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Review of Supply Chain Management to Improve Business Performances

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ABSTRACT

This study is based on the concept of supply chain management, which is associated with the proper flow of infodivrmation, material and finance, as it is very helpful in forming a collaborative environment, which leads the company towards achieving competitive advantage. The supply chain management of Hotel Sofitel London St James is very poor and suffering from several deficiencies such as lack of coordination, poor time management, rude behaviour of employee and staff, etc. This study is based on discussion about the role of supply chain to improve performance of business firm, mainly in hospitality industry. This study also carries a definite structure which has different sections.

The literature review of the study explores a comprehensive view about supply chain management and its different features. In this researcher has discussed about supply chain process, different types of supply chain, and supply chain planning, lean and agile paradigm, supply chain orientation, make to order and make to stock supply chain. Apart from this, cost management in supply chain and substitutability of the product along with information sharing has also been explained by the researcher in this study.

In order to achieve the aims of the study, researcher has collected both primary and secondary data. Primary data has been collected through filed work and conducting semi structured interviews of 30 employees of Sofitel London St James hotels. Case study strategy has been used by the researcher. In order to analyze the data a thematic framework approached is used.

Different research findings of the study are development of relational capabilities in the hotels, effective information sharing to improve in customer satisfaction and loyalty, enhancement in productivity and profitability, improvement in brand recognition and cost control and achievement of goals and objective on time and effective utilization of resources. Some suggestions offered by the researcher are procurement outsourcing, implementation of voice of the supplier programs and use of electronic networks and introducing training and development programs for staff.

1.1. SCOPE AND FOCUS OF THE RESEARCH

Supply chain management has become an essential part of business firms to manage the performance in this highly competitive and changing era. This research has a scope for the service industry, mainly in hospitality industry, as creditability of supply chain management has also increased in hospitality industry. The main rationale behind conducting this research study is to critically analyze the significance of supply chain management for a firm and to indentify how SCM increases the performance of the firm to manage uncertain needs and demands of the end customers.

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This research study belongs to the subject area of supply chain management, which integrates some other functional areas also such as production and planning, manufacturing, operations management, logistics and distributions, etc. This study has a scope for all these departments to understand that how supply chain management is interconnected with these areas of firm and how business firms can strengthen them operational activities from manufacturing to distribution a product.

There has been extensive evidence and literature review regarding importance of supply chain management. It has been described by several authors that a supply chain process makes an easy process of product flow without any delay. According to the concept of supply chain management the flow of product is known as the logistics management. In this concern, it is necessary for the firm to design a distribution network through which the company can ensure timely supply of parts and components. This distribution network would help the firm to maintain the efficiency of expensive plants and machinery. All the researchers have provided information about importance of supply chain management in manufacturing industry, whereas in services industry, it is quite critical to explain supply chain management and its significance due to uncertainty in the customer’s demand.

Activities and operations in manufacturing and service industry are slightly different from each other, as in manufacturing industry companies produce tangible good and in service industry companies serve services, which are intangible goods. Thus, the processes of supply chain management are entirely different in both of these industries.

Thus, this research study has a scope for the service industry to fill the gap and implement a distinct process to manage flow of services effectively. It is very difficult to manage the relationship with the suppliers, customers, technologies, etc. In order to understand the differences and similarities in the supply chain process of manufacturing and service industry, this research is important. The supply chain process also controls blockages and counterattacks by enhancing the capabilities of the firm to distribute products and services, which has been understood in this study especially for service industry.

In order to conclude, the main aim of this study is to critically analyze the importance of supply chain management to improve the performance of the firms, which operate in service industry. Thus, researcher has taken a case study of Hotel Sofitel London St James.

This research would have a scope to contribute a significant literature in the field of production and operation to manage the flow of services. This study offer a better understanding not only to the company but also for individuals or student of management to understand the significant impact of supply chain to improve the performance of company whether it is manufacturing or service.

1.2. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

This research dissertation is undertaken with the aims and key objectives, so that researcher can systematically review the impact of supply chain management to improve the performances of business firm by using the case study of Hotel Sofitel London St James. The main aim of this study is to critically investigate the supply chain management of Sofitel London St James hotels. This has been done by the researcher by achieving the following objectives:

1. To analyze determinants that affects the supply chain.
2. To observe the gap/difference between theories and practices those are related to supply chain in the case of Hotel Sofitel London St James.
3. To make suggestions to the hotel management on how to develop supply chain improvement and concepts into practice in the case of Hotel Sofitel London St James.

1.3. SUMMARY OF CHAPTERS

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This research is completed in a systematic manner, so that researcher can achieve its all objectives on time. Researcher has breakdown this dissertation in different chapters. There are mainly seven chapters, which are as follow:

Introduction: This is the chapter one of this study. This chapter comprises information about the scope and rationale of the study. Additionally, researcher has also described aims and objectives of the study, so that he can effective evaluate concept of the supply chain management to improve performance of the companies.

Literature review: This is the chapter two of the study, which includes information about the supply chain management and it theoretical framework. In order to achieve the objectives and understand the supply chain management for services industry, researcher has divided this chapter into different subheadings. Firstly researcher has explored a theoretical framework of supply chain process for hospitality industry. After that, researcher has also described different types of supply chain management that are used in both manufacturing and service industry. He has also discussed about the suitable type of supply chain management for hospitality industry and also provides extensive examples.

The ultimate purpose of this chapter is to create awareness for reader about the investigation of problem and issue. Thus researcher has also explained supply chain planning in service industry. Furthermore, in order to achieve the objective of explain about different determinants that affect supply chain management, researcher has explored a framework about lean and agile supply chain management along with the make to order supply chain and make to stock supply chain. He has also provided justification and examples that which model and paradigm of supply chain management are suitable for hospitality industry.

Moreover, researcher has also discussed about supply chain orientation and explained its importance for service industry mainly for hotels. It is also imperative for the readers to know, how supply chain is effective to manage cost, minimize wastage and increase profitability of the firm. In a spate section, researcher has also described about the cost management in supply chain and its approaches for hotels, so that it would be easy for researcher to suggest some recommendations to the hotels to improve its performance.
Finally, in order to complete the theoretical framework of supply chain management to identify the gap between the theoretical and practical applications of a firm about supply chain management, researcher has also provided a comprehensive overview of substitutability and information sharing in supply chain.

Methodology: It is the chapter 3 of this dissertation, which comprises information about the methods used by researcher to collect the data. This chapter directs the researcher to develop a way to explain about the different approaches, philosophies and paradigms that are used by the researcher to collect data in this study. This is a very significant chapter because it supports the researcher to justify that which strategy of design would be used to select data collection method and why.

Company/ Industry Background: This is the fourth chapter of the study, which detailed contains information about Hotel Sofitel London St James, as researcher has been used this company as a case study to analyze the importance of supply chain in performance improvement. This in turn assists readers to create an understanding about the current supply chain practices of the hotel, so that researcher can discuss and offer suggestion in other chapter.

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Data Analysis and Findings: This is the next chapter of the study, which contains discussion of data collected through both primary and secondary data collection methods. In this chapter researcher has analyzed the collected data through thematic framework analysis and presented all the findings and outcomes by italicized the responses collected through participants. This is the main chapter of the study, in which researcher explores the outcome to achieve the objectives of the study.

Discussion: The next chapter 6 of the study belongs to the discussions section in which researcher has discussed what are the results of the study and at which extent he has become able to achieve the aims and objectives. Researcher has also established a relationship between objectives and findings to resolve the problem of the dissertation.

Conclusion: Finally, this is the last chapter of the dissertation. In this chapter researcher has provide a summary of complete study and also offers some suggestions for Hotel Sofitel London St James, so that the hotel can improve its capabilities to utilize all the benefits provides by supply chain and improve its performance by coping with the highly changing and unpredictable environment.

REFERENCES

  • Anklesaria, J. 2008. Supply chain cost management: the AIM & DRIVE process for achieving extraordinary results. AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn.
  • Arlbjørn, J.S., Freytag, P.V. and Haas, H. 2011. Service Supply Chain Management: A survey of lean application in the municipal sector. International Journal
  • of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management. 41 (3) pp. 277-295.
  • Aurelie, C., Matthieu, L., and Luk, V.W. 2010. A model to define and assess the agility of supply chains: building on humanitarian experience. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management. 40 (8/9) pp. 722-741.
  • Bakar, A. and Hamid, A. 2011. The relationship between firm integration and supply chain orientation. Journal Kemanusiaan bil. 17, pp. 33-56.
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