Supply Chain

Topics: Supply chain management, Management, Supply chain Pages: 6 (1748 words) Published: September 8, 2013
John F. Perry II, Capt, USAF

Organizational performance has routinely been viewed through a limited scope primarily focused on functions, practices, and resources directly controlled by the focal organization, but supply chain management (SCM) has broadened this scope to incorporate all organizations along the supply chain. This shifted the notion of competition from that of between individual organizations to between supply chains. Supply chain management is an ever growing field; multiple SCM frameworks exist today and are being further developed and defined. Successful firms must reside on the leading edge of management techniques, theories, and practices in order to stay competitive in an ever growing, more constrained, increasingly diverse, and rapidly changing global economy. Supply chain management is at the forefront of such management techniques, theories, and practices. Supply chains vary from firm to firm and from industry to industry. Firms have limited resources and a desire to know if the development and implementation of SCM within their firm is, in fact, going to equate to enhanced organizational performance and competitive advantage.

This thesis conceptualized and measured three of the eight key business processes (customer relationship management (CRM), order fulfilment (OF), and returns management (RM)) across the supply chain according to The Global Supply Chain Forum framework. Do these key business processes lead to increased firm performance and a competitive advantage? This thesis developed a survey and collected data from private organizations and, through statistical analysis, measured the strategic development of the CRM, OF, and RM processes of organizations and their relationship to competitive advantage and organizational performance. The results of this thesis found each of the processes were positively related to competitive advantage and organizational performance. The results will serve as value to both academics and practitioners by expanding existing SCM literature and provide firms with a deeper understanding of how SCM business processes truly measure up.


Supply chain management (SCM) involves not only the integration of key business processes within the organization but also the integration of these processes throughout the entire supply chain (Croxton, Garcia-Dastugue, Lambert, & Rogers, 2001). “Leading-edge companies have realized that the real competition is not company against company, but rather supply chain against supply chain” (Cooper, Lambert, & Pagh, 1997: 3). Given this approach to organizational success and competition, SCM may present a key opportunity for organizations to enhance performance and establish a competitive advantage. This thesis used the definition of SCM as defined by the Global Supply Chain Forum (GSCF). “The GSCF, a group of non-competing firms and a team of academic researchers, has been meeting regularly since 1992 with the objective to improve the theory and practice of SCM” (Lambert, 2008: 2). According to the GSCF, “supply chain management is the integration of key business processes from end user through original suppliers that provide products, services, and information that add value for the customers and other stakeholders” (Lambert, Cooper, & Pagh, 1998: 1). The GSCF defines eight key SCM business processes. Fully implementing each of the eight processes at once may prove to be difficult and challenging but, may also be necessary in an attempt to avoid sub-optimization (Lambert, Garcia-Dastugue, & Croxton, 2005). This research will delve deeper into the implications of implementing three of the eight processes. Determining the potential impacts of implementing...
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