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What Is Supply Chain Management? Essay

1478 words - 6 pages

Introduction:
With the advent of globalization and continuous evolution in technology in the last 4 decades, the whole structure of organizations have evolved. Globalization has led to the downfall, of once successful, companies which were stagnant while led to exponential growth of continuously evolving companies. Supply chain, which was once considered a small part of operations, has now become one of the most important departments.
“The term Supply chain management encompasses the planning and management of all activities involved in sourcing and procurement, conversion, and all logistics management activities.” as quoted by the council of Supply Chain Management Professionals.[1]
In current competitive environment, to attain utmost customer loyalty and at the same time minimize cost, companies are becoming extremely dependant on the efficiency of supply chain. In the recent years supply chain has transformed from treating each action as a separate unit to combining all actions, by systematic information sharing, to attain maximum profit. The tedious and complex process of supply chain has significantly benefited with the introduction of Information Technology. [2] Some of the major challenges in efficient supply chain are to manage the inventory and prevent stock out and efficient sharing of information amongst different departments, suppliers and customers. Since it’s emergence in 1900’s RFID has been implemented in supply chain by major global players in varied sectors such as Walmart in retail, Cognizent in I.T and Gardeur A.G in Clothing.[3]
RFID has been the most comprehensive introduction in supply chain to overcome the various shortcomings of bar codes technology. As quoted by Omar Massoud Salim Hassan Ali in his thesis, companies can use RFID to effectively track their shipments, gather precise information about any product such as manufacturing date and price, prevent stock out, minimize inventory, reduce labor cost and provide more reliable and efficient customer service.
Though large corporations have successfully employed RFID in their supply chain, smaller suppliers are still reluctant in employing it due to the cost factor. This report focuses on benefits and challenges in use of RFID in supply chain management and its future prospects.
RFID Technology:
Identifying any object using radio frequency is termed as RFID. The major advantage of RFID over barcodes is that using RFID items can be scanned even if they are not in line of sight and that too without manual support. [4] RFID network consists of three major components: RFID tag or transponder, Antenna or receiver and reader.
• RFID Tag or transponder: A RFID tag or a transponder is a small microchip attached to the product to be tracked. The information about the product such as the manufacturing date, price, and expiry date is stored on this chip. When a field is generated by the receiver or antenna the transponder sends the information to the antenna which is...

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