Virtual warehouse : a new perspective for SMEs to improve their competitiveness in new millennium

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Virtual warehouse : a new perspective for SMEs to improve their competitiveness in new millennium


Author: Chow, Pak-chun Jacky
Title: Virtual warehouse : a new perspective for SMEs to improve their competitiveness in new millennium
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2005
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Small business -- China -- Hong Kong -- Management
Competition -- China -- Hong Kong
Department: Dept. of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Pages: ix, 107, xvi leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
Abstract: Today, market globalization and fast development in Information Technology have changed the business environment to become very dynamic. The short product life cycle, short product delivery lead time, customized order and high customer expectation demand manufacturers to transform their business models to become flexible and fast response to any demand fluctuation in the market. e-enabled relationship becomes the trend in trading partners to maintain their competitiveness in the globalized market. "Virtual Warehouse" is an e-enabled open information platform which is in fast development in Western world and widely adopt by customer service and distribution centers with goal to improve efficiencies, reduce inventory for the entire supply chain while satisfying customer needs. In fact, the "Virtual Warehouse" acts as an information hub to integrate the downstream operations in the supply chain from distribution to sales services by integrating different locations to work on collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment of products under a common web environment. However, to set up a web-based open information platform also has risks. The management's suspicion on the benefits or returns on the capital investment on information technology, the technical support, internet security concern and trust of information sharing among the parties along the supply chain are all challenges that need to be considered and resolved. In my dissertation, the "Virtual Warehouse" concept is migrated from downstream of the supply chain to the manufacturing area. It becomes "Virtual Manufacturing Warehouse" that can help the Hong Kong Small and Medium Size Enterprises to assist their customers in flexible capacity and production planning by providing on line material information, which result in increasing customer satisfaction level. In fact, the "Virtual Manufacturing Warehouse" is organized in a way that's new to the Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) in Hong Kong. It offers an opportunity to create the value propositions of a business model. The governance structure might not be the same. Each of the business partners in the supply chain can be beneficial from the open web-based IT platform where the inventory information is visible for use in planning, forecasting, order amendment, material replenishment purpose. Thus, the fast updated and good quality of information will be the heart of the system. To sustain the use of the "Virtual Manufacturing Warehouse", a new approach to perform a performance measurement should be developed to evaluate the performance of the manufacturing plant, material supplier and logistic service providers. Reports and control standards on delivery discrepancy can be developed and implemented. With a validation plan and the above information, the management can observe problems arising from using the system and implement procedures to deal with problems encountered by vendors. By taking corrective measures targeted at the respective weaknesses, the "Virtual Manufacturing Warehouse" should deliver more economic value to a company owner. In the dissertation, a case study was conducted on a local PCB manufacturer - Union Rainbow as the reference site to demonstrate how to build up a "Virtual Manufacturing Warehouse" to serve her customers. The dissertation statements are validated through the application of "Virtual Manufacturing Warehouse" in Union Rainbow.

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