CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
December 11, 2017
Supply Chain Executive Insight E-Newsletter
Each week the Supply Chain Executive Insight e-newsletter will include brief articles about developments that are often overlooked by other supply chain publications. We will present you with summaries of the latest research as well as new ideas on how to make your supply chain operations more effective. And we'll offer commentary that sheds light on what's happening in supply chains today.
Sign up now!

Most Read Articles

News from our sister publication
DC Velocity
Forward Thinking

CSCMP Hot Topics… explores supply chain innovation

Comment
Find out why some supply chain innovators are more successful than others in sustaining and building on their innovations over time.

Too often, an initially successful supply chain innovation fails to reach its full potential. In some cases, an effort that delivered fantastic results early on fades away over time. In other cases, successful improvements launched in one location fail to take hold in other sites across the network or enterprise. To find out how companies can extend the benefits of innovation, CSCMP commissioned a research study examining Supply Chain Innovation Award (SCIA) finalists over the past 10 years. The latest issue of CSCMP Hot Topics… discusses these findings and what supply chain professionals can learn from them.

The researchers' 2014 analysis of 74 finalist cases, together with retrospective interviews with 33 of the finalists, determined that leading supply chain innovators excel in certain capabilities, such as finding opportunities, making the case for innovations, designing and implementing innovations, and sustaining and expanding them.

The researchers found significant variances in the degree to which finalists sustained or expanded innovations. At the time of the analysis, a majority of innovations (76 percent) had been continued but were essentially unchanged from the original designs. Only 15 percent of the innovations led to new applications or new business opportunities. The remaining innovations (9 percent) had been discontinued. These results raised an interesting question: Why are some supply chain innovators more successful than others in sustaining and building upon their innovations over time?

One reason is that innovations are more sustainable if objectives are closely tied to strategy. Those who were able to sustain and grow their innovations attributed some of their success to the link between the target of the innovation and the strategies driving both the supply chain and the company.

To follow these prescriptions and become better at sustaining and expanding supply chain innovations, most supply chain organizations will likely need to modify their incentives, resources, and culture, especially in regard to how innovations are viewed. If an innovation is seen simply as a means to an end, it probably will wither over time, even after initial successes. Instead, each innovation needs to be seen as a way for the organization to learn and grow, and as a way to simultaneously solve current problems and create new opportunities in the future. Managers who view supply chain innovations this way, the research found, are more likely to take the necessary steps to sustain and expand the project and its benefits.

CSCMP Hot Topics… is free to CSCMP members. Not a member? Join today!

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you're not already logged in, you will be asked to log in or register.


Want more articles like this? Sign up for a free subscription to Supply Chain Executive Insight, a monthly e-newsletter that provides insights and commentary on supply chain trends and developments. Click here to subscribe.

We Want to Hear From You! We invite you to share your thoughts and opinions about this article by sending an e-mail to ?Subject=Letter to the Editor: Quarter : CSCMP Hot Topics… explores supply chain innovation"> . We will publish selected readers' comments in future issues of CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly. Correspondence may be edited for clarity or for length.

Want more articles like this? Subscribe to CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly.