Supply Chain

After watching dozens of chief purchasing officers come and go as the leaders of supply chain operations in 30 of the world's largest companies, researchers came to a simple conclusion: The CPO's chair has become a true corporate hot seat. The study, "Supply Leadership Changes," was conducted on the behalf of CAPS Research, a nonprofit research organization supported by the W. P. Carey School of Business and the Institute of Supply Management.

Across virtually all industries and geographic regions, manufacturers share one common goal: to increase profitability by decreasing costs. A growing number of manufacturers, both in the United States and around the world, have embraced global sourcing as a fast-track method for achieving that goal. However, when it comes to the effectiveness of most companies' global sourcing initiatives, there is plenty of room for improvement, finds a new study from Professor Robert Monczka of CAPS Research, a nonprofit supply chain research organization jointly sponsored by the Institute for Supply Management and the W. P. Carey School of Business.

Online retailers seek logistics service providers offering high-quality supply chain management knowledge. But new research by supply chain management professor Elliot Rabinovich shows retailers need to look before they leap into a contract with a provider.

Finding the optimal number of suppliers to form your supply base is not easy — nor is it the only factor buying companies must juggle in order to manage their suppliers effectively. New research from Thomas Choi, professor of supply chain management at the W. P. Carey School of Business, shows that companies need to go beyond just looking at how many suppliers they have in their supply base. They need to consider the three dimensions of supplier complexity, then calculate the impact of each on a variety of supply chain factors.

Like a physical supply chain, an information supply chain (ISC) is comprised of the organizations that connect with each other to produce a desired end — product or service — for a user. But where other supply chains may be roughly linear, the information supply chain is more reminiscent of a web, according to Ed Kamins, senior vice president and chief operational excellence officer at Avnet, Inc. Kamins moderated a panel at the recent "Cultivating and Securing the Information Supply Chain" symposium sponsored by CABIT. Enmeshed in this web, Kamins said, are four key players: the manufacturer, the distributor, the value-added reseller and the end user.