The rhetoric and reality of supply chain integration

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Journal Article

Fawcett, Stanley E
Magnan, Gregory M
Publication year:

The terminology supply chain management is used frequently in today’s materials management environment and is generally associated with advanced information technologies, rapid and responsive logistics service, effective supplier management, and increasingly with customer relationship management. Most materials managers are familiar with the supply chain mantra of suppliers; supplier to customers’ customer. However, experience shows that few companies are actually engaged in such extensive supply chain integration. To obtain an accurate view of SCM as it currently practiced, the experience and insight of industry managers engaged in supply chain initiatives was sought via a multi-method empirical approach involving both surveys and case study interviews. The findings reveal that supply chain practice seldom resembles the theoretical ideal. Three different levels of SCM implementation are identified and a series of limiting factors are discussed. Managers must recognize the tension that exists between SCM’s competitive potential and the inherent difficulty of collaboration

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