e-Supply chain management
E-Supply chain management in a manufacturing context, is a series of Internetenabled value-adding activities to guarantee products created by a manufacturing process can eventually meet customer requirements and realize returns on investment. Supply chains have advanced in the last two decades with improved efficiency, agility and accuracy. The recent advancement of Internet technology has brought more powerful support to improving supply chain performance. In this context, e-supply chain
... ment becomes a new term that distinguishes itself by net-centric and real-time features from traditional supply chain management. In this chapter, principles and methodologies of e-supply chain management are discussed. It focuses on a fundamental challenge for supply chain management: how to efficiently integrate and optimize supply chain operations with widespread marketplaces and characteristic demands using the latest advances in information and communication technologies. A case of esupply chain management application is also described in this chapter. As Internet and related technologies have been discussed in detail in other chapters of this book, this chapter will focus on e-supply chain management principles, approaches and methodology. adding activities mainly include product development, product design, raw materials supply, manufacturing the product, product packaging, delivery to customers, and post sale services. Supply chain management for a manufacturing company refers to incorporating its manufacturing process to all value-adding activities implemented by parties who add values to its final products. The term, supply chain, is a simplified description for vertically related business processes. Nowadays, it is more frequently referred as supply networks or supply chain networks because a company is likely to be involved in more than one supply chain and the related companies form business networks. Since information technology became an enabler of improving business processes, supply chain management has gained tremendous benefits from applying ICT to various aspects of its tasks. IT application moves from data management to control automation, and then moves to enterprise integration. Supply chains have advanced the last two decades with improved efficiency, agility and accuracy. However, it was only at the time when the Internet technology became a practical means of information exchange in industries, that supply chain management started changing its way of allocating and controlling resources across organization boundaries. When business activities of a company are electronically incorporated in value-adding processes throughout the supply chain, e-supply chain management becomes a new term that distinguishes itself by Internet-supported, net-centric and real-time features from traditional supply chain management. In this chapter, principles, methodologies and examples of esupply chain management will be discussed in the following sections. Principles of e-supply chain management The fundamental challenge for supply chain management is how to efficiently integrate and optimize supply chain operations with dispersed marketplaces and characteristic demands using the latest advances in information technology. e-Business using Internet technology to facilitate information exchange and communication in business networks has emerged as an innovative approach further exploring value-adding opportunities in supply chains. The e-business approach plans and executes front-end and back-end operations in a supply chain using Web-based applications  . Incorporating e-business approach in supply chain management has been proved as a competitive method for increasing values to be added and improving process visibility, agility, speed, efficiency, and customer satisfaction. e-Supply chain refers to the business activities that incorporate e-business approaches into supply chain processes. e-Supply chain management involves applying e-business technologies to assist and optimize value-adding activities in supply chains. A more detailed definition of e-supply chain management can be found in the description of Norris et al.  : "Electronic supply chain management (e-SCM) is the collaborative use of technology to enhance business-to-business processes and improve speed, Figure 7 : e-Supply chain information system infrastructure. Communication systems Communication systems facilitate people exchanging information and in collaboration for affiliated tasks. The Internet is the latest development in communication technology. The World Wide Web creates an open communication system to the public through standard protocol and format for information exchange. Technologies used in electronic communication systems are email, voice mail, fax, teleconferencing, workflow systems, electronic data exchange (EDI), Web-based systems such as instant messaging, chat rooms, groupware, intranet, extranet, etc.  . Functions of communication systems Primary functions of communication systems include: (1) Obtain and exchange information between individuals or groups. These are basic functions for all communication technologies. Some tools are for one-way communication by sending messages or multimedia data to business partners, such as fax, email, voice mail. The others are twoway communication tools, such as teleconferencing, on-line chat room, groupware, intranet, extranet. Web-based communication systems are a key technology in e-supply chains for customers and supply chain partners sharing information through which e-business strategies, new marketing and procurement channels can be created. (2) Share knowledge between users. With communication systems, particularly intranet and extranet, supply chain partners share knowledge of customer requirements, product development, manufacturing technologies to solve problems and how to improve their product quality.