Improvements in the supply chain offered by e-commerce developments.

Significant advantages offered through the implementation of e-commerce are the streamlining of the supply operations through the elimination of redundant paperwork, order batching and stockpiling. There is a higher degree of interaction and timeliness that may be brought into the supply chain management through e-commerce.

A large database of valid, current information can be maintained which can also be used for data analysis. The cons of the e-commerce system however are also induced by technology – the dangers of confidential information being accessed by unauthorized parties and consequent losses that could result.

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In carrying out this analysis, I have chosen to reply upon a library based approach, seeking out the views of experts on the benefits of the e-commerce system and its implications for supply chain management. The findings in this report are that e-commerce is likely to be of enormous benefit in supply chain management. While there are also potential disadvantages, the pros outweigh the cons and therefore, introducing e-commerce offers excellent possibilities for improvements in current supply chain management.

The traditional supply chain model is based upon the push model, wherein the process of placing orders and marketing the product involves customers, retailers, wholesalers, distributors and manufacturers, and at every stage there is paperwork involved. Much of such paperwork may also be duplicated, which results in the Supply Chain essentially becoming a system serving the suppliers almost as much as it serves the customers, who should be its primary focus. However, with the onset of e-commerce, online business auctions, web procurement systems and electronic business negotiations are becoming increasingly common, with availability of additional software such as shopping bots, etc enabling consumers to carry our price comparisons online (Vulkan, 2003).

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