Sample Essay on Information Technology Solutions for Effective Supply Chain Management

The high competition in the business world today requires companies to operate in the most efficient ways. To gain a competitive advantage in the market, businesses need to identify and implement the most efficient methods of operation. One of the sectors that are faced with high competition today is the manufacturing industry due to the lucrative profits. To survive in the highly competitive market, manufacturing companies are required to be efficient especially with regard to logistics. Sound supply chain management is required to make the businesses successful. This entails ensuring that the flow of goods and services is effective such that there are no shortages or surpluses. Most challenges that manufacturing companies face relate to management of inventories that has the potential to affect the smooth running of business. In an era where technology is well advanced, the control of inventory should not be an issue. This paper discusses the role of information technology in enhancing supply chain management with an evaluation of Crompton Greaves Limited, which is involved in the design, manufacture and distribution of power generation products.

The company’s poor performance is attributed to its inability to manage the inventory, thus affecting the profitability and productivity as well. One of the factors that enhance customer loyalty in the market is the extent to which it is able to satisfy the current market adequately. Some of the products that Crompton Greaves Limited is involved with include power systems such as switchgear products, industrial systems such as alternators, automation systems and consumer products such as wiring accessories. Over the years, the company has been successful due to effective business strategies such as acquisitions but its performance has changed due to poor inventory management measures. There are many instances when the company’s products have been off the shelves, especially the consumer products. The issue does not only affect the company but also the other partners such as retailers and consumers. The parties need a constant flow of goods and the disruption in distribution may tempt them to shift to competing companies.The primary problems that lead to poor inventory management in the company relate to business processes. The communication lead time in the company is poor, making it hard to establish a smooth flow of inventory. The company also lacks data necessary to improve its efficiency in the manufacture and distribution of its products. The cross-functional processes involving its operations are very poor, making it hard for the level of inventory in the market to be manageable.

The company has lost its position as the leading manufacturer and distributor of electrical transmitters in India (Shenoy & Nirody, 2006). With the high demand of power transmitters in the world, the company’s failure to manage its stock is likely to lead it to bankruptcy. Product development is one of the primary aspects that lead to high profitability in companies but it is only possible when a company is able to manage its inventory effectively. Inventory management allows companies to identify the profitability of stock and this enhances the formulation and implementation of product development strategies. The failure to identify products that are less profitable as a result of poor inventory management reduces the pace at which the company develops with the changing times and this may affect its profitability. To restore its reputation in the industry, Crompton Greaves Limited needs to embrace modern information technology in inventory management.

There are various information technology techniques that the company may adopt in its operation to make inventory management easier. One of the strategies is the use of inventory management software that allows the company to monitor the level of inventory in real time (Fawcett, Magnan & McCarter, 2008).The revel system software is one of the tactics that the company can adopt. The point of sale solution has an application that enables the business owners to monitor the level of inventory in real time, thus making it easier for them to make sound decisions on inventory in a timely manner. The cloud based system is suitable for the company as it makes management of inventory easier even for business units that are not located in the same location.  The other software that may be helpful to the company is the Windward System Five that allows for inventory management through control of warehouse product level as well as tracking the items sold. This is important in ensuring that the current level of stock indicated by the company is accurate, making it possible for the decision makers to make effective steps. The system allows for input of internal bar codes and serial numbers, enhancing the tracking of stock. By use of the software, the company is able to carry out inventory forecast, optimization and overview.

Installing the software in the company involves a significant amount of cost in purchasing the software and training the users. Further, the company maybe required to hire an IT expert to monitor its effectiveness, which is an added cost. However, the training cost and the cost of purchasing the software are not recurrent and they are outweighed by the benefits. By installing the software, the company will not have issues with managing inventory anymore. Its profitability is likely to increase based on the fact that the system facilitates sound decision making about the inventory. One of the challenges leading to poor inventory management in the company is the lack of data necessary to improve its efficiency. With the software, it is possible for the company to make sound decisions relating to the manufacture and distribution of products.  The software is also advantageous because it helps improve the cross-functional processes that include tracking sold items to ensure inventory optimization.

In conclusion, the use of information technology enhances supply chain management. Most of the companies that deal with the manufacture and distribution of products are faced with many challenges among them inventory management. The inability of a company to track its inventory makes it hard to make decisions about the stock such as the production level. Therefore, inventory management software plays a significant role in enhancing decision making in the company, leading to high profitability.The main objective of most businesses is to gain the largest market share which guarantees a competitive advantage. However, this can only be achieved by companies that are able to operate efficiently. The efficiency is indicated by variables such as the extent to which the organization is able to manage its inventory.  The software will thus enable the company to achieve its objective of gaining a large market share. The decisions made by the company will enhance inventory management thus enable the company to operate effectively.

References

Fawcett, S. E., Magnan, G. M., & McCarter, M. W. (2008). Benefits, barriers, and bridges to        effective supply chain management. Supply Chain Management: An International     Journal13(1), pp. 35-48.

Shenoy, T. P., & Nirody, J. S. (2006, December). Design & Development of a High           Performance Electronic Starter for Single-Phase Induction Motors. InPower             Electronics, Drives and Energy Systems, 2006. PEDES’06. International Conference             on (pp. 1-5). IEEE.