Apart from the above-mentioned basic roles, there are three functional roles of IT in supply chain management. These are:
1. Transaction execution
When information flows efficiently between the participants of the supply chain, the number of transactions between them is reduced. IT increases the efficiency of repetitive data exchanges. This data is usually appropriate for delivery verification, order processing, billing, and dispatch advice.
2. Collaboration and coordination
IT renders the flow of information. This makes for easier planning, coordination, and improved collaboration between all participants. Demand forecasts make it possible to plan for the future, and order tracking makes knowing the physical location of each order a reality. Neither of these activities is possible without IT.
3. Decision support
Good decisions cannot be pulled out of thin air. They are and should be based on data. IT is a huge benefit in decision support. It can collect even the most complicated set of data and convert it to easy-to-understand charts and reports. In this context, IT extends decision support to all managers.
Author: Danish Mairaj, CISCOM, PMP