Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Business and Management.

Publication Details

Published: in Global Supply Chains: Developing Skills, Capabilities and Networks, Proceedings of the 12th Annual Conference of the Logistics Research Network, Hull, pp. 247-253, September 2007


The changing business environment has sharpened the focus on the need for robust approaches to supply chain management (SCM). This is particularly the case for Ireland which has a natural disadvantage of a location peripheral to significant markets and sources of raw material which result in higher transport costs. Therefore, in order to gain unique insights of current levels of awareness / diffusion of SCM and the potential impact SCM could have on the competitiveness, a survey was conducted among 776 firms in the Republic of Ireland. The empirical results suggest that there is a need for more widespread adoption of supply chain management among Irish firms. Many firms in Ireland pay lip service to the importance of SCM elements and objectives but the majority of firms, about two thirds, have only a passing understanding of what constitutes SCM. Only 25% adopt SCM programmes and only 9% of Irish companies have a specialised SCM or logistics manager. Also worrying is the belief by many firms that commonly accepted elements of supply chain management have nothing to do with SCM. The results suggest that SCM integration has still a lot of potential in particular for Irish-owned small and medium sized enterprises to enhance their competitiveness. While there are supply chain management adopters in Ireland that are already well up the s-curve of innovation transfer, it is with the larger group of less aware companies that must become better at how they manage their supply chains.