VIRTUAL LOGISTICS AS A SUPPORT FOR THE DECOMPOSITION PROCESS OF A SUPPLY CHAIN (CONCEPTUAL REFLECTIONS)
Background: Traditionally the concept of the 'supply chain' is connected with various forms of the technical, organizational and economic integration. The integration deals mainly with multilateral relations among firms, thus constituting subsequent links of products flows in supply chains and creating complex networks of business connections. Due to social and economic factors, and mainly outsourcing and resulting accent on logistics services, traditional supply chains become decomposed. Therefore, there is a need to reconsider some concepts connected with this process. Methods: The description and analysis of present and decomposing supply chains were presented and discussed. The analysis of reasons and possibilities to give up the processes of the absolute integration of supply chains in the direction of decomposed structures and the indication of possibilities to use the concept of a virtual logistics as a concept, which allows essentially such actions, was conducted. Results: The disintegration of traditional value chains is one of these kinds' concepts, which are reflected also in classic supply chains. Probably the commonly used methods of the research and analysis of these supply chains do not conduce to make decisions under conditions of the lack of the continuity of business processes. Old methods and techniques of the management do not fit fully to modern business requirements, which are probably not even fully highlighted and properly understood. Conclusions: The saturation of modern supply chains with services caused significant modifications of the logic and many mechanisms of their functioning, which in turn can lead to changes of a paradigm of the management of these more and more complex business structures. The aspirations of companies to achieve the competitive advantage on modern markets help to change the structure and the nature of supply chains, which operate on these markets, in the direction of their virtualization.
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