Sustainability and Growth through the Implementation of Novel Cutting-Edge Supply Chain Practices into a Traditiona

 Sustainability and Growth through the Implementation of Novel Cutting-Edge Supply Chain Practices into a Traditional

Craft-Based Industry


Traditional craft-based industries are organizations that mainly deals with goods and services that are handmade by individuals skilled in a certain field (Prany, 2014). They range from handmade textiles to art galleries to culinary products and even beverages. Many times craft industry entrepreneurs work independently and are not franchised. This makes their supply chains peculiar and unique due to the distinct nature of production and distribution of the wares and services. A supply chain is characterized as the incorporated management of the progression of data, materials, and services from the providers of raw materials through to the manufacturing plants, warehouses, and retailers, and the end buyers (Russo and Confente, 2017). The supply chain incorporates all the exercises engaged with conveying a finished item from raw materials and conveying it to the client. Supply chain management includes exercises like customer care and support, planning and demand forecasting, stock management, warehousing, buying, and procurement, request preparation, material handling transportation, facilities site determination, logistics correspondence, return product handling, and reverse logistics (Kennerley & Neely, 2013). These practices have been handled traditionally in the past and have performed excellently. However, with new trends in all aspects of life, traditional ways of doing things are being outcompeted and faded out by innovations. These have been experienced even in the supply chains, and industries using traditional technologies are being outcompeted and forced to venture into the new dimensions. The craft industry is not an exception in these changes, and there has been intense pressure to move with the trends. Many supply chains stretch out over wide topographical zones and are vulnerable to numerous global risks. Customers are all the more demanding as far as item customization, evaluating, and the degree of administration. Items intricacy is additionally expanding because of fast changes in technology and the continuous introduction of new items in the market. (Werner, 2014). This paper intends to examine various novel cutting-edge supply chain practices, their sustainability when implemented in traditional craft-based industry, and the growth potential they hold for the industries. Through a review of literature, this paper aims at explaining how novel, cutting-edge supply chain practices plays a great role in helping a firm to attain growth and sustainability (Russo & Confente, 2017). Thus the research questions that the paper aims to answer are: How technology and green initiative strategy have proven to be a significant enabler for sustainable growth of supply chains? How product customization, pricing, and the service level has been enabled by the novel cutting-edges practices?

The proposal continues to address the overview of the existing literature; it also outlines the methodologies used for the research followed by the expected results and the potential study limitation.

  1. Literature review

2.1 Understanding the meaning of Supply Chain

The idea of the development of the supply chain owes much to the emergence from the 1950s, as stated in the system theory. According to Simpson & Hancock (2018), the observation of the behavior of the complex system is not understood completely by the analysis of the parts that are considered to be constituent (Werner, 2014). Based on the study of Werner (2014), the supply chain is considered to be made of different network entities through which there is a flow of materials. The entities include carriers, suppliers, and sites of manufacturing, distribution centers, customers, and retailers (Mentzer, 2011). The management of the supply chain integrates and coordinates all the practices into a seamless process. The main goal of the supply chains is to provide long-term sustainability superior performances. To effectively manage the supply chain company needs to have a new focus and ways of practicing things, as indicated by Werner (2014).  The supply chain meaning is utilized in various manners however the three dominant discussions a supply chain that is identified with a specific item, the supply chain point of view of an individual firm,  and the supply chain that is utilized as an equivalent word for buying, circulation and the management of materials (Tan, 2012). The Global Supply Chain Forum characterizes the management of the supply chain as the joining of the primary organization’s forms from the end clients through the main providers who offer services, items, and data that increase the value of the clients and the partners in the organization. According to Prany (2014), traditional craft-based industries are industries that produce handmade goods and services by artisans and those skilled in the specific product field. To obtain sustainability and growth, the craft-based industries must be ready to adopt the novel cutting-edge supply chain practices (Simpson & Hancock, 2018). These practices will include non-traditional logistic practices like buying, production support, packing, and processing customer orders (Marco, 2015). Adopting a novel cutting-edge supply chain activities will enable the business to integrate into the market, thus leading to the satisfaction of the customers, creation of value, exceptional returns, and the long-run competitive advantages (Hove-Sibanda & Pooe, 2018).

2.2 Novel cutting-edge supply chain practices

According to Marco (2015), a sustainable supply chain always have the significant practices that shape and define how the practices take place, which shows if the traditional based practices are applied or the novel cutting-edge supply chain practices. One of the main practice is identifying the functional products; these are the staples which individuals purchase in a huge range of retail shops like the grocery stores (Tan, 2012) . Since such products can meet the customer’s wants, which tends not to vary over time, they are considered to have predictable demand and long life cycles. Another activity includes the establishment of a stable supply process; an organization must have a stable manufacturing process and an underlying technology that helps in establishing the supply chain base. Another practice is risk-hedging the supply chain; this involves the formation of supply-chains that uses strategies that aim at pooling the different resources, which allows the sharing of the risks in the organization (Werner, 2014). Developing of the agile supply chain is another practice that helps in the sustainability and growth of supply chains. The supply chains are considered to be agile since they usually contain the ability to being responsive to the changing demands of the customers (Wu & Blackhurst, 2019).

2.3 Research gaps

The literature on the novel cutting-edges is scarce, and thus the research aims at defining how Integrating novel cutting-edge supply chain practices can be integrated into a traditional craft-based industry.  Organizations are usually called to come up with practices and execute plans that will assist in integrating the integration of the organizational supply chains (Wu & Blackhurst, 2019). Effective cutting-edge supply chain practices must make sure that all the activities along the chain are conducted effectively and timely to meet the quality needed and the demands of the customers. The integrated supply chains must have high visibility where the major supply patterns can connect in all crucial parts of the supply chain to obtain real-time inventory levels. A major research gap that has not been addressed is how technology has proven to be an essential enabler for the sustainable growth of supply chains (Lambert & Cooper, 2015). The novel practices must be able to promote effective integrated technologies within the supply chains. Modern technologies enable the establishment of a whole level of collaboration, better operations, and efficiency. The research aims at explaining how investing in and managing the supply chain technologies integration will help in integrating the novel cutting edge supply practices.  The literature review also does not have more information on how product customization, pricing, and the level of service has been enabled by the novel cutting-edges practices. This calls for more research to be done in this area, and thus it shows the main focus of the study. Adopting green initiatives and collaborative strategic sourcing is considered to lead to sustainability and growth in the supply chain; thus, the study will focus more on addressing the idea of the green initiative. As most organizations are focusing on growth and sustainability, the more they realize that their greatest challenges and also the opportunities lie outside their organizations and manufacturing plants. The research aims at finding the best practices that organizations must focus on to work towards the greening of the supply chains to achieve sustainability and growth.

  1. Methodology and data

Research strategy

A research strategy is considered to be a process of actions that gives direction to the researcher’s efforts and actions, allowing them to conduct the study in an organized way and be able to schedule the quality results and be able to provide detailed reporting (Lai & Cheng, 2013). In this study, the best appropriate research strategy is the qualitative approach because there are no measurable variables. Qualitative research usually obtains data through the use of open-ended and conversational communication (Lambert et al., 2011). The reason why I chose the qualitative method is that I have a target audience concerning my chosen topic. The method also helps in providing insight into the problem and helps in developing ideas of hypothesis for the research.

Research design and methods

A design is considered as a plan that is applied in generating answers to different research questions (Hove-Sibanda & Pooe, 2018). A research design is considered to be the arrangement of the conditions that are needed collection and analysis of data in a way that aims to combine the importance to the purpose of the research. This research aimed at establishing the relationship between the implementation of novel cutting-edge supply chain practices and how it helps in the sustainability and growth of organizations. The study addressed the challenges that were faced in the adoption of the novel cutting-edge supply chain practices in the company, a case study of the Verizon Communications Company in the United States. In this research, a case study design was applied where the samples were drawn from the senior managers of the company and all the dealers of the products and services authorized by the company.

Context and cases

Verizon Communications Company was applied as the case in this research. Verizon is considered to be one of the largest communication technology company all over the world (Kennerley & Neely, 2013). The company is a reliable wireless network and the national premier fiber networks and also delivers an integrated solution to different businesses worldwide. The company allows the helps the consumers to be able to stay entertained and informed, communicate instantly, and creating different ways for partners to be able to connect. The reason as to why I chose this company as a case is because it is a global leader in delivering innovative communication and technology solutions for over 150 locations. Thus it utilizes different supply chain strategies to ensure that it reaches all its customers. The company uses different supply chain practices, and thus it was a good case to use to show how novel-cutting edge practices help an organization to attain growth and sustainability. A total of 5 supply chain practices were chosen from the company to identify how effective they are in the organization. The various members in the organization were questioned about the effectiveness of the practices and gave different responses on the scale of 1-5. Where the initials represent the following 1-poor, 2-fair, 3-good, 4-very good, 5-excellent. Their responses helped in understanding the importance of implementing the novel cutting-edge supply chain practices in the organization.


The information applied was collected from primary data and secondary data, which mainly focused on qualitative data (Ho et al., 2012). Primary data is considered as the information which is gathered through first-hand or original research, which secondary data is considered to be the data that has been collected by someone else in the past (Heap, 2017). The primary data was collected through an interview of the senior manager, which helped to gather detailed data on the novel cutting-edge supply chain practices being applied in the company (Flynn & Flynn, 2015). A semi-structured questionnaire was likewise applied using a drop and pick later to the vendors picked in the phase of sampling. A semi-structured questionnaire survey is considered as a kind of interview whereby an individual is asked a specific arrangement of predefined inquiries. Optional information was assembled from sites, Newspapers, books, and the money related reports of the organization.

Data analysis

The main tool that was used for the analysis is the content analysis. Content analysis is a research tool that is applied in determining the presence of different concepts in some given qualitative data (Cooper et al., 2017). Through the use of content analysis, the researcher can quantify and analyze the meaning and relationship that exist between different concepts.  Other tools that were applied include descriptive statistics, cross-tabulation procedures, and percentages. This was appropriate considering that the case study involved the study of the Verizon Communications Company. The data that was analyzed sought to establish the extent of the impact of novel cutting-edge supply chain activities on the overall company performance. The analyzed data also sought to identify if the company has attained the goals of sustainability and growth through the application of the novel cutting-edge supply chain practices (Eltantawy, 2011). The data also aimed at matching the novel cutting-edge supply chain practices to the company’s operations by establishing that the organization can identify the functional practices and risk hedge its supply chains. The information aimed at establishing if the organization has been able to develop agile supply chains continuously evolve the chains and has been able to create innovative products that help the company to attain growth and sustainability (AGUS, 2011).

  1. Conclusion

Expected Contributions

To managers

The study gives the supervisors important data on how they can execute the cutting edge practices to accomplish a competitive edge in the market. The finding will likewise help them in distinguishing the supply chain procedures, which are basic and will encourage the sustainability and development of their firms. Through the research, the managers will be able to develop an effective organizational structure that will accommodate all the cutting edge practices, which will help the organization to grow and also obtain sustainability. Through the novel-cutting edge practices that will be implemented in the organization, the managers will be able to work together will the stakeholders and the employees towards a common goal. Through the implementation of the novel cutting edge supply chain practices, the managers can reduce production costs, storage costs, and also transportation costs which will help the organization to achieve more profit.

To academicians

To the researchers, it is expected that the investigation will shape a base for the advancement of the supply chain management methodologies for the organizations which focus more on novel cutting-edge supply chains. Through the research, I had the option to acquire more information on the accepted procedures in the supply chain, which I can apply in their future occupation. In the wake of recognizing these practices, they helped me to comprehend the effective measures that ought to be incorporated to guarantee that the association can obtain growth and sustainability. Having the information will help me later on in situations where I will be expected to build up effective supply chains that will help the association in accomplishing growth and sustainability. Also, through the research, I learned how to use different research methodologies and analysis, which I will be able to apply in any other future research.


The paper basically centered around interviewing the senior directors of the company and the other supply chain patterns of the association. The respondents are occupied experts, and in this way, it was hard in persuading them to participate in the questionnaires that were administered. Some were not keen on partaking in the study. Another limitation is that the company lacked the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), which is a significant part of the supply chain in any firm. It thus can it impossible to gather the primary information for the analysis, and thus the information for the OEM was collected from the secondary sources.


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Cooper, M. C., Lambert, D. M., & Pagh, J. D. (2017). Supply chain management: More than a new name for logistics. The International Journal of Logistics Management8(1), 1-14.

Eltantawy, R. (2011). Supply management governance role in supply chain risk management and sustainability. Supply Chain Management – New Perspectives

Flynn *, B. B., & Flynn, E. J. (2015). Synergies between supply chain management and quality management: Emerging implications. International Journal of Production Research43(16), 3421-3436.

Guide, V. D., Teunter, R. H., & Van Wassenhove, L. N. (2013). Matching demand and supply to maximize profits from Remanufacturing. Manufacturing & Service Operations Management5(4), 303-316.

Heap, J. (2017). Supply chain management: Strategy, planning, and operation (3rd edition)20071Sunil Chopra and Peter Meindl. Supply chain management: Strategy, planning, and operation (3rd edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice‐hall 2006. 536 pp., ISBN: 0131730428 RRP £38.99. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management56(4), 369-369.

Ho, D. C., Au, K. F., & Newton, E. (2012). Empirical research on supply chain management: A critical review and recommendations. International Journal of Production Research40(17), 4415-4430.

Hove-Sibanda, P., & Pooe, R. D. (2018). Enhancing supply chain performance through supply chain practices. Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management12

Kennerley, M., & Neely, A. (2013). Measuring performance in a changing business environment. International Journal of Operations & Production Management23(2), 213-229.

Lai, K., & Cheng, T. C. (2013). Supply chain performance in transport logistics: An assessment by service providers. International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications6(3), 151-164.

Lambert, D. M., Cooper, M. C., & Pagh, J. D. (2011). Supply chain management: Implementation issues and research opportunities. The International Journal of Logistics Management9(2), 1-20.

Lambert, D. M., & Cooper, M. C. (2015). Issues in supply chain management. Industrial Marketing Management29(1), 65-83.

Marco, T. D. (2015). Supply chain metrics: Measuring up to high standards. Supply Chain Management Best Practices, 27-39.

Mentzer, J. T., DeWitt, W., Min, S., Nix, N. W., & Smith, C. D. (2011). Defining supply chain management. Journal of Business Logistics22(2), 1-25.

Morana, J. T. (2019). International Conference on logistics and supply chain management. 2019 International Colloquium on Logistics and Supply Chain Management (LOGISTICA)

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