Title: The impact of Information Technology Supplementing Sustainable Development in Supply Chain Management- A Case Study on Flipkart’s SCM
Supply chain management is the most crucial and primary element for the development of any organization, in this competitive generation. The main of aim of the study was to research and find out how the company’s integrated information technology and sustainability into the supply chain management for the successful growth of the organization.
This thesis describes about the helpfulness and effectiveness of the usage of Information Technology in the supply chain management over the years. Flipkart which is one among the best online shopping website with more than a million customers is basically known for its speed delivery and for its customer satisfaction. Efforts in the logistics department and the supply chain management are the two main factors which are responsible for the huge success of this online website. They have integrated in the Information Technology in the supply chain management to improve the efficiency of the organization, resulting in time saving, man power saving and overall cost saving.
Problem Statement: The English proverb “Necessity is the mother of all inventions” says everything. During the Global crisis almost all the companies or for that matter the entire manufacturing sector had faced financial crisis and has been in decline for a substantial period of time. Few companies like Flipkart were able to come out of the crisis due the usage of the information technology in the field of supply chain management. The main area of focus was the supply chain system and the logistical system.
To examine the impact of information technology on a firm’s supply chain management.
To identify the strategies of Supply Chain management of FlipKart. Work load impact on the companies and the impact on the
sustainability and environmental ethics of the company.
Case study on the various tools used for the smooth run of the company.
I in this thesis was able to give an understanding on the evolution or the modern usage of the information technology in the supply chain management field. This thesis also briefs about the different technical tools that were used by companies in accomplishing they daily operation smoothly and efficiently. The main aim is to know the primary function of the technology which was used by Flipkart for their success.
I would first like to thank my thesis advisor casandra prerost from Paris school of business. The door to Prof casandra prerost office was always open whenever I ran into a trouble spot or had a question about my research or writing. She consistently allowed this paper to be my own work, but steered me in the right the direction whenever he thought I needed it.
I would also like to thank the experts who were involved in the validation survey for this research project “the impact of information technology supplementing sustainable development in supply chain management”
I would also like to acknowledge professors of all departments for a continuous support and my dean David Russell for a great support throughout my course.
Finally, I must express my very profound gratitude to my parents for providing me with unfailing support and continuous encouragement throughout my years of study and through the process of researching and writing this thesis. This accomplishment would not have been possible without them. Thank you.
1. IT: Information Technology
2. SCM: Supply Chain Management
3. WMS: Warehouse Management System
4. EDI: Electronic Data Interchange
5. ERP: Enterprise Resource Planning
6. CSR: Corporate Social Responsibility
Table of Content
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1
1 .1 acknowledgement 1
1.2 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES 2
1.3 LIMITATIONS OF STUDY 3
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 4
2.1 SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT 4
2.2 SUSTAINABILITY 5
2.2.1 History and development 6
2.3 SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT: 8
2.4 INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: 9
2.4.1 Communication through Internet 9
2.4.2 Electronic mail (e-mail) 10
2.4.3 Enterprise Resource Planning 10
2.4.4 Electronic Data Interchange 10
2.4.5 Communication 10
Vendor Selection 11
Money Management 11
Time Management 11
2.5 BENEFITS OF IT IN SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT 11
2.5.1 Benefits of Enterprise Resource Planning 12
2.6 INTRODUCTION TO LOGISTICS 13
2.7 LOGISTICS AND RESPONSIBILITIES 13
2.7.1 Location and Network 14
2.7.2 Warehouse Management 14
2.7.3 Information Network 14
2.7.4 Transportation 15
2.7.5 Inventory Level Management 15
2.7.5 Warehouse Management System 15
2.7.6 Handling and Packaging System 16
2.8 TYPES OF LOGISTICS OPERATIONS 16
2.9 LOGISTICS MANAGEMENT FUNCTIONS 17
2.9.1 Need of Logistics 18
2.9.2 Productivity Advantage 18
CHAPTER 3: OVERVIEW OF SUPPLY CHAINS 19
3.1 DEFINITION 19
3.2 DEGREES OF SUPPLY CHAIN COVERAGE 21
3.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF SUPPLY CHAINS 21
CHAPTER 4: SUSTAINABILITY IN SUPPLY CHAINS 23
4.1 THE DEFINITION OF SUSTAINABILITY IN SUPPLY CHAIN: 23
4.1.1 Impact of Supply Chain Management in Online Retailing: 23
4.2 CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: 24
4.3 ADVANTAGES OF SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS PRACTICES 24
CHAPTER 5: THE ROLE OF E-COMMERCE IN LOGISTICS AND SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT (SCM) 26
5.1 ECOMMERCE IN LOGISTICS AND SCM 26
5.2 INTEGRATED ECOMMERCE 28
5.2.1 E-Commerce Logistics 29
5.2.2 LOGISTICS AND SCM FUTURE 30
CHAPTER 6: TRIPLE BOTTOM LINES OF SUSTAINABILITY IN SUPPLY CHAINS 31
6.1 ENVIRONMENTAL BOTTOM LINE 32
6.1.1 Cradle to Grave ; Cradle to Cradle Model 33
6.1.2 Footprint Indicators 35
6.2 SOCIAL BOTTOM LINE 39
6.3 ECONOMIC BOTTOM LINE 40
6.4 RISK MANAGEMENT IN SUPPLY CHAINS 41
CHAPTER 7: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 44
7.1 METHODS OF PRIMARY DATA COLLECTION 44
7.2 METHODS OF SECONDARY DATA COLLECTION 45
7.3 RESEARCH DESIGN 46
Types of Research Design 46
. Research design is of four types namely: 46
7.4 ADOPTED RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 47
CHAPTER 8: INTRODUCTION OF FLIPKART 48
CHAPTER 9: DATA ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS 57
9.1 FIRST INTERVIEW: 57
9.2 SECOND INTERVIEW: 58
9.3 FLIPKART CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SURVEY: 60
9.4 OTHER ANALYSIS: 66
CHAPTER 10: DABBAWALA 77
SWOT ANALYSIS 79
CHAPTER 11: CONCLUSION 80
Chapter 1: Introduction
1.1 Topic background:
The final World summit which was held in the previous year’s November showed the direness and urgency in tackling the environmental problems to ensure a secure, feasible and happy future for the coming generations. Jean Claude Juncker stated that this year’s conference would be the final opportunity. In order to accomplish these goals which were set each and every individual has to play their own part in contributing to make this planet steadier and more sustainable. The Local bodies and the institutions also need to play a pivot role to achieve the goals or the objectives for a sustainable planet. The main focus should be on a complete supply chain and not on a specific company or an enterprise. As Sustainable supply chain (SSC) is indeed increasingly seen as key originator of commerce esteem, organizations create modern ways so as to integrate sustainability into their supply chains. The complete life cycle of a product should be taken care of the company and it should take the sole ownership in order to secure the Reliability towards the brand, since the reliability is directly proportional to the performance, the better the performance the better is the image of the brand. Reliability is the first brand ability that the brand requires, in order to be a success in the marketplace.
Companies have been inclined towards those countries which provide them with low-cost investment over the previous years as this strategy saves them a huge amount of investment. This preference is because of the fact that the developing countries provide them cheap labor and comparatively cheaper raw materials. Due to this inclination, there is a doubt as to whether they are able to maintain the socio-economic balance in their business practices. This particular question which had aroused gained an excess importance due to the deadly factory accident which had taken place in Bangladesh in April 2013, because which many manufacturing units or the production units of the textile industries got collapsed. (Yardley 2013).
The technological era of the internet has changed not only the way businesses are conducted but also the methods adopted by the management of the supply chain, such as the way businesses connect with each other and how each component or member in the supply chain is associated. The major operations implicated in supply chain management (SCM) and its correct management is very important and plays a crucial role either in success to failure of the retailer.
In a country like India the online retailing market has gained a great momentum from the past few years. Flipkart, Snapdeal, Jabong, Myntra etc. have become popular among the people in India. Flipkart has also entered and invested a huge amount in this growing and flourishing Indian online retailing market.
1.2 Research objectives
The main intent of this thesis is to study the impact of the new innovation and the introduction of the information and technology in the field of supply chain and management. The thesis also aims to examine the impact of information and technology on supply chain management. A special emphasis will be laid on the firm named FlipKart and one of the objectives is to identify the supply chain strategies of FlipKart.
Since past few years Information Technology has played a key role in changing the daily activities of the business in today’s world worldwide. By making use of technology, it has latest information technology; it has exploited the supply chain management by getting better in terms of quality and adds to the value of the organizations. But in order to use this technology a professional approach or method was required. Supply chain management unfortunately falls behind as it could not take on the necessary changes in the technologies which were relevant to it. Bottom line is that in order to overcome this we need to adopt the changes and the latest developments which are taking place in the Information Technology field so as to triumph over the competitors in this highly competitive global marketing world.
Even before the Information Technology is put into the operation, the prices and costs have to be looked into because that implementation of the latest technologies needs additional amount of expenditure supply by the aspiring organizations. Therefore, accordingly these financially affordable companies can adopt the technologies in the day to day business activities and rule over their competitors and stand by in this very competitive marketing world.
The other research objectives can be devised as following:
To assess the success of Information Technology in Supply chain Management with reference to Flipkart’s strategy.
The impact on the sustainability and environmental ethics. The challenges faced by IT in Supply Chain Management.
I in this thesis was able to brief about the evolution of technology in the field of supply management. This thesis also talks about the different technical tools which were used the various operations.
The main goal is to identify the primary function of the technology adopted by Flipkart in the field of Supply chain Management.
Before going into the detail of the objectives of the thesis let’s discuss the meaning of sustainability and its history, its development over the past few years will be discussed. I specifically intend to focus on the following technologies such as Electronic data interchange (EDI) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
1.3 Limitations of study
Due to flexibility issues and other issues concerning the understanding capacity of the people involved, the data which is required for the study has been affected to an extent. Sometimes, certain respondents have also failed to provide their actual data due to confidentiality reasons. The respondents showed a lack of cooperation in providing certain information which they deemed to be confidential or private. Therefore, in an intent to search for a solution to such situation, the researcher had tried to show good impression initially by highlighting the actual reasons to conduct this research.
Apart from these problems, the researcher has also faced a problem due to languages. The researcher has come across several respondents who hesitated to speak in English.
Chapter 2: Literature Review
2.1 Supply Chain Management
Supply chain Management has been defined as set of modules which when utilized efficiently by integrating all the involved sectors such as suppliers, manufacturers, warehouses and transport, will directly lead to the right quantities of raw material utilised to produce right product and can be delivered to the end customer at the right time. Simchi-Levi et al. (2003). Supply chain is a process which involves the following sectors:
Distribution centers Retailers
All the above stages play a vital role for any given firm in order for them to manufacture a product and deliver the manufactured product to the end product. The below figure shows the sequence of the sectors involved in the Supply Chain process. So, it can be stated that the most essential feature for any company is their Supply Chain process. Therefore, in this current generation it is very important that the company’s supply chain has to be efficient or at its best to remain competitive in the global market. The efficiency of the supply chain has also been emerging as a big challenge for the companies. (Mentzer, 2004).
Supply Chain Management: The flow of the supply chain can be classified as:
The product flow
The information flow The finances flow
To be precise, the product flow involves the process right from the beginning they procure the raw material and till the end where in the product is delivered to the customer. The information flow deals with the communications and logistics sectors where in it deals precisely with the customer satisfaction, their feed backs, transport, demand etc.
And the finances flow deals with the payments of all the stake holders involved. (Walter SCM, 2009)
To describe the exact definition of sustainability would be complicated as it is related to various aspects and differs with every individual aspect. But the precise definition of sustainability has been reported to be derived from a Latin word called “sustainer” which ideally means “to hold up” (Thiele 2013). But the dictionaries vary with exact meaning of sustainability as different dictionaries define them as “maintain”, “support or even as “endurability”.
San tax and Hans Carline 1713 were the first people who were responsible for establishing the concept of sustainability. Saxon tax was an accountant in profession and Hans Carl von Carlowitz was a mining administrator. Due to shortage and lack of lumber the mining industry has been facing a lot of crisis. The lumbers are generally used for smelting in the mining industry.
The connection between the mining and the forestry industry has been noticed by Von Carlowitz, after his observation, sustainability was then introduced. The sustainability in forestry industry was introduced in such a manner that the first adopted method was that the number of trees being cut should be less than the number of new trees being planted. This concept of sustainability has been hailed by the people as it was brought to their notice that the raw materials and the resources are limited and hence these are to be used in an efficient way. (Von Carlowitz – Social and Environmental Dimensions of Organizations and Supply Chains 2013)