structure, as primary functions of the
organisation were mostly under the firm's control. Before long, this
vertically integrated organisational structure began to flatten, which
gave rise to the supply chain organisation. Many organisations began
to sell their units acquired by vertical integration and chose to
partner with other companies that provided these services.
Consequently, the concept of supply chain management developed, as
organisations were attempting to achieve ...

... middle of paper ...

...o a lack of motivation of the
organisation in ensuring the success of the relationship with the
supplier. It is anticipated that this work has demonstrated the
importance of the role of the supply chain manager in establishing
strong relationships with suppliers.


Boddy, D. & Paton, R. (1998). Management: an Introduction., Prentice
Hall, Europe.

Harrison, M. (1993) Operations Management Strategy. Pitman.

Lines, D., Marcouse, I., & Martin, B. (2000). The complete A-Z
Business Studies, 3rd ed., Hodder and Stoughton, England.

Pietrak, W. J., Rietzke, J., & Wamsher, W. (1988) Material
requirements planning. APICS


JCB Groupn

Sony Corporation

Duxbury. (2004), What is Supply Chain Management?, [Online].
[2004, November 21].

Minicom. (2004), Asset management systems, [Online]. Available: [2004, November 22].

Seagate. (2004), Electronic Data Interchange, [Online]. Available: [2004, November 24].

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