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Current Research - Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain Management Research

 There is a great deal of confusion regarding exactly what supply chain management involves. In fact, most people using the name supply chain management treat it as a synonym for logistics or as logistics that includes customers and suppliers. However, successful supply chain management requires cross-functional integration of key business processes within the firm and across the network of firms that comprise the supply chain. The challenge is to determine how to successfully accomplish this integration. A framework for supply chain management is presented as well as suggestions for how it might be implemented.

You may also download a FREE copy of the  Chapter 1 of the Supply Chain Management Book in PDF format.
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For more information see:

Douglas M. Lambert, “Supply Chain Management,” Chapter 1, in Douglas M. Lambert, Editor, Supply Chain Management: Processes, Partnerships, Performance, Fourth Edition, Sarasota, FL: Supply Chain Management Institute, 2014, pp. 1-21.

Keely L. Croxton, Sebastián J. García-Dastugue, Douglas M. Lambert, and Dale S. Rogers, “The Supply Chain Management Processes,” The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 12, No. 2 (2001) pp. 13-36.

The Customer Relationship Management Process

The customer relationship management process provides the structure for how relationships with customers will be developed and maintained. The goal is to segment customers based on their value over time and increase customer loyalty by providing customized products and services. Detailed descriptions of the strategic and operational sub-processes that comprise customer relationship management are provided. Also, there are descriptions of the interfaces that are necessary with the other seven supply chain management processes and each of the corporate functions. Guidelines for successful implementation are described.

Douglas M. Lambert, “The Customer Relationship Management Process” Chapter 2, in Douglas M. Lambert, Editor, Supply Chain Management: Processes, Partnerships, Performance, Fourth Edition, Sarasota, FL: Supply Chain Management Institute, 2014, pp. 23-41.

The Supplier Relationship Management Process

The supplier relationship management process provides the structure for how relationships with suppliers will be developed and maintained. Close relationships are developed with a small set of key suppliers based on the value that they provide the organization over time, and more traditional relationships are maintained with the others. In this chapter, detailed descriptions of the strategic and operational sub-processes that comprise supplier relationship management are provided. Also, there are descriptions of the interfaces that are necessary with the other seven supply chain management processes identified by The Global Supply Chain Forum and each of the corporate functions. Guidelines for successful implementation are provided.

Douglas M. Lambert, “The Supplier Relationship Management Process”, Chapter 3, in Douglas M. Lambert, Editor, Supply Chain Management: Processes, Partnerships, Performance, Fourth Edition, Sarasota, Florida: Supply Chain Management Institute, 2014, pp. 53-70.

The Customer Service Management Process

Customer service management is the supply chain management process that represents the firm’s face to the customer. The process is the key point of contact for administering product and service agreements (PSAs) developed by customer teams as part of the customer relationship management process. The goal is to provide a single source of customer information, such as product availability, shipping dates and order status. Customer service management requires a real-time system to respond to customer inquires and facilitate order placement. In this chapter, we describe the customer service management process in detail to demonstrate how it can be implemented and managed. To do this, we detail the activities of each strategic and operational sub-process; evaluate the interfaces with the business functions, the other seven supply chain management processes; and describe examples of successful implementation.

A. Michael Knemeyer, Douglas M. Lambert and Sebastián J. García-Dastugue, “The Customer Service Management Process”, Chapter 4, in Douglas M. Lambert, Editor, Supply Chain Management: Processes, Partnerships, Performance, Fourth Edition, Sarasota, Florida: Supply Chain Management Institute, 2014, pp. 71-88.

The Demand Management Process

Demand management is the supply chain management process that balances the customers’ requirements with the capabilities of the supply chain. With the right process in place, management can match supply with demand proactively and execute the plan with minimal disruptions. The process is not limited to forecasting. It includes synchronizing supply and demand, increasing flexibility, and reducing variability. In this chapter, we describe the demand management process in detail to show how it can be implemented within a company and managed across firms in the supply chain. We examine the activities of each sub-process; evaluate the interfaces with corporate functions, processes and firms; and provide examples of successful implementation.

Keely L. Croxton, Douglas M. Lambert, Sebastián J. García-Dastugue and Dale S. Rogers, “The Demand Management Process”, Chapter 5, in Douglas M. Lambert, Editor, Supply Chain Management: Processes, Partnerships, Performance, Fourth Edition, Sarasota, Florida: Supply Chain Management Institute, 2014, pp. 89-106.

The Order Fulfillment Process

Order fulfillment is a key process in managing the supply chain. It is the customers’ orders that put the supply chain in motion, and filling them efficiently and effectively is the first step in providing customer service. However, the order fulfillment process involves more than just filling orders. It is about designing a network and a process that permits a firm to meet customer requests while minimizing the total delivered cost. It needs to be implemented cross-functionally and with the coordination of key suppliers and customers. In this chapter the order fulfillment process is described in detail to show how it can be implemented within a company, and managed across firms in the supply chain. The activities of each sub-process are examined; the interfaces with functional silos, processes and firms are evaluated; and, examples of successful implementations are provided.

Keely L. Croxton, “The Order Fulfillment Management Process”, Chapter 6, in Douglas M. Lambert, Editor, Supply Chain Management: Processes, Partnerships, Performance, Fourth Edition, Sarasota, Florida: Supply Chain Management Institute, 2014, pp. 107-122.

The Manufacturing Flow Management Process

Manufacturing flow management is the supply chain management process that includes all activities necessary to obtain, implement, and manage manufacturing flexibility in the supply chain and to move products through the plants. Manufacturing flexibility reflects the ability to make a variety of products in a timely manner at the lowest possible cost. To achieve the desired level of manufacturing flexibility, planning and execution must extend beyond the four walls of the manufacturer. In this chapter, we describe the manufacturing flow management process in detail to show how it can be implemented within a company and managed across firms in the supply chain. We examine the activities of each sub-process; evaluate the interfaces with corporate functions, processes, and firms; and provide examples of successful implementation.

Thomas F. Goldsby and Sebastián J. García-Dastugue, “The Manufacturing Flow Management Process”, Chapter 6, in Douglas M. Lambert, Editor, Supply Chain Management: Processes, Partnerships, Performance, Fourth Edition, Sarasota, Florida: Supply Chain Management Institute, 2014, pp. 123-144.

The Product and Commercialization Process

Product development and commercialization is the supply chain management process that provides structure for developing and bringing to market new products jointly with customers and suppliers1. Effective implementation of the process not only enables management to coordinate the efficient flow of new products across the supply chain, but also assists supply chain members with the ramp-up of manufacturing, logistics, marketing and other related activities to support the commercialization of the product. In this chapter, the product development and commercialization process is described in detail to show how it can be implemented. To do this, the process is described in terms of its sub-processes and associated activities, and the interfaces with business functions, other supply chain processes and other firms. Examples of successful implementation are provided.

Dale S. Rogers, Douglas M. Lambert and A. Michael Knemeyer, “The Product Development and Commercialization Process”, Chapter 8, in Douglas M. Lambert, Editor, Supply Chain Management: Processes, Partnerships, Performance, Fourth Edition, Sarasota, Florida: Supply Chain Management Institute, 2014, pp. 145-160.

The Returns Management Process

Returns management is the supply chain management process by which activities associated with returns, reverse logistics, gatekeeping, and avoidance are managed within the firm and across key members of the supply chain. The correct implementation of this process enables management not only to manage the reverse product flow efficiently, but to identify opportunities to reduce unwanted returns and to control reusable assets such as containers. In this chapter, we describe how the returns management process can be implemented within a firm and across the supply chain. The process is described in terms of its sub-processes and associated activities, and the interfaces with corporate functions, other supply chain management processes and other firms. Examples of successful implementation are provided.

Dale S. Rogers, Douglas M. Lambert, Keely L. Croxton and Sebastián J. García-Dastugue, “The Returns Management Process”, Chapter 9, in Douglas M. Lambert, Editor, Supply Chain Management: Processes, Partnerships, Performance, Third Edition, Sarasota, Florida: Supply Chain Management Institute, 2014, pp. 161-180.

Conducting Assessments of the Supply Chain management Processes

The eight supply chain management processes provide a comprehensive framework to guide cross-functional teams in their efforts to achieve the integration necessary for managing relationships with customers and suppliers. However, the successful implementation of any of the supply chain management processes requires that management from all corporate functions understand their role in the process. The challenge is finding a way to bring all the necessary parties together and start the dialogue. In this chapter, we describe a methodology designed to assist management in the implementation of the supply chain management processes using the assessment tools contained in the Appendix A through Appendix H. The assessment of a process will enable management to benchmark the practices of the firm with those prescribed in the process and prioritize the identified improvement.

Sebastián J. García-Dastugue, Douglas M. Lambert, “Conducting Assessments of the Supply Chain management Processes”, Chapter 10, in Douglas M. Lambert, Editor, Supply Chain Management: Processes, Partnerships, Performance, Fourth Edition, Sarasota, Florida: Supply Chain Management Institute, 2014, pp. 181-193.

Mapping for Supply Chain Management

As supply chain network structures become more complex and geographically dispersed, management can benefit from developing a relationship-based map of their company's supply chain. The visual representation and analysis of the complexities in a firm's direct and indirect supply chain relationships serves as a starting point for increasing the cross-functional and cross-firm communication that is necessary for implementation of the supply chain management processes. The mapping effort also enables management to identify internal and external improvement opportunities and establish the critical relationship linkages that must be closely managed. Once a relationship-based map is developed, a wide variety of activity-based mapping techniques can be used to identify and realize improvement opportunities across the network of companies that constitute the supply chain.

Douglas M. Lambert, Sebastián J. García-Dastugue and A. Michael Knemeyer, “Mapping for Supply Chain Management”, Chapter 11, in Douglas M. Lambert, Editor, Supply Chain Management: Processes, Partnerships, Performance, Fourth Edition, Sarasota, Florida: Supply Chain Management Institute, 2014, pp. 199-220.

Lean Thinking and Supply Chain Management

Lean thinking provides principles and tools used to eliminate waste and to strive for perfection through continuous improvement. Though lean thinking was conceptualized to apply to all activities within the firm and across companies in the supply chain, usually lean is employed in operational settings within a single firm. Lean thinking in supply chain management is the use of lean principles to align activities across corporate functions within the firm and to manage business relationships with customers and suppliers. We show how lean principles and tools can be used in the context of the supply chain management framework. Also, we describe forms of waste that need to be eliminated in order to create greatest value for the end-customer.

Thomas J. Goldsby and Sebastián J. García-Dastugue, “Lean Thinking and Supply Chain Management”, Chapter 12, in Douglas M. Lambert, Editor, Supply Chain Management: Processes, Partnerships, Performance, Fourth Edition, Sarasota, Florida: Supply Chain Management Institute, 2014, pp. 221-238.

Implementing and Sustaining the Supply Chain Management Processes

There are eleven management components that must be considered in order to implement the eight supply chain management processes. The management components apply to all the supply chain management processes. In this chapter, we describe each of the management components as well as how they can be used to coordinate implementation of the supply chain management processes and institutionalize the processes once they are implemented.

Douglas M. Lambert, Rudolf Leuschner and Dale S. Rogers, “Implementing and Sustaining the Supply Chain Management Processes”, Chapter 13, in Douglas M. Lambert, Editor, Supply Chain Management: Processes, Partnerships, Performance, Fourth Edition, Sarasota, Florida: Supply Chain Management Institute, 2014, pp. 239-256.

Supply Chain Management Performance Measurements

 Most discussions and articles about supply chain metrics are, in actuality,about internal logistics performance measures. The lack of a widely accepted definition for supply chain management and the complexity associated withoverlapping supply chains make the development of supply chain metrics difficult.

Despite these problems, managers continue to pursue supply chain metrics as a means to increase their “line of sight” over areas they do not directly control, but have a direct impact on their company’s performance. We provide a framework for developing supply chain metrics that translates performance into shareholder value. The framework focuses on managing the interfacing customer relationship management and supplier relationship management processes at each link in the supply chain. The translation of process improvements into supplier and customer profitability provides a method for developing strategic and operational metrics that enable management to identify opportunities for improved profitability and align objectives across firms in the supply chain.

Douglas M. Lambert and Terrance L. Pohlen, “Supply Chain Management Performance Measurements”, Chapter 14, in Douglas M. Lambert, Editor, Supply Chain Management: Processes, Partnerships, Performance, Fourth Edition, Sarasota, Florida: Supply Chain Management Institute, 2014, pp. 257-274.

 Developing and Implementing Partnerships in the Supply Chain

Successful implementation of supply chain management requires the formation of mutually beneficial collaborative relationships between key members of the supply chain.1 While practitioners and academics have championed the value of partnerships for this purpose, the challenge is to find effective methods for developing the appropriate type of relationship. In this chapter, we describe the Partnership Model which provides management with a repeatable method to identify appropriate candidates for these critical relationships and determine how to appropriately resource and structure them. Implementation issues are documented and direction is provided for managers interested in using this tool for tailoring key supply chain relationships.

Douglas M. Lambert, A. Michael Knemeyer and John T. Gardner, “Developing and Implementing Partnerships in theSupply Chain”, Chapter 15, in Douglas M. Lambert, Editor, Supply Chain Management: Processes, Partnerships, Performance, Fourth Edition, Sarasota, Florida: Supply Chain Management Institute, 2014, pp. 275-301.

The Collaboration Framework

The Partnership Model should be used to structure relationships with key customers or suppliers where there is a history of working together and both sides view the relationship as having the potential for partnership. But, what should management do if these conditions are not met? To be successful, business-to business relationships require that each side clarifies their expectations and mutually agree on goals for the relationship. In this chapter, we describe a framework that can be used to structure collaborative business relationships where the conditions for successfully using the Partnership Model have not been met. A new relationship with high potential or an important relationship to each side that is not a balanced relationship are examples where the framework for collaboration should be used.The collaboration framework also can be used in the development of product and service agreements with key customers and suppliers.

Douglas M. Lambert, “The Collaboration Framework”, Chapter 16, in Douglas M. Lambert, Editor, Supply Chain Management: Processes, Partnerships, Performance, Fourth Edition, Sarasota, Florida: Supply Chain Management Institute, 2014, pp. 305-316.

Improving Performance Through Value Co-Creation with Key Customers and Suppliers

Central to the relationship view of supply chain management described in this book is the recognition that businesses should be managed in a way that enables value co-creation with key customers and suppliers. Opportunities for value cocreation arise when the capabilities and knowledge that exist within each firms’ organizational functions are leveraged by implementing the eight cross-functional, cross-firm, supply chain management processes. In this chapter, we will show that:

  1. More value is co-created in business-to-business (B2B) relationships where cross-functional, cross-firm teams are implemented
  2. Financial measurement of value changes both management perceptions and behaviors towards customers and suppliers
  3. Tools such as the Collaboration Framework and The Partnership Model can be used to develop PSAs and generate initiatives to enablevalue co-creation.

Matias G. Enz and Douglas M. Lambert, “Improving Performance Through Value Co-Creation with Key Customers and Suppliers”, Chapter 17, in Douglas M. Lambert, Editor, Supply Chain Management: Processes, Partnerships, Performance, Fourth Edition, Sarasota, Florida: Supply Chain Management Institute, 2014, pp. 317-333.

Supply Chain Management: The Next Steps

The preceding chapters have detailed The Global Supply Chain Forum (GSCF) process-based framework of supply chain management, described the Partnership Model and the Collaborateion Framework which can be used to tailor key relationships, and presented a method for developing a performance measurement system to identify opportunities to improve profitability and to align objectives across firms in the supply chain. In this chapter, we provide additional insights on how to implement supply chain management. An alternative process-based supply chain management framework (Supply-Chain Operations Reference - SCOR®) is compared and contrasted with the GSCF framework. Our goal is to provide management with an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of both frameworks in order to determine which can bring the most value to their organization. Also, managerial guidelines for implementing the GSCF framework are detailed. These include an assessment tool for each of the eight processes to assist with the implementation of the GSCF framework and a model for facilitating the required organizational transformation.


Douglas M. Lambert, Sebastián J. García-Dastugue, A. Michael Knemeyer, and Keely L. Croxton, “Implementing Supply Chain Management,” Chapter 18, in Douglas M. Lambert, Editor, Supply Chain Management: Processes, Partnerships, Performance, Fourth Edition, Sarasota, FL: Supply Chain Management Institute, 2014, pp. 337-354.

Douglas M. Lambert, Sebastián J. García-Dastugue, and Keely L. Croxton, “An Evaluation of Process-Oriented Supply Chain Management Frameworks,” Journal of Business Logistics, Vol. 26, No.1, (2005), pp. 25-51.