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Defining supply chain management: a historical perspective and practical guidelines

Rhonda R. Lummus (Central Missouri State University, Warrensburg, Missouri, USA)
Robert J. Vokurka (Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Article publication date: 1 February 1999


Interest in supply chain management has steadily increased since the 1980s when firms saw the benefits of collaborative relationships within and beyond their own organization. Firms are finding that they can no longer compete effectively in isolation of their suppliers or other entities in the supply chain. A number of definitions of supply chain management have been proposed in the literature and in practice. This paper defines the concept of supply chain management and discusses its historical evolution. The term does not replace supplier partnerships, nor is it a description of the logistics function. The competitive importance of linking a firm’s supply chain strategy to its overall business strategy and some practical guidelines are offered for successful supply chain management.



Lummus, R.R. and Vokurka, R.J. (1999), "Defining supply chain management: a historical perspective and practical guidelines", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 99 No. 1, pp. 11-17.




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