Information Systems for Business and Beyond (2019)

Supply Chain Management

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Supply Chain

Many organizations must deal with the complex task of managing their supply chains. At its simplest, a supply chain is the linkage between an organization’s suppliers, its manufacturing facilities, and the distributors of its products. Each link in the chain has a multiplying effect on the complexity of the process. For example, if there are two suppliers, one manufacturing facility, and two distributors, then the number of links to manage = 4 (2 x 1 x 2). However, if two more suppliers are added, plus another manufacturing facility, and two more distributors, then the number of links to manage = 32 (4 x 2 x 4). Also, notice in the above illustration that all arrows have two heads, indicating that information flows in both directions. Suppliers are part of a business’s supply chain. They provide information such as price, size, quantity, etc. to the business. In turn, the business provides information such as quantity on hand at every store to the supplier. The key to successful supply chain management is the information system. A Supply Chain Management (SCM) system handles the interconnection between these links as well as the inventory of the products in their various stages of development. As discussed previously much of Walmart’s success has come from its ability to identify and control the supply chain for its products. Walmart invested heavily in their information system so they could communicate with

their suppliers and manage the thousands of products they sell. Information Systems for Business and Beyond (2019) pg. 55

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