Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs): Is it a Myth?


Article Preview

Adoption of SCM innovations by SMEs is a key critical issue addressed by this study. The study used an explorative study in measuring to which extent Tanzanian SMEs adopt SCM practices and whether there is a trend towards increased adoption of these practices over time. In doing so, test propositions on the differences between manufacturing firms, and between medium-sized and small enterprises were done. Furthermore, the motives of SMEs to engage in SCM innovations and perceived management challenges are explored. From analysis of our findings, we conclude that, SMEs still lag behind larger firms in utilizing the benefits of SCM practices. SMEs still face obstacles like knowledge, financial resources, technology and the like. Lack of trust between small firms has been identified as a major non-financial obstacle to information sharing and integration with other suppliers in the chain.



Edited by:

Qi Luo




M. K. Tumaini and Q. Zheng, "Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs): Is it a Myth?", Applied Mechanics and Materials, Vols. 58-60, pp. 2613-2620, 2011

Online since:

June 2011




[1] Cooper, M. C., Lambert, D. M., Pagh, J. D: Supply Chain Management: More than a New Name for Logistics, in: The International Journal of Logistics Management, 8(1): 1-13. (2007).


[2] Quayle, M.: A study of supply chain management practices in UK industrial SMEs, Supply Chain Management: an International Journal, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp.79-86(2003).


[3] Todd, P.R., and Rajshekhar, G. J: Internationalization of SMEs in India. Fostering entrepreneurship by leveraging information technology. International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. 2 No. 2. pp.166-180(2007).


[4] Wagner, B.A., Fills, I. and Johansson, U: E-business and e-supply in small and medium sized businesses", Supply Chain Management. An International Journal of Management, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp.343-354(2003).


[5] Chen H., Themistocleous M., Chiu K: Approaches to Supply Chain Integration followed by SMS: An Exploratory Case Study. New York. International Journal of Production Economics, No87, pp.333-347(2004).

[6] Arend, R.J. and Wisner, J. D: Small business and supply chain management: is there a fit? Journal of Business Venturing, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp.403-36(2005).


[7] Thakkar, J., Kanda, A. and Deshmukh, S. G: Supply Chain Management in SMEs: development of contrasts and propositions. Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and logistics, vol. 20 No. 1pp. 97-131(2008).


[8] Lee H. L: Creating Value through Supply Chain Integration. Supply Chain Management Role of Top Management, " Journal of Business Logistics, Vol. 15, no. 1(2001).

[9] Lambert, D. M: Supply Chain Management: Processes, Partnerships, Performance. 3rd edition, McGraw Hill Press. (2008).

[10] Craft, N: Process integration in the supply chain". BMP think tank, Volvo IT business process innovation research, 37(8), and 112 (2006).

[11] Chopra, S., and Meindl P: Supply Chain Management: Strategy, planning, and Operation. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. Prentice-Hall, Inc. pp.33-37 (2001).


[12] Wisner, J., Keong Leong, G., and Keah-Choon Tan: Principles of Supply Chain Management. A Balanced Approach". Beijing; Thomson (2006).