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Supply Chain Management: ERP Solution

How well are public news articles about supply chain management argued? Here’s your chance to respond to the author or the editor, with your suggestions on how their article could be improved! 

Select a publicly available, relevant newspaper article published in the last Tve years from one of the following online newspapers: 

  • The Age (http://www.theage.com.au/) 
  • Herald Sun (http://www.heraldsun.com.au/) 
  • Transport & Logistics News (http://www.tandlnews.com.au/) 
  • Australian Manufacturing (http://www.australianmanufacturing.com.au/) 

Make sure you choose an article that enables you to either refute the topic, accept the main argument and reTne the key points, or highlight the strengths and weaknesses. 

Write a critical review to the author or the editor of the publication, detailing your critique of the article, and justifying your opinions, with reference to both the material covered in Module 1 of this subject, and to the relevant academic literature (at least 3 academic sources). Make sure your response is engaging, wellinformed, and analytic – increase your chances of your response being published! 

Remember to attach your chosen article as an appendix to the critical response paper, so that we can see the original author's work. 

Read through the marking rubric for this assessment task carefully, before starting on your paper. Prepare your critical review as a Word document, addressed to the author or editor, of no more than 1000 words, and submit via the Assessment 1 submission link. 

Important tips: I

  • If you wish to use an article sourced from other newspapers (not listed above), you will need to seek an approval from your subject coordinator. 
  • Read through the instructions for Assessment 4 before starting your search for the newspaper article. Ideally, try to select an article that addresses the supply chain that you will be focusing on for Assessment 4. 
  • Read carefully through the marking guide for this assessment task, and make sure you understand the criteria of this task before you start. 
  • Attach the original article as an appendix to your review (not included in your word count)

Answer

Supply Chain Management

Today, with advent of new technologies, it is found that the organizations are implementing several new modules to improve the overall efficiencies of the different departments. Further, with increased globalization, the organizations want to implement technological modules not only to increase the productivities of the employees but also to connect and communicate with all the branches in a better way (Pauka, 2018). 

Considering this impact of technology, the supply chain department of the organization has also revamped their functions and strategies. The author mentions that the role of IT tools and techniques is large in empowering the different functions of the organization. It is noticed that the explosion of the e-commerce is pushing the companies to revise their supply chain strategies. The demand of different products has increased to a larger extent and hence it is important for the supply chain department to introduce new technologies that will help them perform their functions with better efficiency and in a quicker way (Yu, Xiong, & Cao, 2015).

Also, the competition between the ecommerce players and the Bricks-and-Mortar retailers is putting more pressure on the supply chain department of the organization. The author argues that the top-level management needs to implement an IT solution that is beyond the Excel spreadsheets and other such traditional solution (Pauka, 2018). 

They need to look out for a better Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Solution that will manage all the functions of the Supply Chain Department in a better way. It is true that the ERP solution will eliminate repetitive processes and will reduce the manual efforts to enter necessary information (Swami & Shah, 2013). 

The system will thereby streamline all the business processes and will help the senior management to focus on other aspects of the organization. The new ERP system for the supply chain will help in better forecasting and in denying the demands of the customers. The department can thereby plan their demand strategies, which will assist the organisation from the efforts and costs perspectives. The senior management, however, can monitor the performance of the ERP system and can judge on the overall performance (Swami & Shah, 2013). 

However, based on the researches carried out, it is found that ERP solutions help in collaborating with other departments in a better way. Also, structured ERP systems for the supply chain will allow addition of new functions and will thereby help the system overcome the issue of scalability in the organization. 

Further, in view of the author, the ERP system will also help in integrating all the information of the supply chain and will thereby reduce the manual efforts in carrying out the daily routine activities of the organization. The ERP system will further help in managing the costs savings by providing real-time information to the senior management (Swami & Shah, 2013). 

I agree to the author on these facts and I even agree on the author's recommendations that the supply chain department of the organization need to deploy an ERP solution in the organization (Pauka, 2018). However, certain researchers argue on the fact that there are few disadvantages associated with the implementation of the ERP system in the organization. These include - following of the regulatory compliances, increased cost of infrastructure, increased costs of implementation of the ERP module, and security issues.

Considering these aspects, it is important to note that the top-level management first needs to determine the gaps in the business processes specifically associated with the supply chain department of the organization. Further, they need to conduct costs-benefits analysis to determine whether the implementation of the ERP solution will help the organization or not. 

They also need to check on the flexibility issues associated with the system. There could be internal resistance from the employees as they do not want to change their traditional working practices in the organization. The role of the Human Resources (HR) department in such cases will be vital as they need to deploy the techniques of change management in the organization. 

Further, they also need to train the employees on the new modules and thereby effectively manage the entire supply chain function of the organization. However, the senior management in such cases needs to communicate about the key benefits of implementing an ERP solution in the organization. Only then the employees will be ready to work on the new modules. Further, the HR team also needs to motivate them so that they continue working in the organization.

The author further mentions that in today's era, it is important to have software that is smarter, cheaper, and faster compared to the previous times (Pauka, 2018). At the same time, it is important for the organization to check on the security issues with the ERP system. Today, the rates of cyber-crimes have increased and hence, the top-level management needs to implement techniques through which they will be protecting the data-sets of the organization. 

The ERP system should be available with a proper Cyber-solution that will prevent all types of external attacks on the database management system of the organization. Even, the employees need to be trained on such aspects so that they can take necessary actions during the time of attacks (Morali & Searcy, 2013). 

It will ensure safety and security of the data and the entire database system of the organization. Thus, considering these issues and other challenges highlighted, one might argue to the author that the ERP implementation needs to be carried out after thoughtful consideration and analysis (Morali & Searcy, 2013). Only then the organization will be able to achieve desired results in a given working scenario.

It is important to analyze the implementation of the ERP modules in the organization from different perspectives (Morali & Searcy, 2013); further, the feedback from the employees will also be important as they will be directly working on the new IT modules in the organization. The top-level management can thereby take a better decisions regarding whether the implementation of the ERP system will benefit them or not from a long-term perspective.

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