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Research Article

ISSN 2229 3795

Supply chain management: The educational organization perspective

Murali Krishna.M1, Venkata Subbaiah.K2 1- Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering Department, GGITS, JBP 2- Professor, Mechanical Engineering Department, Andhra University, VSKP murali_vamsi@yahoo.com

ABSTRACT The commercial supply chain concept and its benefits are well understood and a conventional manufacturer puts more focus on bundling service with physical products to gain competitive advantage. Based on traditional theory of supply chain management, present research work proposes the importance of educational supply chain (ESC) management in service industry. The objective of this paper is to explore the potential benefits of the educational supply chain to incorporate some characteristics of commercial supply chains and how academia might proceed to accomplish this task. This paper would unlock frontiers for substantial researchers in order to further development in respect of educational supply chain management areas. Key words: Educational supply chain, service sector, Supply chain management. 1. Introduction Supply chain management has become vitally important approach to gain competitive advantages in a fiercely competitive global market place. Since the researchers (Towill 1991, Lee and Billington 1992 and Davis 1993) and managers started to evolve into the studies and practices of SCM, there is extensive literature on this field. According to the Global Supply Chain Forum held in 1998, supply chain management is the integration of the key business processes from end user through original suppliers of products, services and information that add value for customers and other stake holders (Lambert, Cooper and Pagh, 1998). In recent decades, services have become extremely important in the world economies. The service company has always been the driving force of economic growth of every developed nation (Giannakis, 2011). Although, it is believed that service industry can benefit applying some best practices from manufacturing industry, the indifferences between service and manufacturing industries could create a need for specific service supply chain management practices. In the service industry, service providers have an incentive of getting better quality inputs from customer-suppliers and customer-suppliers have an incentive of getting better quality outputs from the service provider. Supply chain management is needed for various reasons: improving operations, better outsourcing, increasing profits, enhancing customer satisfaction, generating quality outcomes, tackling competitive pressures, increasing globalization, increasing importance of e-commerce and growing complexity of supply chains (Stevenson, 2002). Many authors (Ellram 2004, Sengupta 2006, Niranjan 2007 and Baltacioglu et.al, 2007) defined: service supply chain is a network of inter-connected organizations that utilizes ASIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT RESEARCH Volume 3 Issue 1, 2012 277

Supply chain management: The educational organization perspective Murali Krishna.M, Venkata Subbaiah.K

resources and transforms their inputs (skill and knowledge) into the service offering to enhance the delivery of a flexible customized solution. Ellram et.al, (2004) defined SCM for services as: the management of information processes, capacity service performance and funds from the earliest supplier to the ultimate customer. 2. Service supply chain practices Ellram et.al, (2004) identified the key parameters that need a careful management to ensure an effective service supply chain. Service supply chain scholars have defined service supply chain based on the nature of the service they examine, which means the key definition of service supply chain will be similar to all service sectors, but nature of the definition varies accordingly based on the service sector they have chosen to study. Ellram et al studied about professional services and it is a transfer of the service by utilizing the suppliers service assets and staff. Battacioglu et al (2007) studied about health care services and defined service supply chain as the delivery of core services to customer and the core services will be delivered with support of supporting service industry. Service activities are absolutely necessary for the economy to function and to enhance the quality of our life. Services are performed directly for the customers (e.g. Education) or for the customers property. Services performed directly for customers require customers participation during the performance. Very few researchers conducted SCM in the service industry related to education. One of the main goals of an educational supply chain is to improve the well-being of the end customer to the society. To achieve this goal, educational institutions need to have a certain degree of knowledge about the parameters in their supply chains including suppliers, customers and the consumer. The performance of the SCM depends on the seamless coordination of all supply chain stakeholders to ensure attainment of desirable outcomes. Elaine M OBrien (1996) has examined the concept of adapting industry models to higher education with specific reference to the idea of an educational supply chain, in which employees, students, university staff, schools and colleges work in collaboration to ensure that the needs of all are satisfied. Antonio K.W. Lau, (2007) performed an in depth case study approach to developing an educational supply chain management for the city university of Hong Kong. He has conducted an in depth case study approach to implement the philosophy of SCM in the current higher educational environment, so as to suggest innovative management ideas in higher education management.

Figure 1: SCM in different aspects (Mamun Habib, 2009) ASIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT RESEARCH Volume 3 Issue 1, 2012 278

Supply chain management: The educational organization perspective Murali Krishna.M, Venkata Subbaiah.K

Mamun Habib (2009) studied input of the university and output of the university through educational supply chain management and explored the evolution of SCM (Figure.1) in various industries, including manufacturing and service industries and its future trends. Murali Krishna and Venkata Subbaiah (2012) addressed educational supply chain model and the role of information in educational supply chain as major constituents in educational supply chain management for the educational organizations/Universities. 2.1 Why educational supply chain 1. There is insufficient feedback from colleges/Universities to the high schools on the progress and short comings of students, the high schools supplied. Where in industrial supply chain is integrated in material flow, output requirements and information flow as a system. 2. The educational system does not determine how many students it needs to enter each stage of the system by surveying the employer market for current or future needs. Where in commercial supply chain initiates its planning by scanning and analyzing consumer needs both current and future and then schedules its product, service, components and raw material backwards throughout the supply chain system. 3. The academic system is not profit motivated and has no stockholders. However, each academic stage may have stakeholders such as parents, tax payers, alumni, accrediting agencies and national monitoring agencies. Where each stage of commercial supply chain is typically for profit organizations with financial responsibility to their stockholders. 4. Academic system, on the other hand transfer intelligent beings with innate knowledge, reasoning ability, emotions, self-awareness and the ability for self improvement outside the supply chain, thus these beings require special handling. Where in industrial supply systems pass raw materials, components, modules etc., which do not have the ability for self awareness or self improvement along the chain. 5. Both industrial and academic systems have some of the same objectives: high quality outputs from each stage and finished outputs which satisfy the needs of the market place and society, reduced cost of operating system, reduced overall lead time from the input stage to the final output, reduced inventory and delay time at each stage, through effective forecasting and information transfer, the matching of supply capacity at each stage with demand. 6. The educational supply chain lacks - integrated output design, quality control for admission to each stage, integrated information systems and inter organizational relationships. 3. Similarities between educational supply chain and industrial supply chain As shown in the Figure 2, there is a parallel between the original, industrial version of a supply chain and the concept of an educational supply chain. The educational supply chain has students, entering in an educational organization as a raw material and finally out to the world of professional employment as a finished products. Thus, it is the premises here that because of their similarities with a chain like structure, mission (dependency of quality at each stage and the finished output, cost efficiency, time constraints etc.), and need to constantly share information and data. ASIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT RESEARCH Volume 3 Issue 1, 2012 279

Supply chain management: The educational organization perspective Murali Krishna.M, Venkata Subbaiah.K

Figure 2: Similarities between Educational and Industrial Supply Chains 4. Conclusion In a nut shell the expected results of implementation of the educational supply chain are 1. Increasing flexibility of educational offer-increasing market research. 2. Incorporating IT into educational process without jeopardizing traditional educational institutions but in fact enhancing their market value. 3. Overcoming technical and financial barriers to implementation of e-learning faced by many educational institutions. 4. Providing meritorious control of educational product in spite of their virtual character. 5. Increasing competition among faculty members within and among knowledge domains by providing students with alternative sources of education. 6. Enhancing global context of educational process by allowing students from any place to cooperate within the same course. 5. References
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Supply chain management: The educational organization perspective Murali Krishna.M, Venkata Subbaiah.K

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