Future of supply chain planning: Closing the gaps between practice and promise
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2016

The purpose is to develop a research agenda for supply chain planning (SCP) relevant to practice. We critically evaluate academic literature on SCP in order to understand how problems are addressed in their particular context, what the outcomes are, and the mechanisms producing the observed outcomes. Four categories of SCP are studied: sales and operations planning (S&OP), supply chain master planning, supply chain materials management, and collaborative materials management. We introduce the concept of enabling mechanisms to identify specific innovations in materials management and production management that can facilitate the future improvement of SCP. The critical evaluation of current SCP theory presents very limited results that are of practical relevance. SCP is not presented as an intervention and the results are not in a form that is actionable for practitioners. The body of literature is almost absent in addressing problems according to context, it presents limited evidence of intended outcomes, and it fails to identify unintended outcomes. As a consequence, research is unable to bolster theoretical understandings of how outcomes – both intended and unintended – are achieved. In our forward-looking research agenda we leverage our understanding of the enabling mechanisms in order to propose research to make mature S&OP and novel types of SCP implementable. The paper is an example of a structured approach to developing a research agenda that is relevant to practice and can be used more widely in logistics and supply chain management. This paper presents a research agenda to close the gap between practice and promise in SCP. We operationalize what constitutes practical relevance for an established field of research.

supply chain materials management

sales and operations planning

collaborative materials management

design science

supply chain master planning

Supply chain planning


Patrik Jonsson

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Supply and Operations Management

Jan Holmström

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Supply and Operations Management


International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management

0960-0035 (ISSN)

Vol. 46 1 62-81





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