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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In todays high competitive fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), there is a constant need of creating and

improving the organisation supply chain and its order fulfilment processes (OFP). It is often the most direct form of providing customer value and competitive advantage. This report will provide a detail insight of order fulfilment process in the supply chain with context to our local largest supermarket retailer, NTUC Fairprice. The method of assessment will firstly include evaluations followed by measurement of performance from each component. With the available data, three opportunities are identified from assessment of the OFP. The report will further include useful recommendations of emerging supply chain technologies to improve gaps found in the evaluation stages. NTUC Fairprice being the market leader in Singapore FMCG retail has access to high capital due to its Government linked profile. However the union policy of providing the fairest pricing often collides with the competitive FMCG trade. Concerns of perishable goods and holding inventory often lead to lost of profits and upkeeping issues. From the report, cost reduction and waste elimination is the key to improve profitability as Fairprice already possessed high level of reliability and responsiveness in its supply chain system. Combined with solid integration of its suppliers both globally and locally with the demand from its retail chains, recommendations from this report will further sustain NTUC Fairprice as the market leader with more profitability and increased customer value.


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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY SECTION 1: INTRODUCTION 1.2 Objectives 1.3 Methodology SECTION 2: COMPANY BACKGROUND SECTION 3: ORDER FULFILLMENT PROCESS 3.1 Introduction SECTION 4: OFP ELEMENTS IN SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT 4.1 Procurement and Purchasing (SC) 4.2 Manufacturing and Production Management (SC) 4.3 Transportation (Logistics) 4.4 Storage and Warehousing (Logistics) SECTION 5: SUPPLY CHAIN AND ITS PERFORMANCE MEASURES SECTION 6: APPLICATION OF OFP IN NTUC FAIRPRICE 6.1 Fairprice Procurement and Purchasing (SC) 6.1.1 Performance metrics and measures (Plan/Source) 6.2 Fairprice Manufacturing and Production Management (SC) 6.2.1 Performance metrics and measures (Make) 6.3 Fairprice Storage and Warehousing (Logistics) 6.4 Fairprice Transportation (Logistics) 6.4.1 Performance metrics and measures (Logistics) 6.5 Performance measures of other components in SC 6.6 General overall performance 8 9 8

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9 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 15 16 17 17 18


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7.1 Adoption of Quick Response (QR) strategy 7.2 Adoption of 5S initiatives

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7.3 Adoption and strengthening of Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) 21 SECTION 8: EMERGING SUPPLY CHAIN TECHNOLOGIES 8.1 Global Positioning Systems 8.2 Radio Frequency Identification SECTION 9: CONCLUSION SECTION 10: APPENDIX SECTION 11: REFERENCES 24 25 27 23 23 23


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Order Fulfillment Process (OFP) is often associated with supply chain management (SCM) and its logistic components. In a simple approach, ideally by optimizing its whole process and linkages, the value returns are not just in profitability but also value back to the customers . 1.2 OBJECTIVES This report will provide an understanding of OFP and their performance measures in the supply chain management context. In addition to the OFP elements, the report will identify three opportunities for improvement and recommendations of using emerging technologies to further improve the OFP elements. 1.3 METHODOLOGY The report will define OFP and apply to Singapore NTUC Fairprice (or just namely Fairprice)s supply chain using Supply Chain Management (SCM) frameworks to measure its performance and recommendation of process and technological improvement to the mentioned subject. SECTION 2: COMPANY BACKGROUND NTUC Fairprice Co-operative Ltd is established in Singapore in 1973 by the labour movement. Till date it has become the biggest local supermarket retailer with a network of more than 200 outlets. It has two distribution centres and a Fresh Food Distribution Centre .


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3.1 INTRODUCTION The term Supply Chain Management is referred differently among many authors but according to Kulkani , is an association of network of suppliers, manufacturers network to obtain fluid flow of goods, services and information. Every linkage when managed well, gains value or profits. In SCM context, order fulfilment process (OFP) is one of the key components of binding the supply chain . To achieve customer requirements, a network and fulfillment system must be created . OFP involves complex networks of how when a sales order is registered, the synergy between internal competencies and customer requirements will reduce lead time and wastage, in return maximizes profitability . Lambert et al. illustrated the OFP in the Supply Chain Management diagram. The Order Fulfillments process binds together the various SCM components between suppliers and customers. It can be treated as a marco process by itself with many other sub components as well . As Lammert explains, it is the integration with other functions in the firm and other firms in the supply chain that becomes key in defining order fulfilment as a supply chain process. According to Fawcett et al. , there are five main activities that facilitate the Order Fulfillment. (See diagram) Namely, Order Processing, Inventory Management, Facility Location and Design, Transportation Management and Warehousing. Proper management of these activities are crucial in improving order fulfilment among the whole supply chain. Generally described, the Order fulfillment is the entire process from points of sales enquiry to distribution of a service or product to the customer .

In depth, the Order Fulfillment process in Supply chain management consists of strategic and operational components. Strategic components are linked to internal policies implementation, designing of the network to integrate inter-relationships of suppliers and customers with the company itself. (See diagram) The operational aspects are referring to transactional, logistical and distribution of the products or services .

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Diagram1: Supply chain management Framework and Components: integrating and managing business processes across the supply chain. Source: Cooper, M. C., et al.(1997, p. 10) Another model of assessing the OFP in the Supply Chain operations is the SCOR model (see appendix). The model is considered as the basic necessity of components of a supply chain , when all aspects of purchasing, production and logistics are taken in consideration for strategy. This model is important as it can be implemented and widely used by many..

SECTION 4: OFP ELEMENTS IN SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT Main components that influence and facilitate the OFP. 4.1 Procurement and Purchasing (SC) In the recent developments, although procurement and purchasing are identical in definitions but the term, supply management is now defined as a relational Page 6 of 27

exchange approach between few suppliers . Procurement functions and objectives are no longer lowest price sourcing but more of a strategic nature. According to Fawcett et al. , it can be classified into four key areas.

Supplier Selection Identification Evaluation Approval Monitoring Transaction Management Price Determination Need Communication Recognition Description Purchase order Follow up and expediting Receipt and inspection Relationship Management Performance Monitoring and improvement Supplier payment

Diagram 2: The Sourcing Process

4.2 Manufacturing and Production Management (SC) Similar to operational management of processes, it can generate value by optimizing and harmonizing together different internal functions of the organization. Two key identifiers are design and control decisions . (see diagram) Effective management of designs segments like product and facility can yield cost reduction and responsiveness of the system. Control decisions like production scheduling can reward distribution functions with more timely Page 7 of 27

and accurate deliveries and waste reduction. Good forecasting may benefit efficiency of the production capacity or even possible market entry decisions .

4.3 Transportation (Logistics) The movement of goods and people between different areas. Transportation management defines as controlling processes from its raw materials form all the way till its finished form . The procurement and management of delivery modes by shipper or consignee can be divided in to 6 main modes of delivery . (see diagram). Effective management in order fufillment can increase responsiveness of the chain. 4.4 Storage and Warehousing (Logistics) The physical holding infrastructures for goods and products. Proper location of facility brings strategic advantage in the supply chain. Labour cost in different geographic and effective handling in distribution centres processes can reduce in manpower cost and facilities logistical efficiency.

SECTION 5: SUPPLY CHAIN AND ITS PERFORMANCE MEASURES Using the popular SCOR model, the performance of the supply chain can be measured and it is focused using the below level 1 metric attributes .


Achievement of customer demand

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fulfilment on-time, complete, without damage etc. Responsiveness The time it takes to react to and fulfill customer demand Agility The ability of supply chain to increase/decrease demand within a given planned period Cost Objective assessment of all components of supply chain cost Assets The assessment of all resources used to fulfill customer demand

Diagram 3: SCOR Table adapted from SCOR overview.

SECTION 6: APPLICATION OF OFP IN NTUC FAIRPRICE These following sections will evaluate the OFP elements and their performance measures to Fairprice. A detailed evaluation framework by Gunasekaran et al. is used in this paper with references to Plan, Source, Make, Deliver .

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Diagram 4: Process flow of FairPrice Source:

6.1 Fairprice Procurement and Purchasing (SC)

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Diagram 5: Procurement activities of NTUC products Source: Fairprice procurement process involves a centralized procurement division. The scope of purchasing involves fresh produce, cold products and general commodities . The procurement system utilizes SAP system in 2011 for order fulfilment, transactions and inventory management . This is deemed as an improvement to the old Retek and RBS management system . Sourcing processes is very important especially during times of natural or political crisis which NTUC supply chain may suffer shortages. Active sourcing of new supply chains from Vietnam and Cambodia for rice supply demonstrated continuity efforts . This brings value to the customer as commodities are readily available and also maintains stable price structures. NTUC continues to maintain strong ties with the regional farms to ensure supply sustainability. Vendor selection based on quality and safety are critical as fresh produce can be affected by biological outbreaks or even natural disasters. An example can be seen in the SARS or the recent Fukushima nuclear crisis . International standards like ISO 9001 and HACCP are implemented to the selection criteria of suppliers . A strong supplier relationship to ensure cooperation and sustainability is vital , as shown in supplier assistance programme . This can minimize disintermediation and reduce import cost. Long contractual agreements lock in suppliers for quality and fulfilment of goods. 6.1.1 Performance metrics and measures (Plan/Source) Metrics / Measures (Plan and Source) Order Entry Method Evaluation Findings - Rapid execution - Store updates request through intranet SAP to get stock replenishment - DC arrange and prepare for stock delivery

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Order Lead time

- Fast response - 2 DCs and FFDC prepare and load supplies upon receive of consolidated order - Outsourced delivery

Customer order path Supply Link Evaluation (Source)

- availability of online portal - high quality of standard through ISO criteria - long term contract with minimum order quantity guarantee to suppliers - positive feedback from 3rd party watchers1

6.2 Manufacturing and Production Management (SC)

Diagram 6: Overview of NTUC Fairprice Central Butchery Activities Source: NTUC main manufacturing process is located at the central butchery processing plant for Degut/cut/fillet/repack of fresh seafood and poultry in its Fresh Food Distribution Centre. The $25 million Fresh food Distribution centre with its cold chain management

Independent 3rd party assessment reported a 86% positive trading feedback between its suppliers. .FairPrice (n.d.-c) Responsible Retailing [WWW] Available from: http://www.csr.fairprice.com.sg/responsible-retailing.html [Accessed 11/06/2012].

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system is where the receiving of fresh produce from its suppliers are turned in safe, packed and sealed products, ready for distribution . Design decision of facility location is considered near to Singapore ports and wholesale centres. The design layout of the facility and the processes are based on a one way work flow and quantified with HACCP and ISO/Cold chain management standards . Further process design implementation involves a temperature monitoring system, Televis SMS, a real time alert and monitoring solution for controlling perishable goods . With proper management of the cold chain, minimal wastage and prolonged shelve life of perishable products along with faster efficiency saves times leading to cost reduction and customer value . ( table 3) Control decisions of inventory and forecasting management are by the SAP inventory software which will track and highlight when stocks reach reorder status. The inputs from the stores and warehouses are integrated and feedback to the procurement centre. Effective Consumer Response (ECR) implementation minimizes wastage through lean inventory . Quality controls are also strictly abided to various Standards.

6.2.1 Performance metrics and measures (make) Metrics / Measures (make) Range of product and services2 Evaluation Findings - Constant entry of new products, like the Pasar Organic line, local housebrands and global imports Diversified consumer segments by different stores types like Fairprice Finest, Fairprice Xtra, Fairprice Xpress, Cheers and Fairprice supermarkets Fresh produce are difficult to quantify as it is based on natural harvesting Percentage of defects are highly volatile due to

Capacity Utilization

Based on Mapes et Al. (1997), explains the performance deficiency of wide range of products. Mapes, J., et al. (1997) Performance trade-offs in manufacturing plants. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 17. (10), pp. 1020-1033.

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fresh produce shelf-life Effectiveness of scheduling techniques Rapid demand of re-supplying all its stores may overwhelm suppliers output capacities Dependent on seasonal harvest products

6.3 FairPrice Storage and Warehousing (Logistics) FairPrice possessed two distribution centres (DC) by the Grocery Logistics of Singapore (GLS) and one wholly owned Fresh Food Distribution Centre (FFDC). The main operation strategy is a central distribution and warehousing system. Most products are housed in the DCs, which benefited FairPrice with decrease cost in transport and administration, better quality control, more retail space at stores and product variety . Warehouse automation is one key in reducing manpower cost and increase efficiency and productivity. Order fulfillment processes can be tracked, sorted and dispatch with speed and accuracy . FairPrice integrated their DCs with automatic sortation system and a high tech real time Material Handling System (MHS). Once the orders from stores are acknowledged and consolidated by the SAP system, they are automatically picked by identification and sorted in automatic conveyor belt system. Software will monitor the whole process with statistics and updates the inventory system. Staff intervention is minimized to placing the cartons onto the belt. MHS benefits FairPrice in terms of total output volumes and reduced man-hours with accurate tracking and quality control . Cold Chain Management standards are also implemented in the FFDC. Pallets standardization and carton barcode standardization are used for consistent identification and increasing pick up speeds. 6.4 Transportation (Logistics)

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Diagram 7: Warehousing and Distribution Function Source: After goods are sorted from the DCs and FFDC, it will be loaded in trucks with standardized pellets and ready to ship out to retail stores. The deliveries are outsourced to other vendors. Fresh produce products are transported by refrigeration trucks. Temperature monitoring system in the trucks are constantly kept the goods fresh and of high quality .

6.4.1 Performance metrics and measures (Logistics) Metrics / Measures (deliver) Flexibility of delivery systems to meet particular customer needs: Time order fill/On time delivery Evaluation Findings - Centralized DCs to managed customised delivery modes, package and location Fixed delivery timing to retail stores Punctually depends on outsourced delivery company Rapid demand of re-supplying all its stores may overwhelm warehouse stock levels and suppliers output capacities Goods received at stores are tracked with barcode and update completion to DCs

Delivery Reliability / Determination of perfect delivery

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6.5 Performance measures of other components in its Supply Chain Metrics / Measures Total Distribution cost Evaluation Findings Reduction in cost by centralizing warehouses and outsourcing of delivery Quality standards to ensure satisfaction ISO implementation to fit regional structure for standardization to ensure quality Staff training at FairPrice Training institute promote good service quality3

Customer service and satisfaction

Customer query time

Fast and accurate response to SAP system and customized CRM system.4 CRM and feedback channels available at retail stores. Centralization and automation of processes can yield flexibility easily through its robust information exchange system. High cost results in slower change implementation Satisfying results shown in annual report and cost reduction through Standardisation High cost due to usage of modern IT technologies like SAP,EDI,MHS, etc.

Post transaction measures of customer service Flexibility

Supply and logistics cost Cost factors on assets and ROI Information processing cost

6.6 General overall performance


Staff are required to go for training per year, certification training in Retail available as well. FairPrice (n.d.-d) Wonderful Workplace [WWW] Available from: http://www.csr.fairprice.com.sg/wonderfulworkplace.html [Accessed 11/06/2012].

Custom developed CRM system to handle query from customers Chew, B. (2011) ERP Systems: Build or Buy? The NTUC FairPrice Experience [WWW] Singapore Retailers Association (SRA). Available from: www.retail.org.sg/pdf/bernard.pdf [Accessed 11/06/2012].

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High reliability ratings due to robust MHA and information systems but may lead to overwhelming of its suppliers output capabilities if rapid replenishment is required. The responsiveness is fast as information is transferred instantly during store request and passes to the DCs for delivery preparation. Agility is high as EDI structure is capable of handling changes, the downside are a very high cost of running operations and assets return are slower.

SECTION 7: THREE OPPORTUNITIES FOR OFP IMPROVEMENT In the context of FMCG in grocery world, profit margins are often stretched thin and products being as treated commodities. Products cannot be extravagantly priced and NTUC FairPrice being a national trade unions co-operative further restrict irresponsible profiteering . With already heavy investment into technologies and quality, potential opportunities can be view as cost reduction, shorter lead time and better production efficiency to the current system.

7.1 Adoption of Quick Response (QR) strategy The general objective of Quick Response (QR) is to reduce holding inventory and hasten speed of goods movement. The focus of QR is on communication and bar coding. More recurrent delivery of smaller goods capacity from both inbound and outbound logistics between suppliers, distribution centres and stores will reduce holding time at DCs, increase stock turnaround time and goods being cross-docked ratios . This is made possible through a close

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partnership of retailers and suppliers working in unity to take rapid response of consumer requirements by distribution of information between them . Information sharing by electronic data interchange (EDI) between suppliers and DCs can increase speed of replenishment to the stores as this process is instant, rapid updating of stock levels the moment the store uses the Electronic Point of Sales machine (EPOS). QR will helps Fairprice in its logistical demands and ease the pressure on it FFDC as more fresh produce can be send out instead of holding in DCs.

7.2 Adoption of 5S initiatives The quality and efficiency of the supply flow of products and services also begins internally within the organizations structure. Waste elimination efforts should be review as anything wasted is as equivalent to throwing money into the trash. A lean manufacturing tool for waste reduction, 5S can consists both strategic and operational components that can improve efficiency and cost reduction: Sorting (SEIRI) The organising of things that is useful to the work process. Elimination of clutter, all unwanted materials should also be cleared. In a strategic level, it can re-organized supply chain processes . An example of operational level Sorting can be elimination of paper work in the warehouse to electronic means and strategic means of pallet stacking, reducing cycle time and productivity increase. Sequencing/Set- in-Order (Seiton) Arrangement of goods/activities and equipment for easy access. In supply chain context, it is a major factor of the supply chain cost . According to Professor

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Bullington , can be thought as complexities of supplier segmentations for value, risk and location opportunities. Shine (Seiso) The cleanliness of the workplace and the maintenance of equipments. In a SCM context, the high uptime of transport vehicles, Material Handling System (MHS), technologies, equipments, ensures the minimal disruption to the whole OFP when high maintenance routine practises are adopted . This brings durability and reliability to the whole SCM. Standardise (Seiketsu) This factor will ensure the first 3S activities are performed regularly through policies and procedures. Eliminating process variations and maintaining the quality in the chain. An example can be implemented in supplier audits and surveys to aid clear supplier segmentation. It also allows for acceptance of supply chain best practices . Sustain (Shitsuke) The final S refers to the sustainability of the organisations 5S program. It is the most challenging aspect of the 5S as resistors of change are constantly challenging the continuity of its implementation . Therefore consistent management leadership needs to be reinforced for best results of the 5S . In midst of growing inflation and slower economy, Fairprice should look into heightening waste elimination of process and unwanted materials in its SCM as these 5 factors are vital in sustaining cost reduction. It is considered as the easiest and least capital intensive among other strategies. A good internal system will not be affected drastically from external factors like supplier pressure and inconsistencies issues.

7.3 Adoption and strengthening of Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) One of FMCG related methodology is the Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) evolving from Time-based methods like Just-in-Time (JIT) and QR principles. Page 19 of 27

The focus is to integrate the suppliers, manufacturers and retailers together to meet rapid demands and cost savings . ECR is different from QR as it is a reengineering of other process of the supply chain, inventory management, new products entry, variety and promotions. It is more of consumer demand driven rather than an order driven system where less inventory are stored thru cross docking resulting in decreased replenish cycles . It does not involve just one individual supply chain but the whole chain of the manufacturers till the retailer by sharing information through standardisation. Using ECR strategy will change the grocery supply chain from a push to a pull system where the goods will be controlled by feedback from consumerdemand information recorded by the retail store with POS . The relationship and factors of the ECR framework is available in this reports appendix section. The ECR can be an excellent opportunity for FairPrice as it has a huge product range from imports from global supplier and local distributors. A closed loop approach from ECR promotes cooperation between its suppliers and its retail stores will lead to accurate stock replenishment and logistics tracking through standardisation of information technologies like EDI and barcode in the local or global industry. Transmissions of orders are automatic and reorder cycles are increased to decrease safety stocks at their DCs. This can increase space to import more variety of products which in turn benefit both supplier and the consumer. Product waste of perishable goods like fresh produce can be minimised through less holding stock at its retail stores. Through accurate information tracking, direct to store delivery eases manpower at distribution points and therefore lowering hiring cost.

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SECTION 8: EMERGING SUPPLY CHAIN TECHNOLOGIES 8.1 Global Positioning Systems Global Positioning Systems (GPS) has been increasingly popular for tracking logistics purposes globally. It provides valuable real-time location information of various transportation modes . This is vital as it can increase accuracy of delivery lead times as it can provide better arrival timing information through tested routes. When dealing with global importing, shipments from sea and air can varies much differently due to natural obstacles. With real time monitoring, any delay can be tracked and processed through its information systems. Using EDI, these situations can automatic prompt procurement centres to take corrective action or even automatically place orders from another registered supplier in the system. Another usage useful to the Fairprice is the information obtained on its outsourced delivery fleet. Statistics can be collected and evaluated further to monitor efficiency of outsourced company and improve vehicle routes to speed up delivery and cut down fuel cost. 8.2 Radio Frequency Identification Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) too is emerging rapidly in SCM. Main purpose is also to track items implanted with a tag. Various advantages over barcodes are the omission of clear line of sight, a larger information storage capabilities in the implant and ability to reuse by re-writing information inside . It can be used on pellets, cartons, products and live stock. It can be batch Page 21 of 27

recorded automatically thus providing a faster automation identification system. This is useful for Fairprice in means of a more accurate inventory control, reduction of manpower and better quality control measures can be adopted.

SECTION 9: CONCLUSION In the highly demanding FMCG retail industry, the understanding of OFP processes and measures can provide Fairprice a quantitative assessment of its supply chain. Supply chain managers can further highlight gaps and improve efficiency and customer value. Use of technologies and methodologies can increase productivity and reduction cost as Fairprice is operating with thin margins and high operation cost. (Total word count: 3652)

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SECTION 10: APPENDIX Factors in Efficient Consumer Responses

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Source: http://www.lean-manufacturing-japan.com/scm-terminology/ecr-efficientconsumer-response.html

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ECR factors and relationships

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Source : Kurnia, S., et al. (1998) Efficient Consumer Response:A Preliminary Comparison of US and European Experiences. 11th International Conference on Electronic Commerce, Bled.


Diagrams Diagram 1: Supply chain management Framework and Components: integrating and managing business processes across the supply chain Page 10 Cooper, M. C., et al.(1997): Supply Chain Management: More Than a New Name for Logistics. The International Journal of Logistics Management, 8. (1), pp 113. Diagram 2: The Sourcing Process Page 138 Fawcett, S.E., et al. (2007) Supply chain management: from vision to implementation. Pearson Prentice Hall. Diagram 3: SCOR table Supply Chain Council (n.d.) About SCOR [WWW] Available from: http://supplychain.org/about/scor [Accessed 11/06/2012].

Diagram 4: Process flow of FairPrice Page 12 ISO (2011) Economic Benefits of Standards: NTUC Fair Price Singapore [WWW] International Organization for Standardization. Available from: www.iso.org/iso/02_singapore_ntuc_fairprice_full_report.pdf [Accessed 11/06/2012]. Diagram 5: Procurement activities of NTUC products Page 14 ISO (2011) Economic Benefits of Standards: NTUC Fair Price Singapore [WWW] International Organization for Standardization. Available from: www.iso.org/iso/02_singapore_ntuc_fairprice_full_report.pdf [Accessed 11/06/2012]. Diagram 6: Overview of NTUC Fairprice Central Butchery Activities Page 27 Tan, C.L. (1990) Logistics and Cold Supply Chain Management in Singapore and Asia Pacific. University of Nottingham. Diagram 7: Warehousing and Distribution Function Page 14 ISO (2011) Economic Benefits of Standards: NTUC Fair Price Singapore [WWW] International Organization for Standardization. Available from: www.iso.org/iso/02_singapore_ntuc_fairprice_full_report.pdf [Accessed 11/06/2012].

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