Sustainable Supply Chain Management: A Three Dimensional Framework and Performance Metric for Indian IT Product Companies

Sustainable Supply Chain Management: A Three Dimensional Framework and Performance Metric for Indian IT Product Companies

Naseem Abidi (Jaypee Business School, JIIT, Noida, India), Asit Bandyopadhayay (Jaypee Business School, JIIT, Noida, India) and Vishal Gupta (Institute of Management Studies, Ghaziabad, India)
DOI: 10.4018/IJISSCM.2017010103
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In the current business environment firms have started conceding pressure from the government, international agencies and not-for-profit organizations to make their business activities more responsible towards environment as well as society. Their supply chain management has also imbibed environmental and social concern to its reincarnation as Sustainable Supply Chain Management (SSCM). This paper with help of integrative literature review, experience survey and case study method, develops a three dimensional SSCM framework and its performance metric for Indian IT product industry. This framework suggests Supply Chain (SC) actors on X-axis, Management/Economic (M) on Y-axis and Sustainability (S) on Z-axis. The three levels of Y progresses from operational to tactical and then strategic, whereas Z axis levels are innovation, environment and social. The framework identifies sub-dimensions of sustainability and their connectivity with supply chain process. This research also identifies and proposes the Management and Sustainability performance metric for suggested framework. This framework will help IT product companies to (re)design their SC and develop performance measures on identified metrics.
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In the present global and dynamic business environment, survival and growth have become the major challenges for the organizations. Globalization, newer business models, technological advancements and interdependencies on business partners have further increased the complexity of the current businesses. Now the focus of doing business has shifted to integration and collaboration with a greater emphasis on managing their supply chains. Integration of business activities and collaboration with upstream and downstream partners has become an integral part of doing business. Businesses realized that integration and collaboration among the partners for efficient and economic utilization of resources leads to better performance. This realization led to the idea of Supply Chain Management (SCM). The term first appeared in print in 1982, and is attributed to Keith Oliver, a consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton (Ayers, 2006). Mentzer et al. (2001) extensively examined various definition of the terms “supply chain” and presented the following synthesized definition: “A supply chain (SC) is a set of three or more entities directly involved in the upstream and downstream flow of products, services, finances, and information from a source to the customer” (Mentzer, et al., 2001).

Organizations have realized that effective and efficient management of supply chains is essential for present and future survival of an organization (Olhager, Perssom, Parborg, & Rosén, 2002). The importance of supply chain management (SCM) has grown over a period of time and various planning models have been put into practice by organizations across the globe. In the present global scenario, performance of an organization is no longer determined by the decisions and actions that occur within a firm; rather it will depend on the decisions and actions taken in its entire supply chain (Naslund & Williamson, 2010). Therefore, SCM is viewed as managing product flows across multiple enterprises (Ballou, 2007).

At the end of the 20th century, SCM embraced the concern for environment. Following growing international and national concern, governments started framing rules for protection of environment from business activities. Consequently business firms started making their supply chains ‘greener’ by introducing innovative ideas in their organizations and also to their supply chain partners. Green Supply Chain Management (GrSCM) started addressing the issue of reverse logistics Kopicki, et al., (1993), Thierry, et al., (1995), Carter & Ellram, (1998), Beamon, (1999), Dowlatshahi, (2000), E-waste management, Dhanda & Peters, (2005), (Fortes, 2009). The issues of manufacturing environment friendly products, and ‘end of life’ management were addressed by Hervani, et al., (2005), Srivastava, (2007), Fortes, (2009), Zhu, et al., (2010), Gupta, et al., (2013).

In the early 21st century, global and national outlook moved towards human rights, safety and welfare of society at large. The concept of this inclusiveness was also adapted in the supply chain management by the researchers and named Sustainable Supply Chain Management (SSCM). The concept is rapidly being explored by the researchers, supply chain managers, and organizations to include the parameters of TBL of economic performance, environmental safety and social welfare (Elkington, 1998), (Carter & Rogers, 2008). A sustainable supply chain is a supply chain that is not only optimal for the focal firm, but is optimal relative to its environmental and societal impact (Carter & Rogers, 2008).

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