Implementing Supply Chain Management

  • David Frederick Ross


It has been the central theme of this book that supply chain management (SCM) represents nothing less than a radically new strategic management philosophy enabling today’s enterprise to realize the significant opportunities for competitive advantage to be found in the global marketplace of the late 1990s Similar to other management concepts such as Just-In-Time (JIT) and Quality Management (QM), SCM can be described from several perspectives as an implementable technique, a management process, and a business philosophy. Beginning as an aspect of integrated logistics management centered around linking the common logistics functions to be found among supply and customer channel partners in search of throughput and cost advantages, SCM has evolved from a purely operational tactic to a universal strategic philosophy that seeks to converge the productive and innovative capabilities of enterprises linked together in a supply chain into a single, unified competitive force. The fundamental value of SCM is cooperation, and it is manifested in the willingness of allied chains of companies to link their strategic objectives and fundamental operational processes to create unique, borderless, market-satisfying resources that are invisible to the customer yet capable of quickly massing critical competencies and physical processes to form uncopyable sources of competitive advantage. In the past, companies relied on the development of fixed channels of supply where standardized mass-produced products would be distributed based on the least-cost principle. Today, market leadership belongs to those supply channels that can activate concurrent business processes and core competencies among their members, merge infrastructure, share risk and costs, jointly leverage design and productive processes, and anticipate tomorrow’s opportunities for radically new products and competitive space.


Supply Chain Supply Chain Network Channel Member Process Team Supply Chain Partner 


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  1. 1.
    This crucial term is explored in more depth in Gary Hamel and C. K. Prahalad, Competing For the Future. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 1994, pp. 79–116.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See the discussion on strategic assessment found in Stanley E. Fawcett, “Using Strategic Assessment to Increase the Value-Added Capabilities of Manufacturing and Logistics.” Production and Inventory Management Journal 36 (2) (Second Quarter 1995), 33–37.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Among the foremost can be found William C. Copacino, Supply Chain Management: The Basics and Beyond. Boca Raton, FL: St. Lucie Press, 1997; Christopher Gopal and Harold Cypress, Integrated Distribution Management. Homewood, IL: Business One Irwin, 1993; David F. Ross, “Meeting the Challenge of Supply Chain Management.” APICS: The Performance Advantage 6 (9) (September 1996), 38–42; and Lisa Harrington, “How to Join the Supply Chain Revolution.” Inbound Logistics 15 (11) (November 1995), 20–24.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    See the comments in Richard Brown, “Configurable Network Computing.” APICS: The Performance Advantage 6 (12) (December 1996), 36–39.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Frederick Ross
    • 1
  1. 1.ChicagoUSA

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