Business Management

Supply Chain Management And E-Business Assignment Part B

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Word Count

1600 words


2 Days

Assignment Criteria


Select two Australian organisations for this assessment (or one overseas and one Australian organisation).  

Part A (Report 1) 

For this part you will need to provide operational background for each organisation and your report  should cover the following aspects: 

  1. Introduction / background of the two organisations identifying the similarities and  differences in their supply chain and logistic goals, operations and issues. (5 marks) 2. Literature review describing how such supply chain and logistics issues are addressed in  other similar case studies found in literature. (10 marks) 
  2. Research methodology you would adopt and identify the type of tools; methods and data  collection techniques that would be used to address the supply chain and logistic issues of  the two organisations. (5 marks) 

Part B (Report 2) 

This part of the report builds on Part A. You are a student at the Melbourne Polytechnic and working  part-time as a supply chain analyst at both organisations you have identified in Part A. The director  of supply chain of each organisation has asked you to analyse the status of the organisation’s supply  chain and in the context of Australian supply chain and e-business environment. As a supply chain  analyst, you will analyse and evaluate the two organisations' supply chain management, logistics  processes and their use of e-business technologies, and recommend improvements to their  strategies and processes. Write an essay of your findings in a report that should cover the following  aspects: 

  1. An abstract or executive summary of the assignment. (5 marks) 
  2. Analysis and evaluation of the two organisations’ supply chain and logistic processes and  their use of e-business technologies using collected data from literature. (10 marks) 3. Discussion of the findings including recommendations and conclusions (10 marks) 4. References. (5 marks)

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Assignment Solution

The prevailing competitive business environment is expected to intensify with the international operations of companies. Executives are aware of the challenges arising from globalisation, political instabilities and environmental, health and safety issues. Local businesses are also facing similar obstacles through their global partners. The cost of doing business is increasing with competition and consumer awareness. According to industry expert Jonathan Dutton, 'Australia is a small market in the global sense of things'. (Braue, 2011)

Supply Chain is considered a link that integrates end users, suppliers and information flow which form the business processes of an organization and also the key business processes of an organization. (Stock & Lambert, 2001). Supply chain management has become a major component of successful business and it is key for integrating activities within the companies across the supply chain. Hence, it is essential to determine ways to increase a supply chain's value proponent. 

'Supply chain management encompasses the planning and management of all activities involved in sourcing, procurement, conversion, and logistics management. It also includes the crucial components of coordination and collaboration with channel partners, which can be suppliers, intermediaries, third-party service providers, and customers.' (Sharma & Sahu, 2014). Supply chain management is considered to integrate the supply and demand management activities within a company and across companies. 

Nowadays, companies are using supply chains as a competitive advantage and a core element of the strategic management process. Quality is the major criteria in the evaluation of supply chain strategies.  (Sharma & Sahu, 2014)

This report analyses the supply chain management practices of two Australian companies – Cement Australia and Blackwoods Australia. Though the companies have their motto as timely delivery of quality goods to their customers, the major difference is the products involved in the supply chain. Both companies operate an extensive network to manage their distribution and raw material supply. This report analyses the supply chain strategies adopted by Cement Australia and Blackwoods Australia on the back-drop of prevailing supply chain management conditions in Australia.

Supply Chain Management in Australia

Companies across industries face a wide range of risks arising from inadequately designed supply chains. In spite of advancements, compounded inaccuracy of data, a number of small, regular and unreported discrepancies, may lead to stock losses with direct financial implications. 

The existing business stress is increased by strategic decision such as online business expansion and integrating new accounting policies related to carbon emissions in a company's supply chain. For instance, around 65% of the cost of bad data among retailers is linked to lost consumer sales due to stock-outs, around 31% of the cost of bad data leads to contraction in administrative costs, and around 4% of costs are incurred due to the cost of manual labour and working hours spent on determining the source of missing or inaccurate data and rectify them. (Braue, 2011)

Increase in revenues through an online ordering solution is one of the compensating values for the cost involved in the implementation of a supply chain management solution. Some of the technological capabilities such as integration of built-in web services and customer relationship management systems assist companies to grow in new avenues.

Supply chains are prone to 'the fragility of perfection' as they lack buffers for survival at the times of natural disasters and other unexpected events. As the cost of such failure is high, executives are checking for vulnerability as the key issue in supply chains. This set up requires relationships between business executives, alternate suppliers and a proactive approach towards the use of inventory and sales analytics to predict requirements. Supply chains are to be designed to ensure business continuity at times of crisis.

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