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SCM in Merseyside SMEs: benefits and barriers

Joanne Meehan (Faculty of Business and Law, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK)
Lindsey Muir (Faculty of Business and Law, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Article publication date: 25 April 2008

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present the results of a study of supply chain management (SCM) practice in small‐ to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) in Merseyside, UK.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire is used to identify the perceived benefits, barriers and attitudes towards SCM. The questionnaire was distributed to 250 SMEs in the Merseyside area. A total of 60 usable replies were received.

Findings

The results reveal the perceived benefits of SCM to SMEs, which centre on SCM as a means to improve customer responsiveness. It also reveals concerns over SMEs' ability to adapt to these new working relationships and therefore gain the desired benefits. Analysis of these barriers highlights that they reside at the individual, relational and organisational level, thus increasing the complexity of adapting to SCM.

Research limitations/implications

Given the focus of the paper, this only looked at SMEs in the Merseyside area.

Practical implications

The paper provides thoughts on how SMEs can improve SCM within their own organisations and supply chains. This includes the adoption of a multi‐faceted change management approach to facilitate the adoption of SCM. This needs to cover the individual, relational and organisational levels.

Originality/value

Much of the SCM literature is dominated by case studies of large manufacturing organisations. The focus on the barriers and benefits to SMEs in a regional area is thus an identified gap in the extant literature.

Keywords

Citation

Meehan, J. and Muir, L. (2008), "SCM in Merseyside SMEs: benefits and barriers", The TQM Journal, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp. 223-232. https://doi.org/10.1108/17542730810867245

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited