Competition among businesses used to be about the quality of the products and services they provided to their customers (consumers). This has since taken a new dimension with the introduction of the business concept known as the supply chain. Manufacturers sought to increase customer satisfaction by anticipating consumer needs and meeting them faster and at a lower cost. It requires a clear vision and understanding of what the consumer wants, when they want it and why they want it, by all the stakeholders – supplier, manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer. To facilitate and achieve an everimproving supply chain, information, materials and finance must move in both directions. The advent of the web as the major means of conducting business-to-customer and B2B and B2C communications, along with its ubiquitous nature and evolving web based supply chain management (SCM) technology, has necessitated a massive change by supply chain implementers from the traditional supply chain to networked supply chain models. This paper will attempt to recreate the upstream and downstream supply chain models as well as highlight changes in the methods and processes within these models over time with a view of finding a trend or cause for these changes. This will be achieved through the study of previous research and journals on the subject as well as secondary data/information from selected case studies. The current rate of change in Information Technology especially in e-business can only translate into a lot of changes in business methods as stakeholders look to bear as little cost as is possible while empowering the consumers of their products.
The global business environment is undergoing changes resulting from the influence of globalization, strategic alliances, merger and acquisition, business process and technological advancement. These changes in strategy translate into changes in business and organizational goals and objectives, primary of...