E-commerce services efficiently. Their main objective is to get

E-commerce is about doing business with Internet either buying or
selling things on the Internet. Internet defined in technology terms is a
global network where computer systems are connected around the globe. Supply
chain system (SCS) is one of the systems in enterprise application which helps
the company in managing its relationship with its supplier. They share
information to source produce and deliver goods and services efficiently. Their
main objective is to get the right amount of products from their source to
their customers at the shortest time and the lowest cost. This increases the
firm’s profitability and allows managers to make better decisions. Coca-Cola
Company, Colgate, Zara and Amazon are one of many successful companies with
good supply chain system.

The first benefit that supply chain system (SCS) in organization can
have lower costs to raw materials. It plans for materials to be brought to
organization at the lowest cost and fastest correct time. With low costs, the
organization can invest on other things to improve and increase the profits of
the company. Colgate, for instance uses SCS to ensure the logistics are
well-planned ahead so that there is enough materials with a minimum list to
lower operation cost. By planning ahead, Colgate ensures that the required raw
materials are sufficient and maintain the inventory to lowest so that the cost
for operation is less than normal amount.

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SCS also helps organization in making the quality of the products are
consistent. Through negotiations with their suppliers, organizations can ensure
that the product they sell will be of a high and equal mass quality. This could
reduce the cost of quality control which can be another plus of SCS. Since the
quality will be same regardless the quantity, organization may not need to
check the supplies to comply with standard which could reduce cost and improve
efficiency of the supply chain. Nike, one of the largest athletic footwear
seller, uses SCS with quality control as one of their activities. They have
long-term supply contract with some factories that can produce their strict and
constant quality products.

 

With SCS, organizations can improve their relations with their suppliers
with better communication and responsiveness. With improved relations and
continuous communication, organization can ensure the suppliers are aware of
demand changes and ensure the correct supply level. This can reduce the risks
of wastes and delivery delays. McDonald is also one of the successful companies
that uses SCS where they ensure to be on same page as their suppliers in
long-term.  They will hold meetings where
they can openly discuss and make decisions hoping what’s best for their system.

 

SCS helps organization with decreasing the time it takes to for products
to reach to customers. Time-to-consumer is important as it is better if the
time it takes for customer to get their goods decreases to ensure they are
satisfied. This ensure the efficiency of the product flow. Amazon, since it’s
been founded, has skyrocketed its annual revenue from $7 billion to $136
billion in of more than 10 years by using supply chain system. It has a
delivery option where customers can choose when they want their products to be
delivered making it quick and efficient as they can plan at what time they want
reducing waiting time.

 

A good SCS ensures that the relationship between the suppliers and
customers with organization by having uninterrupted information flow since it
can lead to poor relationships and great costs if otherwise. Fragmented supply
chain with scarce information flow costed at least £1.2 billon. (Oracle, 2010)
With smooth information flow, organization can evaluate the value of
information sharing and enforce solutions to fill gaps. Coca-Cola, with a
successful SCS, aims to meet customers’ expectation by trying to catch with
trends, technologies and processes. They maintain their relation with their
supplier through frequent meetings with their major suppliers and with
customers by changing their market to an on-demand market where they will
provide what the customers want.

In conclusion, supply chain system deals the organizations’ relationship
with their suppliers to ensure that they gain a competitive advantage over
other organizations in the global world. Having supply chain ensures low cost,
quality of goods with equal standards, better relations with suppliers for
better responses, reduced time for delivery and also uninterrupted information
flow between suppliers and customers. These benefits makes a difference between
a successful organizations and a struggling one based on how they adapt and
maximize the use of these benefits to maintain their supply chain from start
till the end.

 

Question 2

Information system is a collection of hardware,
software and people working together to collect, store, sort, and process
information. Value chain is one of the ways to gain advantage over other
organizations. It is a model which strips down the organizations’ activities
into primary and secondary activities.

Primary activities are directly related to the
production and distribution of the organizations’ products or services. Primary
activities consists of inbound logistics, operations, sales and marketing,
service and out bound logistics. Inbound logistics gets the materials needed to
make the product. Operations makes the products. Sales and marketing sell the
product. Service maintain and repair product. Outbound logistics deliver the
product to the customers.

Secondary activities allow the primary activities to
deliver. It consists firm infrastructure, human resources, technology and
procurement. Firm infrastructure consists of administration and management
while human resources consists of hiring employees and training them.
Technology can improve the products and its processes and procurement refers to
purchasing inputs for the firm. This value chain can be supported by supply
chain system as it is shown in the diagram above that it is part of the ‘firm’
in the supply chain system. A supply chain is a system that forms a
relationship between the organization and its suppliers to produce and
distribute a specific product as well as the steps it needs to take to get the
product to the customers. This helps organization in reducing costs and
increase the speed of the production cycle.

(Diagram 1, Value chain of Pizza Hut)

(Source: Singhal, 2013, UCVC Assignment -1, Value
ChainofPizza Hut)

The diagram 1 above is about the value chain used in
Pizza Hut. It is said that they used this model as a mean to create customer
value. Based on the diagram, the inbound logistics is shown to purchase raw
materials and will probably use management information system (MIS) as it helps
in monitoring, controlling and administering the activities. Operations
consists of preparation of pizzas and other food and will also use MIS.
Outbound logistics described the process of delivery and also uses MIS.
Marketing and sales tells of accommodating to their targeted audience’s tastes
based on the allocations of the outlets and probably uses sales and marketing
system. Service and supports describes the condition of delivered pizza,
communication with the customers and of online order and be managed by MIS.

The secondary activities supports the primary
activities by describing how it gets the required inputs while maintaining the
quality to keep the customer satisfied (procurement). It also takes in feedback
from customers to keep improving with the use of technology. Human resources
focuses on hiring new workers and providing them training.

In the support activities, infrastructure probably
uses transaction processing system to keep track of transactions through fund collections.
Human resource management uses human resource management system as it mainly
manages the organization’s workforce. Technology Development uses manufacturing
and production system which plans, develop and maintains the facilities
responsible for productions. Procurement will probably use MIS to ensure the
resources are acquired properly.

Another company that uses value chain to gain a
competitive advantage is Starbucks. In the primary activities, they will select
the best coffee beans (inbound logistics), operations “in 65 countries”, served
in-store (outbound logistics), invest in quality over quantity for marketing
and sales and aim “at building customer loyalty” for service. The support
activities consist of infrastructure which aim at nice atmosphere and good
customer service, human resource which hire and motivates employees to work
marked, using technology in making coffee and communicating with customers and
forming a relation with suppliers for best quality raw materials. By using
value chain, Starbucks reach more success as it helps with keeping in check
with their objectives and provides steps to fulfill.

Thus, the value chain helps Pizza Hut with achieving
their goals of providing the best services by dividing the activities which use
different information systems to act as a guide to achieve their goal. With
smaller steps, the organization is clear with their goals and be able to follow
the chain to achieve them. Therefore, value chain helps organizations to make
clear of achieving their goals with smaller steps to be supported by supply
chain that connects the organizations with suppliers and customers.

 

 

Question 3

Internet defined in technology terms is “a
global wide area network that connects computer systems across the world”. (Christensson.P,
2015) Quality of life in short can be of the quality of a person’s life. It can
be in the form of happiness, independence and amount of freedom a person can
have. It is hard to measure since it is subjective.

Internet has brought many good things to
humanity. It made long distance communication more efficient through the use of
email which made the message to be able to send in seconds while it could take
days or months to deliver depending on the distance. With Internet, people can
still connect to each other despite the distance and may even strengthen their
bonds.

With Internet, people can research on the
type of information they want depending on their intention by using search
engine like Google. People who want to make better investment can study
economic trends online to be kept updated. They can also learn from topics that
other people has shared such as sports, hobbies and interests. Through online,
they can learn what they want without paying fees since most of the information
on the Internet are free.

Just as people can access the types of
information they want, they can share different types of information they want
online as well through Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and
so on. They can share significant parts of their lives online to share their
happiness with others. They can also share their tips and exercise routine so
that other who wants to be fit can find it and follow it.

Internet can also aid in prevention of
accidents or sickness with a weather-notification system. For instance, “Montgomery County, Md., has used the Internet of Things to improve
public safety in low-income housing” where it
harnessed its advanced technology to detect the atmosphere of the country in
which its data is sent over internet to alert residents if there is a hazard.
(Erlanger, 2014) This reduces possible accidents due to not foreseeing the
future weather.

Internet
can reduce the wall between work and home where people can be allowed to work
at home reducing the travel time and fees being a plus. For instance, Global
Workplace Analytics that “studies and promotes flexible work situations”
reports that telecommuting has grown almost 80% in 7 years. (Shin, 2014) The
reason for it is telecommuting is both flexible and beneficial as people can
get the same amount or more salary just by working home unlike before where
they waste time and money travelling to work place. An example could be a
software developer who develop software.

Internet
can bring disadvantages where over-reliance can reduce social interactions
between people causing to lose their social skills. Using Internet excessively
may produce someone who communicate more at home through Internet than the
normal way. This type of person is called a “computer geek”.

 Internet can also bring health problems such
as strain injury from typing. The eyesight can also worsen from staring too
long at the screen. In a few decades, the percentage of people wearing
spectacles has increased to 41.6% approximately.

With
advancing Internet it is more difficult for businesses to catch up with their
competition. This is because the global market has reduced the common
intermediaries adapt to competition. This means there can be people who can
out-do others in business making them lose both their jobs and business.

Illegal
and unethical acts could be committed with the use of Internet making crimes
difficult to detect. They are harder to detect when it is done where there is a
blur line between an individual’s privacy and free information. It could also
be harder to detect or be brought justice since it could be legal but
unethical.

Internet
can cause people to lose their jobs since most business uses Internet and if
they don’t have the skills that can be applied on the net. This is especially so
for the older generation who cannot catch up with the younger generation in
terms of skills requirement. This led many who could be breadwinners to their
families to lose their jobs and give a harder lifestyle than others.

In
conclusion, while the Internet could bring convenience in communicating through
long distance in short time, it could also make people be antisocial in
life.  Though it could bring health
problems such as bad eye-sight, it could also alert people for preparation of
bad-weather to prevent from harms. Just as it has its benefits, it also has
caused people their jobs making them lose salary that they need to afford
themselves a good life.

 

Question 4

Information system (IS) is where hardware,
software and people (input) work together to collect store, sort and process
(process) information (output). Businesses with IS will have competitive as one
of its strategic objectives. Competitive advantage can be defined when a firm
is doing better than others. Strategic advantage is established when there is
an IS that plans in getting opportunities for competitive advantage. This IS
can be called strategic information system (SIS). SIS can create strategic
advantage either by making or improving the business’s advantage or change the
business model to cause an advantage. SIS’s main objectives could be to
increase competitive advantage while decreasing competitive disadvantage. This
will help the business to gain competitive advantage over other competitors.
Making an advantage could be easier than maintaining it because the competition
is getting more intense and smarter as well as the customers. However, it is
generally disagreed that it is not unsustainable. It is difficult to maintain
strategic advantage because as technology is advancing fast so are the minds of
the competitors and customers. However maintaining competitive advantage is
possible.

The first way to ensure that competitive
advantage is maintained by being asset-driven such as having loyal customers.
For instance, Starbucks have a Reward system in the form of a card which
provides customers benefits. This builds and ensures customers’ loyalty as they
will be tempted to repeat purchase and build loyalty at the same time. This
ensures a long term sustainability as it is hard to break a long term
relationships.

Another way is to have a unique branding
that the business can be known for. For instance, Apple and Samsung are mostly
known for its mobile technology. This means that when customers sees or hears
of these brands, their minds will come up with different types of phones and
laptops. Thus it creates an advantage due to its brand telling the whole story
of what they do making it easier for customers to think of what products to buy
when they hear such brands. This makes it a long term sustainability.

Another way of having a strategic
competitive advantage is to start focusing on a narrow target market. Narrowing
down target market helps in focusing on the need of that one specific target
making have an advantage over others that may focus on a wider target market.
For instance. Facebook which is now one of the most popular social media has
started as a service for Harvard students. Thus by constricting to a smaller
market, business can increase customer share and expand the market into leading
the business to one of the top, making it a long term sustainability.

Developing customer intimacy also causes
an advantage as the organization can understand and fulfil customers’ needs and
wants. Intimacy is developed by knowing more about customers through surveys or
feedbacks. Dell is one of the companies that focuses on customers’ relations by
customizations to their needs which gives them an insight of their preferences
and needs, quickly fulfilling them before their competitors. Thus, strategic
advantage is maintained long term through learning and fulfilling them faster
than other companies.

By using cost advantage, companies can
sustain strategic advantage. Cost advantage means of producing similar products
but at lower price so that customers may be attracted to buy due to lower price
compared to other companies. Amazon is one of the companies that uses cost
advantage as one of its marketing strategies where it sells at a similar or
lower price than other companies that sell books. Thus, it also shows that being
advantageous in pricing can also maintain competitive advantage as customers
prefers things cheaper, though it is only sustainable short term as customers
may switch to even cheaper price.

Overall,
the statement of not having sustaining strategic advantage is generally
disagreed. Though it may be tough to maintain advantage, it is possible. Apple
is one of the oldest companies that has maintained advantage since 1976
compared to Facebook which has started since2004. These companies prove that
though it may be tough, sustaining strategic advantage does exists.