The Supply Chain
Think of a product or service that you use regularly or that is of such a high quality that you would recommend it to anyone. It could be a particular car model, a dry-cleaning service, a brand of jeans, or something else. When you have that product in your hand or are receiving a service from that company, do you often think of all of the steps in the process that allowed that to happen? It is likely that you (and most people) will simply be concerned about the aspects of the goods or services that are right in front of you. Does the stereo system sound good? Are your clothes cleaned well? Is the product durable, fashionable, or affordable? These aspects are important to consumers and may be the extent of what they need to know, for the most part. However, as a business professional, you will want to take a deeper look at the parts and processes that lead to great products and services. In order to do so, you would want to explore the company’s supply chain.
Supply chains and the network of activities that are involved in developing a product or service are all interconnected parts of an organizational system. If there is an issue in any part of the supply chain, it will affect its overall performance. Sustainability and ethical considerations are important influencers in the supply chain and overall organization’s decision making.
This week, you will examine supply chain and supply chain management, including its components and partners. In the Discussion, you will explain some aspects of digitization and will provide specific examples of how it can impact the supply chain. In the Assignment, you will respond to a set of questions on emerging technologies, current trends, supply chains and supply chain management, sustainability efforts, and ethical considerations.
- Explain the impact of digitization as an emerging technology on the supply chain
- Illustrate the impact of current trends on operations management
- Describe supply chains and supply chain management
- Identify supply chain structure and partners
- Explain the impact of sustainability efforts on an organization’s decisions
- Explain the impact of ethical considerations on an organization’s decisions
The Digital Supply Chain
The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.
In the not-too-distant past, many businesses kept track of information using paper files and carried out daily functions using manual processes. You may even be familiar with some smaller operations that still manage their business in this manner. Many companies, however, have taken advantage of the technological advances of the last century and have “gone digital,” keeping critical information in large file servers and in cloud-based storage systems. Many business functions are now able to be carried out using automated processes, whether in manufacturing of goods, paying of employees, or processing of online orders, scheduling of appointments, et cetera.
In this week’s Discussion, you will examine the ways in which digitization has impacted the supply chain, including the advantages, disadvantages, risks, and benefits of its use.
To prepare for this Discussion:
- Review this week’s Learning Resources.
- Do some research to identify examples of the use of digitization in managing a supply chain. Consider any risks involved, as well as benefits to a business’s operations.
- Review the Academic Writing Expectations for 2000/3000-Level Courses, provided in this week’s Learning Resources.
By Day 3
Post a 225- to 300-word (3- to 4-paragraph) explanation of how digitization as an emerging technology can impact the supply chain. In your explanation, be sure to address the following:
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of using digitization?
- Provide at least two specific examples of how the use of digitization can impact an organization’s operations, including its supply chain.
- To support your response, be sure to reference at least one properly cited scholarly source.
Refer to the Week 2 Discussion Rubric for specific grading elements and criteria. Your Instructor will use this grading rubric to assess your work.
Read some of your colleagues’ postings.
By Day 5
Respond with at least 75 words (1 paragraph) each to two or more of your colleagues’ postings by doing one of the following:
- Provide a different perspective regarding the advantages and disadvantages of using digitization that your colleague described.
- Offer any additional insight on the examples that your colleague used of how the use of digitization can impact an organization’s operations.
Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.