Supply chain "mega-trends": current status and future trends

Edward Sweeney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The supply chain management (SCM) concept has become embedded in the thinking of many organisations in recent years. Originally introduced by management consultants in the early 1980s, SCM has a strong focus on integration of processes across functions within firms, as well as between the organisations that comprise the wider extended enterprise. There is a significant body of research to support the notion that the consistent delivery of value to customers is predicated on higher levels of intra-firm and inter-firm integration. Putting the supply chain integration (SCI) concept into practice is critically dependent on the ability of firms to manage material, money and information flows in a holistic manner. It also depends on the way in which relationships between key supply chain actors are managed. This article explores the “mega-trends” that are evident across most sectors and which have a potentially significant impact on the ability of organisations to put SCM theory into practice. The late Don Bowersox and his colleagues from Michigan State University introduced the idea of supply chain “mega-trends” over a decade ago in their widely cited article in the Journal of Business Logistics (Bowersox et al., 2000). This article explores the current status of these “mega-trends” in an Irish context based on research being undertaken at the National Institute for Transport and Logistics (NITL). It also identifies some key factors that are likely to impact upon progress in these key areas in the medium term.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-34
Number of pages4
VolumeSpring 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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