Technology in Supply Chain Systems

Technology in Supply Chain systems

With the current trends of technological boom and globalization, businesses are finding new ways to better satisfy consumer needs while cutting their own operating costs at the same time.   Information Technology plays an enormous role in this never ending quest to improve efficiency at all levels of the supply chain of every retailer and service provider.   “Supply chains include a company’s entire manufacturing and distribution process. They involve every step of the production from planning to manufacturing to handling defective goods. The overall goal of these chains is to keep the process running smoothly at all times and to keep all of the components (factories, warehouses, vendors, etc…) connected” (Epiq 2010).   An efficient value-adding supply chain is essential to every organization who is seeking to gain a competitive edge over competitors.   This paper will examine how current and future technologies are utilized to cut costs and streamline expenses.   Advantages and disadvantages of implementation of such systems will also be discussed.  
Technology plays a very important role, and is largely responsible for success of most supply chain systems. “Even though the supply chain concept pre-dates the Internet, only through the use of web-based software and communication can it truly reach its full potential. Before the Internet, companies were limited because they were not able to receive or to send updates, feedback, or other important information in a timely fashion” (Epiq 2010).   In the past, inventory had to be accounted for manually, by pen and paper.   Orders had to be taken months ahead of time with a lengthy delivery process.   This meant more pressure on placing orders for the correct quantity to meet market demand and making sure the product won’t be obsolete or replaced by another product the time it hits the shelves.   “This translated into more stock outs, delayed response to market demand, and more costly...