1. Research Opportunities in
Supply Chain Management
S G Deshmukh
ABV-Indian Institute of Information Technology &
XVI Annual International Conference of
Society of Operations Management
21 Dec 2012
2. Well Known Conferences for Practitioners in SCM
• Council of SCM Professionals Conference
• POMS Conference
• Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference (17-18 Sep , 2012 at
• Supply Chain Management matured as a discipline
• Developments in IT have made integration possible
• Basic issues in SCM : Management of Material Flow,
Information Flow and Money Flow
• Basic principles can be applied to a variety of
4. Opportunities for Research
• Humanitarian Logistics
• Unorganized Sector/SMEs
• Social Networking
• Information security
• Service Oriented Architecture
5. Humanitarian Logistics and Disaster Management
• SCM orientation - A variety of activities such as supplies of medicine and relief operations, medical team
(Doctors, nurses etc.) and other service personnel such as military forces , NGOs, ,etc. are important.
• Humanitarian supply chain need to address issues related to both material and services . Importance of
• Customers in such supply chains include not only end-consumers – (victims and survivors of a disaster) –
but also the various organisations , donors , governments , the local community, NGOs, the military, and
logistics providers .
• Demand for relief is mostly unpredictable, local infrastructure often is destabilized, multiple agencies
involved, transport capacity is often limited, political complexities are intense, and information
fragmented/ hard to interpret.
• Sudden onset of a disaster also requires a flexible supply chain whose design might need to evolve from
an initial emergency response to an ongoing reconstruction operation. During the emergency response, a
supply chain could require an entirely new design from scratch that features rapid response capabilities
and suppliers that can deliver a supplier-led solution that involves both innovation and creativity
• Performance measurement system also poses several challenges to the SCM community.
6. Humanitarian Logistics & Disaster Management
• How to define “Responsiveness” for disaster supply chains?
• What are the dimensions of “flexibility” in such supply chains?
• What are the behavioral implications of disaster supply chains?
• Are service chains different from the production chains in the
context of disaster supply chains?
• How to locate and dislocate facilities on a short term basis for such
• How to develop Performance Measurement System for such
7. SCM for SMES
Low levels or absence of organizational hierarchy;
• Involvement of CEO/Chief in operational decisions rather than strategic
decisions as in large scale organizations ;
• “blurred” departmental walls;
• Tremendous scope for implementing concepts of “Lean or agile “
manufacturing and consequently “Lean/agile” supply chains
• By design, SMEs are prone to “sustainability” due to their size and much
less danger to the environment
• faster rate of changes in business environment which affect SMEs to a
great extent than in LSEs . However, because of their size and scale, SMEs
are also able to respond to these changes positively.
8. SMES : Research Posers
• Is there any difference between IT applications required for SMEs as
compared to LSEs?
• What are the behavioral implications of performance measurement
systems in SMEs?
• Does the “Scale” matters for sustainability?
• What are the relevant dimensions of “Sustainability” for SMEs?
• What are the societal costs for sustaining the supply chains?
• What are the coordination issues as far as coupling of LSE and SME
9. SCM for Unorganized Sector
• Though the sector contributes significantly, its contribution is hardly documented. There are hardly any
templates to measure their contribution. Even the formal definitions productivity and quality may not be
able to address this sector.
• The labour is often illiterate /uneducated. They may not have any formal opportunities for training and
• The training component is missing and personnel are not sensitized about various dimensions related to
quality, productivity and customer orientation.
• There is huge gap between the way organized sector operates and the way unorganized sector operates.
• Often there are no “best practices” available for unorganized sector
• The scale of operation at times is very small. This may call for proper coordination and collaboration and
cooperation among different units.
• The primary producers (people from unorganized sector) have no direct access to either markets or
market information. As a result, there is a mismatch between production and market demand. Markets
today are created and captured through aggressive publicity campaigns using icons. These opportunities
may need to be leveraged for such sectors.
• Estimation of contribution of unorganized sector in economy
• Assessment of training needs of unorganized sector from SC point
• Inter-linkages of production, distribution, quality systems and
service for unorganized sector
• Evolution of SC best practices for unorganized sector
• Design and development of performance measurement systems for
11. Unorganized Sector: Research Posers
• What are the linkages between the supply chains of organized sector vis-à-vis unorganized
• Are there any opportunities to borrow some good practices from organized sector and map
them into unorganized sector?
• What are the dimensions required in the performance measurement systems of such supply
• How to leverage huge human potential existing in our country to make these supply chains
more responsive yet financially viable?
• What are the learnings from the other developing countries (such as East Asian or SAARC
• Cuthbertson R and Piotrowicz, 2011, Performance measurement systems in Supply chains: A framework
fro contextual analysis, Int J of Productivity & Performance Measurement , 60(6),583-602
12. Social Networking & SCM : Posers
• Measurement of impact of social networking in marketing-
• Assessment of mass customer feedback
• Linkages of service chains and production/operations in view of
• Modeling of interactions through formal frameworks such as graph
13. Apple vs Amazon ?
Miles Trevor Blog 13 Dec 2012
14. Information Security : Posers
• i) Exploration of Data security issues - Information leakage & misappropriation in supply chain
networks can lead to demand overriding information , thus causing distorted view of the entire
chain. The product and service deliveries may not be in tune with expectation of customers. Vital
Information related to design, operation or distribution may be passed on to wrong hands (may
be to the competitor) causing loss of competitive edge . Quantification of such contingencies and
consequently evolving a data secure architecture could provide ample scope for research.
• ii) Examination of Technology related issues- Vulnerabilities in IT infrastructure may not be
adequately controlled. There could be legacy issues related to migration of technology platform
from one version to another or due to compatibility issues due to different technology providers.
Examining such technology related issues and suggesting appropriate technology platform based
on a set of comprehensive attributes could be an interesting area for researchers.
• iii) Issues related to Standards- Various standards are evolving to streamline supply chain
operations from security aspects. Interoperability of such standards, their impact and
implementation guidelines for such standards will offer a good opportunity for exploration.
• Covers business processes, support
functions and the related information
• Looks at the financial flow which relates
to the operations
• At the core - disruption in operations &
finances influences information flow,
affecting goodwill by impacting the
company’s image and reputation
INFORMATION SECURITY – MULTI-LAYERED VIEW
16. On Demand Business
An On Demand Business is an enterprise whose business processes
— integrated end-to-end across the company and with key partners,
suppliers and customers — can respond with speed to any customer
demand, market opportunity or external threat.
Characteristics of On Demand Business
Integration : Providing the linkage between people, processes, and data
Open :Supporting a strong commitment to standards for OS, Language and Web Services/SOA
Virtualized : Providing a flexible Build-time and Runtime environment for developing and
running applications across a highly distributed IT architecture
Autonomic : Self regulating … self healing … self maintaining
SOA: Service Oriented Architecture
• An approach for building distributed systems that allows tight correlation between the business model and
the IT implementation.
• Represents business function as a service
• Shifts focus to application assembly rather than implementation details
• Allows individual software assets to become building blocks that can be reused in
developing composite applications representing business processes
• Leverages open standards to represent software assets
18. SOA Concepts
• What is a service?
• A coarse grained, self-contained entity that performs a distinct business function
• What is a service description?
• A standards based interface definition that is independent of the underlying implementation
• How do services interact?
• Through loosely-coupled, intermediated connections
• How are SOA solutions created and enhanced?
Using tools and middleware according to SOA principles
Three Key Concepts for the Foundation for On
• Build –Model Driven Architecture
• A style of enterprise application development and integration based on using automated tools to
build system independent models and transform them into efficient implementations1
• Run –Service Oriented Architecture
• An approach for designing and implementing distributed systems that allows a tight correlation
between the business model and the IT implementation
• Manage –Business Performance Management
• An approach to systems management that tightly links IT concerns with business process
20. SOA: Research Posers
• How to define service standards?
• What is the role of technology in SOA?
• How to align business strategy with SOA?
• Issues related to flexibility ?
21. Tool Kit
Tool/Technique/Template Type of Tool Can be used for
1 Multi-criteria decision making tool such as
Qualitative/Quantitative Structuring and Priority ratings of
2 Strategic Template such as
SWOT/PASTE/Force Field Analysis/7-S/
Qualitative Understanding of the strategic issues
3 Interpretive Structural Modeling (ISM) Qualitative Understanding and connectivity of
various issues involved
4 Balanced Score Card and its variants Qualitative Performance measurement issues
5 SCOR template Qualitative/Quantitative Comparisons with organized sector
and understanding of the process
6 Benchmarking and Competitive Analysis
Qualitative Comparison with best practices
7 Typical statistical analysis
Quantitative Explore and analyze various
8 System Dynamics Modeling Quantitative Cause-effect relationships and explore
• Immense potential in both People oriented as well as technology
• People Oriented
• Humanitarian Logistics and Disaster Management
• Unorganized sector
• Technology Oriented
• Social Networking
• Information Security related
• Service Oriented Architecture
• Tool-kit can be used to model a variety of issues
24. Concluding remarks..
• Supply chain management: an opportunity for seamless integration
• Research issues involving a variety of domains
• Borrowing terminology & frameworks from IT !
• Research : interdisciplinary !
25. Useful web linkages
Miles Trevor Blog 13 Dec 2012