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How to innovate for the long term
Too often, supply chain innovations fail to reach their full potential. Even if an initiative is successful and produces fantastic results early on, those benefits often fade over time. In other cases, companies struggle to extend improvements launched in one location to other sites across a network or enterprise.
The most recent issue of CSCMP Hot Topics, "Sustaining and Expanding Supply Chain Innovations," deals with this challenging, final stage of the innovation process. The report, written by Dawn DeTienne and Susan Golicic of Colorado State University and Morgan Swink of Texas Christian University, is based on a research study examining the experiences and achievements of CSCMP's Supply Chain Innovation Award finalists over the past 10 years.
Through that research, the authors were able to develop a scorecard that includes four key factors relating to an innovation's ability to live on and expand over time:
- What are the results, and how are they communicated?
- What are the links to strategy?
- How available are resources?
- How has the project champion changed?
For each of the four questions, the scorecard presents three different levels of achievement, from basic to best practice. The higher the level, the more likely it is that an innovation will achieve longevity and continue to produce benefits. For example, for the question about an innovation's results and how they are communicated, the first level is "initial operational results achieved, but not celebrated or publicized." The second level is "sustainable operational results, but only vague links to financial metrics." The final, best-practice stage is "sustained and well-publicized operational and financial impacts that are measurable."
CSCMP Hot Topics is a member-only benefit. This two-to-four page publication addresses new research from CSCMP or other organizations; hot trends and emerging industry insights; and/or journal articles that expose a new perspective or critical issue. Hot Topics provides a quick and easy way to keep up with a changing supply chain management industry and marketplace. Current and past issues of Hot Topics can be downloaded here.
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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 2015: How to innovate for the long term"> . We will publish selected readers' comments in future issues of CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly. Correspondence may be edited for clarity or for length.