Supply Chain Paper

1531 words - 6 pages

Advances in information technology have brought about many advantages for businesses today. As an example, the Internet has enabled organizations to expand its markets, reduce costs, and most important increase profits. As a result of this technology, a competitive global market exists that presents many challenges for the business owner; one such challenge is the management of a firm's supply chain. Globalization, price deflation, supply chain competitiveness, and customer service are prominent trends in the supply chain industry. Dynamic markets, changing consumer demands in addition to lower costs and reduced margins are reasons that organizations should effectively manage or sometimes re-engineer their supply chain processes to remain competitive (About.com, 2007). This paper will discuss how three pet stores, Lucky Dog, Muttropolis, and PETCO, manages its supply chain through the use of Internet technologies.A supply chain is a link to every aspect involved with the delivery of products or services to a customer. This connection of all components of a supply chain ensures that products are obtained by the consumer at the right place, time, quantity, and most important, at an acceptable price. The supply chain of an organization should be viewed as an extensive, highly networked value chain driven by customer demand. The efficient management of the supply chain involves overseeing relationships with suppliers and customers, controlling inventory, forecasting demand in addition to obtaining feedback regarding every link of the chain (Computerworld, 2007). Effectively managing an integrated value chain can improve product and service quality that will in turn increase company sales (BearingPoint, 2007). Organizations should therefore actively pursue cooperative, long-term relationships with suppliers and customers that allow a network among all members of the supply chain. This will enable organizations to keep pace with competition in addition to reducing costs and obtaining the greatest value from its suppliers.Business Functions, Processes and TechnologyThe primary method used by these companies to coordinate business functions and processes with its customers and suppliers is use of the Internet. This technology allows these companies to improve communications with customers at an extremely low cost. Web sites provide customers with direct access around the clock to compare product prices and features, purchase pet supplies, or search for store locations. In addition, customer access to these websites provides these companies with valuable information based on customer demand and feedback.The Internet allows these pet supply companies to save money and increase product quality by improving the negotiations process with their suppliers. As they seek to establish long-term relationships with suppliers, Lucky Dog and Muttropolis re-orders product via the Internet when staff recognizes shortages. Their alliances with suppliers also allow them...

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