Saturday, March 9, 2013
Draw backs in Use and Implementation of Technology in SCM
One critical factor in the success of supply chains is the communication required across all its levels. Information needs to be transfered upstream and downstream in order to sustain the supply chain. The kind of information that needs to be shared largely revolves around the production and movement of goods from inventory to inventory until it reaches the consumer a process that has been made efficient by the introduction of technology. An example of such a technology is the Enterprise Resource Program which is inclusive of both supply chain and non supply chain mechanisms. An Enterprise Resource Program according to a document by OCSTC is essentially an integrated software system that automates all departments and functions across a company. This technology organises information that will be used along the supply chain to promote its effectiveness. It may perform an example of the following functions to improve inventory management; bar code reading and stock taking, multi warehousing, serial number tracking, customer specific tracking, integrated manufacturing, extensive reporting as well as multiple pricing levels. Partners are able to share information and further collaborate for the success of a supply chain process. As with every technology however, there are various challenges that come with the implementation. Partners may not be receptive to the technology that one may propose for a supply chain system. They initial costs often discourage companies from adopting the technology thereby creating a conflict within the supply chain. On the consumer end of the supply chain, the consumers may also not be receptive to the use of the automated system where they may be requested to access it in order to make purchases or general inquiries. They may find the process tedious without prior knowledge of its use and it may further discourage them from contracting a company as the supplier of their product. Furthermore, the people working in order to sustain the company across the supply chain may find the technology too complicated to incorporate in their day to day processes and in turn reduce productivity and motivation amongst the workers. They may also feel threatened that the automated systems will take over their jobs and may intentionally reject the technology. As one implemets the technology within their company it is important for them to evaluate how it would fit into the company's supply chain. This will ensure that the technology does not conflict with the objectives that the chain will be trying to fulfill. A manager would require to conduct some change management within the work force to enable them to adopt the technology. They need to be trained to understand that the technology eases the supply chain process and makes it more efficient to improve the profit margin of the company which would in turn reflect on the general expenditure of the company including terms of wages. How receptive would you be in the incorporation of a new technological system in your company? What other faulties do you see in the implementation of technology in the supply chain?