What is Supply Chain Maturity Model?

This article will show you supply chain maturity models that you can use to determine where you are and what you should do to improve operations management in the supply chain.

The concept of the maturity model was firstly introduced by Watts Humphrey of Carnegie Mellon University in 1987 with the goal to improve the performance of the software development process. Since then, the maturity model has been adopted by many disciplines. This article will present to you 5 types of maturity models as follows,

Process Maturity Model

There are so many supply chain maturity models produced by consulting or independent research firms. Anyway, the most widely cited maturity model is the work named "The development of a supply chain management process maturity model using the concepts of business process orientation" by McCormack and Lockamy III in 2004.

Process Maturity Model

In order to use the maturity model, you have to check which statement illustrates your current situation. After that, set your own target to a higher level. Then you can determine the "gap" between your existing level and desired level and then change business practices to close the gap.

As you may notice, the supply chain maturity model is like "KPI" but it's expressed qualitatively and you have to use it strategically.

Procurement Maturity Model

There are lots and lots of procurement professionals who can't really break away from the "buy the cheapest things" mindset. There are so many things that we can do to strategically help the company to create value. Handfield and Straight provided a very useful maturity model for procurement function as below,

Procurement Maturity Model

This maturity model is so useful in the way that each description is actually a best practice that you can implement.

NPD Maturity Model

The modern supply chain strategy goes far beyond "cost reduction" or "customer service improvement". Many supply chain professionals take part in revenue-generating projects such as New Product Development "NPD".

NPD Maturity Model

Even though the NPD initiative is often viewed as a marketing thing, in reality, every company relies on innovation from its suppliers, and supply chain professionals are an important part of it. So we can actually lead an NPD process and this maturity model will be useful to create a good NPD strategy. Please note that the market studies can also mean "supply market" so supply-side information is also useful.

Lean Maturity Model

Every supply chain needs a certain degree of lean capabilities. But, if you're not in the automotive industry where lean manufacturing practices including six sigma quality control are widely adopted, how you can develop a lean roadmap within your organization?

Lean Maturity Model

The Lean Maturity Model is the work of the Lean Aerospace Initiative at MIT. It provides you with a broad overview of lean implementation. What you need to do is to determine which lean practices can be applied in your industry and how you can achieve a higher level of adoption.

S&OP Maturity Model

The last maturity model today is the work of Larry Lapide of MIT. S&OP has been widely implemented since its inception in the 1980s, but many companies still choose to incorporate some of S&OP practices into a generic production meeting.

S&OP Maturity Model

From my experience, the S&OP process is very difficult to get it done right because there is no "one size fits all" solution across every industry. S&OP experts in the retail industry can be naive in certain types of heavy industries. From where I stand, this S&OP maturity model is the only reliable, unbiased diagnostic model that you can use.

There is no silver bullet solution for supply chain problems. Each technique produces different results. This article has demonstrated the usefulness of simple techniques like the supply chain maturity model and I hope you can incorporate this tool to diagnose your supply chain operations.

- Humphrey, W. S. (1988). Characterizing the software process: a maturity framework. IEEE software, 5(2), 73-79.

- Lockamy III, A., & McCormack, K. (2004). The development of a supply chain management process maturity model using the concepts of business process orientation. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 9(4), 272-278.

- Nightingale, D. J., & Mize, J. H. (2002). Development of a lean enterprise transformation maturity model. Information Knowledge Systems Management, 3(1), 15-30.

- Kahn, K. B., Barczak, G., & Moss, R. (2006). Perspective: establishing an NPD best practices framework. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 23(2), 106-116.

- Handfield, R. B., & Straight, S. L. (2004). How mature is your supply chain? The SCRD capability maturity model. In 89th Annual International Supply Management Conference (pp. 1-6).

- Lapide, L. (2005). Sales and operations planning Part III: a diagnostic model. The Journal of Business Forecasting, 24(1).

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Last review and update: July 5, 2022
About the Author and Editor:
Ben Benjabutr is the author and editor of Supply Chain Opz. He holds an M.Sc. in Logistics Management with 10+ years of experience. You can contact him via e-mail or Twitter.