CHAPTER 4

Using Information Technology

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After reading this chapter you will be able to

  • Assess the technology that is available to support and enable effective supply chain operations
  • Appreciate new technology trends and the business capabilities that they will enable
  • Better understand how to apply this technology to your own supply chain operations

Information Systems that Support the Supply Chain

Information technology supports internal operations and also collaboration between companies in a supply chain. Using high-speed data networks and databases, companies can share data to better manage the supply chain as a whole and their own individual positions within the supply chain. The effective use of this technology is a key aspect of a company's success.

Although many readers of this book do not need to understand all the aspects and nuances of information technology (IT), every reader does need to understand the basic concepts that apply to using this technology effectively. Let's start with a simple reference model to describe IT. Then we'll use this model to classify and gain perspective on available technology and how it can be used.

All information systems are composed of technology that performs three main functions: data capture and communication; data storage and retrieval; and data manipulation and reporting. Different information systems have different combinations of ...

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