Sample on Supply Chain Management

Introduction to Supply chain management

Supply chain management is regarded as the oversight of information, material and overall finance which moves from supplier to manufacturer of enterprise. It takes into consideration proper coordination along with integration of flow both within and among the companies. The main reason behind carrying out this study is to know the overall impact of sustainable supply chain management practices on market performance of company where Marks and Spencer has been chosen as one of the organization which operates in retail sector and well known in the market for range of products it offers to its target market (Christopher, Peck and Towill, 2006). One of the main objective of effective supply chain management system is to reduce inventory and it directly assist in efficient utilization of key resources of the firm. In the modern era every organization has adopted the process of managing supply chain so that overall productivity of the business can be enhanced easily. In short it allows business to carry out the production process in more effective manner and has positive impact on brand image also. One of the major difference between supply chain management and sustainable supply chain management is that supply chain is the flow of goods and services in and outside the organization whereas sustainable supply chain flow of good and services in such a manner that less harm is created to environment. This can be done by approaching the suppliers and consulting them to use more sustainable raw materials.

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Supply chain of any organization takes into consideration key intermediaries which are supplier, manufacturer, retailer, wholesaler, consumer etc. All these play significant role in the supply chain of enterprise. Further, ultimate objective of every business is to deliver products to its target market in short period of time so that customers may not have to wait for longer period of time. Therefore, adoption of supply chain management has become must for every business and through this business can easily deal with the range of challenges present in the business environment (Green Jr, McGaughey and Casey, 2006). Moreover, competition level in every market is rising at faster pace due to which corrective actions are taken by every enterprise so that commodity offered can reach to customer in short period of time. Supply chain management relies on three main goals which are to reduce inventory, to enhance the speed of supplying products and increasing the level of revenue by meeting customers demand in most efficient manner. Through this technique it is possible for business to easily meet with the changing need and requirement of target market in the modern era.

Impact of supply chain management on organizational productivity

As per view of Srivastava, (2010) supply chain management is regarded as one of the effective way for business in order to perform better in the competitive market. It allows business to respond towards the changing need and requirement of target market in efficient manner. Further, it is the one of the main objective of every business to perform efficiently in the market where ample of opportunities are present and this can be accomplished if higher efforts are applied by management in providing range of products to target market on time and in appropriate manner. In short technique of managing supply chain has positive impact on the productivity of business and it becomes easy for business to gain competitive advantage which is regarded as one of the main objective of business behind carrying out operations in the market. Further, it supports in maximizing value linked with target market and assist in accomplishment of desired aim along with objectives. However Kleindorfer, Singhal and Wassenhove, (2012) argued that management of every business has started to take initiative for effective management of supply chain and in short it has boosted performance of company in the market. Main motive behind adoption of this concept is to deliver proper products to target market as per their expectation level and this enhances overall satisfaction level of customers which is must for every business in the modern era.

Apart from this, when customers are offered products on time and as per their requirement and it leads to rise in level of brand loyalty where business can easily survive in the competitive market for longer period of time (Altay and Green III, 2014). Sector like retail is getting competitive day by day due to which every business has started to search for new ways through which it is possible to enhance productivity of the business in the market. In short competition is not present in between the company but it is among supply chain of business. Companies who are capable enough of managing supply chain are able to deliver products to their target market on time and this has supported in enhancing their satisfaction level. As per view of Vachon and Klassen, 2014 it is regarded as the key to build sustainable competitive advantage and has enhanced internal capability of the business to deliver products to customers on time and as per their actual requirement.

Benefits of managing supply chain to companies

According to Berkes, (2010) supply chain management provides large number of benefits to business. Securing access to the main raw materials, supplies and component is regarded as one of the main advantage of supply chain management as through this businesses can easily negotiate with its suppliers on long term basis and this also assist in saving overall cost. Further, supply chain management allows business to save cost of obtaining supplies and with the help of this procurement cost can be eliminated which is fruitful for business in every possible manner. Moreover, it is ultimate objective of every business to save overall cost which is only possible when entire supply chain is managed in appropriate manner and in turn it is beneficial for business in every possible manner. However Zu, Fredendall and Douglas, (2011) argued that quality is regarded as one of the main issue faced by business in the competitive market and to enhance quality level of products supply chain management practice is beneficial and through this it is ensured that quality standards adopted are as per expectation level of the target market. Rise in level of customer satisfaction is one of the main advantage of supply chain management practice where products are delivered to customers on time keeping in view overall expectations of target market and this leads to favorable outcomes for business in the competitive era. SCM allows companies especially those operating in retail sector to better adopt and meet demand of target market in most efficient manner. It assists in reducing the level of inventory and enhances inventory turns across the network which can reduce overall cost associated with the business.

Further, company like Marks and Spencer operating in retail sector has undertaken the concept of supply chain management through which business is able to build healthier relationship with its trading partners and time period required for delivering the products to target market directly reduces. Therefore, in this way practice of supply chain management enhances organizational performance and leads to accomplishment of major goals of the business (Auramo, Kauremaa and Tanskanen, 2013) No doubt benefits of supply chain management practices are present in large amount but it depends on every organization the ways adopted for management of supply chain and in case if its practices are ineffective then it can have adverse impact on business performance.

Link between supply chain management and organizational performance

Their exist direct relationship between organizational performance and supply chain management as when larger efforts are applied by company in managing its entire supply chain then it leads to improvement in overall performance and vice versa. As per view of Fawcett,  Magnan and McCarter, (2014) when firm is capable enough of delivering products to its target market on time then it enhances satisfaction level of customers. Moreover when customers are highly satisfied with the range of products offered to them then it supports in improvement of performance of company in the market. Further, large numbers of challenges are present in the market which business has to face and in case if supply chain is not managed properly then cost of delivering products to target market enhances which is not at all beneficial for the business. Further, rendering high quality services to the target market is one of the ultimate objectives of every enterprise and same can be accomplished through effective supply chain management practices and it supports business to become leader in the market (Fawcett, Magnan and McCarter, 2014). Traditionally supply chain management is regarded as logistics management but in real it is an important function in the development of effective SCM. Main processes in supply chain involves customer service management, timely order fulfillment, flow of manufacturing management, performance measurement etc.

Due to presence of effective SCM technique performance of business improves with regard to market and finance. As per view of Harland,  and et. al., (2015)  in financial terms performance of company enhances where management is able to earn higher revenue and market share also increases. Further, overall cost of delivering products reduces and this assists organization in enhancing profitability level which is regarded as one of the main aim of business behind carrying out operations in the competitive market.  Maintaining relationship with suppliers is necessary for every business as they are the key intermediaries with the help of which company can easily supply finished product to the target market in lesser period of time (Supply chain management. 2015). So supply chain management integrates all the key intermediaries present and through this needs of target market can be satisfied in efficient manner (Altay and Green III, 2014). Moreover, requirement of target market changes time to time and if supply chain of firm is properly managed then it is possible to deliver superior quality product to the customer as per their needs. However Berkes, (2010) argued that short term objective of SCM is to enhance productivity of the business and reduce inventory time which is also profitable for the business. Sometime, it is possible that business may not be able to utilize all the available resources in appropriate manner and due to this reason significance of SCM practices is gaining important day by day and it acts as development tool for the organization (Fawcett, Magnan and McCarter, 2014). Further, long term objective takes into consideration rise in profitability level along with market share of the company in the market. In this way, practice of supply chain management is fruitful for the business and each and every objective set by business can be easily accomplished if proper chain is managed by the company (Hervani, Helms and Sarkis, 2005).

Apart from this, it becomes easy for business enterprise to dominate market if proper coordination is present in between suppliers, manufacturer, retailer, wholesaler etc who are important part in the supply chain management practice of business. In short firm can easily gain competitive advantage and can retain its valuable customers for longer period of time. As per view of Harland and et. al., (2015) SCM practice does not influences organizational performance but also affects competitive advantage also. It enhances performance in the form of price, cost, quality, delivering products to target market etc for instance with the help of strategic supplier partnership it is possible for business enterprise to enhance supplier performance and the time period required in delivering the finished goods to the target market can be reduced easily and it is favorable for the organization. Therefore, in this way it can be said that practices of supply chain management are highly effective and have favorable impact on business performance along with productivity (Vachon, and Klassen, 2014).

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Aim and objective

The main aim behind carrying out this study will be “To assess the impact of sustainable supply chain management on market performance of enterprise: A study on Marks and Spencer”. For accomplishing the aim of the study following objectives will be developed which are:

  • To identify the impact of supply chain management on organizational productivity  
  • To assess the key benefits of managing supply chain to organization
  • To determine the link between supply chain management and market performance of enterprise
  • To recommend the effective ways through which Marks and Spencer can better manage its supply chain

Research questions

Following will be the research questions for the study which are:

  • What is the impact of supply chain management on organizational productivity?  
  • What are the main benefits of managing supply chain to firm?
  • What is the link between supply chain management and market performance of firm?

Research design

It is regarded as one of the most important part of the research which supports in knowing the nature of the study. Further, selection of every methodological tool is required for the research and it supports in accomplishment of overall aims along with objectives. Different types of research designs are present which involves case study, exploratory, descriptive, experimental etc (Saunders, 2003). For conducting the present study descriptive design will be adopted where main stress is on providing description of the topic being selected for the research. Through adoption of this design it will become possible to know impact of sustainable supply chain management practice on market performance of Marks and Spencer. In short adoption of this design will support in accomplishing aim of the study and is appropriate for the entire research.

Further, research inductive approach will be used which will be the most suitable and appropriate approach as per the nature of this study where results move from specific to general. Entire research will be carried out from point view of Marks and Spencer and on the basis of outcomes recommendations will be provided to entire retail industry. This will be one of the main reason behind selection of inductive approach for the present research.

Interpretivism as a philosophy will be employed where results will be interpreted and through this it will become possible to know how effective is supply chain management practices of Marks and Spencer in enhancing its overall performance in the market. On the other hand main reason behind rejection of positivism philosophy is that it is suitable for quantitative researchers whereas interpretivism research philosophy are more appropriate for qualitative studies (Sekaran, 2006). Through interpretivism philosophy it will be possible to accomplish overall aim of the study in effective manner and can enhance validity of the study in every possible manner.

Moreover, sample size of 10 managers working in Marks and Spencer will be undertaken who are responsible for managing supply chain within the workplace. By obtaining response from them it is possible to accomplish overall aim along with objective of the research. Further, technique of purposive sampling will be employed for obtaining information from the respondents and this will help in obtaining expected results which is beneficial for the entire study. Therefore, this will be the range of techniques which will be adopted for conducting the entire study and it will enhance research reliability.

Data collection and analysis

Data collection can be termed as the process in which a scholar determines various sources from which he can gather relevant information regarding the topic of the study. Further one has to be very careful in determining the sources as the success of researcher somewhat relies on the quality and the kind of data collected. Other than this primary and secondary are the two major sources from which a researcher can gather information (Sreedharan., 2007). Primary data is the one which has been collected for the first time and has not been used by anyone else in the past. On the other hand, secondary data is the one which is already gathered by someone else and has been used earlier. In the present study, both the sources of data collection will be taken into consideration. For collection of primary information 10 managers of Marks and Spencer will be selected on the basis of which appropriate information will be acquired which will be beneficial for research. Further a well structured questionnaire will be used to collect the information from primary sources. On the other hand for collection of secondary information various books, journals and online will be referred which are associated with the topic and this will support in attaining the aim of the study. The secondary data will be collected in context of what kind of impact does sustainable supply chain practises have on the performance of an organization. In aspects of this, data regarding organization performance before the use and after the use of sustainable supply chain practises will be taken into consideration.

Further, for data analysis two techniques are present namely qualitative and quantitative. In the present study qualitative technique will be employed where data will be analyzed by forming different themes and this will represent overall response provided by the respondents from whom information will be acquired. Moreover, quantitative technique will not be adopted where statistical tools are adopted for analyzing information as in present research data is present in non numeric form and it is not possible to employ quantitative technique.

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Every scholar needs to identify and allocate various resources which will be required to carry out a study in effective manner. The benefit of this is that it helps a researcher to carry out his study very easily and obtain most accurate and desired findings. In the present study there will be some human, financial and technical resources required. The role of human resources will be to collected data from various primary and secondary sources. Further they will also assist in arrangement of the information in order to get desired results (Walden, 2006). On the other hand, financial resources will be required in data collection and interpretation. At the time of gathering information from primary sources, the scholar will be required to invest some time and money. Other than this, in order to evaluate the data collected from various sources technical resources will be also required. Such resources will help in eliminating the chances of mistake and errors during the time of data analysis.


In the present research some of the major limitations will be related to time and cost. Data will be collected from managers working in Marks and Spencer and it may be possible that they will not have proper time to provide important information. Apart from this approaching different type of individuals will enhance overall cost of the study which will also act as limitation for study.

Ethical issue

In carrying out any kind of research, every scholar is required to take care of its ethical aspects (Sekaran, 2006). One of the main advantage of taking ethical issues into consideration is that it increases the validity of the study. In the present study it can be stated that all the ethical aspects will be taken into consideration. Prior permission will be taken from managers of Marks and Spencer.Ethical issue


  • Berkes, F., 2009. Evolution of co-management: Role of knowledge generation, bridging organizations and social learning. Journal of environmental management.
  • Zu, X. Fredendall, L. D. and Douglas, T. J., 2008. The evolving theory of quality management: the role of Six Sigma. Journal of operations Management.
  • Auramo, J. Kauremaa, J. and Tanskanen, K., 2005. Benefits of IT in supply chain management: an explorative study of progressive companies. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management.
  • Fawcett, S. E. Magnan, G. M. and McCarter, M. W., 2008. Benefits, barriers, and bridges to effective supply chain management. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal.
  • Harland, C. and et. al., 2005. Outsourcing: assessing the risks and benefits for organisations, sectors and nations. International Journal of Operations & Production Management.
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