Monash Business Review
Information sharing is a vital aspect of coordination among members of supply chains. However, a survey of Australian manufacturing companies reveals that information sharing in supply chains is still fairly rare. The information most commonly shared with suppliers and customers includes forecasts of demand, order status, supply disruptions and delivery schedules. There is very little sharing of operational and strategic planning information such as inventory levels, capacity, customer information and production schedules. This information is still treated as proprietary and firms are reluctant to share it.
The potential benefits of sharing information are considerable. Supply chain management emphasises the advantages of establishing links that orchestrate activities in the entire supply chain so as to meet delivery dates, minimise inventories and smooth production schedules. In the longer term, firms must learn to cooperate and exploit their partners’ superior capabilities so as to increase the competitive advantage of the whole supply chain.
Information sharing helps companies improve their supply chain efficiency and effectiveness. It can also increase their supply chain’s agility and responsiveness to changing markets, thereby sustaining their competitive position. The benefits of information sharing are invaluable for individual companies and the whole supply chain.
This study poses challenges for practitioners and academics and raises questions such as: “How can benefits of information sharing be better understood and exploited by practitioners?” and: “What are the barriers to and facilitators of information sharing practice?”
To view this academic paper in full, see www.buseco.monash.edu.au/industry
Imam Baihaqi is from the Department of Management, Monash University.
Dr Nicholas Beaumont is from the Department of Management, Monash University.