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Management of service supply chains with a service‐oriented reference model: the case of management consulting

Mihalis Giannakis (Operations Management Group, Warwick Business School, The University of Warwick, Coventry, UK)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Article publication date: 9 August 2011




This paper aims to explore the utility of the manufacturing biased supply chain operations reference (SCOR) tool in services and develops a reference model for use in service organisations.


Services are considered as supply chain processes that are balanced around the capacity of the firm through the upstream sourcing processes. Empirical research is undertaken to model the design, creation and delivery processes of a management consultancy as a supply chain and to identify the potential application and benefits of the tool in a service context.


The developed model conceptualises the capacity of service firms as a resource inventory to build a service offering. This inventory‐capacity duality that describes a service firm's capabilities is applicable across a wide spectrum of the service sector. Six major processes for the design and management of service supply chains are identified: plan, source, develop, adapt, operate, and recover.

Research limitations/implications

The reference framework that is developed is a proposition of how management in service supply chains could be standardised. Recommendations for future work are outlined so that an expansive reference tool can be developed to bridge the gap in service supply chain benchmarking and optimisation.

Practical implications

The developed process reference model can improve the overall performance of service provision systems through synchronised and well‐coordinated integration of the different supporting services into supply chains.


The paper develops an original reference architecture for business services processes, which can be used to improve the overall performance of services design and delivery.



Giannakis, M. (2011), "Management of service supply chains with a service‐oriented reference model: the case of management consulting", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 16 No. 5, pp. 346-361.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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