Last, James B. Ayers begins by offering a working definition of supply chain, and then breaks it up into three explanations. The definition sees that supply chain management represents the "life cycle process supporting physical, information, financial and knowledge flows for moving products and services from suppliers to end-users" (Ayers, 2002). Life cycle is understood in terms of market life and usage life of the respective products or services. In terms of the physical, information, financial and knowledge flows, the mentioning of these variables was necessary as the traditional definitions only include the physical component; yet, this is often a limited presentation of the supply chain, which is significantly improved though the inclusion of adequate capitals, knowledge and access to information. Finally, the third element, services, was introduced to emphasize the fact that supply chains are also applicable to services, regardless of the initial stand that they could only hold relevance for material products.
3) Discuss the issues related to the widespread adoption of e-books
Just like with any other innovation, electronic books raised both criticism as well as praises. Before much was known about the internet and electronic literature, rumors circulated that the emergence of e-books would mean the end of the traditional hardcover book. Yet, years after the introduction of internet, material books still exist and do not seem close to extinction. The reasons as to which the initial premonition did not come true are numerous and include, for instance, elements such as people still enjoying the feeling of holding a book and going through its pages, one after the other. Then, unless one has a special electronic reader device (such as the Amazon Kindle), aside the laptop or the personal computer, it will be rather difficult for them to take their book with them. The traditional book however can easily be packed and carried so one can enjoy it on vacation, on the road or in numerous other locations and situations. Then, there is the force which requires additional technical knowledge in order to be able to read an electronic book. No additional skills, other than the ability to read, are required with the traditional book. Finally, there is the sensation of walking into a bookstore, being surrounded by a sea of knowledge and smelling a new book, all feelings which cannot be replaced by an electronic book (Hartwood, 2009).
A question is being posed relative to the future of traditional books in the face of electronic books. It has already been established that traditional books have been around and will continue to be around even in the era of high technological applications. Nevertheless, when they are mostly preferred by the older generations, will they not disappear and be totally replaced by e-books, once the representatives of the older generations are no longer among us? Probably the number of buyers will decrease, but considering that reading traditional books is a value passed on from one generation to the next and that it depends on personal features as well -- even the most ambitious it specialist could enjoy the feeling of turning a page -- the disappearance of traditional books is not expected in the years to come.
From the standpoint of the electronic book then, this means that its future holds an increased demand for digital literature (literature in the understanding of both fiction as well as specialized literature). Nevertheless, it is rather unrealistic to assume that electronic books will, at least in the near future, be the single means of accessing literature.
Having assessed the current stand and prospective future of e-books, it is now important to kook at other aspects of electronic literature. For once, there is the statement according to which e-books save trees and protect the natural environment by not requiring paper, as the support on which they are printed. The printing industry, through its cutting of trees, carbon emissions and major water usage, is one of the most polluting industries. Additionally, the average memory Kindle can store approximately 22.5 books and as such saves the energy and resources which had been wasted in the printing of the books. Another issue forwarded here relates to the need to dispose of traditional printed book. The remains are not always properly disposed of or they are not recycled, meaning that the negative impact onto the environment is even greater (Hutsko, 2009).
The above presented points are all valid and realistic and support environmental sustainability. Yet, what is also important to mention relative to e-books is that they are cost efficient as well. By not requiring so many operations -- otherwise put, through the shortening of their supply chain -- electronic books involve fewer investments in paper manufacturing, printing and so on. These cost reductions eventually translate in lower retail prices, which help customers cut down on their expenditures and save more. This feature is extremely important in today's environment, in which the economic crisis forces consumers to save more and spend less. The electronic book is a great solution for the financial restrictions imposed by the economic crisis.
A new issue with electronic books refers to their inclusion in school curricula. In other words, more and more teachers become aware of the benefits of electronic books and promote them in schools by having pupils read digital literature on the computer schools. This situation has raised some debate. On the one had, there are the arguments that electronic books in schools could attract children more to technologies. This is already a problem in a context in which children spend less and less time socializing with peers and more time in front of computers. The argument against e-books in schools then is that they stifle creativity and socialization. As a counter argument however, one could point out how electronic literature in schools could help children turn towards skilled and highly paid occupations in Information Technology or how e-books could help them become better integrated in the modern day society, which places great emphasis on technologies. Additionally, they play the important role of providing the children with supplementary reading material and as such increasing their access to information (Cavanaugh, 2005).
Ayers, J.B., 2002, Making Supply Chain Management Work: Design, Implementation, Partnership, Technology and Profits, CRC Press, ISBN 0849312736
Cavanaugh, T.W., 2005, the Digital Reader: Using E-Books in K-12 Education, ISTE, ISBN 1564842215
Doole, I., Lowe, R., 2008, International Marketing Strategy: Analysis, Development and Implementation, 5th Edition, Cengage Learning EMEA, ISBN 1844807630
Drake, M.A., 2003, Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Vol. 2, 2nd Edition, CRC Press, ISBN 0824720784
Fredendall, L.D., Hill, E., 2001, Basics of Supply Chain Management, CRC Press, ISBN 1574441205
Hartwood, D., 2009, eBooks vs just books, eReader Central, http://www.ereadercentral.org/ebooks-vs.-just-books.php last accessed on October 14, 2009
Hutsko, J., August 31, 2009, Are E-Readers Greener that Books, the New York Times
ReVelle, J.B., 2002, Manufacturing Handbook of Best Practices: An Innovation, Productivity and Quality Focus, CRC Press
Simchi-Levi, E., Kaminsky, P., 2003, Managing the Supply Chain: The Definitive Guide…