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The author wishes to pursue a career in purchasing therefore this project will be centered around the analysis of the author and the chosen career path with intentions of determining the suitability of the career and giving the author a basis on which sh

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Contents Section A: Personal Profile 3 1 INTRODUCTION 3 2 THE AUTHOR AS A LEARNER 5 3 IMPLICATIONS FOR CAREER CHOICE 15 3.1 LIFELONG LEARNING 15 3.2 TRANSFERABLE SKILLS 18 3.3 SWOT 22 Section B: Literature Review 27 4 JUSTIFICATION FOR TOPIC CHOICE 28 4.1 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 28 5 INTRODUCTION 29 6 COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE 31 7 HOW CAN A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE BE GAINED ? 36 8 BENEFITS OF INTEGRATION 40 8.1 SHARED PROBLEM SOLVING 40 8.2 REDUCTION IN DUPLICATION OF EFFORT 40 8.3 REDUCTION IN LEAD TIMES 41 8.4 REDUCTION IN COSTS 41 8.5 IMPROVED QUALITY 42 9 RISKS WITH INTEGRATION 44 9.1 SUPPLIER DEPENDENCY 44 9.2 TECHNOLOGY LEAKAGE 44 9.3 INCOMPATIBILITY 45 9.4 OPPOSITION TO CHANGE 45 10 REQUIRED FOR INTEGRATION 47 10.1 HIGHER LEVELS OF TRUST 47 10.2 IT ALIGNMENT 48 10.3 COMMITMENT FORM TOP MANAGEMENT 50 10.4 SUPPLIER EVALUATION 51 10.5 INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS 52 10.6 COMMUNICATION 52 11 CONCLUSIONS 53 12 REFERENCES 54 13 BIBLIOGRAPHY 70 Section A: Personal Profile 1 INTRODUCTION The graduate labour market in the UK has undergone significant change recent years (Pearson et al., 1999; Purcell et al., 2002). There are growing numbers of graduates for recruiters to choose from and the Governments target of having 50% of people under 30 to participate in higher education (HE) by 2010 indicates that this trend is set to continue (Holden and Harte, 2004). Harvey et al. (1997), talk of the need for undergraduate programmes to produce analytical, critical, reflective, "transformative" graduates as the traditional academic skills possessed by graduates were not being utilised. In contrast Holmes (2001) feels that this move is hasty and that there is not yet sufficient evidence to change the undergraduate curriculum. He continues that holding a degree is not the end of learning for graduates and that it is merely a stage in the longer process of career development. Harvey (1999) agrees that HE is not designed to deliver specific skills for niche job markets but to deliver critical lifelong learners. ...read more.


Anderson and Katz (1998) divide strategic sourcing skills into four categories. The table below shows how some of the skills of the author match up with these categories. Category Authors suitable skills/experience Technical Skills * IT Skills * Project management skills * Any skills picked up in training when the job begins Business Development and Management Expertise * Experienced manager * Experienced business developer * Personality to drive for improvement * Business based qualifications Marketing * Completed modules in marketing * Marketed own products and services Sourcing Specialisms * Competitive attitude to drive continuous improvement (appendix belbin) * Extrovert nature, therefore good at networking * Specialist skills will develop with experience Table 3 Further more, Stuart (1993) comments that technical skills can be drafted in from functions such as accounts, IT and marketing but purchasing professionals will require good management skills. This would infer that the author would make a strong candidate for the position of a purchasing professional. It has been suggested that the continuous improvements of supply management skills is a prerequisite for purchasing professionals if they are to assist with supplier development and interpret changes in the supplier market(Lester, 1999). The authors desire for continuous learning will help her to meet these requirements. Section B: Literature Review How can supplier integration be used to gain a competitive advantage? 4 JUSTIFICATION FOR TOPIC CHOICE The author has selected this topic because of her interest in a future career in supply chain management. Part A of the personal development project has highlighted that she has the skills and background to become a leader in this area and wider reading has highlighted that integration along the supply chain may improve a company's chances of competing in their given market (Porter, 1985; Lysons and Farrington, 2006). She feels that it would be imperative to have a solid understanding of the theories and past research in this area if she is to pursue her career as a supply chain manger especially now that the role has become one of strategic importance (Johnson et al, 2005). ...read more.


By sharing the goal setting it allows both parties to contribute, promoting a sense of equality to avoid dissatisfaction. Should all of the objectives have been met it can have a positive influence on the inter-organisational trust. 10.5 INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS Takeishi (2000) states that intellectual property rights provide official boundaries between ideas and enterprise. This can be particularly important for companies that are involved with the development of new products. These legal mechanisms are enforced by national governments and therefore can not be effected by either firm (Ostergard, 2000). This enforces secrecy and reduces the risk of imitation (Veugelers and Cassiman, 1999). The risk of technology leakage is reduced when intellectual property rights are established. 10.6 COMMUNICATION One of the main requirements of an integrated supply chain is that there is a lot of communication between the organisations in it (Waters, 2003). Successful cooperative agreements are expected to have a higher level of information sharing (Mohr and Spekman, 1994). This allows for better decision making and increases trust. 11 CONCLUSIONS Through examining the theories that outline competitive advantage (Porter, 1985; Treacy and Wiersema, 1995) it is clear that organisations must attempt to gain a competitive advantage to survive. Treacy and Weirsema (1995) explained that it was essential to understand the target customers and their needs and then to provide a means of fulfilling them in a way that competitors would find difficult to replicate. Supplier integration offers such benefits if it is done well. Shared problem solving was found to cut lead times and costs, as did the reduction in the duplication of effort. Increased cash flow and quick lead times give a company the ability develop new faster, higher quality processes to react to the changes in the volatile modern business climate. The short product lifecycles, discussed in the introduction, should become easier to tackle because of this, as will the demands of customers to keep prices low, product range wide and quality high. 12 REFERENCES Alkhasawneh, I. M., Mrayyan, M.T., Docherty, C., Alashram, S. and Yousef, H.Y. ...read more.

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