Professional Paper: Each student is required to conduct original research in a selected area of information systems and submit a research paper that discusses the problem or research area tutorially. The paper should clearly explain current issues, elaborate on the relevance of the topic in relation to current affairs, and provide some indications of what will happen in the future. Evaluations will be based on content, presentation, and quality of expression. Papers are expected to meet or exceed accepted graduate-level English and scholarship standards. Papers must conform to the APA documentation style with minor modifications. To aid the student in succeeding, the course provides the student with multiple checkpoints and opportunities to receive feedback from the instructor and other students. The minimum length of the research paper is 15 and maximum 30 pages of text material excluding references and appendices.
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Supply chain refers to all the activities which are related to the procurement of materials and the distribution of output to the customers. It consists of the entire network of suppliers, manufacturing company, wholesalers and retailers (Hugos, 2011). As an increasing number of organizations are focusing to develop their core competencies, there is an increasing tendency to outsource the peripheral and non-core activities to other organizations which specialize in those activities. However, value can be delivered to consumer only when all the entities in the supply chain from the suppliers to retailers perform in an integrated manner. This calls for the need of supply chain management practices which ensures that all the activities of entities across the supply chain are coordinated, so that the value to the consumer is maximized and the operations take place in the most effective and efficient manner feasible (Lambert, 2008).
Purpose of the research
This research seeks to study the impact of IT systems on the supply chain management practices of an organization. As there has been an increase in competitiveness across organizations, companies are increasingly trying to optimize their inventory cost structures through reducing delivery times and maintaining lower levels of inventory to produce as per the latest demands of the consumers. There are many companies like Wal-Mart, Amazon, etc. which have been using IT to increase their responsiveness to consumers. In this research, the role of IT to increase the speed and transmission of information across the supply chain has been analyzed. Several real-world examples have been used to determine the key factors which can play an important role in management of IT-enabled supply chain systems.
This research would be conducted to answer the following questions primarily:
Can IT be used to increase the responsiveness of companies towards consumer needs?
Can IT help to balance the inventory position of the organization?
Can IT-enabled supply chains serve as a source of competitive advantage for companies or it is becoming a necessity for companies?
The preliminary thesis states that IT can be used by all companies to increase the speed with which they respond to consumer needs. IT is important for any company, whether in the manufacturing or service industry, to grow and develop strong and loyal consumer base.
The objective of the research is to find out the benefits derived by companies that have implemented IT to manage their supply chain policies. It considered all types of companies so as to analyze whether IT played an important role for large organizations only or it also augmented the supply chain practices of the smaller organizations. The population of the research was very large since it included all types of organizations in the study and was not focused on any specific industry.
This research has been based on subjective as well as objective data. Subjective data refers to the opinions and judgment of people that have been collected through research. In this report, subjective data pertains to the views of the management about the use of IT in supply chain management. This data is subjective since it cannot be measured and the interpretation also varies from person to person. Objective data refers to specific and measurable data which has been collected through statistical methods. The use of judgment is limited since the data are collected through observation and calculations. In this case, objective data would refer to the percentage increase in profits of the company after implementation of IT strategies.
Primary as well as secondary research has been conducted to find the details about the supply chain management practices being used by the companies. Primary research refers to the research which is conducted for the purpose of this report only. Secondary research refers to the use of research conducted by others. Therefore, this is also referred to derived research and credibility is also very important in this case. If research is collected from sources which do not have high credibility, the credibility of the new research also becomes questionable (Fowler, 2009). Since supply chain management pertains to internal affairs of the company, information is not widely available. An extensive literature review has also been conducted of the existing journals and materials on this subject to gather data about the currently acceptable practices in this field....