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Changing Business Environments Essay

1833 words - 8 pages

In this age of rapidly changing business environment, many organisations and business houses faces a constant pressure to continuously adapt and redefine their business process. One of the key processes in doing business whether big or small ranging from small grocery store to a big retail chain is the supply chain process. With the increase in exposure of the companies to the global environment, liberal trade policies, business partnerships and virtual proximity between any two locations of the world, supply chain management has become one of the buzz words in this global business environment. Supply chain management is a collaborative effort of multiple channel members to design, implement and manage seamless value added processes to meet the real needs of the end customers (Fawcett & Magnan, 2002). Thus we can see that a supply chain process involves multiple stages starting from suppliers and ending to end users or customers. The entities which are involved in a normal supply chain are suppliers, manufacturers, warehouses, distributors, transporters, retailers and customers.
One of the key challenges many organisations face is managing the interconnectivity and collaboration between different entities of the supply chain. Seamless flow of information, tighter integration and communication between channel partners plays an important role in increasing the efficiency of any supply chain and in turn the profitability and rate of return for any business. Due to the lack of communication and flow of information between the stages of supply chain results in poor product visibility and lack of transparency in the supply chain. This occurs mainly because of the fact that each link in the chain operates as individual entity. Information technologies like Radio Frequency Identification Information (RFID) along with ERP and centralized databases plays a dominant role in collaborating and integrating the entire supply chain process. Main uses of RFID technology are reduction in time taken to reorder shipments, reduction of tracking time, improving tracking of pallets, items, reduction of shrinkage and provide better planning, control and optimization of inventory and assets (Coltman, Gadh, & Michael, 2008).

RFID is a means of using radio Frequencies to identify persons or objects. It is a wireless automatic identification and data capture technology which is used to identify and track entities (Turcu et al., 2008).According to the book written by Sunil Sharma there are 4 main components of RFID
1) RFID tag – It consists of an antenna attached to a microchip. A serial number which identifies the product, cases or SKU’s in retail is stored in the microchip. There are generally two types of tags active and passive. Active tags are those which are integrated with a battery whereas passive tags do not have battery. They derive the power to operate from the magnetic field generated by reader....

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