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  Supply Chain Trends and Issues : Our Weekly Feature Article on Important Trends and Developments in Supply Chain Strategy, Research, Best Practices, Technology and Other Supply Chain and Logistics Issues  
  - April 1, 2008 -  

Supply Chain News: Supply Chain Measurement Framework can Help Practitioners Organize their Approach to Metrics


Metrics Differ in their Aim and Use; Is a Metric a Diagnostic Tool or Continuous Monitor?



SCDigest Editorial Staff

SCDigest Says:
The framework can enhance the ability of practitioners to visualize their measurement needs given a manager’s responsibilities and company objectives.

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Performance Management is one of the key supply chain Megatrends, with companies putting increasing focus and technology behind developing a range of scorecards and dashboards for themselves and trading partners.

A recent article in CSCMP’s Journal of Business Logistics caught our eye, presenting some additional research on a metrics framework that authors Stanley Griffis of the Air Force Institute of Technology, Thomas Goldsby of the University of Kentucky, Martha Cooper of The Ohio State University, and David Closs of Michigan State University first presented in 2004.

The basic thesis: that all metrics are not the same. They differ in their inherent focus and the type of measurement system that should be used.

The general model is illustrated in the graphic below. As can be seen, it encompasses three dimensions for each potential metric:

  • The Competitive Basis: The degree to which the metric is focused on efficiency or customer/organizational responsiveness.
  • The Measurement Focus: Is the metric more geared towards strategic or operational goals?
  • The Measurement Frequency: Is the metric designed to be a continuous, maybe even real-time performance monitor, or more occasional diagnostic?

(Supply Chain Trends and Issues Article - Continued Below)


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Although the research is focused largely on logistics-specific measures, the framework has general use across the supply chain.

For example, the framework can enhance the ability of practitioners to visualize their measurement needs given a manager’s responsibilities and company objectives. It can also be used to ensure that there is the right balance of metrics for a given function or role across these dimensions. Finally, it can help managers think through how the metric will really be used – in the very near term to react to performance almost as it occurs, or at the other end of the spectrum, a longer term metric that looks back across time to diagnose more overall performance.

Have you used this metrics framework or a similar one before? Are they useful? Do companies too often tend to treat all metrics as being about the same, when their use and attributes really differ among measurement needs and metrics? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback button below.

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April 2, 2008

What about mapping the SCOR model (Supply-Chain Operations Reference-model, used for instance by/with SAP SCM) against this framework?
Daniel Pelletier
Note from SCDigest Editor Dan Gilmore:
That is a very interesting idea. Anyone tried anything like that?
Dan Gilmore


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