Digital supply chain: a literature review
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There is no common ground on what a Digital Supply Chain (DSC) really is, what technologies are associated to it, the extension of these technologies’ application into the chain, or the value created (Buyukozkan & Gocer, 2018). The research was guided by the following questions: 1) What is the most appropriate definition for DSC? 2) What technologies have been used at each stage of supply chain management and what is the value created for the companies that adopt them? A Systematic Literature Review was conducted focusing on three highest ratings of ABS Guide 2018, in the fields of Operations and Technology Management, Information Management, and General Management, Ethics, Gender, and Social Responsibility. Using a combination of keywords related to supply chain and digital* (OR smart OR intelligent), a list of 134 papers were identified in the Web of Science database. The first aim of our analysis was to define DSC. To expand the discussion, we adopted the process known as snowball to incorporate the definitions cited in the paper of Büyüközkan and Göcer (2018). A concept of "Digital Supply Chain" with a chain management perspective and not of technology was proposed. Thus, the present study defines "Digital Supply Chain" as: "a supply chain that uses digital platforms, digital technologies and data analytics, connected in intra/interorganizational systems, to promote integration, collaboration and synchronization and increase efficiency, service level, visibility, sustainability and resilience, resulting in consistent value creation in the chain and for the end customer." Furthermore, the analysis showed three important dimensions: the unit of analysis, technology, and values. The first dimension, unit of analysis, allowed us to identify that the studies apply the concept of DSC in a restricted way, within a company, or in a wide way, in the supply chain. The application of broad form occurs in the dyads and the chain, involving multiple partners. There is also a variety of digital technologies for collecting, transmitting, and analyzing data applied in different processes of the supply chain. The proposed framework suggests an evolutionary stage to be adopted by organizations. Nevertheless, companies do not necessarily need to go through all stages. The stage at which the entire chain becomes digital consists of a high degree of maturity, where all processes and all organizations would be connected by these technologies. This study proposes an integrative definition for a digital supply chain and also allowed to identify the most cited digital technologies in each area SCM and the gains by function within the chain.
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