SUPPLY CHAIN INTEGRATION: E-business Transformation of supply chains

Open Access
Sargent, Mary Christine
Area of Honors:
Supply Chain and Information Systems
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Evelyn Ann Thomchick, Thesis Supervisor
  • John C Spychalski, Honors Advisor
  • Supply Chain Integration
  • Supplier Portals
  • Vendor Portals
Abstract A combination of economic, technological and market forces have compelled companies to examine and reinvent their supply chain strategies. Remaining competitive in the face of the increasing globalization of businesses, the proliferation of product variety, the increasing complexity of supply networks, and the shortening of the product life cycles requires greater coordination and collaboration among supply chain partners using an approach known as “supply chain integration.” (Lee) Changes in integration of supply chains create a strategic alignment of partners so that the requirement of providing the right material, at the right price, at the right time is fully met. This integration should also reduce the amount of waste and delay across the chain. Applying internet technologies, high performing companies consistently practice sharing forecasts and replenishment plans with customers, suppliers, and logistics providers. “Vendor/Supplier Portals” are password protected websites that provide instant access to the right information from anywhere in the world. These portals provide complete, twenty-four hours a day access to collaborative tools with just an internet connection. They allow a company’s employees, vendors and suppliers access to the most reliable, accurate, and up-to-date information. Information contained in a system allows communication to be directed at the correct audience, in the correct way. Supplier/Vendor Portals enable manufacturers to improve communication and collaboration with supply chain partners by providing both supplier and buyer a single, shared view of data. Benefits of Supplier/Vendor Portals include: process automation, collaboration, visibility, communication, status overviews and collaborative order management. Portals enhance supplier ability to satisfy demand more effectively by streamlining shipping and materials receipts, materials management, electronic kanban signals, encouraging broader supplier enablement.