Suppy chain structure
members. It is truly a synergistic situation, where the entire performance of the
channel is improved (Cooper et al., 1997).
As previously indicated, one of the prevalent organizational issues, that
developed out of the traditional supply chain concept, was the focus on longterm
partnerships and strategic alliances. In fact, it has been posited that firmto-
firm competition has migrated to supply chain against supply chain,
necessitating supply chain integration and strategically developed supply
chain networks (Watts et al., 1995). Thus, the very core of a successful supply
chain, from a traditional perspective, is the development of strong inter-firm
relationships among the organizations comprising the supply chain. And, the
evolution of the primary organizational structure, from vertical integration to
supply chain management, was accompanied by a shift in inter-firm relations,
from primarily arm's length to collaborative. However, yet another form of
supply chain management is on the horizon that provides another variation in
inter-firm relationship philosophies - the e-supply chain.
The e-supply chain
New challenges still face logistics and supply chain organizations. In addition to
previous marketplace demands and global competition, the advent of ecommerce
and increased pressures from stockholders has created a more
demanding landscape. The role of logistics has expanded over the decades
beyond carrier and customers to encompass other stakeholders.
Environmentalists have concerns about warehouse locations, stockholders want
increase on investments, and politicians are concerned about tax collection.
Logisticians within its expanded role must now operate within organizational
structures that allow them easily to interact between multiple stakeholders.
Organizational structures of the future will possess the attributes of the
electronic supply chain, where technology linkages tie many corporations and
outsourced functions together enabling low-cost partner switching and a high
flexibility. It is expected that investments on brick and mortar buildings will be...