Executive Briefings

What's the Best Definition of Supply Chain Innovation?

For many companies supply chain innovation (SCI) is a key source of competitive advantage. Yet there is no clear, commonly accepted definition of the concept; one company's SCI is another company's process improvement.

The lack of clarity is more than an academic issue. In today's fast-paced business environment, misjudging a new idea may result is a missed opportunity or wasting resources on an innovation that is years away from fruition. Witness the flawed vision of radio frequency identification technology that persuaded many companies to heavily invest in systems prematurely.

MIT CTL has launched a research project to better understand SCI. Initial results of the research will be presented at MIT CTL's Crossroads Conference this June, where leading companies will discuss innovations such as cloud computing and additive manufacturing.

The research shows that in most cases SCI is confused with - or at least informed by - the idea of product innovation. Yet there are important differences between the two.

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Keywords: innovation in supply chain, supply chain management, value chain innovation, new product development

The lack of clarity is more than an academic issue. In today's fast-paced business environment, misjudging a new idea may result is a missed opportunity or wasting resources on an innovation that is years away from fruition. Witness the flawed vision of radio frequency identification technology that persuaded many companies to heavily invest in systems prematurely.

MIT CTL has launched a research project to better understand SCI. Initial results of the research will be presented at MIT CTL's Crossroads Conference this June, where leading companies will discuss innovations such as cloud computing and additive manufacturing.

The research shows that in most cases SCI is confused with - or at least informed by - the idea of product innovation. Yet there are important differences between the two.

Read Full Article


Keywords: innovation in supply chain, supply chain management, value chain innovation, new product development