Coordination and responsiveness issues in SME supply chains: a review

Ravinder Kumar (Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering, Amity University, Noida, India)
Rajesh Kumar Singh (Department of Operation Management, Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, India)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Publication date: 3 April 2017



Globalization and liberalization of the world economy have leveled the field for all competitors across the globe. To face global competition successfully, SMEs have to break their isolation in the value chain. To overcome the dynamic challenges of the market, supply chain management can be an important tool for SMEs. The purpose of this paper is to synthesize different issues related to the coordination and responsiveness of supply chain management in SMEs, through a review of the literature.


In all, 116 research papers, mainly from referred international journals, are reviewed to identify the thrust areas of research. On the basis of the review, gaps are identified and a research agenda is proposed.


It is observed from the review that SMEs have not been very proactive in implementing supply chain management. These organizations face a lot of problems in coordinating their operations with other members of the supply chain. They are localized in functioning. On export fronts SMEs face many constraints due to lack of resources and poor innovative capabilities. To face the challenges of open global market, SMEs have to manage their problems and supply chain risks effectively. Research gaps are identified in different areas of the supply chain such as coordination and responsiveness issues, service quality issues, and performance benchmarking for future directions of research.


This paper explores the major areas for research on coordination and responsiveness of SME supply chains. The findings of the paper will be highly useful for the researchers to decide the direction of their research.



Kumar, R. and Kumar Singh, R. (2017), "Coordination and responsiveness issues in SME supply chains: a review", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 635-650.

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