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International Journal of Production Research,

Vol. 43, No. 16, 15 August 2005, 32993302

Guest editorial

Current issues and emerging trends in supply chain management:


an editorial perspective
S. MEHRA*
The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 38119, USA

(Received February 2005)


Due to the ever-changing dynamics of todays global market place, it is necessary
to examine upcoming future trends that may impact businesses. Supply chains
are a valuable component of all business planning, and hence, they must be
continuously monitored. This paper reects on the views and contributions of
various authors writing on the crucial issue of managing supply chains.
Specically, topics such as relationship quality, performance, integration, responsiveness, risk management strategies, agility, and incentive systems in supply
chains are addressed.

Over the last fteen years, supply chain management (SCM) has taken a variety of
directions with diering outcomes. One of the well-known experts in the real world
wrote that SCM practices have not produced the desired results (Tompkins 2000).
Since then, many academic research papers have appeared in various outlets with
interesting ndings. From this perspective, came the motivation for pursuing a
special issue of the IJPR focusing solely on the emerging trends in supply chains,
and the editorial oces of IJPR were kind to take the lead in this direction.
In this special issue, we nd an interesting collection of papers addressing various
key concerns about the upcoming trends in the future of managing supply chains.
A summary of these papers follows next.
In their paper, Fynes et al. write about the impact of supply chain relationship
quality on supply chain performance. Based on their empirical study, the authors
claim that with business environments becoming more intensive it is imperative to
realise that stronger relationship quality is a must to achieve superior supply chain
performance. In another paper, Campbell and Sankaran discuss integration issues in
supply chains for small and medium size enterprises. The authors provide a framework to facilitate such an integration process for use and analysis by practitioners
and researchers alike.
The paper by Yee addresses responsiveness issues in supply chains. Specically,
using a simulation analysis in the automotive industry, the author analyses the

*Email: smehra@memphis.edu
International Journal of Production Research
ISSN 00207543 print/ISSN 1366588X online # 2005 Taylor & Francis Group Ltd
http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
DOI: 10.1080/00207540500095910

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S. Mehra

problem of changes in customer preferences requiring customization of products,


and how information sharing under such circumstances can assist in improving
supply chain performance. In another paper focusing on the Australian automotive
sector, Singh et al. analyse strategic issues for automotive industry supply chains.
Although specic to an individual market place, this paper brings out key SCM
issues, and proposes numerous hypotheses that must be researched by future studies
interested in the area of global supply chains.
Zsidisin et al. propose creating business continuity plans to manage risks in
supply chains that face unanticipated disruptions. Based on their case study research,
the authors present an institutional theory perspective of continuity plans for purchasing and supply management practices. The paper by Flynn and Flynn examines
the crucial relationship between quality management and supply chain management
practices. Based on an extensive empirical study, the authors conclude that there is a
strong relationship between quality management and supply management that
aects business performance.
Green and Inman, in their research report, propose the use of a JIT-selling
strategy to enhance supply chain linkages. Based upon an empirical study of manufacturers, the authors nd strong support for their proposition, which states that
the implementation of a JIT-selling strategy strengthens supply chain linkages, and
hence, leads to improved organizational performance.
In another paper, Dowlatshahi analyses various current practices in reverse
logistics and develops a framework for eective design and implementation of
remanufacturing operations. In this paper, the author addresses key components
of supply chains that aect relationship among various trading partners. In essence,
the paper suggests ways to improve supply chain performance in a remanufacturing
and/or a recycling environment.
In their paper on analysing incentive systems, Sirias and Mehra compare the
application of discount systems between trading partners for possible improvements
in supply chain performance. They conclude that properly aligned and clearly agreed
upon incentives can benet partners in a supply chain environment. The paper by
Shaw et al. discusses the supply chain agility issues for capital-intensive industries
and contributes to the understanding of agility concept in supply chains as related to
agile plant capabilities, thereby addressing the responsive aspects of supply chains.
An invited paper ends this special issue. Walkers paper on emerging trends in
supply chains shares with us interesting observations of a real world expert in the
SCM eld. Based upon his decades of experience in large corporations, Walker
presents a set of principles for supply chain networks, and provides insight into
the emerging trends for the area of supply chain architecture.
It is also interesting to note that the Harvard Business Review recently published
a series of six articles focusing on the topic of 21st century supply chains. They
appeared in the October, November, and December 2004 issues (listed in the
References section to this note). All these articles are quite informative, and they
have argued along many similar lines as presented by the various authors in this
IJPR issue.
As the guest editor, I wish to thank all participants in this issue. My special
appreciation goes to a large number of professionals who were kind enough to
serve as reviewers. Their names appear in the Appendix at the end of this note.

Current issues and emerging trends in supply chain management

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Also, it is sincerely hoped that this issue encourages further discussion on the topic of
SCM using the enormous list of literature and ndings in the papers presented here.

Appendix: List of reviewers


Emin Babakus, University of Memphis
Samir barman, University of Oklahoma
David Bennett, Aston University, UK
K. Roscoe Davis, University of Georgia
Shad Dowlatshahi, University of Kansan
Byron Finch, Miami University, Ohio
Jim Fitzsimmons, University of Texas, Austin
Barbara Flynn, Wake Forest University
Tim Fry, University of South Carolina
Soumen Ghosh, Georgia Institute of Technology
Jim Gilbert, Rollins College
A. Gunasekaran, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
Jim Hershauer, Arizona State University
Jay Heiser, Texas Lutheran University
Tony Inman, Louisiana Tech University
Vaidy Jayraman, University of Miami
Larry LaForge, Clemson University
Sang Lee, University of Nebraska
Manoj Malhotra, University of South Carolina
Bob Markland, University of South Carolina
Mike McGinnis, Penn State University, New Kensington
Jack Meredith, Wake Forest University
Ram Narasimhan, Michigan State University
Ernie Nichols, University of Memphis
Gary Ragatz, Michigan State University
Larry Ritzman, Boston College
Katrina Savitskie, University of Memphis
Roger Schroeder, University of Minnesota
Vickie Smith-Daniels, Arizona State University
Amrik Sohal, Monash University, Australia
Ted Stank, University of Tennessee
Dick Tersine, University of Oklahoma
Shawnee Vickery, Michigan State University
George Zsidisin, Michigan State University

References
Ferdows, K. and Lewis, M.A., et al., Rapid-re fulllment. Harvard Bus. Rev., 2004, 82(11),
104110.
Lambert, D.M. and Knemeyer, A.M., Were in this together. Harvard Bus. Rev., 2004, 82(12),
114122.

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S. Mehra

Lee, H.L., The triple-A supply chain. Harvard Bus. Rev., 2004, 82(10), 102112.
Liker, J.K. and Choi, T.Y., Building deep supplier relationships. Harvard Bus. Rev., 2004,
82(12), 104113.
Narayanan, V.G. and Raman, A., Aligning incentives in supply chains. Harvard Bus. Rev.,
2004, 82(11), 94102.
Slone, R.E., Leading a supply chain turnaround. Harvard Bus. Rev., 2004, 82(10), 114121.
James A. Tompkins, No Boundaries: Moving Beyond Supply Chain Management, 2000
(Tompkins Press: Raleigh, NC).