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CAPS Research studies are completely bias-free, disciplined, and executable.

Led by notable professors in the supply management space from top universities worldwide in collaboration with supply management executives, reports are designed to give you a head start on the topics that shape the profession.

CAPS research reports

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Sign up for our newsletter or subscribe to our YouTube channel for 3-minute preview videos. Each report consists of the full study, a brief with report highlights, and illustrative examples and use cases. Our newest research reports are available to members immediately upon release with login. Non-members with an account in the CAPS Library may access research published before 2014.

Emerging Technologies in Supply Management
Published June 2019 by CAPS Research
Researchers: John V. Gray, Ph.D., Andrea M. Prud’homme, Ph.D.

New transformative and potentially disruptive technologies promise large companies faster, cheaper, and more effective procurement and supply management processes. We identified 11 keys emerging technologies and analyzed their potential benefits, effectiveness, and opportunities for practical application. In light of a growing number of options, this research will inform supply management organizations on how to avoid the risk of either adopting unnecessary technologies or becoming comparatively less effective with actionable recommendations on whether, when, and how to implement new solutions.

CAPS Research members: Register for an account or login to access all reports in the CAPS Library now.

CAPS Research members: Register for an account or login to access all reports in the CAPS Library now.

Measuring and Managing Risks in the Supply Chain
Published April 2019 by CAPS Research
Researchers: Tobias Schoenherr, Ph.D., Carlos Mena, Eng.D., Thomas Choi, Ph.D.

Risk management is often under the charge of supply management groups, but responsibility can and should be shared by suppliers and internal partners. Risk measurement allows supply management practitioners to anticipate, react to, prioritize, and effectively manage risk, from dealing with significant events to establishing best practices of risk avoidance in every-day operations. Measuring and Managing Risks in the Supply Chain offers a taxonomy of key risks to consider and best practices for measuring different categories of risk.

Counterfeiting in the Supply Chain: Identification, Containment & Prevention by Adopting a Multi-Pronged Approach
Published March 2019 by CAPS Research
Researchers: Robert B. Handfield, Ph.D., Anand Nair, Ph.D.

The problem of counterfeiting in the supply chain continues to plague companies in every industry. In order to combat counterfeiting, a multilayered strategy that adopts multiple approaches and engages the entire organization is needed. This research investigates counterfeiting’s global growth and provides detailed recommendations to address the issue. It delves into strategies ranging from tracking technologies to working with government agencies in an effort to stem the growing challenge of counterfeiting throughout the supply chain.

Data Analytics Teams and Procurement - Who and What
Published December 19, 2018
Researchers: Ben Shao and Robert D. St. Louis

Procurement leaders are turning to data analytics teams to help them leverage the wealth of data available and meet business goals, but what skills should the team have? This research investigates assembling, structuring, retaining, and supporting the team. It examines how data analytics can facilitate procurement practices related to spend analysis, contract management, market intelligence, and supply chain risk. Insightful comments by CPOs at various stages of the data analytics journey offer a real-life look at how data analytics teams function and succeed in many organizations.

Physician Preference Items Management: Challenges, Opportunities, and Strategies
Published October 1, 2018
Researchers: Gilbert Nyaga and Eugene Schneller

Physicians have autonomy in deciding the devices they use for patient care, which can circumvent cost savings, volume economies, and other benefits that come from including procurement. Approximately 60% of total spend by hospitals comes from physician preference items (PPI). In our newest report, we explore challenges, opportunities, and management efficiencies involved in procuring PPIs.

Procurement Analytics — Enabling Data Architectures in the Age of Big Data
Published September 2018
Researchers: Raghu Santanam and Michael Goul

Procurement processes will be at the center of the emerging changes in the way organizations engage with their business partners, customers, and suppliers. This report examines the ways companies can architect their procurement data to lay foundations for the discovery of new insights and addresses the ways companies organize their procurement data structures and evolving them through various levels of maturity. 

Blockchain and Supply Management
Published March 2018
Researchers: Dale Rogers, Todd Taylor, and Raymundo Beristain-Barajas and Tom Choi

Blockchain is an emerging technology that can assist a firm to securely manage its financial and inventory data to reduce risk, improve trust and validity through a supply network. Blockchains utilize a distributed ledger that use shared databases, consensus approval, and peer validation. Veracity of data is maintained among network participates through cryptographic proofs and data visibility. This research report explains blockchain technology, provides examples of early adopters, and details potential uses and barriers for mainstream implementation.

Cyber Security in Supply Chains: Understanding Threats and Potential Security Practices
Published February 2018
Researchers: Zac Rogers, Victor Benjamin, and Mohan Gopalakrishnan

Of all recent cyber breaches, approximately 60 percent are supply chain based. This report identifies five supply network vulnerability archetypes intended to help companies understand the malicious actors who search for the “path of least resistance” into their networks. It also offers an in-depth examination of publicly disclosed cyber breaches, details the various methods of cyber attacks, and demonstrates the key role procurement plays in ensuring a company’s cyber security.

Related article:
Zac Rogers and Thomas Y. Choi, “Purchasing Managers Have a Lead Role to Play in Cyber Defense,” Harvard Business Review, Online Forum, July 10, 2018.

The Role of Supply Management in Merger and Acquisition: Separation and Integration
Published January 2018
Researchers: Kevin Linderman and David Wohler

Involving supply management in mergers and acquisitions (M&As) will help ensure a successful transition and avoid any missteps. In this new report from CAPS Research we detail four capabilities to help supply management can support M&As. Is your M&A business process up to date? Are you one of the 37 percent of companies today that do not have a formal business process in place for M&As?

Developing Supplier Ecosystems to Create Value
Researcher: Frank Wiengarten
How can we organize a supplier ecosystem to deliver creative solutions to business problems? A supplier ecosystem may consist of multiple external suppliers and internal stakeholders with required capabilities and vested and interrelated interests. This research will delineate a process through which a supplier ecosystem can be created (i.e., who should take part, how to get their buy-in) and different types of supplier ecosystems (i.e., within or cross-category, ad-hoc or permanent). It will also offer a post-engagement playbook with reference to managing intellectual property, sharing of benefits, and supplier-supplier relationships within the ecosystems.

Procurement’s Role in Creating Extraordinary Internal Customer Experience, Service Delivery, and Business Performance
Researchers: Ajith Kumar, Steven Miller, and Michelle D. Steward
The goal of this research is to investigate the nature of successful relations between procurement and their internal customers, and how these relationships may be leveraged to improve business outcomes. Purchasing professionals not only must create outstanding relationships with external suppliers, but also with internal users while maximizing business value. This research will isolate the best practices that create both extraordinary internal user experience and overall business success.

Supply Management Integration into Demand Management: Current State and Future Development
Researchers: David Peng and Gregory R. Heim
Traditionally, supply management’s focus has been on the supply side of the supply chain. However, in an increasingly customer-centric business environment, many supply chains are becoming more demand-driven. To develop a better understanding of how procurement can be integrated effectively with demand management, we seek to investigate contemporary issues and aspects regarding how demand is established (i.e., forecasting or market projection) and how demand information is shared with procurement. We'll investigate current practices, organizational structures, and enabling technologies that enable supply management to more closely integrate with demand management.

Future Procurement Talent: Looking Ahead Ten Years
Researchers: Jennifer NahrgangBruce Gilmore, and Joan Brett
We propose to investigate the future talent needed for procurement and supply chain management. Our study takes three major points of departure—(1) we will take the perspective of large MNCs that make up the CAPS membership base, (2) our projections will reflect the most recent changes in our field that has been accelerating in the last two years (i.e. cognitive analytics, blockchain, etc.), and (3) we will collect data from the supplier side regarding their perspective on the future procurement talent needs of the buying companies.

Exploring Category Management: Across Different Business and Organizational Settings
Researchers: Janet Hartley and Thomas Choi
Many organizations are adopting category management, yet a systematic knowledge is limited.  This research will explore category management processes and practices used across different settings—manufacturing vs. service; direct vs. indirect purchases; and centralized vs. center-led vs. decentralized procurement.  We will examine how categories are identified, how category strategies are developed, roles and responsibilities of category managers, and how category management affects relationships with internal stakeholders as well as suppliers. 

Online Marketplaces and Procurement
Researchers: Raghu Santanam and Brett Duarte
Do external online marketplaces such as Amazon and Alibaba affect how we operate in procurement? Originally consumer-focused, they are now are poised to disrupt B2B business. Their impact will range from changes in organization structure to how we develop category strategies. This report traces the evolution of online marketplaces, with examples of how companies engage with them, and provide future vision and roadmaps. It will consider the role of procurement platforms like Coupa and BuyerQuest and propose how procurement may co-evolve into future with these technologies and online marketplaces.

Metrics of the Future: Moving Supply Management Beyond Cost Reduction
Researchers: Lisa Ellram, Larry Giunipero, and Monique Murfield
Supply management (SM) is evolving beyond cost reduction and cost avoidance toward value creation. Value creation measures can include company-level business outcomes such as revenue generation, working capital and cash flow, innovation, risk mitigation, and supply continuity. So how do we get the SM organization focused on metrics for business alignment and which metrics would effectively measure value creation? This report translates impactful business outcomes to procurement metrics and back-translates procurement metrics to business outcomes. It also delineate how different companies along the maturity curve can move toward value creation.

Digital Connectivity and Data Protection in Supply Management
Researchers: Brett Massimino and John Gray
Data flows are more pervasive than ever and extend through our supply networks, making it increasingly important to ensure we can protect our supply chains. What role does supply management play and how can we minimize data risk in the supply chain? Large companies set up firewalls to protect their data and expect suppliers to do the same, but this is not always the case. This report discusses methods for assessing suppliers, the ins-and-outs of building cybersecurity measures into contracts, the role of major compliance initiatives such as GDPR, and protecting data flows through supplier tiers.

CAPS research reports are practitioner-focused, practically-applicable, and relevant to the evolving supply management landscape. We leverage our powerful network of supply management executives at leading companies worldwide and the expertise and discipline of notable supply management academics from top institutions.

Our researchers' higher education institutions: 
  • Arizona State University
  • Colorado State University
  • ESADE Business School (Spain)
  • Miami University
  • Michigan State University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Northeastern University
  • Ohio State University
  • Portland State University
  • Rutgers The State University of New Jersey
  • Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) (Switzerland)
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Houston
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of North Texas
  • University of Tennessee
  • Wake Forest University
  • Wayne State University

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