Supply chain management (SCM) refers to the management of activities that procure raw materials, transform those materials into intermediate goods and final products, and deliver the products through a distribution system to the end-user. There are numerous key factors that play an important role in the successful management of supply chains in today's dynamic environment. Among those are: paying utmost attention to the needs and desires of the end customer, designing flexibility into the supply chain for rapid response to changing conditions, utilizing the latest communication and logistics technologies, employing a sound measurement system for making the right decisions, and always communicating through the total supply chain. Several key issues should be addressed in the design and management of supply chains.
[...] Returns & Recall Management Companies could supplement the basic shipment identification information by writing the specific customer and time of shipment to the tag immediately prior to distribution. Producing and recording this information would provide several benefits. In the event of a recall, companies could trace specific shipments to specific customers, which would enable a highly targeted notification and return operation and avoid a costly general recall. For general returns, companies could verify that the customer returning merchandise is actually the customer who received it, which would deter diversion, counterfeiting and other forms of return fraud. [...]
[...] The aim of most auto-ID systems is to increase efficiency, reduce data entry errors, and free up staff to perform more value-added functions, such as providing customer service. There are a host of technologies that fall under the auto-ID umbrella. These include bar codes, smart cards, voice recognition, some biometric technologies (retinal scans, for instance), optical character recognition, and radio frequency identification (RFID). Introduction to RFID In general terms, Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) is a means of identifying a person or object using a radio frequency transmission, typically 125 kHz MHz or 800-900MHz. [...]
[...] 'Logistics' is defined by the Council of Logistics Management as "that part of the supply chain process that plans, implements, and controls the efficient, effective flow and storage of goods, services, and related information from the point of origin to the point of consumption in order to meet customers' requirements. Traditionally, logistics activities were handled internally, particularly in medium to large size corporations. In the United States, third party logistics services have gained momentum over the past decade Business Process Reengineering Business process reengineering (BPR) efforts call for 'radical' restructuring of processes to eliminate waste, improve quality, increase service level and enhance customer satisfaction. [...]
[...] Greater visibility, as well as more accurate and timely information about supply- chain execution, allows for reduced safety stocks (thus optimizing cash-to- cash cycles and reducing inventory carrying cost) and increased on-time performance to customer commitments (thus driving additional revenue opportunities). Operating cost improves, as RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) significantly reduces the cost of cycle counting, receiving, picking and shipping. The technology also plays a critical role in addressing shrinkage and grey-market control concerns. Applications of RFID Asset management RFID tags can be permanently attached to capital equipment and fixed assets. [...]
[...] RFID in its present form has been in existence for more than 20 years and has been extensively used in applications such as toll collection, access control, ticketing, and car immobilization devices (also called immobilizers). In recent years, the technology has received increased attention due to a confluence of actions including technology advancement, heightened security concerns, supply chain automation, and a continuing emphasis on cost control within industrial systems. RFID vs. Barcodes There is often a comparison between the advantages of RFID and bar codes. RFID is not necessarily "better" than bar codes. The two are different technologies and have different applications, which sometimes overlap. [...]
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