Supply-chain business-process integration involves collaborative work between buyers and suppliers, joint product development, common systems, and shared information. According to Lambert and Cooper , operating an integrated supply chain requires a continuous information flow. However, in many companies, management has concluded that optimizing product flows cannot be accomplished without implementing a process approach.
The key supply-chain processes stated by Lambert  are:. Much has been written about demand management. One could suggest other critical supply business processes that combine these processes stated by Lambert, such as:. Integration of suppliers into the new product development process was shown to have a major impact on product target cost, quality, delivery, and market share. Tapping into suppliers as a source of innovation requires an extensive process characterized by development of technology sharing, but also involves managing intellectual  property issues. There are gaps in the literature on supply-chain management studies at present [ citation needed ] : there is no theoretical support for explaining the existence or the boundaries of supply-chain management.
A few authors, such as Halldorsson et al. However, the unit of analysis of most of these theories is not the supply chain but rather another system, such as the firm or the supplier-buyer relationship. Among the few exceptions is the relational view , which outlines a theory for considering dyads and networks of firms as a key unit of analysis for explaining superior individual firm performance Dyer and Singh, In the study of supply-chain management, the concept of centroids has become an important economic consideration. In the US, two major supply chain centroids have been defined, one near Dayton, Ohio , and a second near Riverside, California.
The centroid near Dayton is particularly important because it is closest to the population center of the US and Canada. In addition, the I corridor is home to the busiest north-south rail route east of the Mississippi River.
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In , Wal-Mart announced a big change in its sourcing strategy. Initially, Wal-Mart relied on intermediaries in the sourcing process. To cut these costs, Wall-Mart decided to do away with intermediaries in the supply chain and started direct sourcing of its goods from the suppliers. It later engaged the suppliers of other goods such as cloth and home electronics appliances directly and eliminated the importing agents. The purchaser, in this case Wal-Mart, can easily direct the suppliers on how to manufacture certain products so that they can be acceptable to the consumers.
In other words, direct sourcing reduced the time that takes the company to source and stocks the products in its stock. Creation of procurement centers- WalMart adopted this strategy of sourcing through centralizing the entire process of procurement and sourcing by setting up four global merchandizing points for general goods and clothing. The company instructed all the suppliers to be bringing their products to these central points that are located in different markets.
The procurement and sourcing at centralized places helped the company to consolidate the suppliers. The company has established four centralized points including an office in Mexico City and Canada. As a result, the company intended to increase centralization of its procurement in the North America for all its fresh fruits and vegetables. Strategic vendor partnerships are another strategy the company is using in the sourcing process.
WalMart realized that in order for it to ensure consistency in the quality of the products it offers to the consumers and also maintains a steady supply of goods in its stores at a lower cost, it had to create strategic vendor partnerships with the suppliers. It then made a strategic relationship with these vendors by offering and assuring the long-term and high volume of purchases in exchange for the lowest possible prices.
This enables the company to offer competitive prices of its products in its stores hence, maintaining a competitive advantage over its competitors whose goods are a little expensive compared to those of WalMart. Efficient communication relationship with the vendor networks to improve the material flow is another sourcing strategy Wal-Mart uses.
The company has all the contacts with the suppliers whom they communicate regularly and make dates on when the goods would be needed so that the suppliers get ready to deliver the goods in time. Cross-docking is another strategy that WalMart is using to cut costs in its supply chain.
Cross-docking is the process of transferring goods directly from inbound trucks to outbound trucks. Cross-docking helps in saving the storage costs. Tax-efficient supply-chain management is a business model that considers the effect of tax in the design and implementation of supply-chain management. As the consequence of globalization , cross-national businesses pay different tax rates in different countries. Due to these differences, they may legally optimize their supply chain and increase profits based on tax efficiency.
Supply-chain sustainability is a business issue affecting an organization's supply chain or logistics network, and is frequently quantified by comparison with SECH ratings, which uses a triple bottom line incorporating economic, social, and environmental aspects. Consumers have become more aware of the environmental impact of their purchases and companies' SECH ratings and, along with non-governmental organizations NGOs , are setting the agenda for transitions to organically grown foods, anti-sweatshop labor codes, and locally produced goods that support independent and small businesses.
For example, in July , Wal-Mart announced its intentions to create a global sustainability index that would rate products according to the environmental and social impacts of their manufacturing and distribution. The index is intended to create environmental accountability in Wal-Mart's supply chain and to provide motivation and infrastructure for other retail companies to do the same. It has been reported that companies are increasingly taking environmental performance into account when selecting suppliers.
This law requires SEC-regulated companies to conduct third party audits of their supply chains in order to determine whether any tin, tantalum, tungsten, or gold together referred to as conflict minerals is mined or sourced from the Democratic Republic of the Congo , and create a report available to the general public and SEC detailing the due diligence efforts taken and the results of the audit.
The chain of suppliers and vendors to these reporting companies will be expected to provide appropriate supporting information. Incidents like the Savar building collapse with more than 1, victims have led to widespread discussions about corporate social responsibility across global supply chains. Wieland and Handfield suggest that companies need to audit products and suppliers and that supplier auditing needs to go beyond direct relationships with first-tier suppliers.
They also demonstrate that visibility needs to be improved if supply cannot be directly controlled and that smart and electronic technologies play a key role to improve visibility. Finally, they highlight that collaboration with local partners, across the industry and with universities is crucial to successfully managing social responsibility in supply chains.
By reducing resource input and waste leakage along the supply chain and configure it to enable the recirculation of resources at different stages of the product or service lifecycle, potential economic and environmental benefits can be achieved.
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These comprise e. SCM components are the third element of the four-square circulation framework.
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The level of integration and management of a business process link is a function of the number and level of components added to the link. Literature on business process reengineering    buyer-supplier relationships,     and SCM    suggests various possible components that should receive managerial attention when managing supply relationships.
Lambert and Cooper identified the following components:. However, a more careful examination of the existing literature          leads to a more comprehensive understanding of what should be the key critical supply chain components, or "branches" of the previously identified supply chain business processes—that is, what kind of relationship the components may have that are related to suppliers and customers.
Bowersox and Closs state that the emphasis on cooperation represents the synergism leading to the highest level of joint achievement.
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It's licensed under AGPL 3. It has tools for demand forecasting based on historical order quantities, tracking stock, supporting multiple facilities, expiration date tracking, kiosk support, and many other features that make it ideal for healthcare situations, but could also be useful for other industries. Like OpenBoxes, OpenLMIS is a supply chain management tool for the healthcare sector, but it was specifically designed for use in low-resource areas in Africa to ensure medications and medical supplies get to patients in need. It is available under an AGPL 3. In fact, a full ERP may be a good fit for you, depending on your needs.
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