Perhaps it's time to throw out the term, "supply chain." It contains an inherent flaw: One slip-up in the sequence of events--a break in the chain--brings the whole business-to-business system to a screeching halt. Manufacturers can't afford that.
Even the B2B platforms introduced in the 1990s, which use electronic data interchange as a standard method of communication, are similarly marred. Those networks are based on a link-to-link messaging model that requires integration with multiple ERP applications. Same problem: One broken link, and the system comes to a halt. And perhaps more important, somewhere along the line, a small supplier might still be using spreadsheets and faxing documents, making it cumbersome to include the information in the electronic loop.
Source: Managing Automation, http://www.managingautomation.com
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