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Literature review Essay

Abstract: Supply chain Management has assumed a significant role in firm’s performance and has attracted serious research attention over the last few years. A literature review reveals a considerable spurt in research in theory and practice of SCM. Combining and informing on features of Supply Management and distribution Management. This integration has resulted in the concept of extended enterprise and the supply chain is now manifest as the collaborative supply chain across intercompany borders to maximize the value across the entire supply chain. A large number of research papers have been published in various journals in last two decades. In this paper an attempt is made to review the status of literature on Supply Chain Management.

A literature classification scheme is proposed. A total of 588 articles from 13 refereed academic journals are classified into articles in five methodologies i.e. Exploratory, Normative, Methodology, Literature Review and Hypothesis testing. This literature review finds that exploratory type of research is mostly preferred it is expected that with the maturity of SCM the hypothesis testing method will pick up. The articles are further categorized in fifteen categories on the basis of content analysis. Based on this review, some possible research issues are identified.

Keywords: SCM, Supply Chain strategy, Literature Review. those with average performance.


Traditionally, Supply Chain Management (SCM) has been a melting pot of various aspects, with influences from logistics and transportation, operations management and materials anddistribution management, marketing, as well as purchasing and information technology (IT). Ideally, the allencompassing philosophy of SCM embraces each of these functions to produce an overall supply chain strategy that ultimately enhances firm performance (Croom et al. 2000;
Wisner and Tan 2000).

In actuality, the literature is still very fragmented and although several studies purport to discuss supply chain issues, most of the existing research only examines one link of the chain, or most importantly only focuses on one ingredient in the supply chain performance mix. Six major movements can be observed in the evolution of supply chain management studies. Creation, Integration, Globalization, Specialization Phases One and Two, and SCM 2.0 These phases are given in Table 1.

In the current competitive scenario supply chain management assumes a significant importance and calls for serious research attention, as companies are challenged with finding ways to meet ever-rising customer expectations at a manageable cost. To do so, businesses must search out which parts of their supply-chain process are not competitive, understand which customer needs are not being met, establish improvement goals, and rapidly implement necessary improvements. Previously manufacturers were the drivers of the supply chain – managing the pace at which products were manufactured and distributed. Today, customers are calling the shots, and manufacturers are scrambling to meet customer demands for options/styles/ features, quick order fulfillment, and fast delivery. Manufacturing quality – a long-time competitive differentiator – is approaching parity across the board, so meeting customer’s specific demands for product delivery has emerged as the next critical opportunity for competitive advantage.

Companies that learn how to improve management of their supply chain will become the new success stories in the global market place. Study on Benchmarking shows significant cost differences between organizations that exhibit best-in-class performance and Copyright © 2010 HyperSciences_Publisher. All rights reserved The six stage evolutionary era depicts that in a particular era which strategy was emphasized. For instance in the sixth era information Technology was given priority and IT enabled supply chain was the burning issue.

In the 1990s industries began to focus on “core competencies” and adopted a specialization model. Companies abandoned vertical integration, sold off non-core operations, and outsourced those functions to other companies.

Web 2. 0 is defined as a trend in the use of the World Wide Web that is meant to increase creativity, information sharing, and collaboration among users.

The term supply chain management was first coined by an American industry consultant in the early 1980s. However the concept of supply chain in management, was of great importance long before in the early 20th century, especially by the creation of the assembly line.

This era of supply chain management studies was highlighted with the development of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) systems in the 1960s and developed through the 1990s by the introduction of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems.

This era is characterized by the globalization of supply chain management in organizations with the goal of increasing competitive advantage, creating more value-added, and reducing costs through global sourcing

Specialization within the supply chain began in the 1980s with the inception of transportation brokerages, warehouse management, and non asset based carriers and has matured beyond transportation and logistics into aspects of supply planning, collaboration, execution and performance management.

presents various connotations given by various researchers; then a literature classification scheme is explained and a research agenda is suggested after identifying the gaps between theory and practice of SCM.

SCM research has included a number of literature reviews and historical studies published in the top scholarly journals in the fields of logistics, logistic  management, purchasing and SCM (Croom et al. 2000; Carter and Ellram 2003; Rungtusanatham et al. 2003). SCM literature reviews have also been done in the past. However, for the most part these reviews have been descriptive (offering basic frequencies for topics covered etc.) or normative. Given the increasing focus on SCM in both academic and practitioner literature streams, a review of the concepts, topics, analysis methods and levels of analysis across thirteen academic journals was undertaken. This research investigates the history of the SCM literature looking at the various trends and developments in the field

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