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The role and importance of Warehouse Management Systems in warehouse operations and supply chain integration: From different development perspectives of leading multinational companies
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre of Logistics and Supply Chain Management.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre of Logistics and Supply Chain Management.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background

Continuously seeking innovation and development of business processes to reach increased agility and responsiveness in the supply chain is a matter of interest for leading companies. In order to achieve this, organizations strive for enhancing the information flow and increasing the performance of operations among the players of the supply chain. This is mainly enabled by information technology which serves as suitable mean in selecting and maintaining the solutions for various business processes. Importance of information systems is emerging in supply chain management to increase agility and responsiveness and further the integration of the processes across the supply chain. These processes range from sourcing to manufacturing and distribution and require to be managed efficiently and effectively. Warehousing, as one of the business processes is seen as suitable part of the supply chain that can facilitate by matching supply with the demand to achieve agility and responsiveness.

Problem

Warehouse Management System (WMS) is a necessary precondition for integration of the supply chain, as it is able to coordinate and control product movement throughout the warehouse from receiving through shipping and beyond. Since insufficient academic research in the field of WMS implementation and utilization, the authors aimed to reveal positive and negative aspects from an internal and external perspective. The research was carried out by a multiple case study of two multinational companies on a local level: Volvo Polska Industry and British American Tobacco Hungary. Exploring their warehouse operations and IT systems for material flow control brought the possibility to explore their highly organized supply chains domestically.

Purpose

The primary aim of this study was to explain the role of Warehouse Management Systems in warehouse operations and secondary to explore its importance in supply chain integration.

Method

The study employs sequential transformative strategy within mixed method approach. According to the strategy assumptions, the analysis proceeded in form of quantitative evaluation of qualitative data gathered during observations and interviews. The outcomes were analyzed by means of SWOT method in order to identify positive and negative aspects of Warehouse Management Systems that decide about its role and importance. The authors also aimed to contrast the implementation and utilization perspectives of Warehouse Management Systems.

Conclusions

WMS has an indispensible role in improving warehouse operations of Volvo Polska Industry and British American Tobacco. Through streamlined information flow, visibility and traceability of the product flow, WMS significantly contributes to supply chain integration. The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the researched WMS differ and change in the researched companies, having their source in the system development phases

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 108 p.
Keyword [en]
supply chain management, warehouse management system, information technology
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-10929OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-10929DiVA: diva2:278442
Presentation
2009-08-17, JIBS, Jönköping, 10:00 (English)
Uppsok
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2009-11-27 Created: 2009-11-26 Last updated: 2009-11-27Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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