Research: Managing Supply Chains in a Digital Networked Economy
A supply chain is a network of firms, activities, organizations, and technologies that performs the functions of procurement of material from vendor firms, transformation of this material into intermediate and finished products, and the distribution of these finished products to customers. A typical supply chain consists of a number of entities interacting with each other in complex ways. It could have vendors; International Purchasing Organizations (IPOs) to procure raw material; a variety of transportation options to ship them; numerous ways to produce the product; and, finally, several channels to distribute the product. Any firm can do some or all of these operations in-house or decide to outsource them. One can also imagine the innumerable number of flows within and across these entities — the flow of product from the supplier organizations to the point of sale; the flow of information between supply chain entities, such as orders, tracking requests, etc.; there are cash flows including invoice preparation and transacting payments; there are process and work flows that manage operations between these entities; and, finally, intra-firm collaborative teams constitute the people flows in the supply chain. My research in this area largely deals with ideas, tools, and methods that streamline and optimize these flows.