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CAPS Research studies are 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.

A future-looking agenda with practical application today

The CAPS research schedule

CAPS research studies are member-driven and future-focused, ensuring that the actions you take today give your organization the upper hand for the future of the profession. Through our research pipeline meetings, members guide our agenda and it is carried out by researchers over the following year.

Futures Study 2026
Researchers: Adegoke Oke and Mohan Gopalakrishnan

This research investigates changes that may potentially affect the supply profession by 2026 and firms’ likely responses to such changes. The report will build on the CAPS research report Futures Study 2020 (Kull et al., 2016) and will include the business strategies to be employed, the supply mission, supply technologies, risk mitigation strategies, and resiliency.  

The Meaning and Value of Diversity in Supplier Diversity Programs
Researchers: Dayna Simpson, Kathleen Riach, and Craig Carter

This study will focus on the value of supplier diversity programs and their benefits to buying firms, the suppliers they invest in, and the broader benefits of diverse supply chains. Researchers will work to identify leading organizations that are measuring performance in terms of how investment in the supply base impacts the buying firm, diverse suppliers, their suppliers, and the broader supply networks they participate in. 

Supplier Relationship Management in a Virtual Work Environment
Researchers: Scott Ellis and Joe Labianca

We will explore the recent shift to virtual work environments and the effect on supplier relationship management activities and outcomes. We’ll identify the attributes that characterize supply managers’ virtual work environments, investigate the individual and organizational factors that affect these virtual work environments, explore how virtual work environments affect supply management practices and associated relational and performance outcomes, and identify best practices for managing supplier relationships in a virtual environment. 

Third Party Risk Transparency and Visibility
Researchers: Srimathy Mohan and Mohan Gopalakrishnan

Recent supply challenges have highlighted the importance of understanding the health and potential risks in the lower tiers of the supply chain. We’ll discuss how technologies are being used to map the sub-tiers of the supply chain, how to identify financial distress sooner, and how to isolate risk in the sub-tier. The report will help organizations understand how to identify, monitor, and then mitigate third-party supply chain risk. 

Supply Chain End-to-End Resiliency
Researchers: Mikaella Polyviou, Adegoke Oke, Keely Croxton and A. Michael Knemeyer

As organizations and their supply chains continue to face external shocks such as natural disasters, pandemics, and geopolitical risks, supply managers need to build resilient organizations and supply chains to ensure supply continuity. We’ll examine how organizations can assess their level of resiliency and build resiliency into (1) their internal supply chains that include supply, operations, and distribution and (2) an organization’s supply base that includes the focal organization and its first-tier supplier(s). 

Applying New Variables to Existing Supply Management Decisions
Researchers: Robert Wiedmer, Carlos Mena, Mikaella Polyviou, Zachary Rogers and Srimathy Mohan

Today’s operating environment presents new challenges for supply professionals. Increased regulations, trade barriers, a public health pandemic, and new sustainability targets are some of the factors that supply professionals have to take into consideration. How are supply management decisions changing as a result of these new drivers or circumstances? This research paper will assess and validate the procurement model that companies should be using as they navigate the uncertainties and risks of the current environment. 

How can purchasing contribute to strategic sustainability goals? Should purchasing be involved in the development of sustainability strategy? Purchasing has always focused on cost management, but cost reduction does not have to conflict with greater sustainability. Sitting at the beginning of the supply chain, purchasing is uniquely positioned to involve suppliers in sustainable operations and ESG/CSR initiatives. This research discusses how purchasing’s selection of sustainable and diverse suppliers can influence better sourcing of eco-friendly materials and more humane production, and lead to more sustainable output.

With the proliferation of IoT, greater use of mobile devices, growth of data sharing, and increased email in work-at-home environments, accessibility of information has grown to be a major priority. Accordingly, organizations are outsourcing internet security to third parties, and consequently their suppliers, broadening the attack surface for cyber intrusions from spyware, phishing attacks, ransomware, and other malware. This research offers a framework to balance the risks of increased supplier accessibility with the cost of securitization, establishing critical areas for funding and development, and a roadmap for rolling out a global supplier cybersecurity strategy for communication with a global supply base.

CAPS research reports

Stay in-the-loop on the latest research

Sign up for our newsletter or subscribe to our YouTube channel for short 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 more than 7 years ago.

Compelling Applications of Emerging Technologies
Published August 2021 by CAPS Research
Researchers: Adegoke Oke, PhD, and Anand Nair, PhD

As companies consider technology-based advancements in SCM, such as AI, RPA, and Blockchain, what areas of application make the most compelling cases? We look at emerging technology applications that drive robust investment and unprecedented results, as well as key success factors and hindrances, and how to create a time-phased implementation plan.

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.

Digital Connectivity and Data Protection in Supply Management
Published March 2021 by CAPS Research
Researchers: John V. Gray and Brett J. Massimino

Companies are collecting and sharing more data than ever before, making effective management of this data increasingly important across all functions. What role does supply management play and how can we minimize data risks in the supply chain? In this report, researchers discuss methods for assessing suppliers, the ins-and-outs of building cybersecurity measures into contracts, and best practices for supplier data protection.

Online Marketplaces & Procurement
Published September November by CAPS Research
Researchers: Raghu Santanam, Brett Duarte

Is your organization prepared to take advantage of the simplicity, variety, and cost savings offered by online marketplaces like Amazon and Alibaba? Originally consumer-focused, these marketplaces are now poised to disrupt B2B business. This study investigates the expected impact online marketplaces could have on transforming traditional procurement practices. In this report, we discuss the opportunities and risks of online marketplaces and include a roadmap for adopting online marketplaces.

Metrics of the Future: Moving Supply Management Beyond Cost Reduction
Published September 2020 by CAPS Research
Researchers: Lisa M. Ellram, Larry C. Giunipero, Monique Murfield

As supply management (SM) continues to evolve and move beyond cost savings it becomes increasingly important to use metrics that are understood and supported by the organization. Researchers identified 14 areas of SM contribution that go beyond cost savings, along with the metrics being used to report these contributions. A six-stage maturity model and more than 20 case studies are included.

Procurement’s Role in Creating Extraordinary Internal Customer Experience, Service Delivery, and Business Performance
Published August 2020 by CAPS Research
Researchers: Ajith Kumar, Steven Miller, Michelle D. Steward

Supply Management professionals must create outstanding relationships with external suppliers while also serving internal users to maximize business value. This research investigates successful working relationships between procurement departments and their internal customers and how these relationships can be leveraged to improve business outcomes. In this report, researchers identify seven key themes and novel best practices.

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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CAPS relies on best-in-class organizations to participate in our unbiased, primary research. Are you willing to share your stories and experiences?