Supply Chain Rising: A New Star in the C-Suite

While the term “supply chain management” was coined in the 1980s, the actual practice as a competitive business strategy has increased dramatically over the last decade, according to two researchers at the Supply Chain Management Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Lubar School of Business.

Mark A. Kosfeld, Associate Director, and Dr. Anthony D. Ross, Director and Rockwell Automation Endowed Chair in Supply Chain Management, examined the content of the annual reports of Fortune 500 companies to determine (1) the company’s emphasis on supply chain, and (2) its level of sophistication in referencing its supply chain activities.  The researchers analyzed annual reports from 2005 through 2015, with a view of assessing executives’ intention to focus company efforts — at least in part — around supply chain management.

Not only did they find that the number of supply chain references doubled during that time period, but those references also dramatically changed in their nature to reflect a more strategic focus or role within the companies.

The study was recently featured in the publication SupplyChainBrain, and includes both a sector analysis and details from the annual reports on some of the “top” supply chain companies.

The Supply Chain Management Institute is an industry-university partnership that examines supply chain challenges and practices within firms and across sectors.  More information is available at the institute’s website.