© Tetiana Zaiets

Companies now seem to have a significantly enlarged toolkit to assess and improve their supply chain alignment.

This week the Chicago-based Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) unveiled a revised, digital version of its Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) model, which describes business activities associated with satisfying customer demand.

According to the association, SCOR is “the only comprehensive, universally accepted and open-access supply chain standard”, which has been used by over 5,000 public and private organisations around the world.

The SCOR model, developed in 1996, has undergone far-reaching modifications, said ASCM, and expanded to include categories like resilience and sustainability, plus new metrics and benchmarks.

“It’s critical for us to provide supply chain professionals with the most up-to-date competencies to further their skillsets so they can thrive. This new update to SCOR offers a more comprehensive industry standard that empowers organisations to utilise and ensure their supply chains reach their full potential,” said ASCM CEO Abe Eshkenazi.

The overhaul started four years ago, with ASCM working on a digital version of the 1,000-page SCOR manual in collaboration with Deloitte. The main work on the update occurred over the past 12 months involving a core team of 75 experts and feedback from some 500 academics, SCOR users and technology providers.

The biggest change is a fundamental shift from what was a linear model, placing a company between suppliers and customers on either side, with an asynchronous supply network that focuses on market drivers, visibility, and collaboration.

“It is really about supply networks where things often happen simultaneously. We had to shift from linear thinking to a more asynchronous model,” said Peter Bolstorff, ASCM’s EVP corporate development.

The six major processes of the model (plan, enable, source, make, deliver and return) have been expanded and redefined.

‘Orchestrate’ has been added to reflect “the importance of strategy, business rules, technology and human resources that provide an overarching direction to build a more efficient supply chain and cover aspects like sustainability, circularity and collaboration”.

‘Make’ has been changed to ‘Transform’ to broaden its applicability to services, and ‘Deliver’ is now split into ‘Order’ and ‘Fulfil’ to reflect the complexities of e-commerce and omnichannel strategies.

And elements like warehousing and transport planning have been formalised, and performance metrics and practices have been reviewed and revised to give organisations new ways to measure and improve their supply chains.

Companies that want to adopt the new SCOR model (officially referenced as SCOR-DS for ‘Digital Standard’) can access it directly online at no charge.

“You can’t have a standard without adoption,” said Mr Bolstorff.

ASCM offers a three-hour course that teaches the basics of SCOR, as well as SCOR training workshops. In addition, the organisation runs a transformation learning programme that coaches participants how they can use SCOR in a systematic way to improve their supply chain.

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