Supply Chain

Tools to facilitate the full range of business processes proliferated over the past decade. Some firms base entire business models or product lines on such tools, while other traditional companies are looking for tools as a means to improve operational efficiency or processes. "The question facing supply management professionals today might be best summarized as: How do we ensure we're getting the most out of the e-tools available?" according to a report from CAPS Research, a strategic sourcing research center co-sponsored by the W. P. Carey School of Business.

Computer network problems cost American businesses $100 billion each year. While the underlying issues may be technologically complex, anyone who has ever fumed about a company-wide e-mail outage or an overloaded web site has an idea of the costs, says Kevin Dooley, a professor of supply chain management at the W. P. Carey School of Business. Dooley and his co-authors have just published "Network Maturity Model: An integrated process framework for the management, development and operation of high quality computer networks." The book outlines a descriptive framework that helps businesses assess the soundness of their networks and improve the veins that carry the lifeblood of companies in the information age.

In September, the U.S. and Mexican governments took a tentative first step towards the final goal of allowing unfettered shipping between the two nations — a measure agreed upon under NAFTA but delayed since 1995. Proponents say freeing up trucks to directly deliver goods in their neighbor countries will cut shipping costs by millions of dollars annually, reduce pollution and ultimately benefit consumers in both nations. However, the measure also has a long line of opponents on both sides of the border. Arnold Maltz, a professor of supply chain management at the W. P. Carey School of Business, and Dawn McLaren, a W. P. Carey research economist, examine the pros and cons of cross-border shipping.

In the event of a disease outbreak or bioterrorist attack, public health officials must make decisions about how to allocate finite medical resources — decisions that impact the spread of the disease and the number of lives lost. Ajay Vinze and Raghu Santanam, both information systems professors at the W. P. Carey School of Business, wondered what might be the best way to allocate critical resources in such scenarios. They realized that, viewed from a business perspective, the public health system is actually a very large and complex supply chain — in many ways even more intricate than the highly developed supply chain of an enterprise like Wal-Mart.

Today's Chief Purchasing Officers are well-paid, well-educated, and well on their way to finally earning CEO respect, according to a new report from the W. P. Carey School's CAPS Research. Thomas Hendrick, Ph.D., professor emeritus of supply chain management at the W. P. Carey School, examines these and other attributes of today's CPOs to better understand the men and women at the top of the corporate procurement field.