SUPPLY CHAIN INTEGRATION
The following two articles contain information on integrating the supply chain and will be beneficial to you as you work on this module’s assignments. Please review them for background information, and use the article on the Case page as another reference for your case assignment.
Songini, M.L. (2002). SAP plans apps to link plants, supply chains. Computerworld, 36(45), 20. Retrieved on December 9, 2014, from ProQuest. (EBSCO Accession Number 7887672)
SAP has set up a team of developers to focus on collaborative production and supply chain applications that will work together as one system. The promised product suite will integrate operations ranging from raw materials procurement to the shipment of finished goods.
The envisioned result: improved inventory turns, shorter manufacturing cycle times, better quality management and a reduction in overall operating costs and working capital needs.
Here is an article concerning the integration of front-end and back-end systems.
Holley, C. J. (2002). The urge to merge: Integrating front- and back-end systems. Customer Inter@ction Solutions, 21(3), 38-41. Retrieved on December 9, 2014, from ProQuest. (ProQuest doc ID 208160220)
Integration between front- and backend systems, including complete supply chain integration, can enhance customer service, increase productivity and, ultimately, provide significant returns on investment.
Without this integration, back-end systems like human resource, finance and ERP applications remain unexploited, and frontend systems like marketing, sales, CRM and customer service and support applications are relegated to basic contact, account management and order processing functions.
The primary challenge is the often proprietary and disparate technologies developed by multiple vendors that run front- and back-end systems. The cost of determining the exact points of interface between systems, then designing custom interfaces for these points, is often higher than what many organizations are willing to pay. The good news is that emerging Web services standards are making integration easier.