Info needed! Software supply chain

  warwickphil 11:04 05 Apr 2009


I'm newly registered on these forums, and I'm hoping that someone can help me out. I think this is a fairly basic question.

I'm doing a final year university module, and I'm speaking about how the supply chain for IT software has changed in the last few years (ie. companies like Microsoft now allow applications inc. windows to be downloaded direct from their website).

What I'm trying to figure out, though, is what is the traditional supply chain in the software industry?

I figure it's something like:
Programmer > Tester > CD manufacturer > Distributer > Retailer > Consumer

but I'm really just basing that on an assumption. If there is a diagram or something that someone has, then that would be massively useful.

I have obviously spent quite a bit of time googling this, but it is a tricky search due to the amount of 'supply chain management software' on the market!

Thank you for any advice,

  Taff™ 14:47 05 Apr 2009

Start From The Consumer and work backwards. First of all define the types of consumers - Joe Public, Businesses, OEM`s (Machines need Software too) Then work out where they might get that software from - Retail Outlet (Define) Online Download (Direct or OnLine Retailers), OEM, Business Specialists etc. Remember that the difference between On Line Retailers and wholesalers has fundamentally changed over the years.

Somewhere in the middle is the Disk Manufacturer or the (Download) Packaging.

Further Back you have the Development, Testing (In House & External - Beta Testing, Public Beta Testing, Release Candidates etc), Further Development and Refinement. Prior to that you`ve got to the Concept itself and the programming.

  warwickphil 16:08 05 Apr 2009

thanks, that's pretty enlightening. I was wondering also if anyone had any knowledge of the effect that electronic software fulfillment (ie downloading software) is having on the actual programming companies/teams (as opposed to the end consumer).

Increased profits/sales? Quicker response times in certain areas? What are the benefits to them?

  Pineman100 17:19 05 Apr 2009

"Programmer > Tester > CD manufacturer > Distributer > Retailer > Consumer"

Long before the programmer can get to work, a market researcher has to establish the need for a given type of software, and a systems analyst has to plan exactly how the software will function, in order to satisfy that market need.

Only then can the programmer know how to write the program.

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