Supply Chain Integration is a close alignment and coordination within a supply chain often with the use of shared management information system. Supply chain refers to all inputs required to produce a product and fulfill a purchase. It is an effective and efficient way to maximize customer service index. B integrating processes of different links in the chain it is possible to prevent problems in the early phase.
Integrated supply chains encompass three structural changes:
- Companies collaborate with supply chain partners and synchronize operations
- Technology and the Internet are key enablers of strategy
- Organizations are restructured and re-skilled to achieve goals
For example, Procter and Gamble for its pamper product line modified its supply chain focus and redefined itself through a series of innovative initiatives working both internally and with suppliers and customers the company created a heralded partnership with Walmart eliminating price promotions and streamlined its logistics and replenishment programs. Further, it worked with 3M to integrate its production of adhesive strips with Pampers manufacturing facilities.
Channel Conflict occurs when manufacturing brands disintermediate their channel partners by selling their products to consumers through general marketing methods and/or over the internet.
It comes in many forms some are mild, merely the necessary friction of a competitive business environment. Some are actually positive for manufacturing forcing out of date economic players to adapt or decline. This occurs when one channel targets customer segments already served by existing channel e.g. AVON cosmetics and Encyclopaedia Britannica. Their sales model is being partly or completely replaced by the internet.
Porter’s Competitive 5 Forces is a simple but powerful tool for understanding where power lies in a business situation. There are five important forces that determine competitive power in a business situation.
- Supplier Power: This is driven by the number of suppliers of each key input, the uniqueness of their product or service, their strength and control over a company, the cost of switching from one to another.
- Buyer Power: How easy t is for buyers to drive prices down. Again it is driven by a number of buyers, the importance of each individual buyer, the cost to them of switching for your product and services to someone else.
- Competitive Rivalry: It is important to understand the numbers and capability of competitors. If you have many competitors and they offer equally attractive product and services then you have little power in the situation.
- Threat of substitution: Affected by the ability of your customer to find a different way of doing what you do e.g. if you supply a unique software product that automates a process, people may substitute by doing a process manually or by outsourcing
- The threat of new entry: Power is also affected by the ability of people to enter the market. If it costs little in time or money to enter your market and compete effectively or if you have little protection then competitors can enter quickly.
Web Analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of web data for purpose of understanding and optimizing web usage. Some of the advantages are:
- Used as a tool for business and market research and to assess and improve the effectiveness of the website.
- Help companies measure the result of traditional print or broadcast advertising campaigns.
- Helps to estimate how traffic to a website changes after the launch of a new advertising campaign.
- Provides information about the numbers of visitors to a website and number of page views.
- Helps gauge traffic and popularity trends which are useful for market research.