Supply of business processes are important to set

Supply chain management (SCM) is one of the many
frequent phrases we encountered in the business section, as
managers strive to develop better factory performance and
smoother flow of its supply chain. Whether one take more
focus on an element of the supply chain to improve the whole
like a good supplier management, one must also have
concurrent efforts for the other aspects, including delivering of
materials to customers 1. The relationships between each
element and well-coordinated set of business processes are
important to set up the supply chain. To get the right decisions
and integrations based on different kind of departments, aiming
to create a holistic supply chain management, the
understanding of the fundamental blocks behind SCM is
needed. 2
Young firms nowadays are able to catch up with the
progress of companies with more than 50 years history is
mainly due to the concept of collaborative relationships within
and beyond their organizations. This is evidently also involved
the interest in the concept of supply chain management, which
has steadily increased since the 1980s when companies saw the benefits of those collaborative relationships. At that time,
numerous definitions of supply chain itself had been proposed
for a deeper evaluation concerning its management 3. The
Global Supply Chain Forum (GSCF), a group of noncompeting
firms and a team of academic researchers, has been
meeting regularly for the past more than 10 years with the
objective to improve the theory and practice of SCM. The
definition of SCM as developed and used by The GSCF is as
follows 4:
‘Supply Chain Management is the integration of key
business processes from end user through original suppliers
that provides products, services, and information that add
value for customers and other stakeholders.’
With that, the concept of supply chain management is
revised from not only integrating logistics into it, but also
integrating and managing key business processes, such as
marketing across the supply chain as well 4. This degree of
complexity required to manage is the one of the keys success in
the current business models emphasized today’s world. To
reach a higher level of managing these complex processes, a
better tool and system is acquired, which mostly current
business firms refer as information system.
During recent years, the industry, politics, culture, social
order and business models have been redefined by
computerization and globalization. Globalization refers to
ultimately integrate economic and cultural institutions. This
integration occurs as a result of the use of information
technology (IT). The technological revolution presupposes
global computerized networks and the free undertaking of
goods, information, and people across national boundaries. 5
In the corporate world, information technology is one of the
leading roles in competitive advantages that companies rely on
to compete from others. Likewise, this can be seen in a recent
study conducted by Forrester Research indicates that U.S.
manufacturers are increasingly dependent on the support
brought about by IT to: improve supply chain agility, reduce
cycle time, achieve higher efficiency, and deliver products to
customers in a timely manner 6.
To make use of information technology for SCM is by
setting up the right information system. The proper application
of information systems and technologies may alter the
characteristic features of the present supply chain structure
with its focus on efficient supply chain integration. Information
systems can provide the best medium for a more efficient and
effective supply chain because it can provide product
information, inventory information, shipping information, and
demand-forecasting information on a real-time basis. By using
information system, the ‘pull’ supply chain management a
possibility as it can link each function in the supply chain
according to the customer demand preferences 7.
Dell, General Electric, Cisco, Ford, and other companies
have claimed significant benefits through the use of Web
applications in their supply-chain management (SCM)
function. Therefore, it is not unexpected that more firms are
deploying Web-based business-to-business (B2B) SCM
systems, especially in the areas of e-procurement and esourcing
Even though the benefits of Web technologies in the
SCM function are well recognized, the implementation of Web
technologies and systems is challenging 8.
With the growing business firms in Malaysia adopting
information technologies and systems to enhance their business
model performances, what impact would they hope to achieve?
Which aspect in the supply chain had given the biggest concern
for the need of improvement with the utilization of information
systems? This paper primarily expressed on the definition and
concept of SCM, the evolution of SCM in relation with the
emergent of information technology. Also, by going in depth
with how IT affects SCM of a few business companies in
Malaysia may give a fresh look on the reliance of supply chain
in Malaysia on the growth of IT.