Papers

Innovative or Inconclusive? Evaluating New Supply Chain Ideas

This white paper gives a brief description of the initial research findings, and undertakes a basic assessment of three very different innovations that have the potential to reshape supply chains. By Ken Cottrill & Jim Rice

May 4, 2015

Even though supply chain innovation (SCI) is a key component of corporate competitiveness, there is no commonly accepted definition of the concept.

It is important to address this issue.

The pace at which new ideas are introduced has increased markedly over recent decades, and companies cannot afford to be behind the curve because they are unable to effectively evaluate the latest innovations.

The MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics (MIT CTL) has launched a research project to better understand SCI, and to help companies assess the potential of new ideas in terms of their supply chains.

The project has developed a working definition of SCI, and is creating a framework for evaluating these concepts.

In this white paper MIT CTL gives a brief description of the initial research findings, and undertakes a basic assessment of three very different innovations that have the potential to reshape supply chains: cloud computing, omni-channel retailing, and 3D printing.

Each one is reviewed according to the positive changes in cost, cash, and/or service that result from its introduction, as encapsulated in the working definition of SCI.


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