Adoption of Supply Chain Management Enabling Technologies: Comparing Small, Medium and Larger Organizations

Damien Power
University of Melbourne, Australia

This paper aims to extend understanding of adoption drivers and outcomes for supply chain management enabling technologies. In order to achieve this data has been collected from two surveys within the Australian Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector two years apart. The focus of this study is to understand how adoption differs for large, medium and small organizations within this sector. Although use of these technologies has been previously researched in FMCG supply chains, few of these studies have focused on why organization size appears to moderate adoption, particularly for Internet based technologies. This study also aims to broaden the analysis to include smaller firms that make up the majority of players in this group, and for whom reduced costs of access and use should provide incentives to adopt. The evidence indicates that although the adoption and use of supply chain management enabling technologies is more attractive to large and medium sized organizations, these same organizations appear to be inherently more susceptible to common impediments to extended adoption. At the same time, however, small organizations do not appear to be as encumbered by outdated processes and cultural inertia yet they do not adopt these technologies readily. There is also evidence found indicating that SME’s should not be treated as a homogeneous group, and that there are significant differences recorded between small and medium sized firms traditionally defined as being SME’s.

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