Today, many organizations are expending effort on enterprise applications that extend support beyond their core business functions. Companies are extending their core business applications to interoperate with their suppliers and distributors to more efficiently manage the flow of raw materials and products between their respective organizations. These supply chain management (SCM) applications utilize the Internet as a means for integration and communications.
SCM applications are significant to systems analysts for the same reasons as stated for ERP applications. As an analyst, you may be involved in the evaluation and selection of an SCM package. Or you may be expected to implement and perhaps customize such packages to meet the organization‘s needs. And again, you may expect to participate in redesigning existing business processes to work appropriately with the SCM solution.
Reverse logistics is “the process of planning, implementing, and controlling the efficient, cost effective flow of raw materials, in-process inventory, finished goods and related information from the point of consumption to the point of origin for the purpose of recapturing value or proper disposal. More precisely, reverse logistics is the process of moving goods from their typical final destination for the purpose of capturing value, or proper disposal. Re-manufacturing and refurbishing activities also may be included in the definition of reverse logistics.”
The evolution of reverse logistics for manufactured products is developing in direct proportion to the rapid advancements in technology and the subsequent price erosion of products as new and improved products enter the supply chain at a faster pace. With such thin margins and so much competition, mismanagement of the supply chain can be devastating.
Those organizations with the infrastructure to capture and compare the composite value of components with real time intelligent analysis and disposition based on changes in refurbishment cost, resale value, spare parts, repair and overall demand will not only become more profitable, but such flexibility and scalability will allow them to outmaneuver and eliminate the competition.
This is a case of modern Darwinism. It is survival of the fittest. It requires collaboration and integration within Supply Chain Logistics, or appears on the endangered species list. Even the mighty predator, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, was doomed to extinction the constant progress of evolution.
Today, technology drives evolution at an astounding pace. The ability to capture, migrate, integrate and facilitate the intelligent analysis of data is akin to the invention of fire. This is what will separate the companies who can walk upright from the ones that will be stuck in the tar pits of slow response.