Another major concern that systems theorymay not holds good is since every system is a part of sub system of a largersystem the concern is how far the boundary for system should be drawn. Notevery problem is clear, few problems will be involved in social behaviour, few problemsmay be concerned with economic behaviour and few may have concerned withpolitical behaviour. The systems theory will bring a good reliable solutiononly if a problem is considered, viewed and defined in a right way. Problemsolving in systems theory is also based on how and how well a problem isdefined.
Because a problem may look different to particular parties and it maylooks different for the concerned parties, the problem that may felt by onegroup may not be a problem for another group. So before intervening the thingsshould be defined in a right way. For instance, the clothes that people wear.For one customs it will be acceptable or the other it may not. That why duringthe disaster relief most of the times there will be mismatch between what thepeople receives and what the people really needs contradicts. Clear demarcationand definition fails most of the times. This will be one of the complexitieswithin the systems theory. Atransdisciplinary approach should enable the participants in HL in general and logisticiansin particular to have an overview, as complete as possible, on various interdependentsubsystems of humanitarian relief operations.
In fact, many organizations havepieces of information, the role of the logistics manager is to put them togetherby blending first- and third-world logistics and private and public-sector outlooks. Systems theory’s relevance to Supply ChainManagement and its applicability in various aspects of supply chain managementSupply chain is can be explained in abetter way that, it is a combination of series of processes ranging right fromraw material suppliers to the end users. This series includes a wide range ofinformation, cash flow and the material flow. A bullwhip effect could be causedvery easily with a slight change in the information and material flow. Systemstheory is an approach to solve the problem, which doesn’t look at problems asan isolated challenge but rather it looks in the context of the larger system.Supply chain is nothing but, a combination of people, structures, process andenvironment that works together to come out with desired outcomes. The lifewhich we live in this environment is more complex, we are surrounded by complexsystems, peoples and complex actions. With the help of systems theory, oneshould be acquiring the ability to know about the components of the system, thekind of interaction that it happens with its components to understand clearlyabout the operation it does in larger system.
Systems approach helps inanalysing the supply chains and it helps in improving the performance of thewhole system by the application of logical and structural methods rather thanmaking improvements in particular areas of the system. Systems approach considers and improvesthe performance of the entire system involved in supply chain rather thanimproving the efforts of particular sub systems. Improving the performance ofthe particular system alone may not help in the entire functioning of thesupply chain. Developing the best solution for a supply chain requires theanalysis, planning and implementation of certain aspects in a systemic way thatis developing it methodologically. For which it involves a far-reachinginvestigation and radical reappraisal of the whole supply chain and which oftenresults in a complete redesign of supply chain organisation and operations.
Systems thinking helps in understandingthe behaviour of the system that arises from the interaction of its agents overa period of time. It rightly identifies the stock and flow relationships whichis one of the very needy thing in Supply chain management. Systems thinking isthe very basis for inventory management, finance and order management whichhelps a logistician to work effectively in mobilising the resources duringdisaster situations.In humanitarian supply chain management,effectiveness ensures that time is saved and if time is saved more life aresaved and efficiency ensures that is cost is saved means more lives are helped.Restoration of sub stages of Disaster cycle (sub systems) is made possiblethrough agility. A holistic picture of the situationprovides a chance to the observer to see all the loops in the system and italso gives him chance to reject those which are deemed less efficient and canincorporate the effective sub system for the overall goal of the system.
Deterministic approach create a greatemphasis for reducing complexities and focus on actions to improve theconceptualised system in order to reach an optimal state. Irrelevance/ non-applicability of Systemstheory in Supply Chain Management The wholistic view of systems theory insupply chain management is with a lot of strategies that needs to follow theoperational issues, while in supply chain management looks into more strategic,conceptual and philosophical ways, which lack the operational terms which willbe a practical difficulty to the logistician who employs it. Contemporarychallenges in organisational complexities in supply chain management makes theapplication of systems approach difficult. Challenges are right from challenges of sustainability, innovation,collaboration and sense making. Structure driven behaviour are more prevalentin systems approach.
The complexity of the systems approach is complexity lieswithin the system, like how many subsystems are involved and present overthere. The major irrelevance of systems theory is it tries to eliminate alluncertainties in the process and it considers that all actors should playsimilar which is practically not possible in most of the situations that tooespecially in disaster supply chain management context. System theory makes asystem complicated which makes the moving parts that interact with each otherin fixing or defining the predictable ways which doesn’t holds good in each andevery disaster situation say for example, last mile connectivity can’t beachieved or rescue operation couldn’t be achieved properly due to change inactual weather situation.