Technology and Logistics

Published: 2021-06-29 06:55:31
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TECHNOLOGY AND LOGISTICSLOG 502: Module 3 Case Assignment Student:  Edward M. MasseyDr. Thanasak RuankaewTrident University InternationalIntroductionHumans are not ones who become complacent with the status quo, especially when it comes to socio-technical systems.  Today both governmental agencies and private business entities are constantly striving to improve their information gathering and production capabilities, so much so they now face both significant intended and unintended consequences.  The intended consequences of course revolve around increasing a private business entities bottom line by either finding new markets, lowering production costs as well as significant improvements toward logistical operations.  The purpose of this paper is to provide macro-analysis of both the intended consequences and unintended consequences of today’s technological advances within the supply chain/logistical operations. Discussion        The supply chains for both governmental and private business is experiencing a much higher efficiency level through the use of technology.  There are some companies who are taking advantage of opportunities in response to current global marketing pressures; however there are still many companies who have not positioned themselves to take advantage of these technological opportunities.  One of the key objectives regarding the technical aspects for managing logistics in today’s emerging markets is in building flexibility within the IT design, thus developing a core competency which seamlessly includes logistical suppliers.  The ultimate result is to capture meaningful information that supports continuous improvement for the organization (Wedan, 2006).  To make today’s supply chain efficient and effective it must also provide visibility into in-transit materials; which can be accomplished being accessible through particular websites such those being utilized by transportation companies.  The creation of today’s  Software as a Service (SaaS) model has revolutionized how both the governmental and private business sectors can now download, update, renew and disable software as necessary.  Additionally both sectors receive an immediate benefit in regards to the reduction of capital expenditures, while also gaining a certain type of flexibility.  Technology such as SaaS and other advanced logistical planning and execution software are an important part in managing global logistics.  These technologies seem to be cost effective and have the characteristic of quick deployment.  Another prime example, of how technology can aid logistical efforts is through the use of smart technology.  A report from four transportation organizations surmise that through existing and emerging technologies, users can create additional capacity from current systems such as today’s over-burdened highways, while also saving money and create much needed employment opportunities (SupplyChainBrain, 2010).  Particular studies have shown that through the use of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) used to synchronize traffic signals could yield up to $40 returns in time and fuel savings for every $1 invested.  Additionally there is a 22% drop in C02 emissions and a 25% drop in travel delays.  The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is finding that the cost-benefit ratio to be 25 to 1 from any sizable investment.  Companies such as International Business Machines (IBM) who assist in the effective management supply chains for companies such as UPS and FedEx. With the assistance of the United States (U.S.) National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) companies now have the ability to read bar codes through several coatings of paint which have been placed onto parts or other storage materials.  NASA is also making great positive strides in the area of radio frequency identification (RFID) through the use of so-called spray on circuits, which allows for the printing of thin-film circuitry and barcodes (Albright, 2002).  In terms of management of global logistics with the help of technology, improvements to vehicles and cleaning of fuels are the most talked issues. Businesses are deploying smarter technologies so as to improve the efficiency of transport system and reduce travel delays, providing an opportunity to have a more convenient access to the alternatives of transportation. As a mean to keep people and business moving on the basis of schedule, the routes on the basis of real time traffic conditions has been customized. The innovations in management of global logistics with the help of technology thus can be grouped into five categories (SupplyChainBrain, 2010):Enhancing the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the transportation systems.Providing more opportunities for multimodal connectivity and travelling options.Providing transportation system information of accurate and real time nature to the travelers.Employing more convenient pricing and payments system.Avoiding unnecessary traffic time.Unintended Consequences        Although, all people to include business entities have gained considerably from today’s technological advancements, they do however face a significant unintended consequence of experiencing some form of information overload within both his business entities and private life.  So if man is consistently updating and improving their technical systems and incorporating these improvements into their social system, it begs to answer the question on whether or not organizations are likely to find better solutions to information overload.   Information overload allows our society to be data rich but information poor, considerably hampering decision makers in making quick or decisive decisions, thus contributing to organizations possibly squandering business opportunities or resources and delaying necessary strategic planning; which also leads to loss of employee productivity. With the breaking of the informational dam, people are being rushed with waves of information in various formats; text messages on their smart phones, tweets on their Twitter accounts, Facebook alerts from virtual friends and we must not forget to add to all that the endless messages they receive on email.   This overload of information has adversely affected people’s well-being in areas such as decision making, innovation and productivity. Today, IT has grown exponentially and permeates the business world; affecting how business entities produce and market their products and services to their customers, as well as how employees communicate and as well as accomplish their jobs. A major purpose for socio-technical systems is to allow managers the ability to make decisions by locating and interpreting information which focuses on customers by understanding their needs and then offering options to meet those needs (University of Idaho, 2015). It is now abundantly clear that business entities find themselves bombarded with information; and even then with such an oversupply of information they still believe they are not getting all or even the correct information needed to meet their strategic goals and objectives.  In their article to the International Journal of Information Management, Angela Edmunds and Anne Morris, provide information consisting of four universal structuring dimensions in which Socio-Technology provides a more comprehensive system for information management, I have included the two which are most relevant to this paper (Edmunds & Morris, 2000):

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