Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain Management

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Along with the tremendous economic development that has occurred around the world over the recent past, the trade between countries and the frequency of transportation has both expanded dramatically. Furthermore, the establishment of new markets have regularly taken place, while resources in remote parts of the universe have been tapped. As a result of the increased overreliance on fossil fuels, there has been an escalation in greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions as well as other pollutants in the atmosphere. Consequently, insufficient attention has been devoted to the influence on climate change caused by these trends. When it comes to consumer electronics, this is a problem that is especially noticeable because the vast majority of items are constructed from an array of diverse materials. As a result, worldwide sourcing has emerged as a significant and fundamental predictor of supply chains in this rapidly expanding sector, and it continues to expand. The purpose of this paper analyzing the electronics supply chain, green supply chain management, and the role of technology in addressing the challenges of supply chain.

The Electronic Industry

In the electronic industry, the supply chains are distinguished by their enormous sophistication, and they are frequently not controlled and managed to the desired standards by the main multinational enterprises (MNEs) beginning with the resource extraction point to the point where it is utilized by the end user. In contrast, the extensive journalism of the environment repercussions of present and predicted buyer behaviour, in addition to the decline of naturally produced resources, has resulted in a significant level of environmental consciousness among the general population. As multinational enterprises (MNEs) in the electronic industry manufacture more regularly in low-wage nations, social aspects like workplace conditions, child slavery, and violations of human rights throughout the entire supply chain have emerged as a significant source of concern for the sector. These, including other considerations have prompted increasingly conscientious customers, and in effect, businesses, to place a greater emphasis on the implementation of sustainable processes across the board in all areas of the economy. Incorporating the sustainability concept into supply chain management (SCM) has resulted in the birth of sustainable supply chain management (SSCM), which has quickly gained popularity as an academic arena as well as a business-related topic in recent years. The consumer electronics sector’s steady expansion, as well as its distinctive qualities, make study in this subject extremely relevant in terms of the application of more sustainable methods in supply chain management.

Supply chain overview

In its most basic definition, supply chain management (SCM) is described as the methodic, strategic coordination and cooperation of the contemporary commerce operations and strategies throughout these businesses within the supply chain, with the intent of enhancing the protracted performance of the corporates and the supply chain world in general (Koberg & Longoni, 2019). Thus, because the supply chain serves as the foundation for efficient business activities, it ought to serve as the keypoint for enhancing sustainability in all of the enterprises involved in the chain. SSCM has emerged as a well-established management concept as a result of an amalgamation of external factors and incentive programs from state authorities, consumers, and perhaps other stakeholders, like the press, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the scientific society or interest groups, as well as supply chain internal factors, which have resulted from the synergistic effects of sustainability and supply chain management (Fritz, 2019). A definition of sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) is the governance of raw materials and flow of information, and collaboration between members of a supply chain, whilst also taking into consideration objectives from all three pillars of sustainable development – that is, the financial, the environmental, and the social – that are deduced from the needs of customers and other stakeholders (Gurzawska, 2020).  Modern understandings of sustainable entrepreneurship, on the other hand, go over the degree of adherence and pursue an active participation in the methodical identification and resolution of current and possible challenges in a company’s social, environmental, and economic realms.

The role of Four Fundamentals of supply chain management in your selected SC

These fundamentals include the objectives, the philosophy, the three flows, and the relations between consumers and suppliers.

Fundamental 1

First and foremost, the goals of supply chain management are to provide outstanding customer service in selected market segments while also reducing overall supply chain capital and expense (Sweeney, Grant, and Mangan, 2015). This strategy to service and pricing has long been seen as essential to SCM practices. Organizations must have a thorough awareness of both concerns in order to take this path. Specs for the supply chain are established based on customer service needs defined by the market place. The pursuit of this level of customer service at the lowest possible price primarily concentrates on the reduction of non-value-added (NVA) activities across the supply chain.

Fundamental 2

Secondly, each commodity is supplied to the end user, who is the only generator of “real” revenue within the chain, via a sequence of regularly intricate moves between the corporations that constitute the whole chain of supply and distribution. The existence of any inefficiencies somewhere along the supply chain will lead to the chain as a whole unable to realize its full competitive capacity (Sweeney, Grant, and Mangan, 2015). To put it another way, supply chains are progressively competing with one another instead of organizations competing with one another, as was the case in the more traditional paradigm.  A supply chain is referred to as such because the chain can only be as good as its weakest point in it. Resources travel from the supplier across the different phases of the supply chain to the ultimate consumer, which represents a “macro” supply chain. The revenue then circulates back to the chain. The key is that every link is vital, and that value is added and profit generated at every link along the chain. Many organizations can be described in relation to the five operations of purchase, produce, store, transfer, and sale – collectively referred to as the “micro” or in other terms, internal supply chain.  Typically, these activities have been administered in solitude, with staff members frequently operating at odds with one another. Supply chain management entails thinking outside of the box, reinforcing the ties that bind the various functions jointly, and developing ways for them to work collaboratively.

Fundamental 3

Flow of material, cash flows, as well as flows of information along the entire network has to be handled in an integrated and systematic approach, motivated by the general service and expenditure goals, in order for the SC to attain its greatest level of performance and effectiveness. This representation of a macro chain depicts the manner in which materials, revenue (funds), and information are transferred amongst the organizations that are involved in the network. The same concepts can be used to the flow of information in the micro chain.

Fundamental 4

For a final step, this comprehensive strategy necessitates an examination of the ways where internal as well as external customer/supplier relations are established and handled. In SCM, there is no such thing as a zero-sum situation based on antagonistic interactions; rather, it has to be a win-win situation based on collaborative techniques (Sweeney, Grant, and Mangan, 2015). Aspects of this point that are pertinent to the connections between the essential internal supply chain operations of purchase, manufacture, storage and transportation, and sale, as well as to the associations between an organization’s external consumers and suppliers. Among the most visible aspects of supply chain philosophy has been the shift away from adversarial business relations across the supply chain.

Consideration of SC’s specific impact on sustainability

A recent study found that for the majority of businesses, the supply chain is accountable for a disproportionate amount of their environmental effect. Supply chains, through their nature, entail manufacturing that are energy-intensive and transportation as items are manufactured and transported throughout the world. As a result, firms can frequently make the most impact by implementing adjustments to their supply chain instead of making adjustments to other aspects of their company activities (Sánchez-Flores et al., 2020). The supply chain has a largely detrimental effect on the environment, according to studies. With regards to past survey, the supply chains of corporations that have to make use of package consumer products (CPG) are responsible for more than 90 percent of the environmental harm created by these firms. This surpasses the harm caused by all other types of company activities by a significant margin. The last ten years has seen a rise in public concern about the devastating effect of economic and business development on the environment, particularly the natural environment. A significant influence in the growth of contemporary global supply chain is played by the global push towards greener and more environmentally sustainable corporate practices (Baah & Jin, 2019). Additionally, the acts of legislators and regulatory bodies, like the Environmental Protection Agency, have a significant impact (EPA). As a result, administrations of strongest economies are becoming more interested in supporting greening efforts in commerce, as well as formalizing more regulations and restrictions to be imposed on businesses in the future. Several global supply networks are now using carbon footprints as a major performance indicator for their long-term viability. It is the supply chain of the normal consumer corporation that generates far tremendous social and environmental costs than the firm’s own processes, taking account for over 80 percent of carbon pollution and more than 90 percent of the effect on the atmosphere’s air, land, and water quality, species diversity, and geological mineral wealth.

Potential role of technology in addressing supply chain issues

Companies have begun to integrate green supply chain management (GSCM) with other company management responsibilities, like procurement, manufacturing, servicing, and supply chain logistics. The concept GSCM has gained prominence as a result of sharing knowledge at numerous international conventions, and growing empirical research indicates that there is a significant correlation between a company’s GSCM approach and its effectiveness (Song et al., 2018; Tseng et al., 2018). This concept serves as a catalyst for business changes that are required for a more egalitarian and environmentally friendly society (Vanalle et al., 2017). An organization’s strategic, tactical, and operational processes are integrated into a system for tracking, quantifying, and transmitting GSCM information to its stakeholders, which is known as green supply chain management. GSCM is a complicated system with forward and backward flow of material that includes product returns, reprocessing, and safe waste disposal methods (Song and Wang, 2018).

Artificial intelligence-based technologies like the agent-based systems, expert systems, and genetic algorithms are included in the GSCM Technological Dimensions (GSCM HD) (Bag et al, 2020). These technologies have an impact on the GSCM system. A green SC is made up of dozens of procedures that range from business procedure level 0 to level 4 in complexity. Each operation is interconnected with and reliant on the other processes in order to accomplish a project. The GSCM system is a really complex and dynamic system to operate in (Li and Zhang, 2018). Several requirements must be met, and expert decision-making must be used to accomplish thiIndustry 4.0 technology, like the Internet of Things (IoT), can be employed to capture data from a variety of sources, and artificial intelligence (AI) may be utilized to plan and control of GSCM systems. Technological enablement based on artificial intelligence (AI) has the appears to be a useful tool for connecting green consumers, green producers, and green SC collaborators via the information flow throughout the SC’s verticals(Song and Wang, 2018). Agent-based systems can be particularly effective in the development of relationships with environmentally conscious customers, environmentally conscious suppliers, and environmentally conscious business associates (Mangla et al., 2018). Agent-based systems have a significant impact on supply chain synchronization and cooperative demand planning in green supply chains, as well as in other industries. Agent-based systems have the potential to tackle many GSCM challenges that are intractable with standard analytical models (Panigrahi, Bahinipati, & Jain, 2019). When it comes to green logistics management, genetic algorithms can be utilized to solve problems like automobile route planning, container loading, and handling of material in the GSCM. As a result, artificial intelligence-based technology enablement has an impact on the choice of relevant strategies and initiatives (Dwivedi et al., 2019). Technical Dimensions (AI-based) of the GSCM strategy have a favourable impact on the GSCM strategy. It is discovered that the GSCM approach has a strong association with the GSCM process. It has also been discovered that the GSCM process has a favourable effect on business performance on the basis of social, environmental, and financial. 


It is critical to maintain focus on the principles of SCM while new models of SCM are developed. The accurate identification of sustainability concerns – both current and those that are expected to become essential in the future – is critical in order to focus the activity and address the issues that are most critical to the organization. This determination is not often clear for multinational corporations working in a variety of nations and cultures, or for enterprises whose commodities will be offered in a variety of international marketplaces. When it comes to SCM, familiarity with conventional business processes and techniques can be advantageously expanded on by widening the criteria and incorporating new knowledge from different evaluation tools such as life cycle assessments (LCA).


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