Comprehensive studies to enlighten practitioner strategy
CAPS Research dives into the big issues that are shaping the field. We release both in-depth information and high-level pointers to empower busy supply management practitioners. Our goals are to move from operational to strategic supply management, improve performance, and reduce risk. Projects are led by top academics in the field in collaboration with supply management executives, applying rigor and disciplined research methods that inform and advance the function.
Our research studies are announced on our website and through our social media outlets and newsletter. Please be sure to add yourself to our list and follow us online to learn about our latest research releases. Each research project has three products for your convenience:
- Brief: a three- to five-page synopsis that highlights key points of the report and its findings, designed for busy supply management executives.
- Full study: the full research report includes all the components, case studies, and researcher information, for those who want to delve into the methodology and findings.
- Video: a teaser of each project, giving an overview in 3 minutes, posted to YouTube.
The newest research reports are available to members immediately upon release. Non-members with an account in Knowledge Central (http://knowledge.capsresearch.org) may access research three years after release.
Emerging Technologies and Use Cases in Supply Management
Researchers: John Gray and Andrea Prud’homme
How will emerging technologies improve procurement decision making and business results? We are surrounded by potentially disruptive technologies such as blockchain, IoT, cloud computing and big data analytics, autonomous vehicles, AI and machine learning, RPA, etc. This research will articulate how they can improve visibility into spend patterns and affect purchasing work flow, risk identification, task automation, RFX, and contracting. It will offer real use cases from multiple companies with different sizes and from different industries. The use cases will demonstrate how companies first identified the application of the technology and where they then adapted it for their own needs.
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. More broadly, we intend to investigate current practices, organizational structures, and enabling technologies that enable supply management to more closely integrate with demand management.
Currency and Procurement: Mitigating Risk and Reducing Total Cost
Researcher: Theodore Farris
Foreign exchange management, one of the best opportunities for supply cost reduction, is a hidden risk which could dramatically impact your final negotiated price. Consider a buyer-supplier relationship between a Canadian firm and a U.S. firm. The variation in the Canadian Dollar to US Dollar between January 17 and May 1 in 2016 was 16.4% – a variation with big implications for both trading partners. Properly informed purchasing professionals can manage currency exchange fluctuation to protect their firms and trading partners.
Future Procurement Talent: Looking Ahead Ten Years
Researchers: Jennifer Nahrgang and Bruce Gilmore
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.
Data Analytics Teams and Procurement – Who and What
Researchers: Benjamin Shao and Robert St. Louis
The goal of this project is to consider the formation of a new data analytics team, and how procurement can participate and take advantage of what it can offer. Questions that need to be addressed include the team’s scope and core mission, its composition, the necessary expertise and capabilities, the ways the team integrates and works together with procurement, and the organizational systems needed to enable these teams to interact effectively. The findings of this project can help CPOs plan for long-term data analytics strategy, and help their organizations become an integral part of the company-level data analytics team.
Procurement Analytics – Enabling Data Architectures in the Age of Big Data
Researchers: Raghu Santanam and Michael Goul
The goal of this project is to develop a maturity index of procurement data strategy. Questions that need to be addressed include the ways companies organize their procurement data structures, the data sources and data requirements needed at each maturity level, the functional capabilities and processes necessary to move from a lower to a higher maturity level, the value proposition of moving from a lower to a higher maturity level, and what the future entails for already mature companies. The findings from this project can help CPOs identify where their companies are on the maturity index, benchmark with other companies within and across industries, and understand the potential data, processes, and capabilities needed to move their companies to higher maturity levels of procurement data strategy.
Creating a Resilient Supply Chain to Combat Counterfeiting Activities: Identification, Containment, and Preventive Approaches
Researchers: Anand Nair and Robert Handfield
Counterfeiting represents a significant loss of revenue as well as a major threat to a company’s brand and quality reputation. Despite the magnitude of the problem, few executives have definitive strategies for dealing with this issue. An understanding of these supply side issues can present implications for the supply management function. This project will produce guidelines for the CPOs on how to work with other business functions and suppliers to identify, mitigate, and prevent the on-going threat of counterfeit products in the supply chain.
Physician Preference Items Management: Challenges, Opportunities, and Strategies
Researchers: Gilbert Nyaga and Eugene Schneller
Hospitals are increasingly facing financial pressures due to rising supplies costs. Of the total spend, a significant percentage, approximately 60%, is expenditure on physician preference items (PPI). These are items for which physicians have very strong preferences and therefore play a key role in their acquisitions. Among factors contributing to PPI challenge is the nature of relations between physicians and hospital management. For example, in surgical procedures involving implant devices, physicians wield significant influence on the type of devices to be used in patient treatment. The goal of this project is to study challenges and opportunities involved in procuring PPI’s and strategies that can be adopted to effectively manage PPI’s. The notion of PPI purchasing is also observed in other sectors where professionals (e.g., engineers, accountants, marketing teams, etc.) get involved in purchasing decisions or have significant influence on items to be purchased.
Measuring and Managing Risks in Supply Chains
Researchers: Tobias Schoenherr and Thomas Choi
This project intends to identify supply risks and ways to measure and manage them. Risks to be considered include those associated with suppliers, technology, infrastructures, natural disasters, finances, reputation, industry consolidations and customers that are becoming more discerning and unpredictable. The project will identify data sources and tools to measure, mitigate, and monitor such risks, and how these can be communicated to stakeholders.
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