Businesses depend on a variety of suppliers and contractors to get raw material input for manufacturing purposes. These suppliers could be located in various places, even in different countries. The process of managing this chain of suppliers forms the basis for study in the area of logistics and supply chain management.
Supply Chain Risk
Considering that a lot can go wrong in the process of managing a supply chain consisting of many moving parts, sources of supply chain risk topic that deserves much attention and research. The sources of risk include financial risk arising from overstocking of inventory, from having to slash prices, risks of being out of stock and risks of goods going out of fashion.
Radio frequency identification (RFID) concerns the use of a minuscule computer chip embedded in a product to track the product. RFID research looks at how RFID has helped contribute to the movement of items through the supply chain and how the technique has helped in the sharing of information across the supply chain. Another aspect this research looks at is whether there is more collaboration across the supply chain.
Logistics and E-Commerce
The impact of logistics and supply chain management on e-commerce capabilities is another research topic. Such a study could examine whether the use of e-commerce techniques can make logistics and supply chain management more effective and efficient. Considering that e-commerce makes it easier to communicate with suppliers, the research could look into factors such as whether this makes for better management of the supply chain. Another factor that could be investigated is whether the use of e-commerce brings about cost savings.
Transportation is a vital aspect of logistics and supply chain management, and is also an important research topic in this area. One area of research relates to the uncertainty that the transportation of goods from one place to another introduces to the process of supply chain management. This uncertainty could come about as a result of poor coordination, poor management of transport on the part of suppliers, delays on the road due to traffic and accidents, for instance. Supply chain management involves the management of such uncertainties.