Information is one of many factors in the development of supply chain operations. It is a key factor in a number of new initiatives, such as: business process management. partnership development, efficient customer response, tighter integration of supply chain operations and outsourcing of ancillary operations. Improvement of the supply chain takes place at different levels: simple efficiency (the Improvement of existing processes), improved quality of service (the redesign of business interfaces and procedures), and the radical restructuring of supply chain arrangements (more often talked about than actually done). Progressive supply chain participants are working mostly at the second level, to improve the effectiveness and quality of service. According to its general strategic approach and situation a business needs to measure different aspects of supply chain operations if it is to be successful. The combination of measures that might be needed in any real case will depend on the level of intended improvement, and such factors as: the characteristics of the supply chain; the nature of its constituent parts (goods, information and finance); the nature of the trading arrangements (and especially the cycle of trading activity from negotiation to final settlement). Using ideas presented here, this combination of measures can be managed more effectively, by first developing a list of candidate measures using a conceptual model, and then mapping them against a planning framework to ensure completeness and coherency.This working paper is a development of a paper presented at “Asia Pacific Transport & Logistics ‘94” in Singapore, which reported work done by the Cranfield Supply Chain Information Management Project team.School of Managemen
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