Evolution of Supply Chain Management
In the last half of the twentieth century industry encountered a revolutionary change brought about by the harnessed power of seemingly ever-increasing capacity, speed and functionality of computers and microprocessors. This strength provided management and workers within industries with new capabilities for management, planning and control, design, quality assurance and customer support. Organized information flow became the mainstay of industrial companies. New tools and information technology systems emerged and evolved to enable companies to integrate the various departments (Design, Procurement, Manufacturing, Sales and Finance) within companies, particularly the lager ones, including international corporations. This was to give them a chance to meet new demands for product time to market, just in time supply of orders, and customer support. To the smaller company these changes were not so apparent. Neither the tools nor systems nor indeed their economic value seemed appropriate to them except for special cases. While all this was happening the structure of the larger companies began to disintegrate. Strong competitive pressures and globalization of the market place brought this about. Shedding unwanted competence and subcontracting it to others became common practice. Regional market pressures triggered companies to reorganize to create, produce, and distribute goods and services. Greater dependency on chains of supply from external companies became the norm. Medium and smaller sized companies began to gain some advantage and at the same time some were sucked into management and control systems governed by the larger companies.