n South African Computer Journal - Using supply chain management to enable GIS units to improve their response to their customers' needs : research article

Volume 2009, Issue 43
  • ISSN : 1015-7999
  • E-ISSN: 2313-7835



One of the challenges according to Dangermond (1999) and Tomlinson (2000) for GIS units in the 21st century is to be able to manage themselves successfully in order to deliver the right product at the right time to the right customer. Tomlinson (2000) also indicated that there will be several management tools available to assist GIS units to enable them to manage themselves successfully. This paper discusses such a management tool, namely supply chain management. Supply chain management is used in the manufacturing industry to manage the production of motor vehicles, electronic goods and pharmaceutical products. A supply chain consists of suppliers to a firm, the firm itself and customers at the other end of the chain. Goods flow up the chain from the suppliers, through the firm to the customers. Information and money flows up and down this chain. The management of this supply chain is known as supply chain management. The aim of supply chain management is to manage the suppliers, manufacturers and customers as a single entity to ensure that the whole chain is competitive at least cost to whole chain. Goods in the context of this paper are spatial data sets (GIS products) that have been produced by a GIS unit. In order to produce a GIS product a GIS unit needs to source spatial and non-spatial data from various suppliers, verify the data, manipulate and transform the data into a new GIS product, test and validate the new GIS product and deliver it to customer. ESI-GIS in Eskom will be used as an example to demonstrate this management culture.

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