Coffee has been in high demand by different people across the world. The world today is a very competitive marketplace, therefore, making it mandatory for all firms to be innovative and devise new ways of doing things for them to survive. The world is dynamically changing every day; with the advancements in technology, supply chain management is also adopting these advances for it to cope with the current market demands. Thus in supply chain management, the case is no different, and hence the agencies involved have come up with new ways of cutting costs and improving their service delivery (Voon, & Ho, 2001). With the help of modern and digital technologies, supply chain managers have created better methods and ways to enable them to have better control over their businesses making them equal competitors in the market. Technology helps to simplify all operations allowing greater control of the business as well as cutting costs. With the current technological advances, therefore, supply chain managers have been able to enhance customer satisfaction and retention.
Current Technological Infrastructure
Automation refers to the process of converting a machine or a process into a more controllable manner using modern devices for example computers (Klumpp, 2017). The role of technology is to simply different activities that are involved in the whole supply chain. Therefore the process of incorporating the use of computers in all these processes to simply the way of doing things is called automation. Thus, technology is not relevant to supply chain management without converting more complex activities into simpler activities where the user has more control over the machine or the process (Mena, 2017). Therefore there is no technology without automation, and hence automation is among the basic technologies that a firm must employ to ensure they are in control of all the activities and also cut the operation costs. All in all, automation has made supply chain management manageable increasing accountability and the responsible nature of the users. Therefore the paper explores the various forms of automation, their impacts, and the shortcomings thereof in supply chain management.
Improved Latte Coffee Warehousing Operations
Automation is the center of operations in modern warehouses worldwide. Initially, supply managers had to meet the high costs of storage, receiving, and dispatching goods in and out of the warehouses. These processes were inefficient requiring a lot of paperwork in filing and heavy labor costs to do the loading, offloading, and storage of these commodities (In Golinska-Dawson, & In Kolinski, 2016). All these processes were costly and time-consuming. The high labor costs and difficulties in maintaining proper records made the process and the service delivery tedious and unreliable. In the current world, on the production section of the supply chain, machines are automated to deliver the commodities to the warehouse. These machines are computerized and do the offloading and loading of goods thus reducing the previous costs. These machines can handle large amounts of goods in a short time thus increasing the efficiency and the number of goods the warehouse can handle in a day. Hence the rise of computerized and sophisticated machines in warehouse operations has made the processes easier and more controllable.
Improved Filing and Logistic Systems
The filing systems are improved with accuracy and with minimal windows for error. Automation through computers has reduced the work of filing and documenting the operations of the warehouse (MCB University Press, 1996). As opposed to the earlier ages when hundreds of employees were hired for proper filing and record keeping, currently, big warehouse filing procedures can be handled by just a few people with high degrees of accuracy and precision. Scanners and barcode readers are installed at the entrances and exits of the warehouse, automatically recording the type of products coming in and out and also their quantities. In case of disputes and computer errors, there are surveillance cameras and manual backups to ensure that accountability and responsibility are enhanced. Therefore, automation has improved data handling techniques making them more reliable and convenient.
Automation has also improved communications and delivery services. With m-commerce and e-commerce, all transactions are carried online. The supply chain companies have heavily invested in customer response and communication systems (Waters & Waters, 2010). Unlike in the past when the customer had to travel long distances to reach the suppliers, the suppliers are now a button away. With improved customer service facilities, the firms can handle multiple requests and orders at the same time responding to the customers in a matter of seconds. Thanks to automation there is instant messaging from the company updating their customers on the progress of the order and the time they should expect the actual delivery. Therefore with improved communication networks, few people can handle thousands of customers’ requests and instantly respond to them. On the other hand, distributors can be alerted at various destinations all at once directing them and giving directions accordingly.
Potential e-Business Solutions
Supply chain firms can operate different chain stores and monitor the delivery services as they happen in real-time. The installation of computerized monitors and databases has greatly developed the operations of supply chain firms. Only one or two individuals are employed and using various software installed on supercomputers they can control and monitor delivery services and warehouses around the world. The delivery trucks are fitted with GPS trackers that provide the physical locations of these trucks at all times (Kopfer, Kotzab, Herbert, & ProQuest. 2005). This has enhanced security measures preventing raids and burglaries on the roads. As opposed to the earlier days, the delivery of goods was very unreliable, and the customers had to wait for long periods of time to get what they had ordered. Whenever the customers trust that the service provider is reliable and can be depended upon they tend to be more loyal to the supplier and hence the supply benefits from the ready market (Fleischmann, 1998). Additively the customers can spread word of mouth to others recommending them to their reliable business partner. Therefore automated systems have facilitated the timely delivery of goods, monitoring of the delivery services and subsequently providing more reliable and convenient services to the customers.
Negative Impacts of e-Commerce to Latte Coffee Shop
However, even with all these advantages, automation in supply chain management is faced with different challenges. For example, in the case of a machine or computer breakdown, everything stops. Automation relies on the well-being of the computers and the proper functioning of all the interdependent systems. The supply chain managers are left stranded without the knowledge of what to do next. In the case of loss of data, the companies do not have anywhere to turn to and hence paralyzing all their operations. Secondly, in case of human error, multiple losses and damages could occur (Grant, Trautrims, & Wong, 2015). Therefore, high accuracy and caution are required to ensure that all operations follow the standard operating procedures to the letter (Deng, Hongbo, & SpringerLink, 2015). Finally, the employees in these companies are not secure, with automation hundreds of employees are replaced by machines leaving only professionals in the operation rooms. Therefore though automation is very desirable, it also comes with various shortcomings that directly or indirectly influence supply chain management.
The organizational goals in this stage will be founded on its proficient nature, and other objective business sectors need. This business depends on furnishing great administrations to clients with sensible and reasonable costs, so its working exercises were additionally founded on this factor. This business's working exercises will be founded on building up the client relationship by legitimately speaking with the client. This kind of movement is also engaged with eliminating the various issues and obstructions of a productive client relationship.
In this situation, an organization can associate with the client through email. The following action will be founded on the basic investigation of the business exercises and making various methodologies to acquire it. The third movement will be to do some innovative exercises in business. The fourth one is to construct authority through the substance factor. The fifth one action will be to build up the sustaining relationship-based exercises of an organization. Along these lines, for this situation, the administration can likewise put a few exercises in the worker's exercises by straightforwardly speaking with them or by normally looking into their presentation.
Indeed, this is an independent venture that depends on making and selling coffee-based various things at the sensible cost to the clients. Moreover, making a decent connection with the representatives and partners is likewise one of the significant movement variables of this organization, concerning the organization its administration, espresso selling and giving all the related or vital administrations to keep the business's bend up to the scale.
In summation, automation encompasses various aspects and activities. The main goal of automation is to ensure that the costs of operations are reduced and also to improve the efficiency. Automation in supply chain management is eminent in the warehousing operations, logistics and record keeping, monitoring services and in coordination and communication areas. The adoption of automation has accrued supply chain firms to various advantages, for example, enhanced coordination, and accountability, good relations with the customers resulting from their improved services and reliability. Further, the firms can have more control over their operations, good record keeping techniques and low product handling costs. For a firm to effectively survive in the supply chain business automation is mandatory to reduce the cost of operations and in turn offer competitive prices to the customers. Global companies have also adopted m-commerce and e-commerce platforms to enable them to cope with the customer demands concerning time deadlines and communications (Waters & Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in the UK, 2011). Automation though very advantageous and effective has various shortcomings that it carries along. These include system and machinery failures and also damages from mishandling machines, and also, the employees in these companies are not secure in their jobs due to the laying off and retrenchment s. Finally, with all the advantages that accrue to supply chain management from automation, automation is the most effective technology in the supply chain management.
Deng, Z., Li, Hongbo, & SpringerLink. (2015). Proceedings of the 2015 Chinese Intelligent Automation Conference. Intelligent automation (Lecture notes in electrical engineering; volume 337). https://onesearch.library.northeastern.edu/primo
Fleischmann, B. (1998). Advances in distribution logistics (Lecture notes in economics and mathematical systems, 460). Berlin ; New York: Springer-Verlag. https://onesearch.library.northeastern.edu/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=NEU_ALMA21180709680001401&context=L&vid=NU&search...
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