The Impact of Supply Chain Management Practices on Performance: An Australian Survey

1. Introduction

This study was aimed to examine the following: to what extent do Australian companies implement SCM management practices? How does SCM practice contribute to the organizational performance?

2. Review of Relevant Literature
Chen & Paulraj contend that the concept of supply chain has been originated from many different field including the revolution of quality management, the material and integrated logistics management, and industrial networks. Therefore the term supply chain is interchangeable with many terms such as supply network, logistics channel, demand pipeline , logistics networks , value adding chain , and many others. Mentzer et al. define supply chain as “ a set of three or more entities (organizations or individuals) directly involved in the upstream and downstream flows of products, services, finances, and/or information from a source to a customer”. They further identify three type of supply chain based on the degree of complexity: a direct supply chain, an extended supply chain, and an ultimate supply chain. A direct supply chain consists only of a focal firm, its supplier and its customer. An extended supply chain

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also involves supplier’s suppliers and customers’ customers. An ultimate supply chain includes all organizations that are involved in all flows of products, services, finance, and information from the ultimate suppliers to the ultimate customers. Ayers further adds that the supply chain also include all activities related to the back flow of product from customers back up to the chain in the form of product return, reuse, and recycling. The above definition suggests that every single company depends on other business to deliver its products or services to its customers. Mentzer et al. argues that supply chains – as phenomenon of business – exist in every businesses. Any organization can be a member of more than one supply chain and their position in each supply chain can also vary. In one supply chain, a company can be a components supplier but in other supply chain this company can be an assembly manufacturer. Given this complexity of supply chains that a company can be involved, Lambert et al. suggest that companies should evaluate which business partners are critical to the company interest, and give different degree of integration based on the criticality to the business. Literature shows a number of definition of SCM with different emphasise. Handfield and Nichols define SCM as the integration of all activities that involve in the flow and transformation of goods from raw material to the end user by improving supply chain relationship in order to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. Cooper et al. define SCM as “the integration of key business processes from end user through original suppliers that provide products, service, and information that add value for customer and other stake holder” . This definition clearly confirms that SCM goes far beyond logistics management. SCM involves not only logistics activities, but all

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business processes from original supplier to the end customers including customer relationship management, customer service management, demand management, order fulfilment, manufacturing flow management, procurement, product development and commercialization and returns. Menzter et al. go even further in which they

explicitly describe that SCM is a strategic coordination amongst business processes within a particular company and the supply chain. The above definitions suggest several points. First SCM views a supply chain as a single entity, it requires cross functional integration between within an organization and across companies within the supply chain. Second, SCM aims to improve the performance of individual company as well as that of the whole supply chain. SCM does not allow company to achieve improvement at the expense of other companies. It emphasises that companies should compete on the basis of the whole supply chain, competing against other supply chains. Third, company should build and maintain the following management practices: integrated behaviours, mutually sharing of information, mutually sharing of risks and rewards, cooperation, the same goal and the same focus on serving customers, integration of processes, and building and maintaining long-term relationships. Previous studies reported that the effective implementation of SCM contribute to organizational performance. Tan et al. empirically found that customer relations and purchasing practices impact the effectiveness of SCM strategy and lead to financial and market performance. Stank et al. in their empirical study on food industry found that inter-firms coordination is significant explanatory factor for three performance outcomes: decreased inventory levels, decreased order cycle time, and decreased order cycle variance. They also found that inter-firms coordination is essential to

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improve companies’ ability in understanding customer needs and increase customer satisfaction. However, they did not find a significant relationship between inter-firms coordination and cost performance. Frohlich & Westbrook studied the impact of suppliers and customers integration to company’s performance. They identified five different integration strategies: inwardfacing, periphery-facing, supplier-facing, customer-facing, and outward facing. These strategies represent the different degree of integration with suppliers and customers. They found that companies with broader supply chain integration showed the largest performance improvement. Vickery et al did a survey on the first-tier automotive suppliers in North America to examine the effect of supply chain integration to customer service and financial performance. They found that the relationship between supply chain integration with financial performance was indirect and fully mediated by customer service performance. Recently, Li et al study the impact of SCM practices on organizational performance and competitive advantage. The authors found that SCM practices are multidimensional concept, cover upstream and downstream supply chain as well as internal supply chain. The empirical study showed significant impact of SCM practices to organizational performance and competitive advantage.

3. Research Constructs
This section describes the constructs that are used to measure SCM practices. The extant literature shows many different perspectives of SCM practices. Tan et al. view SCM practices as a degree of firms’ involvement in areas related to supply base management, supplier development, and customer-supplier integration. Tan et al. also

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identify the following aspects of SCM: supply chain integration, information sharing, supply chain characteristics, customers service management, geographical proximity, and JIT capability. Chen and Paulraj measure SCM practices using: supply network structure, supplier base reduction, long-term relationship, communication, crossfunctional teams and supplier involvement, and logistics integration. Li et al. identify five dimensions of SCM practices such as strategic supplier partnership, customer relationship, level of information sharing, quality of information sharing, and postponement. Those various perspectives suggest a multi-dimensionality of SCM that covers set of activities and processes from upstream and downstream as well as firm’s internal operations. This is inline with Ballou et al that conceptualise SCM as three

dimensions: intra-functional coordination, inter-functional coordination, and interorganizational coordination. This research uses five aspects of SCM practices that were developed from authors’ previous research and literature. These five SCM practices are supplier and customer relationship, information sharing, internal operation, information technology, and training. The rest of this section provides the detail explanation of these practices.

3.1 Supplier and Customer Relationship
SCM suggests that firms need to integrate with their suppliers and customers to achieve financial and growth objectives . Stank et al. reveal that industry leaders increasingly build competencies to integrate with suppliers and customers and find that these competencies lead them to supply chain excellence. Supplier involvement in product development allows firms to better use supplier capabilities and technology to deliver competitive products . Coordinating operational activities through joint

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planning with suppliers also results in inventory reduction, smoothing production, improve product quality, and lead time reductions . Lee argues that integration with suppliers throughout the product life cycle is an effective strategy in reducing supply uncertainty. The ultimate objective of supply chain management is to deliver products in the satisfaction of end customers. Customer relevancy will increasingly become the key strategic commitment of leading corporation . Today’s customers require better service, higher quality, faster delivery and more range of products . Close customer relationship allows companies to be more responsive in fulfilling customers demand and improve customer satisfaction by proactively seeking customer needs and requirements. The ability to build close customer relationship will bring companies into a lasting competitive edge .

3.2 Internal Operations
In addition to upstream and downstream integration, SCM also emphasises the similar importance role of the effectiveness and efficiency of firm’s internal operations on performance . Company’s internal operations are the basis foundation before embarking into external integrations. Poor internal operations will only create failure in coordinating with external partners. In this research, internal operation refers to all activities related to production systems and internal logistic flows. SCM requires a flexibility of production system in order to respond to market change. This requires manufacturing system that can perform rapid changeover to accommodate changes in order pattern as well as mass customization . Power and Sohal find that technology utilisation, continuous

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improvement and computer-based automation in manufacturing are some of the characteristics of agile organisations. In studying quick response program, Perry and Sohal reveal that order automation and factory automation are some key enablers to realize the benefits of quick response program.

3.3 Information Sharing
Information sharing is an important aspect in achieving seamless integration in a supply chain . Cross functional integration and inter organizational integration require the visibility of information across the supply chain. Poor information sharing between partners in a supply chain will result in poor coordination that will lead to many serious problems such as high inventory levels, inaccurate forecast, low utilization, and high production costs . Indeed, information sharing is highly considered as the way to reduce demand uncertainty .

Many studies have also reported that information sharing can bring many benefits both for suppliers and buyers, such as inventory reduction, and reduced manufacturing costs . The empirical findings from Narasimhan and Nair reveal that information sharing can increase the operational synergy amongst supply chain partners.

The type of shared information can vary from strategic to operational information and from consumer and market information to logistics information . The impact of information sharing on SCM depends on what information is shared, the quality on shared information, and companies’ capability in using and translating the information into their supply chain strategy and operational activities .

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3.4 Information Technology
The effective use of information technology (IT) provides companies with a competitive advantage . In SCM, IT is highly regarded as major enabler on achieving effective SCM. As a supply chain spans many organizations in delivering products to customers both upstream and downstream and many functional areas within a company, the implementation of IT allows companies to increase communication and coordination of various value adding activities with their partners as well as between functions within their companies operations . In addition, advance development of the Internet technology offers significant opportunities for cost reduction, increasing flexibility, increasing response time, and improving customer services . The extant literature shows the role of IT as enabler in effective SCM. William et al. find IT as strong predictor for logistics integration. Other studies warn that the benefit of IT in SCM does not come from the capabilities of IT itself, instead the significant benefits come from the combination of its application with corporate strategy and the nature of relationship between companies. Sanders and Premus empirically find IT provides significant contribution to organizations performance and competitive advantage when it is well linked with firms’ competitive priorities. Through case study research, Chae et al. find that the impact of IT in supply chain collaboration depends on the existing nature of relationship between partners. IT will improve the collaboration and coordination between supply chain members in the environment where trust and long-term commitment between partners exist.

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3.5 Training
The major concept of SCM is collaboration and seamless integration between various value adding activities within individual companies and across different organization along a supply chain. Bringing this concept into practice requires significant changes in corporate culture as well as new level of human performance. Successful implementation of SCM concept largely depends on human assets of organizations . Past behaviour such as functional silo thinking will of course impede the effectiveness of SCM. Therefore, Gattorna asserts managing supply chain actually involves the interaction between human behaviour, information technology, and infrastructure. Effective SCM requires managers to have an understanding of supply chain dynamic and an ability to use information based tools. Lee and Whang contend that

information visibility through out a supply chain will not bring significant impact if companies do not have capabilities to utilize the information in effective way. Therefore, companies need to consider the skills requirements and education when integrating their value-adding activities with their partners . Effective training and knowledge based learning is essential in developing and maintaining these new SCM skills. However, there is no previous study that includes training as a part of SCM practices and tests its relationship with performance.

4. Survey Methodology
Based on the constructs described above, a questionnaire was designed to collect information on how Australian manufacturing companies implement those practices. Set of questions on each practices were derived from literature as well as from authors’ previous research projects: SCM initiative at the Australian textile, clothing

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and footwear industry and a cereal food supply chain project . In addition, several demographic questions were also asked in the questionnaire to gain insights of the respondent’s operations. The survey instrument was sent out to the 1000 senior executive responsible for SCM areas of Australian manufacturing companies. The mail survey yielded a total of 64 usable responses (response rate of 6.4%). The low response rate was probably caused by the senior executive level managers receive many requests to participate and have limited time, as common case in organizational-level survey . In addition, the fact that the survey instrument covers a broad range of areas contributes to the low response rate. The low response rate of this study may affect the ability to generalize the results. Table 1 provides the respondents’ profile from the survey. In terms of the number of employee, 66.1% of the companies employed fewer than 100 employees while 16% of the companies employed between 101-300 employees. The industry sectors of responded companies varied with majority from machinery and equipments manufacturing (20.3%), chemical manufacturing (15.6%), and food manufacturing (10.9%).

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Table 1 Demographics data for the respondents Variables Number of employees (n=62) 50 – 100 101 – 300 301 – 500 501 – 1000 Over 1000 Industry Sector (n=64) Food Manufacturing Textile Manufacturing Paper & printing manufacturing Chemical Manufacturing Metal product Manufacturing Machinery and equipments Automotive Industry Others 7 4 5 10 16 13 4 5 10.9 6.3 7.8 15.6 25 20.3 6.3 7.8 Frequency 41 10 3 7 1 Percent 66.1 16.1 4.8 11.3 1.6

5. Results
5.1 Profile of Supply Chain Management Practices
5.1.1. Supplier and Customer Relationship

Table 2 provides the progress of surveyed firms on their supplier and customer relationship practices. Respondents reported that their major customers are getting stricter on delivery requirements (mean 4.09) and 71.9% of surveyed firms perceived that their major customers are on the high level of delivery adherence requirements. In the light of this finding, the surveyed firms reported that their firm ability to satisfy strict delivery requirement are quite high. The survey reported that the levels of compliance with major customers deliver in-full and on-time requirements are 4.02 and 3.95 respectively (on a scale of 1-5). In term of the cooperation with major customers, the level of cooperativeness in relationship with major customers is 3.95

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with 71.9% of firms reported high and very high level of cooperativeness. However, the level of joint product planning with customers is very low (2.89) with only 33.4% of firms who experience high and very high level of joint product planning with their major customers.
Table 2 Supplier and Customer Relationship Variables Mean s. d %

4.09 The strictness of major customer's delivery adherence requirements3
Level of compliance with major customer's delivery in-full requirements The level of cooperativeness in your relationship with major customer The level of joint product planning with major customers4 The level of cooperativeness in relationship with major suppliers The level of joint product planning with major suppliers Occurrence of meeting with customers and suppliers How would you generally rate?
1 2 2 4 2 2

0.88 6
1.061 1.122 0.916 1.199 0.879 1.164 1.162

71.9
71.9 67.7 71.9 33.4 68.3 37.9 11.1

4.02 3.95 3.95 2.83 3.75 2.97 1.81

Level of compliance with major customer's delivery on time requirements

Measured on 5 Likert-Scale from 1=Lower than usual to 5=Higher than usual Measured on 5 Likert-Scale: 1=below 70% 2=70-79% 3=80-89% 4= 90-94% 5=95% and above 3 Measured on 5 Likert-Scale from 1=Not strict at all to 5=Very strict 4 Measured on 5 Likert-Scale from 1=Very low to 5=Very high % The percentage of respondents with response value 4 and 5

In regard to relationship with suppliers, the surveyed firms perceived that their level of cooperativeness with their major supplier is still in average level (mean 3.75) although there are 68.3% of firms reported at high to very high level. In term of involving major suppliers into product planning, the surveyed firms rated this practice at low level with only 37.9% of firms who reported to have high or very high level of supplier involvement in product planning. 5.1.2. Internal operations

The survey result on the internal operations practices is shown in Table 3. More than half of surveyed firms rated that the up-to-datedness their production system above

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average level. However, in term of automation of production processes, there is only 36.5% of surveyed firm who reported that their production processes were well automated. Slightly fewer than half of the respondents reported the extensive adoption of continuous improvement program (mean 3.38). A large proportion of respondents perceived that the continuous improvement adoption still needs more attention. The management support on the supply chain effectiveness was reported quite low level. Measured by the management understanding in promoting supply chain effectiveness, there is only 39.1% of surveyed firms who rated their management understanding in guiding toward supply chain effectiveness to be excellent (mean 3.27). The lowest level of implementation was reported in the modular production (mean 2.9) with only 33.3% of respondents perceived that their modular production adoption was extensive. This might be the case as the implementation of modular production depends on the products and market characteristics and may not be suitable for all situation .
Table 3 Internal Operations Practices Variable Up-to-datedness of production3 Internal logistics flow for main product
3 3 4

Mean 3.73 3.56 3.56 3.48 3.38
3 4

s.d 0.947 0.736 0.99 0.908 0.724 0.718 1.075 1.145

% 63.1 57.1 56.2 54.7 43.7 39.1 36.5 33.3

Flexibility of production system to handle order pattern The extent of continuous improvement adoption
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The extent of innovation occurring in relation to the main product Management know-how regarding supply chain effectiveness The extent of modular production4 How would you generally rate?
1 2

3.27 3.19 2.9

The extent of production process automation for main product

Measured on 5 Likert-Scale from 1=Very low to 5=Very high Measured on 5 Likert-Scale 1=None; 3=Some/in progress 5=well establish 3 Measured on 5 Likert-Scale 1=Poor; 3=could be improved 5=excellent 4 Measured on 5 Likert-Scale 1=None; 3=Some 5=Extensive

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5.1.3. Information Sharing

The implementation status on information sharing is shown in Table 4. The sharing of forecast information with suppliers was reported at the mean level of 3.31 with only 46.9% of surveyed firm rated their forecast information sharing with suppliers at high and very high level. In terms of forecast information from customers, 68.3% of respondents reported the high satisfaction. However, the surveyed firms rated at the quite low level of practice (mean 2.92) with only 33.8% of surveyed firm received forecast information from their customers. Information sharing on other product related data with suppliers and customers were also reported at quite level. There is only 38.1% of respondent and 31.2% of respondents who share non forecast information with suppliers and customers respectively.
Table 4 Information Sharing Practices Variable Satisfaction with forecast information sharing from customers Forecast information sharing with major suppliers Other product related information sharing with suppliers Other product related information sharing by customers Forecast information sharing by customers Adequacy of information flow throughout supply chain Overall efforts to provide sales forecast data along supply chain Measured on 5 Likert-Scale from 1=Very low to 5=Very high Mean 3.75 3.31 3.29 3.13 2.92 2.84 2.71 s.d 0.87 9 1.00 6 0.90 6 0.9 1.14 5 1.04 2 1.12 8 % 68.3 46.9 38.1 31.2 33.8 28.1 27

5.1.4 Information Technology In regard to information technology, the survey reported that the level of information technology implementation was considerably low (see Table 5). The implementation

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of automated ordering with supplier and customer were reported at the mean of 2.98 and 2.57 respectively. From all of respondents, there are no more than 37.5% of them who reported to have high and well established implementation of automated ordering. In addition, the survey reported that the surveyed firms that perceived the adequacy of as well as the up-to-datedness of information technology throughout the supply chain were significantly low with mean level at 2.86 and 2.91 respectively.
Table 5 Information Technology Variable The level of IT-based automated ordering from major customers The level of IT-based automated ordering to major suppliers The up-to-datedness of IT technologies throughout the supply chain The adequacy of IT systems throughout the supply chain Mean 2.98 2.57 2.91 2.86 s.d 1.48 5 1.39 9 1.03 5 0.99 % 37.5 30.2 26.4 25

Measured on 5 Likert-Scale 1=None; 3=Some/in progress 5=well establish

As information technology is enabler for supply chain effectiveness and improving operations performance, it is clearly shown from the survey that substantial efforts need to be done to increase the implementation of information technology in supply chain activities. Particularly, the implementation of automated ordering with supplier and customer is important as it can improve the accuracy and speed of order processing. 5.1.5 Training The training practices were assessed two areas: production and supply chain related training. In term of skill and training of production, the surveyed firms perceived above average level of implementation. This is shown in Table 6, the perceived skills of production employee was reported at mean level of 3.59; whilst the adequacy of production training was reported at mean level of 3.62 and more than 50% of

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surveyed firms perceived the high level of implementation of these two areas. However, in term of supply chain related training, the survey reported that firms perceived poor implementation (with mean level of 2.78 on supply chain effectiveness and 2.56 on supply chain technologies).
Table 6 Training Practices Variable The overall level of production employee skills1 The overall adequacy of production employee training for the job1 The extent of management training to do with increased supply chain effectiveness2 The extent of employee training in supply chain technologies2
1 2

Mean 3.59 3.62 2.78

s.d 0.92 1 0.83 1 0.95 1 0.88 9

% 56.2 58.7 21.9 10.9

2.56

Measured on 5 Likert-Scale from 1=Poor to 5=Excellent Measured on 5 Likert-Scale 1=None to 5=extensive

5.2 Impact of SCM Practices on Performance
To investigate the impact of SCM practices on performance, each performance measure was compared between respondent with high level and low level of SCM practices using independent-sample t-test. Prior t-test analysis, respondents were divided according to their level of SCM practices. The cut value of three was chosen to differentiate between low and high level of SCM practices. Eta squared of each test was calculated to measure the effect size of each mean different . presents mean

different between high and low level of SCM practices of each performance indicator.

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Table 7 T-test analysis of each performance
Mean Differences SCM Practices Lead Time Minimisation Inventory Turn Over Avoidance of product Reject /return -0.359 Level of Sales Cost Reduction Overall SC performance Effectiveness in meeting customers’ requirement -0.467** (0.094)

Supplier and customer relationship Internal operations Information sharing Information Technology Training

-0.526* (0.033)

-0.619** (0.045)

-0.078

-0.337

-0.585* (0.059)

-0.536* (0.046) -0.484** (0.087) -0.416** (0.065) -0.633*** (0.122)

0.768*** (0.16) -0.496* (0.054) -0.693*** (0.107) -0.432

-0.232 -0.552** (0.089) -0.363 -0.514** (0.067)

-0.304 -0.409* (0.055) -0.359* (0.045) -0.370

-0.696*** (0.14) -0.671*** (0.167) -0.595*** (0.132) -0.519** (0.081)

-1.036*** (0.13) -0.472** (0.071) -0.558 -0.674*** (0.116)

-0.250 -0.548*** (0.141) -0.057 -0.208

*** Significant at p <0.01 ** Significant at p <0.05 * Significant at p < 0.10 Numbers in the parentheses are Eta square values

Lead Time Minimisation. shows that there were significant differences in the mean lead time minimisation performance between low and high level of all SCM practices. The highest level significant was training, followed by IT, information sharing, internal practices, and supplier and customer relationship. The training practice explained 12.2% of variance in lead time minimisation performance, significant at the 0.01 level. Information sharing and IT explained 8.7% and 6.5% of variance in lead time minimisation respectively, both significant at p < 0.05. Internal operation and customer and supplier relation were significant at p < 0.1 and explained only 4.6% and 3.3% of variance in lead time minimisation. Lead time typically comprises of two components: order lead time (the required time to produce and ship the product) and information lead time (the required time to process an order) . It appeared that training practices facilitate the improvement of lead time performance. Increasing skills of employee in production and SCM would improve operational efficiency and the effectiveness of planning processes. Operational efficiency will lead to reduction in order lead time while increased SCM 17

planning effectiveness will increase the speed of order processing. Information sharing helps companies to cut lead time by increasing their forecast accuracy, efficient flow of information throughout the supply chain and improve the effectiveness of the management of inventory and production planning process. Information sharing is highly enabled by IT that also influences lead time through better order processing. Previous research by Cachon & Fisher confirms this finding, in which they conclude that advance in IT can significantly reduce lead time. Internal operations influence lead time minimisation through improved manufacturing lead time due to efficient production and internal logistics flow. Supplier and customer relationship - which is facilitated by IT and information sharing - enables better supply chain coordination which in turn leads to reduced variability including lead time. This findings in line with Frohlich & Westbrook who found that higher degree of information sharing and close relationship with suppliers and customers can reduce manufacturing, delivery, and procurement lead time. Inventory Turnover. IT, internal operations, customer and supplier relationship and information sharing significantly influenced inventory turnover performance. The analysis reveals that 16% of variance in the level of inventory turnover was explained by internal operation practice with the significant level of 0.01. IT explained 10.7% of variance in inventory turnover and significant at p < 0.01. Supplier and customer relationship was significant at p <0.05 and explained 4.5% of variance in inventory turnover while 5.4% is contributed by information sharing at p < 0.1. This result reveals that inventory turnover performance is influenced by various factors . Previous researches confirm this result in which SCM practices contribute to higher inventory turnover . To achieve high inventory turnover companies need to improve their internal efficiency through elimination of non value added activities and

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excessive inventories. This can be achieved by effectively implementing IT in all operational activities. In addition, companies also need to go beyond their internal operations to work closely with their external counterpart both upstream and downstream their supply chain. Close coordination amongst members of a supply chain is facilitated by high level of information sharing. Avoidance of product reject/return. In term of avoidance of product reject/return, Information sharing and training significantly influenced the mean of this performance measure both at p < 0.05. These two practices explained 8.9% and 6.7% of variances in avoidance of product reject/return respectively. This finding shows that training is an important factor to increase product quality which in turn increases the avoidance of product reject. Information sharing allows company to better predict the customers demand so that reduced the level of product return due to mismatch between supply and demand. Level of Sales. The t-test analysis shows that only information sharing and IT significantly differentiated the level of sales performance both at p < 0.1. These two practices only explained small variance in the level of sales which are 5.5% and 4.5% respectively. Information sharing helps companies to increase their forecasting accuracy and increase their responsiveness in meeting customers demand. High level of information sharing requires information systems. In addition, IT also allows company to improve their order processing and other operational activities which in turn influence the level of sales performance. The fact that the low level of influence of these two practices on the level of sales suggests that level of sales could be influenced by other aspects which were not captured in the analysis such as marketing and promotion.

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Cost Reduction. There were significant differences in term of cost reduction performance between low and high level of all SCM practices except supplier and customer relationship. Internal operation, information sharing, and IT significantly differentiate the cost reduction performance at p < 0.01 while training was significance at p < 0.05. Information sharing showed the highest significant level which explained 16.7% of variance in cost reduction performance. Internal operations and IT explained 14% and 13.2% of variance in cost reduction respectively whilst training contributed 8.1%. The results confirm previous research in the extant literature that information sharing results in cost reduction through reduced manufacturing cost, logistics cost and inventory costs . It is also expected that cost reduction was also correlated with internal operations and IT. Cost reduction requires improvement in internal operation through lead time reduction and continuous improvements. Effective implementation of IT can facilitate the improvement of internal operations and other various activities along a supply chain. Effectiveness in Meeting Customers’ Requirements. The analysis reveals that companies’ effectiveness in meeting customers’ requirement was significantly differentiated by the level of information sharing and supplier and customer relationship. Information sharing showed higher contribution which explained 14.1% of variance in effectiveness in meeting customers’ requirement at p < 0.01. Supplier and customer relationship explained 9.4% of variance at p < 0.05. Information sharing allows companies to better understand customers’ requirements. Understanding customers demand enables companies to segments their customer to be able to deliver highly customize products or services . Translating customers’ requirements into products or services requires companies to work closely with their partner both upstream and downstream along their supply chain. Lee contends that these two

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practices are essential in aligning supply chain strategy with the uncertainty both in customer side and supply side.

6. Conclusion
The extant literature suggest that the implementation of SCM can significantly improve companies’ performance such as inventory turnover, increased customer service level and reduced cost . The empirical result of this study confirms the theory that SCM practices significantly improve companies’ performance. The main contribution of this research is the introduction of training as one of SCM practices. The statistical analysis shows that training significantly contributed to the most of the performance. This suggest that successful implementation of SCM is highly attributed to the readiness of human resources who will run all supply chain activities. SCM put emphasis on cross-functional teams both intra company and inter companies with suppliers and customers.

7. References:

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