CitationDownload as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Managing the role of technology in supply chain operations
Article Type: Guest editorial From: Management Research News, Volume 33, Issue 10.
Managing the role of technology in the supply chain is critical to the success of delivering products and services to customers. For more than a decade, the effects of technology on supply chain operations have been extensively researched. With each technological advance, supply chain operations continue to be transformed into critical strategies for effective competition. Management must recognize how technology can sustain and/or create competitive advantage. While supply chain operations processes have remained relatively the same over the years and will continue to remain about the same for the next decade, what will continue to rapidly change is how developing technologies will impact the continued migration from functional to process integration of supply chains. Hence, managing the role of the technologies used in supply chain operations is critical to this migration.
This special issue of Management Research Review was devoted to the role of technology used to successfully deliver products and services to customers and the management of the technologies used in the supply chain process.
Competitive advantage through technology investment
In the first article “Knowledge management, supply chain technologies, and firm performance,” the authors (Collins et al.) delineate the relationship between knowledge management and technology investment to develop a competitive advantage in the supply chain. As the authors explain, every technology investment in the supply chain should be done with an understanding of how the knowledge management capabilities of the firm are related to the implementation of the corporate strategy. A competitive advantage can be developed using knowledge management to complement an organization's supply chain technology investments. This paper builds on knowledge management theory and provides a unique conceptual framework to assist researchers and practitioners in developing a better understanding of the linkages between knowledge management, technology investments, and overall firm performance.
Technology integration to improve supply chain operation
In the second article “B2B e-hubs and information integration in supply chain operations,” the authors (Zhao et al.) examine the impact of B2B electronic hubs on supply chain integration. General systems theory is used as a framework for supply chain integration which is based on information integration. The authors discuss how information integration can be realized through B2B e-hubs, which opens communication networks for improving supply chain operations. The research further provides an understanding of how data interchange solutions can be implemented to improve supply chain operations.
In the next article “Downstream shift at a machinery manufacturer: the case of the remote technologies,” the authors (Laine et al.) examine the use and development of remote technologies by a company during the years 2003-2008 and define the concept of downstream shift in the context of machinery manufacturers. The downstream shift refers to outsourcing activities from manufacturers to suppliers and from customers to manufacturers. Remote technologies are used to help gain access to customer data in order to improve the capability to take over customer activities. The longitudinal perspective to the case offers valuable insights into the development of supply chains.
RFID and supply chain operational performance
In the fourth article “Impact of RFID technology utilization on operational performance,” data were collected by the authors (Zelbst et al.) from 122 manufacturing firms to determine the extent of RFID use and its effect on operational performance. An RFID-performance model is theorized using structural equation methodology. The results of the study show positive results for improved efficiency and effectiveness in operational performance in the supply chain. The empirical study offers support for RFID technology adoption within the manufacturing sector.
The last article “An exploratory study of RFID implementation in the supply chain” (Li et al.) investigates the barriers and motivations for implementing RFID in the supply chain. A limited survey was distributed to a small group of supply chain-related respondents to determine the extent of RFID usage and understanding. The results indicate a lack of knowledge and cost of RFID technology as the main reason for lack of RFID implementation in the supply chain.
The articles in this special issue help to illustrate the role of technology in the supply chain and the issues resulting from the implementation of technology. Technology can create competitive advantage, improve decision making, and improve operational performance in the supply chain. This special issue has attempted to create an awareness of the importance of technology in improving the delivery of products and services to customers.
Patrick Jaska and Pedro ReyesGuest Editors