Developing Information Sharing Model Using Cloud Computing and Smart Devices for SMEs Supply Chain: A Case in Fashion Retail

Developing Information Sharing Model Using Cloud Computing and Smart Devices for SMEs Supply Chain: A Case in Fashion Retail

Chi-on Chan (Hong Kong Shue Yan University, Hong Kong S.A.R., China), Owen Liu (Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, International Business School, Suzhou, China) and Ricky Szeto (Hong Kong Shue Yan University, Institute of International Economics, Hong Kong S.A.R., China)
DOI: 10.4018/IJISSCM.2017070103

Abstract

The mismatch between supply and demand always exists within the supply chain and among retail stores. This situation is even worse for SMEs who work without state-of-the-art technologies, especially in terms of quantitative demand and size distribution in fashion industry. In this paper, we develop a cloud computing and smart device (CCSD) model to address the stochastic deviation between supply and demand. A computational experiment proves that the performance of inventory management in the supply chain and among retail stores can be significantly improved by application of CCSD, irrespective of demand and size distribution. In this paper, we illustrate its benefits for both normal and right-skewed demand distribution. We find that different stages in supply chain can also be coordinated by using the CCSD platform. The results show that using all-channel communication network through CCSD increases the information sharing performance.
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Literature Review

According to the organization information processing theory, organizations are characterized as systems that possess both need and ability to process information as a means to reduce uncertainty (Bagchi, & Bhattacharya, 2014) such as demand for sizes in fashion retail (Kurz et al, 2015). However, most SMEs cannot afford ERP system to handle the demand uncertainty in each retail shop, they may keep more inventory because they cannot forecast the demand accurately and replenish in shorter lead time since the data flow management is not transparent within supply chain. Fortunately, the emergence of cloud computing is an option for them to enhance data flow. This section includes a literature review of cloud computing application in supply chain, ERP implementation in SMEs and data flow management in supply chain to understand the current situation.

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