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ASCM Revamps SCOR Model with New Digital Standard

The Most Significant Update Since its Inception


The Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM, formerly APICS) just announced a major update to their Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) model, in what they’re calling “the most significant update since the inception of SCOR in 1996.” While SCOR is a reference model rather than a mandatory technical standard, it has a major impact because it provides the de facto standard framework for how organizations think about, measure, benchmark, and improve their supply chains.

“… the de facto standard framework for how organizations think about, measure, benchmark, and improve their supply chains.”

They are calling the new update the SCOR Digital Standard, or SCOR DS for short, because it is available in an interactive digital format. In the past, the model was provided in an approximately 1000-page PDF document, detailing processes and metrics down to three levels of granularity. The new interactive model is available on their site here. To foster adoption, it is accessible to anyone, not just ASCM members as in the past. ASCM indicates that there will be further updates, including updated level-3 processes, by the end of the year.

High-Level Changes to SCOR Model

While the detailed model is impressive, it is the high-level process diagram that usually gets the most attention. At its inception in 1996, the model consisted of just four level-1 steps: Plan, Source, Make, and Deliver – a framework I’ve heard many times from clients talking about their supply chains. More recently, Return and Enable steps were added. The new model represents a significant overhaul. The old Deliver step has been split into Order and Fulfill, to enable more focus on multichannel commerce. Make has changed to Transform, to signify the relevance of supply chain processes for service industries in addition to manufacturing. An Orchestrate step has been added to recognize “the importance of strategy, business rules, technology and human resources that provide an overarching direction to build a more efficient supply chain.” The diagram is arranged in a series of loops rather than in a linear flow, to represent that the processes are continuous rather than starting and stopping in a linear step-by-step process.

History of SCOR Model

The original SCOR model was developed in a joint effort of consulting firm PRTM (now a subsidiary of PwC) and industry research firm AMR Research (acquired by Gartner), who together formed the non-profit Supply Chain Council to develop the standard. The new update is the result of a 4-year effort from ASCM (which absorbed the Council) and Deloitte. A team of 75 subject matter experts worked on the standard, and over 500 academics, practitioners, and technology vendors provided feedback.

While I have not digested the entire model, it looks like a move in the right direction.

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