Supply chain integration: an international comparison of maturity


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the uptake of supply chain integration (SCI) principles internationally and the resultant integration maturity. Design/methodology/approach – A rigorous supply chain diagnostics methodology called the Quick Scan is used to assess the integration maturity of 72 value streams located in New Zealand, Thailand and the UK. Findings – The majority of the organisations studied are struggling to turn the SCI concept into reality. Supply chains on average are poorly integrated. However, there exist a handful of exemplar cases that provide guidance; levels of integration maturity appear not to differ internationally. Research limitations/implications – Only three nations are compared, hence the sample is not fully representative of all countries and industries. There is a significant gap between supply chain rhetoric and practice; clear guidance on how to enable effective integration is required. National settings do not appear to affect the extent of application of supply chain management concepts.Practical implications – SCI is a very difficult undertaking. Indifferent practice is the norm. If organisations can attain even the middle ground of internal integration they will outperform many of their competitors. Originality/value – The paper presents an international benchmark of SCI maturity involving three triangulated measures of supply chain performance.

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, 23 (4), 531–552