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Among the major contributions of the Supply Chain 2020 Project is a portfolio of methods generated at different points over the span of a decade. Each was designed to address a pressing question facing a firm’s supply chain from the strategic point of view, questions that range from how to diagnose today’s alignment to how to prepare for the effects of an unpredictable future.

The methodological toolkit derived from the Project is composed of eight different methods. Although research is still ongoing for some, all the methods are available today to Partners of CTL and other SCALE Centers. Given their modular nature, they can be applied separately as stand-alone exercises; yet since they share a common philosophy, they can also be applied as sequences for strategy development.

An overview of the eight methods in the SC2020 Toolkit, including a summary of each method’s objective, output and the length of engagement required, can be found in a file available for download below, along with some considerations regarding how firms may prepare to apply these methods to projects in their business units. An overall timeline, outlining time requirement from both participants and the facilitators, is also provided in the document.

Overview of Methods

In terms of the depth of effort required, the methods fall roughly into two categories: workshops run as a single 1-2 day long interaction, each, with light or no preparation on the firm’s side; and exercises conducted over 1-2 months, each, with multiple interactions, significant data collection, and a 8-12 hour requirement from each selected participant on the firm’s side.

In terms of planning horizon, the methods belong to two groups: four focus on the mid-term, whereas the other four focus on the long-term. Figure 1 below lists all eight methods from the SC2020 toolkit, arranged by horizon and depth.

Figure 1: The eight methods from the SC2020 toolkit

Although the workshops are useful as stand-alone sessions, the methods are most effective when working in tandem, as strategy development sequences. One such sequence, focused on development of a mid-term supply chain strategy, i.e. one with relevance for the next 2-5 years, is shown in the top part of Figure 2. A second sequence, geared towards developing a long-term supply chain strategy, i.e. one with relevance for the next 5-15 years, is shown in the bottom part of the same figure.

Figure 2: Sequences to develop a supply chain strategy

These sequences are also modular, and can be used independently. For example, a firm interested in conducting a diagnostics of their supply chain strategy alignment could benefit from applying the first three methods:

  • The Strategy Capture Exercise lays the foundation for the diagnostics, by revealing the current supply chain strategy in explicit terms;
  • the Strategy Evaluation Exercise conducts the diagnostics of the supply chain strategy alignment, based on a series of evaluation criteria; and
  • the Strategy Alignment Workshop generates concepts for the realignment of the supply chain strategy

Working summaries of all eight methods, including these three, are provided in the "A brief introduction to the SC2020 Methodological Toolkit", which can be downloaded here.