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Unit 41 - Supply Chain Management - St. Patrick's College London

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Introduction

Supply chain management is crucial for every telecom business in order to drive their business performance by managing supply process of products and services and suppliers as well. The report will demonstrate potential risks faced by Vodafone organisation as it interact with their suppliers, and several recommendations as to how they could be avoided. The main issues will be discussed such as globalisation, outsourcing and e-commerce and information system. Different information is covered in this report towards internet facilities used by telecom businesses. Sites and information is collected to evaluate level of sophistication in the use of electronic commerce. A reflective part is included in the report to explain own learnings from the assessment. Finally, the report will cover company introduction and information in the appendix part.

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Main Body

Supply chain management

It can be said that a telecommunication business requires high level of customer satisfaction and loyalty in order to succeed in today's competitive world effectively. Vodafone is able to provide better and high quality services to their customers in the market in order to build a strong customer base which is effective for the profitability and production as well. Supply Chain Management (SCM) has an important role to achieve business objectives and goals efficiently (Ayers and Odegaard, 2017). SCM process involves coordination of different functions of business such as marketing, sales, functions, finance, IT and technology also across the firm. The firm should formulate policies, strategies, plans, services and effective flow of goods and services in order to meet the consumer demands and requirements in the market. Management of supply chain will help business to establish an effective position in the market in terms of competitive advantage, performance management and gain global telecommunication market effectively. Vodafone suppliers required to comply with ethical purchasing. The China sourcing centre also enabled services to introduce with new suppliers from emerging market which will help to boost competitive advantage of business.

Impact of Globalisation

Financial: The market of global business is increasing day by day. By the former character of the twenty-first century to a higher degree $1.5 trillion in domestic currencies cost swapped day-to-day to abide the amplified degrees of deal as well as investing. The financial position of business is affected by the globalisation such as competitors, trends and many more. Thus, the firm should maintain factors discussed below in order to operate business functions effectively which lead towards profitability and provide strength to financial activities. Political factors has a main role and influence the way company progress to develop infrastructure for the business to operate in a particular nation effectively. For an example, a recent accident or conflict in Europe had a great impact on business for long time (Beske and Seuring, 2014). telecommunication business is operating in different countries so that certain government policies, political stability, foreign trade policy, tax policy and environmental law affect the business operational activities. The legal factors such as laws and legislations formulated by the local government should be considered by business that it has many rivals in the market. business faced many legal issues regarding copy and other pirated issues from which the business faced many penalties effectively. Apart from this, employees also reported for company to pay less than the efforts. Thus, the firm should manage legal factors such as consumer rights and obligations, advertising, policies and laws along with product safety in order to increase profitability and sustainability in the market. The firm should manage all the political factors and relationships in order to succeed. Economic factors have both sides positive and negative for the telecommunication business. The more economy will develop for a particular nation that helps to create chances and opportunities for the firm in order to expand business operational activities. When the people have more income, it will help business to formulate new policies for them as a benefit for both customer and business. There are some economic factors that affect or create potential risk for the business such as interest rates, inflation rates, disposable income and exchange rates effectively. Culture development increases hard work for business in terms of providing policies, extra benefits and other offers to attract customers in the market. Culture is different in every country where the business is operating that such factors should be considered to manage and control the impact of culture (Carbonara and Pellegrino, 2017). Social factors are based on culture of various people and local belief effectively. The firm should maintain and retain flexibility in policies in order to pertain local culture effectively. The factors such as population growth, health conscious, attitudes and behaviour have direct impact on business performance and profitability. Thus, such factors should be determined by firm to understand customer and what drives them effectively. It can be said that Vodafone is famous for innovation in this world. It has an effective mission of following contemporary trends in terms of telecommunication, technology and communication sphere (Gilling and Ulmer, 2016). There are so many rivals for Vodafone business. The products offered by telecommunication services are highly compatible and technological that these are the essential factors which help business to make a position in the market effectively. Thus, the firm should consider some points provided as follows to improve technological factors:

  • New ways of producing goods and services
  • New ways of distributing goods and services
  • New ways of communicating with target markets

E-Commerce and Information Systems

E-commerce can be described as selling and buying of goods and services which can be done through funds and digital communication. E-commerce over internet is a new way of operating business activities. The E-commerce has a great impact on telecommunication that it is now able to provide products and services to customers through online services such as Vodafone App. This will help customers to pay bills, information about company policies, offers and daily recharges (Kache and Seuring, 2017). Vodafone is the world's leading international mobile telecommunication group with approximately 280 million proportionate customer as of 30 September 2008. The network is large that information system has also an impact on business operations. Information system in regards to company can be done by primary and secondary data collection process which helps to collect information of business in the market through customers. The system is reducing effectiveness of suppliers that online transactions make it easier for the customer and business as well.

Outsourcing

It can be said that telecommunication business is operating in many countries including India. In order to do that effective outsourcing is needed. Outsourcing is a practice in which the the business hires a party from outside to operate and perform operations on behalf of telecom in different nations effectively (Kreutzer and Land, 2015). The globalisation has a great impact on outsourcing that many times effective management is not possible due to the global changes which affect the business operational activities and profitability. Thus, company should try to manage relationship with management of outsiders to perform activities more better and effectively.

Supply chain relationship

Supply chain management is crucial for the business in order to integrate with business operations and objectives effectively. Supply chain management will also help to improve and develop customer experience and satisfaction which produce value for them. Suppliers are the main elements of business in terms of providing resources that drives operational activities. This is all about business relationships across the supply chain effectively. SCM includes products and services from suppliers, distribution chains, end users and manufacturing process. Supply chain management also creates value for products and services offered by firm in the market through different activities and procedures (Laudon and Laudon, 2016). The globalisation has a great impact on supply chain relationship which affect the suppliers of telecommunication in terms of changing prices, bargaining power and purchasing power etc. This will affect the operational activities of business and also reduce the effective management of supply chain within industry. SCM relationships are also affected by customer nature and demand and supply.

Supply chain improvement can be done by managing strong financial position of firm in the market and also sales to increase profitability (Morris 2017). SCI is necessary for the business in order to increase production and provide better and quality services to customers effectively. This will affect the proper and appropriate management of supply chain and its operations which also affect the profitability and production. It can be said that policies, offers, discounts maintained by firm towards customer is also boosted by supply chain improvement and activities. Supply chain Improvement will help business to establish a effective position in the market in terms of competitive advantage, performance management and gain global telecommunication market (Luthra, Garg and Haleem, 2016). The telecommunication business is able to limit impact of supply chain by determining risks within supply chain and develop ways to mitigate them effectively. It can be said that firm business is dependent on a limited number of suppliers for strategically important network and IT infrastructure and associated support services to operate and upgrade our networks and provide key services to consumers in the market effectively (Martínez-Jurado and Moyano-Fuentes, 2014). There are so many potential issues and risk is involved in improvement process such as financial activities, proper management, demand and supply etc. This will also help to produce quality products for consumers to increase business reputation and profits.

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A risk management is plan is necessary for every business in order to respond issues and problems which occurs in firm operational activities. There are mainly two types of risks involved in risk management plan which are described below:

External risks (Those that are outside the control): External risks can be driven by either downstream or upstream. There are five external risks which affect the business supply chain management and improvement. Demand risk is one of them and caused by customer misunderstandings and demands and requirements. Supply risks caused by interruption in products and services flow or in raw material or parts of supply chain. Environmental risks related to economic, social, climate, government and threat of terrorism factors also affect the business plans and strategies. Business risks has also a great impact on suppliers that financial position of firm and sale of supplier companies also reduce the effectiveness of operational strategies and plans.

Internal risks (Within control): Internal risks produce from the internal environment of business and its operational activities. Manufacturing risks caused by disturbance in internal process and operations. Planning and control risks are also associated with business suppliers that assessment of planning and ineffective management also affect operations and process of supply chain management (Nunes, 2017). Contingency risks occurs when business does not put contingencies at right time and place where something is going wrong. Cultural risks has also an impact on suppliers that culture is different in every country where the business is operating that such factors should be considered to manage and control the impact of culture. The business is reviewing key suppliers performance across individual market which helps to manage the suppliers risks and evaluate strategies and plans to over come in case of supplier failure effectively. The telecommunication business is trying hard to maintain their customer base but the competition is also tough in market that everyone is looking to secure its share in the market towards the potential consumer in telecommunication sector. The main competitors for Vodafone in the market are Reliance Jio, Idea, Airtel, Tata Docomo, BSNL, Uninor, Aircel etc. These telecommunication business are competing in the market for the purpose of retaining customer base to increase profitability and production (Park and Koh, 2015). Competitive advantage will help business to manage their competitors in order to make an effective position in the market and for the effective management of suppliers as well.

Elkington's" triple bottom line " theory

Seven drivers

In the simplest terms, the TBL agenda focuses corporations not just on the

economic value that they add, but also on the environmental and social value

that they add – or destroy.

Markets

Revolution 1 will be driven by competition, largely through markets. For the

foreseeable future, business will operate in markets that are more open to

competition, both domestic and international, than at any other time in living

memory.

Values

Revolution 2 is driven by the worldwide shift in human and societal values. Most

business people, indeed most people, take values as a given, if they think about

them at all. Yet, our values are the product of the most powerful programming

that each of us has ever been exposed to.

Transparency

Revolution 3 is well under way, is being fuelled by growing international

transparency and will accelerate. As a result, business will find its thinking,

priorities, commitments and activities under increasingly intense scrutiny

worldwide.

Life cycle technologies

Revolution 4 the business is challenged towards the work of supply chain management about the implications

of their products in transit, in use and – increasingly – after their useful life has

ended.

Partners

Revolution 5 new partners take place in the company in order to lead business groups. A new form of relationship is maintained by firm with the other competitors in the market for effective operational activities.

Time

Revolution 6 Time is money. It can be said that time agenda drives sustainability in business and promote understandings of managing time.

Corporate governance

Ultimately, whatever the drivers, the business end of the TBL agenda is the responsibility of the corporate board. Revolution 7 is driven by each of the other revolutions and is also resulting in a totally new spin being put on the already energetic corporate governance debate.

Evaluating various companies and level of sophistication in electronic commerce

It can be said that telecommunication network provides same products and services in a different way in the market towards customers. There are so many telecommunication businesses in the market providing effective and quality services. The business plan and strategies are different from each other as they all are operating in a same market. The main competitors for Vodafone in the market are Reliance Jio, Idea, Airtel, Tata Docomo, BSNL, Uninor, Aircel etc. Some of them are analysed below to understand and identify sophistication in use of electronic commerce.

Airtel: There are many products and services offered by firm which are associated with electronic commerce such as business internet, expertise mobility, collaboration solution, office connectivity, cloud and managed services etc. the global business is also very effective in terms of data connectivity, mobile solutions, global network, VSAT solutions etc. There are some potential business needs such as cost optimisation, production, mobile workforce, customer satisfaction and engagement and business expansion (Porter and Kramer, 2019). There are some popular products and services also provided by firm in the market which is not easily available in other telecommunication brands such as business internet, Toll free, broadband, land line and MPLS effectively and efficiently.

Reliance Jio: It can be said that reliance jio network is India's fastest growing network with 5 million happy customers. The business earned much more in less time by providing free services for 4 to 6 month effectively. The plan becomes successful and many customers are now connected with jio. The network is very popular at present in India. Jio provide 20% more data than the competitors which is a strong part of business expansion in the market and to retain customer satisfaction and sustainability. Unlimited entertainment is also available with Jio prime membership (Ross, 2016). There are some special products and services offered by brand in the market towards customers such as Jio 4G personal hotspot, Jio Phone and many other facilities for entertainment, news and other social media services.

Optus: Singtel Optus is second largest telecommunication business in Australia and Headquarter is also in Australia. The estimate revenue of business is 893 crores n 2013. the business is providing quality and effective services in order to enhance profitability and production. In addition to this, carrier opportunities are also provided by firm in various countries effectively.

Thus, it can be said that every business is using electronic facilities and commerce in order to provide better, quality and fast services to consumers in the market. This will help business to achieve its desired goals and objectives which lead towards profitability and production (Rushton, Croucher and Baker, 2014). Such businesses are also influenced by globalisation and potential risks which has a great impact on supply chain management and relationship.

Recommendations

The telecommunication business external analysis will help to understand key factors that drives business performance and and relate them to opportunities in order to expand market share and profitability. The external environment factors analysed above will also help to understand various nature and culture of people in order to manage operational activities effectively. Vodafone Group Plc is the world's leading mobile telecommunications company, with a significant presence in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and the United States through the Company subsidiary undertaking, joint venture, associated undertaking and investment (Schoenherr and Speier‐Pero, 2015). A wide range of products and services are managed and offers by business in the market towards customers that the main focus on key growing areas will help to enhance production and profits which lead towards organisation success. The use of technology is increasing in telecommunication sector. It can be said that in today's competitive world technology is the most common and essential feature of business to manage and control effective and quality services in the market (Schönsleben, 2016). The business should use latest techniques and technological tools such as broadband, land line and MPSL in order to improve customer perception and satisfaction. Suppliers are the main elements of business in terms of providing resources that drives operational activities. Management of supply chain will help business to establish a effective position in the market in terms of competitive advantage, performance management and gain global telecommunication market and firm suppliers required to comply with ethical purchasing in order to enhance productivity and profits effectively. Apart from this SWOT analysis will help to identify opportunities, threats, strengths and weaknesses in order to make effective recommendations.

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Strength: The main strength of firm is that it is one of the most popular cellular service provider across the world (Schouten and Peeters, 2016). The total global employees are 1,000,000. digital TV and mobile telephony services. The Zoo Zoo advertising concept make it popular among people. The business is Tie up with international sports like Formula One and other popular sporting event. business app is available for customer on IOS and Android in order to make services more easier and effective.

Weaknesses: telecommunication is a well known global brand that the firm comes under constant vigilance from global authorities effectively. Due to the effective competition, many times business needs to fight for market share and price wars. This will affect the operational activities and profitability.

Opportunities: There are so many opportunities for business that the firm is able to expand cellular market globally (Silvestre, 2015). Latest techniques and technology with low cost will help to survive in this competitive world and also towards brand growth. There is an opportunity for business to take advantage of untapped rural markets. The main focus on MNP will help to increase number of customers and also help towards competitive advantage.

Threats: The new entrance in the market such Reliance jio offering low price products and services affect telecommunication profit margins and production (Song, Ming and Liu, 2017). MNP services to other competitors can reduce active subscribers base. There are a lot of competitors in the market for Vodafone such as Reliance Jio, Idea, Airtel, Tata Docomo, BSNL, Uninor, Aircel etc.

The mobile phones have limited life and also in regards to this telecommunication business is demanding in the market. There are so many latest technology is increasing day by day in this world that the demand of telecommunication sector will increase. People are more demanding towards their telecom services. They required strong network and other facilities in order to manage telecommunication sector operational activities effectively. The 7th most valuable brand firm gives them a strong competitive advantage, the large portfolio and strong resources are the greatest strength of business. The firm should improve and develop its telecommunication network in order to enhance customer experience with brand which lead to loyalty and profitability. In addition to this, Supply chain management will also help to improve and develop customer experience and satisfaction which produce value for them.

Reflection

I am able to understand from the above analysis that telecommunication sector is the most complex system and there are a lot of businesses operating their operational activities in different countries effectively. I understood that telecommunication employees have limited liability and also huge amount of capital can be raised through sale of share to local people. Vodafone is leading is the telecommunication market and in this case the firm is able to set lower prices than competitors and in this way increase sales revenue and maybe profits. This will help to enhance production and profitability effectively and efficiently. Apart from the benefits I have analysed that there are some key potential issues faced by organisation in the market such as potential management issues, danger of take over and share loosing which reduce the market share etc. management of operational activities is not so easy for business as the production plants are running in various nations. I understood the importance of suppliers, supply chain management and relationship that it has a main role in business activities. company has a low number of suppliers that it is dependent on suppliers for strategically important network and IT infrastructure and associated support services to operate and upgrade our networks and provide key services to consumers in the market effectively (Trkman, Budler and Groznik, 2015). I have analysed the impact of globalisation on business operations and further activities from which I learned that business should manage all the political, economical, technological, social, legal and environmental factors in order to run business smoothly and effectively that helps to increase production and profitability. This will also help to gain competitive advantage which lead towards effective position in the market. I have analysed that E-commerce has a great impact on telecommunication that it is now able to provide products and services to customers through online services such as Vodafone App. Apart from this, the system is reducing effectiveness of suppliers that online transactions make it easier for the customer and business as well. Risk management plan I have analysed above which will help to manage supplier risk management and relationship in order to deliver quality and better services to customers in the market which helps to achieve desired goals and targets. I can said that business is the 7th most valuable brand telecommunication gives them a strong competitive advantage, the large portfolio and strong resources are the greatest strength of business. This will help to attract more customers in the market and lead towards production and profitability. From this, the firm is able to achieve its desired goals and objectives which helps to establish a effective position in rivalry market.

Conclusion

It can be concluded from the above analysis that there are so many potential risks faced by firm as they interacts with suppliers and some issues are also determined which has a significant impact on business performance and suppliers effectively. The external and internal environmental factors will help business to understand the key potential needs in order to improve and develop profitability and production by managing supply chain relationship and management efficiently. Various companies operations related to telecommunication sector help to evaluate level of sophistication in the use of electronic commerce. This will help to understand effectiveness of policies and strategies formulated by Vodafone to gain competitive advantage. From the reflection part it can be understood that overall the project is based on telecommunication business operations and activities that affects suppliers and relationships.

Appendix

INDUSRTY INTRODUCTION

Vodafone is a British multinational telecommunication business. The company is headquartered in London. It predominantly operates services in the regions of Asia, Africa, Europe and Oceania. Company CEO Mr. Vittorio Colao and the firm is founded in 1982. Founders are Ernest Harrison and Gerry Whent. Vodafone is the seventh largest telecom business with a total revenue of $64.5 USD. Vodafone owns and operates networks in 26 countries and has partner networks in over 50 additional countries. This firm provides IT and telecommunication services to customers in the market. The financial position of the firm in terms of Operating income 3.75 Billion, Net income 6.29 Billion, Total assets 154.68, Equity 72.20 Billion and with a large number of employees 111,556, the firm is going well in the market. Vodafone launched world’s cheapest price phone known as Vodafone 150 in 2010. In addition to this, mobile money transfer services are also included in the operations for better experience of customers in telecom sector effectively. The financial position of business is very good and also increasing yearly. This business is also providing services in international markets such as India. The Indian market is very profitable for the firm for the past five years. There is huge role of Indian people using Vodafone services to increase the customer base for organisation effectively. Vodafone also faced some issues at the end of year 2010 in Australia as it has been noticed that the services are poor. The business was highly affected from the allegations of poor services from which they earned a title named Vodafail. In respect to this, Vodafone started a new network and this time, the services are developed effectively. The network also provides 30 days satisfaction guarantee and now, it becomes a huge network all over the places.

References

  • Ayers, J.B. and Odegaard, M.A., 2017.Retail supply chain management. CRC Press.
  • Beske, P. and Seuring, S., 2014. Putting sustainability into supply chain management.Supply Chain Management: an international journal19(3) pp.322-331.
  • Carbonara, N. and Pellegrino, R., 2017. How do supply chain risk management flexibility-driven strategies perform in mitigating supply disruption risks?.International Journal of Integrated Supply Management11(4) pp.354-379.
  • Gilling, R.I. and Ulmer, J.M., 2016. Major Challenges in Supply Chain Management.Insights to a Changing World Journal,2016(3).
  • Kache, F. and Seuring, S., 2017. Challenges and opportunities of digital information at the intersection of Big Data Analytics and supply chain management.International Journal of Operations & Production Management37(1) pp.10-36.
  • Kreutzer, R.T. and Land, K.H., 2015. The Necessity of Change Management: Why Our Traditional Communication and Organizational Structures Are Becoming Obsolete. InDigital Darwinism(pp. 209-248). Copernicus, Berlin, Heidelberg.
  • Laudon, K.C. and Laudon, J.P., 2016.Management information system. Pearson Education India.
  • Luthra, S., Garg, D. and Haleem, A., 2016. The impacts of critical success factors for implementing green supply chain management towards sustainability: an empirical investigation of Indian automobile industry.Journal of Cleaner Production121 pp.142-158.
  • Martínez-Jurado, P.J. and Moyano-Fuentes, J., 2014. Lean management, supply chain management and sustainability: a literature review.Journal of Cleaner Production85 pp.134-150.
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