Supply Chain Surfing

With an increasingly globalised economy the supply chain has emerged as key ingredient to competitive advantage. As one of the principal benefactors of electronic technology, it’s probably appropriate that the internet is packed with information about how to better manage the supply chain process. The Supply Chain Association of New Zealand (SCANZ) helped me identify some sites dedicated to the subject.

www.scanz.co.nz: There are many annoying things about this website. Functionally it’s dog, but given that by February 4, 2002 I was its 71st visitor we’ll go easy. And besides, if SCANZ manages to get the site running properly, it has tons of potential. An excellent links page with access to articles about the supply chain, job opportunities and code of ethics for practitioners. Principal problem is the site’s inability to cater for different monitor sizes. Those with small monitor find themselves having to pan far right to read anything and squeezing frames into all the wrong places. Other flaws means the site gets one out of five for functionality and three and half out of five for potential.

www.log-inz.org.nz: This is the homepage for Logistics New Zealand. It’s bare bones site for basic information about logistics and the supply chain and resource more useful to those wanting to know little more about membership details or issues relating to LNZ. There is useful links page however and library resource where articles relating to the supply chain and logistics can be purchased on pay-per-view basis (note prices: $20 per feature for non-members, $5 for members).

www.supplychainsites.com: All you ever wanted from an online links page, in this case one dedicated to supply chain management. It contains databases of links to sites covering every aspect of the supply chain, from software to transportation and distribution. Sites are rated according to search category relevance. What more can be said, use it!

www.supplychain.ittoolbox.com: useful website for access to the latest news in technology-related aspects of the supply chain. Subscribe to online newsletters, access latest news in the IT area of supply chain management, enter into online discussions, hunt out books ( in some cases you can order titles direct from link to amazon.com). Ideal site for IT managers interested in supply chain management.

www.manufacturing.net/scm: The homepage of Supply Chain Management Review, an executive level publication dedicated to the “art and science of moving goods to market”. This is an excellent resource. It’s sleek, the material is current and exhaustive and best of all, it’s functional. Contains case studies, white papers, feature articles and news, and you don’t have to pay cent. Also check out www.manufacturing.net/pur, the home page for Purchasing Magazine, sibling publication targeted more exclusively at the purchasing side of the process.

www.stanford.edu/group/scforum: The Supply Chain Forum is leading research institute that works in partnership with Stanford University School of Engineering and Graduate School of Business as well as industry. The Forum was set up to “advance theory and practice of excellence in global supply chain management”. It provides an academic look at the supply chain with excellent white papers compiled by leading supply chain experts such as Hau L Lee from the university’s Graduate School of Business. One recent white paper looked at “E business and Supply Chain Integration”, another at “Ultimate Enterprise Value Creation Using Demand Based Management”. Subscribe to an online newsletter and you’ll see areas of supply chain research being undertaken by Stanford. Forum membership doesn’t come cheap however. Annual investment (their quotes not mine) of US$35,000.

www.ism.ws: The home page for the Institute of Supply Management. bit dull but useful site to know about – especially for information on education opportunities in particular the Certified Purchasing Manager, an internationally recognised qualification administered in New Zealand by SCANZ. Members have access to range of online resources but there is also useful data and information available to non-members including host of bench-marking data. Slow surfing but for the more ardent supply chain professional, worth the wait.

www.pasba.com: This is the Procurement and Supply Chain Benchmarking Association home page, free association for procurement and supply chain organisations within major corporations. PASBA’s mission is “to identify ‘best in class’ procurement and supply chain business processes”. The association does this by conducting major benchmarking studies. pretty basic site, not much information available instantly online, but with free membership and access to excellent benchmarking data, it’s worth knowing about. Sign up for free newsletter.

Damon Birchfield is an Auckland-based freelance writer. Email:[email protected]

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