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CAPS Research studies are completely bias-free, disciplined, and executable.

Led by notable professors in the supply management space from top universities worldwide in collaboration with supply management executives, reports are designed to give you a head start on the topics that shape the profession.

CAPS research reports

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Sign up for our newsletter or subscribe to our YouTube channel for 3-minute preview videos. Each report consists of the full study, a brief with report highlights, and illustrative examples and use cases. Our newest research reports are available to members immediately upon release with login. Non-members with an account in the CAPS Library may access research published more than 4 years ago.

Future Supply Management Talent: Looking Ahead 10 Years
Published December 2019 by CAPS Research
Researchers: Jennifer D. Nahrgang, Bruce Gilmore, and Joan Brett

The role of supply management professionals is evolving and changing. As we look ahead to the future, what skills, abilities, and expertise will future professionals need to succeed in the supply management field? What emerging labor models should you consider to leverage the workforce? How can you create an effective talent management lifecycle to source, develop, retain, and transition your team? These are just some of the questions explored in the research report Future Supply Management Talent: Looking Ahead Ten Years. Included in the report are 6 key focus areas for supply management leaders as well as a talent management lifecycle model.

CAPS Research members: Register for an account or login to access all reports in the CAPS Library now.

CAPS Research members: Register for an account or login to access all reports in the CAPS Library now.

Developing Supplier Ecosystems to Create Value
Published November 2019 by CAPS Research
Researcher: Frank Wiengarten, PhD

In a traditional supply chain model, companies rely on their internal capabilities and their tier-one suppliers’ capabilities when developing new products and solutions. Supplier ecosystems are an emerging alternative model for innovation, offering benefits that traditional processes don’t provide. Here, we outline the benefits and a process for initiating supplier ecosystems. 

Emerging Technologies in Supply Management
Published June 2019 by CAPS Research
Researchers: John V. Gray, Ph.D., Andrea M. Prud’homme, Ph.D.

New transformative and potentially disruptive technologies promise large companies faster, cheaper, and more effective procurement and supply management processes. We identified 11 keys emerging technologies and analyzed their potential benefits, effectiveness, and opportunities for practical application with actionable recommendations on whether, when, and how to implement new solutions.

Measuring and Managing Risks in the Supply Chain
Published April 2019 by CAPS Research
Researchers: Tobias Schoenherr, Ph.D., Carlos Mena, Eng.D., Thomas Choi, Ph.D.

Risk management is often under the charge of supply management groups, but responsibility can and should be shared by suppliers and internal partners. Risk measurement allows supply management practitioners to anticipate, react to, prioritize, and effectively manage risk, from dealing with significant events to establishing best practices of risk avoidance in every-day operations. Measuring and Managing Risks in the Supply Chain offers a taxonomy of key risks to consider and best practices for measuring different categories of risk.

Counterfeiting in the Supply Chain: Identification, Containment & Prevention by Adopting a Multi-Pronged Approach
Published March 2019 by CAPS Research
Researchers: Robert B. Handfield, Ph.D., Anand Nair, Ph.D.

The problem of counterfeiting in the supply chain continues to plague companies in every industry. In order to combat counterfeiting, a multilayered strategy that adopts multiple approaches and engages the entire organization is needed. This research investigates counterfeiting’s global growth and provides detailed recommendations to address the issue. It delves into strategies ranging from tracking technologies to working with government agencies in an effort to stem the growing challenge of counterfeiting throughout the supply chain.

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. We'll investigate current practices, organizational structures, and enabling technologies that enable supply management to more closely integrate with demand management.

Exploring Category Management: Across Different Business and Organizational Settings
Researchers: Janet Hartley and Thomas Choi
Many organizations are adopting category management, yet a systematic knowledge is limited.  This research will explore category management processes and practices used across different settings—manufacturing vs. service; direct vs. indirect purchases; and centralized vs. center-led vs. decentralized procurement.  We will examine how categories are identified, how category strategies are developed, roles and responsibilities of category managers, and how category management affects relationships with internal stakeholders as well as suppliers. 

Online Marketplaces and Procurement
Researchers: Raghu Santanam and Brett Duarte
Do external online marketplaces such as Amazon and Alibaba affect how we operate in procurement? Originally consumer-focused, they are now are poised to disrupt B2B business. Their impact will range from changes in organization structure to how we develop category strategies. This report traces the evolution of online marketplaces, with examples of how companies engage with them, and provide future vision and roadmaps. It will consider the role of procurement platforms like Coupa and BuyerQuest and propose how procurement may co-evolve into future with these technologies and online marketplaces.

Metrics of the Future: Moving Supply Management Beyond Cost Reduction
Researchers: Lisa Ellram, Larry Giunipero, and Monique Murfield
Supply management (SM) is evolving beyond cost reduction and cost avoidance toward value creation. Value creation measures can include company-level business outcomes such as revenue generation, working capital and cash flow, innovation, risk mitigation, and supply continuity. So how do we get the SM organization focused on metrics for business alignment and which metrics would effectively measure value creation? This report translates impactful business outcomes to procurement metrics and back-translates procurement metrics to business outcomes. It also delineate how different companies along the maturity curve can move toward value creation.

Digital Connectivity and Data Protection in Supply Management
Researchers: Brett Massimino and John Gray
Data flows are more pervasive than ever and extend through our supply networks, making it increasingly important to ensure we can protect our supply chains. What role does supply management play and how can we minimize data risk in the supply chain? Large companies set up firewalls to protect their data and expect suppliers to do the same, but this is not always the case. This report discusses methods for assessing suppliers, the ins-and-outs of building cybersecurity measures into contracts, the role of major compliance initiatives such as GDPR, and protecting data flows through supplier tiers.

CAPS research reports are practitioner-focused, practically-applicable, and relevant to the evolving supply management landscape. We leverage our powerful network of supply management executives at leading companies worldwide and the expertise and discipline of notable supply management academics from top institutions.

Our researchers' higher education institutions: 
  • Arizona State University
  • Colorado State University
  • ESADE Business School (Spain)
  • Miami University
  • Michigan State University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Northeastern University
  • Ohio State University
  • Portland State University
  • Rutgers The State University of New Jersey
  • Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) (Switzerland)
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Houston
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of North Texas
  • University of Tennessee
  • Wake Forest University
  • Wayne State University

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