As global citizens we are very familiar with the uncertainties and disruptions which have become commonplace in a globalised world. With unprecedented increases in natural disasters, social upheaval, labour disputes, economic challenges, consumerisation and the rise of social media, the risks and uncertainties facing supply chains have given rise to the need for the development of appropriate response strategies. Such disruptions provide an excellent climate for firms to uncover new ways and innovations to better manage their supply chains.

Of course, innovation is a multi-dimensional, often sweeping term that can be used to describe doing something differently or more efficiently or better than we had previously done. Alternatively, we can examine innovation from the perspective of doing what others are not. Innovations often attract a significant risk premium, especially in these dynamic market conditions. Firms must account for this in the innovation process. But what is innovation in the context of supply chain management? And how can firms and their partners drive supply chain performance through innovation? These are two important questions to consider.

From a theoretical perspective, supply chain management links the activities of procurement, operations and logistics into a seamless function starting with the supplier’s supplier and ending with the customer’s customer.

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