The purpose of this paper is to understand value creation of information technology (IT) in supply chain planning (SCP). The impact of different IT components in SCP remains unclear and requires some thorough research. In addition, an analysis of the optimization dimension provides insights into intra-functional, inter-functional and cross-company optimization.
A survey was conducted among German companies using a continuous production flow. In total, 47 of 193 contacted companies completed the web survey, which corresponds to a response rate of 24 percent.
IT functionality for SCP is widely spread. The value of IT functionality in SCP is tremendous. Implementations in demand fulfillment and available-to-promise (ATP) have the biggest value creation potential. Supply chain performance indicators can be improved by investments in certain functional domains. Packaged standard software is widely distributed and should be considered as the first option. IT functionality to improve intra-functional processes is significantly more often implemented than IT functionality for inter-functional or cross-company process optimization although the realized value is comparable.
Respondents of the survey are limited to the German continuous production flow industry. Future research could be interesting in the discrete manufacturing industry.
The paper provides empirical insights into the value of IT in SCP where data are less available than in the ERP context. Furthermore, this paper provides first insights into the optimization dimension whether processes are optimized intra-functional, inter-functional or cross-company.
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