A critical analysis of the relationship between business information system technology and supply chain management with special reference to optimum efficiency within large enterprises in the food and drug retail sector in KwaZulu-Natal.
Ahern, Carol Anne.
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The purpose of this research is to explore the relationship between supply chain management and business information system technology within the food and drug retail sector with special reference to optimum efficiency. Business information system technology leverages information and knowledge sharing throughout the supply chain which enables them to respond more effectively to an ever-changing and volatile marketplace. The relationship between supply chain management and business information system technology is multi-faceted and complex in nature, and consequently, has the ability to penetrate every element of an organisation’s functionality. Furthermore, it has the ability to penetrate the functionality of an entire chain or network of suppliers and markets irrespective of their position around the globe. Supply Chain management literature teaches that optimisation within functional areas is not as effective as cross-optimisation across functions and supply chain networks. As supply chains rely on business information technology for crossoptimisation, optimum efficiency will always be a moving target for as long as business technology and supply chain management continue to break through new ground. In this research large food and drug supply chain networks and their business information system requirements, trends, influence, effect and constraints were reviewed, with special reference to creating optimum efficiency in their supply chain networks. This research was motivated by discussions with Pick ‘n Pay’s business information system’s service provider and their desire to optimise Pick ‘n Pay’s supply chain network efficiency in a highly price-competitive environment, resulting in an in-depth case study being carried out on Pick ‘n Pay (Pty) Ltd stores in KwaZulu-Natal. The review of literature suggests that cross-optimisation is only mutually beneficial within trust relationships that exhibit seamless flows of information throughout a supply chain. Data suggests that despite Pick ‘n Pay’s use of advanced business information system technology, Pick ‘n Pay together with the food and drug retail stores in South Africa have a long way to go on this issue.