The Work Force and Information Technology



The growth of the concept of supply chain management (SCM) is the direct result of several dramatic changes in the way today’s business environment is structured and how companies compete for marketplace advantage. Some of these changes are to be found in the methods by which products are developed, manufactured, warehoused, and sold, the way the enterprise is organized and its productivities measured, and the skills required to manage, motivate, and empower the work force. Other changes have come from without. The global marketplace has rendered obsolete the vision (which was surely never a practical strategy) that single companies could seize and maintain market leadership solely by the strength of their own efforts and precipitated the age of the “virtual” organization and supply chain partnership. The explosion in the various forms of information technology has also acted as the catalyst as well as the foundation of today’s revolution in the way customers and suppliers engage in the business of buying and selling. Finally, these changes have altered forever almost century-long organizational models by which companies were run, the structure of the relations existing between management and labor, the methods used to plan and measure competitive success, and the place each company occupied in the business ecosystems of which they were a part.


Business Process Supply Chain Management Work Force Channel Process Channel Member 
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  1. 1.
    This definition is from Michael Hammer and James Champy, Reeingineering the Corporation. New York: HarperBusiness, 1993, p. 32.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    For an expanded analysis of these points see Charles M. Savage, Fifth Generation Management: Integrating Enterprises Through Human Networking. Burlington, MA: Digital Equipment Corporation, 1990, pp. 65–146, and Michael Hammer, Beyond Reengineering. New York: HarperBusiness, 1996, pp. 1–17.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Currently some of the best books are Hammer and Champy, Reengineering the Corporation; Hammer, Beyond Reengineering; Steven L. Goldman, Roger N. Nagel, and Kenneth Preiss, Agile Competitors and Virtual Organizations. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1995; and also by the same authors Cooperate to Compete. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1996; James P. Womack, Lean Thinking. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996; James Champy, Reengineering Management. New York: HarperBusiness, 1995; William H. Davidow and Michael S. Malone, The Virtual Corporation. New York: HarperCollins, 1992; and Peter M. Senge, The Fifth Discipline. New York: Doubleday, 1990.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    This crucial point is elaborated upon by Hammer, Beyond Reengineering,p. 50.Google Scholar
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    Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad, Competing for the Future. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 1994, p. 182.Google Scholar
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    See the excellent discussion on build enterprise competencies in Ibid.,pp. 163–193.Google Scholar
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    For an excellent summary of the purpose and functionings of the tradition organization see Robert N. Anthony, The Management Control Function. Boston, MA: The Harvard Business School Press, 1988.Google Scholar
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    Critical discussion of the center of excellence concept can be found in Savage, Fifth Generation Management,pp. 214–215, and Hammer, Beyond Reengineering,pp. 116–126.Google Scholar
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    Andre Martin, Infopartnering. Essex Junction, VT: omeno, 1994, pp. 136–138.Google Scholar
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    Leslie Hansen Harps, “Case Corp Constructs Logistics Model of the Future, ” Inbound Logistics 16 (10) (October 1996), 25–32.Google Scholar
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    These business alliances are identified in Goldman et al., pp. 209–210.Google Scholar
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    See the discussion in Ibid.,pp. 210–220.Google Scholar
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    This section was drawn from David F. Ross, Distribution: Planning and Control. New York: Chapman and Hall, 1996, pp. 714–715.Google Scholar
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    Charles M. Savage, Fifth Generation Management,p. 70.Google Scholar
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    Ibid., p. 71.Google Scholar
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    Richard Brown, “Configurable Network Computing,” APICS: The Performance Advantage 6 (12) (December 1996), 36–39.Google Scholar
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    Christopher Gopal and Harold Cypress, Integrated Distribution Management. Homewood, IL: Business One Irwin, 1993, p. 173.Google Scholar
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    See the informative article by Laurie Joan Aron, “Surfing the Chain,” Inbound Logistics 16 (9) (September 1996), 40–44.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Mike Ngo and Paul Szucs, “Four Hours,” APICS: The Performance Advantage 6 (1) (January 1996), 30–32.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    These trends can be found in Richard L. Dawe, “Tackle 21st Century Technology Today,” Transportation and Distribution 37 (10) (October 1996), 112–120.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ChicagoUSA

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