Value Chain Flexibility with RFID: A Case Study of the Octopus CardReport as inadecuate

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International Journal of Engineering Business Management, Vol.3. No.1. February 2011. -

Octopus cards are an electronic payment system based on a wireless RFID technology developed in Hong Kong. Users simply hold their contactless smartcards over an electronic reader, and the payment is deducted from the card automatically. If users link their cards to their credit card to upload money, there is no cash transaction involved. Launched in 1997, Octopus cards are the world’s most widely accepted contactless RFID electronic payment system. The system generates value for customers, service providers, and societies.

This article makes a theoretical and applied contribution to our understanding of strategic information systems. It adopts and modifies Porter’s value chain and develops value‐chain flexibility as a theoretical framework to analyze the Octopus card system. The fast and dramatic changes in customer needs, business competition, and technological innovation are creating an urgent need for flexibility throughout the whole value chain. By looking at order fulfillment as a process, the shop outlet—either online or offline—is only part of the entire flow from customer enquiry to customer receipt. It is clear that no single idea could significantly reduce customer lead time. Only a total effort from organizations to increase flexibility and eliminate bottlenecks can make the kind of difference needed to compete Day, 1994; Blackburn, 1991; Yusuf, Sarhadi, & Gunasekran, 1999. Therefore, value chain flexibility must be broadly defined, and it should be applied in the service industry. In other words, organizations should be able to deal with the uncertainty along the value chain to meet customer demands. This framework analyzes how the Octopus card system creates value and, in doing so, identifies key implications for customers, service providers, and society

Strategic Information Systems; Value Chain Flexibility; RFID Technology; Electronic Payment

Author: Lam Tak Ming - ; The Hong Kong Polytechnic University



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