Supply chain management describes the managerial perspective on supply chain activities that maximize customer value and obtaining competitive advantage. With continued transition in service economies in developed and developing countries, there are positive implications on the manufacturing supply chains. In the next 100 years, the supply chains processes are expected to advance into high levels that provide high efficiency and effectiveness in the organizations. Firstly, it is expected that the supply chains will focus on lower Total Landed Cost. This considers all the cost incurred between manufacturers to the consumers. These include raw material, inventory and other relevant costs. Thus, the trends in supply chain will seek to lower the TLC in order to bring goods closer to the customers. Another key trend in supply chain is the development of better inventory management. These are aimed at reducing the amount of inventory in the organization. This follows the adoption of effective stock control techniques that includes just in time and lean methods many companies. In the next 100 years, most companies will maintain lower stocks or no stocks.
In addition, the supply chain will provide relevant approaches in the management of uncertainty and risks. Considering past uncertainties that have affected the supply chain, the future of supply chain management will put more efforts on risks management. Some risks that occurred in the pats include Hurricane Katrina, Great recession, Peru Earthquake, increase in fuel prices and global unrests in 2008. These events affected many markets of product and services across the world. Thus, the future of supply chain management seeks to find alternatives to the risks and uncertainties such as the implementation of Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 suppliers. in addition, the future of risks management in supply chain considers contingency plans, flexibility and improved communication, and management of exchange rate fluctuations. Furthermore, future trends of supply chain will ensure flexibility, integration, and coordination (Ross, 2002). These include the adoption of advanced technologies in its processes such as enterprise management program and information processing systems. Generally, in the next 100 years supply chain will help in the creation, delivery and realization of the tangible and intangible value of products and services.
Table 1: Services Encountered Today.
|Café coffee in the morning
|Buying groceries at a shop
|Call centre for inquiry
|Bank depositing cash
|Use of a taxi cab in the evening
The table above indicates the services received and their rating out of 10 in terms of speed, quality, and cost. Having my coffee in the morning at a coffee, the speed was adequate, but the quality and costs of the coffee was not well satisfactorily. The managers of the cash should seek to improve the quality of coffee through various processes such as improving cleanliness and proper arrangement of the facility. In addition, they should consider lowering the price of coffee to match its quality. Buying groceries at a shop, the service provided was satisfactory. The woman in the shop was ready to serve me. The quality of the groceries was high due to the freshness and readiness of the vegetables and fruits. The products were also affordable. I would advise the sole entrepreneur to maintain and improve quality and customer service.
I later called in a call center for inquiry. My call was delayed and attendants was not knowledgeable enough to provide satisfactory responses and but the cost was satisfactory. I would advise the call operators to employ more attendants to handle high capacity of clients. In addition, the attendant should have deep knowledge on the subjects. With adequate attendants who are well trained and experienced. This would improve the customer service at the call centre. Visiting the bank hall to deposit some cash in my personal account, the speed was poor and quality of service was not satisfactory. The bank tellers took more time on serving one client. I would advise the bank to enhance flexibility in its services by employing more tellers (Fredendall, & Hill, 2000). It should learn peak time of customers in order to provide the capacity required. Therefore, more tellers and minimal service time to each customer could improve the customer service. The taxicab that took me home was speedy, but the quality and cost of the drive was not satisfactory. The cab operator should ensure that the cab is in good condition and the cost should be affordable.
Based on the case of `Third Party Logistics Innovation’ and `Healthcare Inventory Management and Procurement’ by Mangan et al. (2012), the use of technology improves the competitiveness of a firm. Thus, the competitiveness of an organization depends on its ability to exploit the advancement of technology, as it assists in the maximization of resource utilization. Innovation has a played an important role in the development of service sector. Since, it provides the capacity to innovate new processes for its customers. The advancement in technology will lead to a positive impact on the service industry. In the telecommunication service, innovation seeks to provide value added services that meets the customers’ needs.
The service industry gains additional value through the approaches of advanced technology. Technological advancement has helped the mobile network operators and internet to provide additional services through cloud computing. This allows connectivity of people in different locations in same network for effective operations. The potential technology based services includes information and communication technologies such as software forms and banks, and transportation and medical technologies. These services have benefits from the technology adoption, as it improve the service delivery and effectiveness of the services received. Technology adoption in service firms improves productivity in the developed countries. As the economy develops, services become more expensive and the manufactured products are less expensive. The investment in technology increases productivity that lowers prices. This creates the productivity paradox that comes along with investments on IT. In addition, it assists in increasing profitability and productivity of the various firms. Generally, advanced technology leads to increased productivity and efficiency in the service sector.
The examples of single bi-directional service supply chain include the following:
- Legal proceedings that involves clients and the law firms
- Bank services that involves interest provided to clients
- Architectural works that provides designs to home builders
- Airline services that offers transport services to passengers
- Tax accounting services offers financial transaction records to the companies
On the other hand, the examples of the two-level bi-directional service supply chains include
- The relationship between photographer and film developers
- Blood tests and request between doctors and laboratory
- Seamstress who relates with the dry cleaners
- Reinsurance company and insurance company on reinsuring risks
- Mechanic refers bike repair to the specialist engineer of a company
The examples of the single level bidirectional service supply chain can be directed form the two level bi-directional services supply chain because of they are short. However, other factors distinguish between the two forms of supply chains in organizations. Single-level bidirectional supply chains can be identified by three stages that include transfer of customer inputs to the service providers, processing by service provider and the transfer of the output back to the customer. This makes the supply chain in the single level much simpler. In other occasions, the customer-supplier may contain other suppliers. While the two level bi-directional sup-ply chain are more complex than the single level. Since, it compares of the transfer of input to and from the service providers (Mangan, Lalwani, Butcher, & Javadpour, 2012). The supply chain also depends on the whether the service providers pay for inputs form customer-suppliers. If the service providers pay for the inputs, they get feedback the processing. This makes the relationship more complex. Therefore, the single-level bidirectional supply chains are much simpler than the two level bi-directional service supply chains.
Fredendall, D. L., & Hill, E. (2000). Basics of supply chain management. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press
Mangan, J., Lalwani, C., Butcher, T., & Javadpour, R. (2012). Global logistics and supply chain management. New York: Wiley
Ross, F. D. (2002). Introduction to e-supply chain management: engaging technology to build market-winning business partnerships. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press