First of all, it is important to examine the core parts of the supply chain of the coffee manufacturing and grocery retailing business entities. The core activities, carried out by different parts of these supply chains for the purpose of developing the ethical standards should be considered, too.
The internal supply chain of the coffee manufacturing and grocery retailing organizations consists of the following functional departments: sourcing, production, and distribution. Sourcing department, which may also be referred as the purchasing department, carries out the following responsibilities: selecting suppliers, carrying out the contract negotiating, formulating purchasing process, and processing orders. Production department carries out the following responsibilities: transforming the raw materials or some other forms of the product components to the product. The core responsibilities of the distribution department are the following: managing the flow of material and the goods to the customer.
While examining the notion of the supplier network, it is important to pay additional attention to its main components. They are organizational structures that provide the manufacturer with the materials or services both in direct and indirect manner. In coffee manufacturing and grocery retailing industries, the manufacturer supplier network includes all business entities that provide the company with all items required by the manufacturing process. The responsibilities of the distribution network cover the movement of the materials between the locations. The management of the distribution network, in turn, implies the coordination of the following processes: storing, packaging, and handling all materials at receiving docks, warehouses, and retail outlets. The main part of the distribution management implies the management of transportation process – this means that the external carriers are selected, managed and controlled by the managers of the distribution network.
Taking in account the fact that coffee manufacturing and grocery retailing business entities are partly involved in working via the World Wide Web, the importance of such aspects of the supply chain as e-commerce, e-distribution and e-procurement becomes obvious. In e-commerce, the advanced technologies are applied to assisting business transactions. In the web-based environment, the transactions and the flow of information and funds occur faster and more effectively (Chopra and Meindl 2001, p.312).
There are different types of business transactions within the scope e-commerce. They are the following: Covisint applies the business-to business transaction (B2B), Amazon.com uses business-to-customer transaction (B2C), priceline.com applies the tools of the customer-to-business transaction (C2B), and, finally, E-Bay auction uses the system of customer-to-customer transaction (C2C). Coffee manufacturing and grocery retailing business entities collaborate with all the above listed systems. This way they create the entire supply chain of a particular corporation.
E-commerce conduction is carried out via different types of the electronic media. They are as follows: electronic data interchange, transfer of electronic funds, fax, and voice mail, etc.
While taking in account the system of e-distribution, it is possible to define two core tasks for the system- instructing where to locate the supply sources and advising the way of access to these sources. In addition, this system implies the movement of materials to retailers, while applying the means of the Internet and the environment, which is web-based.
The next issue to be discussed within the scope of this paper is e-procurement as a valuable part of the Coffee manufacturing and grocery retailing business e-commerce. . It is possible to say that in the light of the core manufacturing trends of the 21-st century, the role of e- procurement is the complete revolution of the supply chain of the distribution firm and the manufacturing enterprise due to the fact that it assists in organization of the seamless flow of the informational order fulfillment from the manufacturer to the supplier (Butler 2001, p. 116).
It is important to outline three core aspects of the supply chain management in Coffee manufacturing and grocery retailing business entities: the core task of the SCM in the company is production of products that meet the current needs of the end customer. The second aspect is the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the objective of supply chain management, which is achieved by the collaborative efforts across the entire system. The third important aspect of the coffee manufacturing and grocery retailing business entities SCM is the fact that all activities that are carried out in the organization get encompassed into the supply chain management. These activities imply the following: integration of suppliers, management of manufacturers, collaboration with wholesalers, retailers, and end users (Steermann 2003, p. 47).
The next issue to be discussed is the role of the virtual integration of the supply chain management in coffee manufacturing and grocery retailing business entities. It is important to pay additional attention to the fact the core aim of the practical application of the virtual integration is blurring the tradition of boundaries between the chain of suppliers, manufactures, and business entities thatare evolved into the distribution process and work with the end users of the products and services of the coffee manufacturing and grocery retailing business entities
The main competitive advantage of the virtual cooperation between different levels of supply chain in coffee manufacturing and grocery retailing business entities is creating the maximum value in the process of cooperation with the suppliers and customers.
The virtual integration provides companies with a possibility of getting the tightly coordinated supply chain as a result of the vertical integration. Considering the fact that such technological achievements of the 21-st century as virtual organizations have made their contribution to the style of the managers’ and engineers’ working process, modern managers and professional staff cannot be considered the lone custodians of the corporate culture and information. This is based on the fact that the rapid exchange of the information takes its place within different cultures, as well as time and space boundaries. As a result, the virtual global enterprises are established.
In order to reach the virtual integration between the different business entities within the scope of the supply chain, the real-time automatization of business processes that take place inside the organization is required (Boalow 2000, p.45).
For the last 10-15 years the latest technological achievements such as e-mail, voice mail or fax have got widely applied by different organizations and by coffee manufacturing and grocery retailing business entities in particular. According to the practice, such approach towards communication between different business entities or between different departments of one company may cause delays in delivery. That is why such practices are to be re-entered for several times in order to ensure the fact of cooperation, delivery, and making orders, etc (Deans and Karwan 1994, p.118).
The supply chains integrated model adopted by coffee manufacturing and grocery retailing business entities mainly focuses on the trust and respectful attitude towards all members of the supply chain. Also, such factors as just-in-time manufacturing and avoiding the collaboration with the third-party retailers are additional feature of the integrated supply chain model of the coffee manufacturing and grocery retailing business entities.
The inherent features of the integrated supply chain of coffee manufacturing and grocery retailing business entities are the constant improvement of the labor conditions for the staff while implementing training seminars, joint improvement projects, and workshops into the daily manufacturing routine of the corporation. The meetings between the top management of the organizations are usually directed towards the system improvement, practical implementation of the innovative processes. As a result, the competitive advantage of the company is achieved in the market of high technologies.
As a result, the increase in communication between the customers and suppliers leads to the rising level of sharing the information . Besides, additional clients and business partners are attracted and then involved into the supply chain of coffee manufacturing and grocery retailing business entities (Fisher 1997, p. 105-116).
Finally, considering the latest trend of mass-customization, many companies of coffee manufacturing and grocery retailing industries are forced to maintain the focus on their main competences. As a result, several other functions such as design, manufacturing and distribution of the products are outsourced. In coffee manufacturing and grocery retailing business entities, the outsourcing takes its place when the head office, located in UK has made thedecision of establishing the enterprise in China and placed the part of its manufacturing facilities in that country (Simchi-Levi et al. 2003, p. 106).
To conclude, it is important to outline the set of recommendations, for the ethics in relation to the supply chain management improvement.
First of all, the effective organisation of the entire process of logistics and distribution, even with the help of several companies, providing these services, is the core success factor for the market share achievement and increase in the profitability of the enterprise in Coffee manufacturing and grocery retailing industries.
The strategy for being successful and ethical in running business in Coffee manufacturing and grocery retailing industries is focusing on the value. In other words, the companies should not start collaboration with ineffective partners – parties and middlemen, and that, in turn, would assist in streamlining distribution chains and in removing the layers of bureaucracy. While taking into account the industry of Coffee manufacturing and grocery retailing technologies, this trend has been widely applied of late.
The next important factor, which should be taken in account, is the streamline distribution and logistics imperative. That means that the business entities should strive to integrate the logistics with regard to all operations which take place in the supply chain. In the scope of the supply chain, the long term goal should be pursued in the form of sharing of the supply chain across different business units. That, in turn, means involving several companies into the distributional and supply network forming while establishing the alliances with the local partners and with providers of the distributional services.
In case the companies focus on the flows improvement, they should base their distributional and logistics systems on reliable and urgent information transmission rather than on physical movement of the goods. In order to achieve this aim, the latest technological trends should be practically implemented into the logistics systems. At the moment, practical implementation of the latest technological achievements to the distributional and logistics systems of the coffee manufacturing and grocery retailing companies is a complicated task for the top management due to the fact that the implementation of IT is an expensive reform for the majority of the companies.
The development of the entire logistics system of the particular industry would straighten the requirements to the particular supply chains in the following aspects: planning, achievement of the visibility of the product, and integration of the end-to-end supply chain.