Ivanova, Ivelina (2004) Supply chain management tools and methods. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

In today's business environment, manufacturers need to manage their enterprises as an
inseparable part of a supply chain. Key to achieving this is the creation of an extended
and integrated information system.
In an attempt to find out what needs to be done to improve current supply chain
methods and tools, the current research project 1) reviewed the literature to establish
current approaches to Supply Chain Management (SCM); 2) identified what tools and
methods are available; 3) categorised the current approaches to supply chain
management and established a current practice SCM model; 4) identified the
requirements for improved SCM; 5) produced an outline requirements specification for
improved SCM.
The research has made a number of contributions to knowledge. A literature survey on
the subject of what SCM involves and what a SCM system is was carried out and was
followed by the conclusions that existing software systems have not been classified and
tested against the criteria of a true SCM system. A survey of existing SCM software
solutions provided data for an analysis of what typical SCM applications include and
concluded that a comprehensive SCM solution currently does not exist. That
conclusion was verified by a survey based on SCM expert interviews. Three case
studies were carried out that looked into different parts of the supply chain and
demonstrated the significance of advanced SCM functionality for each one of them.
The case studies also involved the design and implementation of a supply chain
mapping tool and a supplier relationship management tool. Finally, a conceptual
specification of an improved SCM system was developed.
The research will be of interest to practitioners in the area of SCM that are looking for
ideas to improve SCM procedures and namely, are looking into implementing or
developing an already existing software system for SCM. It also suggests ideas for
further research, which may be of interest to research students who are interested in the
area of SCM.

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