Wednesday, 7 December 2016

What is information, communication support management?

There is a lot of information that is needed in a supply chain. Information needs to flow through the chain. How can we make sure that information moves to the right people at the right times to help managers organise the information, use it to measure performance and manage the entire chain and all of its parts?  Let’s look at the basic information that is used in the supply chain:
  • The order – The products and quantities that have been requested by the customers
  • The production schedule – manufacture instructions 
  • The purchase order – the materials that are needed from the suppliers
  • Inventory record – quantity of materials or goods that are available at a location
  • Dispatch advice – this is included with the goods as they move to their destination
Modern businesses now use computers to relay this information. They use order processing systems that perform checks on the incoming order and make sure the customer is able to pay for the goods. They also instruct the storeman via a warehouse management system who will then pack and dispatch the goods. Manufacturing companies use enterprise resource planning systems. These systems help them to make purchases and manufacture the required parts needed for end products. Some companies use distribution requirements planning systems that track the finished products through all steps up to the end customer. 

Operators and managers receive summaries of performance over set periods of time. The key performance measures include:
  • Quality
  • On time delivery
  • Costs
Information has to flow between each of the partners in the supply chain. The internet and telephone now make it possible for up to date information to be exchanged. Electronic data exchange allows computers to communicate this information and documents are sent instantly, ensuring information is where it needs to be. 


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