International Journal of Production Research

Supply Chain Digitization and Management

Manuscript submission: August 28, 2021
Final manuscript submission: December 10, 2021

Guest Editors:

  • Professor Manoj Kumar Tiwari [Principal guest editor]

Director, National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai, India

Professor, Department of Industrial Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India


  • Professor Bopaya Bidanda, University of Pittsburgh, USA

  • Professor Joseph Geunes, Texas A&M University, USA

  • Professor Kiran Fernandes, Durham University Business School, UK

  • Professor Alexandre Dolgui, IMT Atlantique, France

About the special issue:


In the modern era, it is essential to digitize the operations and facilities in a supply chain network to make the system autonomous. During the pandemic, the need arises to look for sustainable solutions for the hybrid mode of operation and combat the crisis due to lack of resources. To overcome several obstacles, such as cost uncertainty, risk, vulnerability, and complexity, the supply chain needs to be smart and facilitated with technology-driven infrastructures that incorporate physical and information flow into supply chain processes.

Therefore, this special issue looks for a new way to re-invent supply chain management from the perspective of digital platforms. The supply chain is going through a digital revolution termed Industry 4.0, equipped with advanced Information and Digital Technologies (IDT). IDT include the use of e-commerce platforms such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), Blockchain, Cloud Computing; and the incorporation of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies such as Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE). Digital platforms play a crucial role in transforming supply chains technologically. Through the digital platforms, supply chains are evolving toward digital ecosystems and technological networks. Since there is a growing interest in using digital platforms, smart contracting, and blockchain in supply chain and logistics, exploring the utilization of digital platforms in supply chain and operations management is required (Queiroz et al., 2019; Roeck et al., 2020; Chang et al., 2020; Büyüközkan et al., 2018). For example, the implementation of digital twins can be facilitated to manage disruption in the supply chain (Ivanov et al., 2020). For digitalizing paperwork, customs clearance and management, tracking and tracing, maritime shipping supply chain can be monitored digitally through blockchain-driven platforms (Yang, 2019).

The digitization of the supply chain helps meet new consumer needs, supply-side issues, and priorities to improve efficiency. Based on advanced forecasting approaches, such as internal and external data predictive analytics, product distribution approaches reduce the delivery time (McKinsey & Company Report, 2016). Disruptive technologies such as digitalization and Industry 4.0 drive the emergence of new supply chain management (SCM) paradigms, concepts, and models (Nucciarelli et al., 2017; Simchi-Levi et al., 2018; Ivanov et al., 2019). Developing digital supply chain and intelligent operations are enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT), cyber-physical networks, and smart, connected goods. Emerging tools e.g., big data Analytics, advanced robotics, decentralized agent-driven control, tracking, tracing technologies, augmented reality, and additive manufacturing play an important role (Ben-Daya et al., 2019). These new advanced technologies enable businesses to implement data-led strategies in a digitally-driven manufacturing environment to collect data throughout the item life cycle (Tao et al., 2018) and to improve the horizontally and vertically integrated production (Frank et al., 2019).

The ripple effect of a pandemic on supply chains, risk mitigating measures and possible ways for improvement are analysed by Ivanov et al. (2020). Digital supply chain platforms often serve as the basic framework to clarify the relation between digital technology and sustainability. Digital systems facilitate information management across the supply chain, allowing data to accumulate from each phase. At the same time, data access can be given to any actor involved, including the end-user. A product or service can eventually be initiated with a digital twin, i.e., a virtual counterpart, to collect data and information from design and manufacture to usage and final disposal over the lifecycle. The studies on digital platforms for supply chain and logistics are still understudied in the literature.

We thus propose to organize a special issue for the International Journal of Production Research on the challenges and solutions of supply chain digitization and management in this new era.

Topics of interest:


The special issue aims to address the following, but not limited to potential areas:


  1. Uncertainty and exception handling through the digitization in supply chain

  2. Stock keeping strategies, segmentation in digitally-enabled supply chain

  3. Tech-centric warehouse solutions

  4. Data-driven strategies to fuel supply chain agility

  5. AI-driven solutions for creating connected dimensions in the supply chain

  6. Supply chain Resilience, viability, and ripple effect control using digital platforms

  7. Supply chain finance and Blockchain-driven contractual frameworks to exploit digital platforms

  8. Application of digital supply chain to cope with epidemic/pandemic challenges

  9. Applications and case studies on the digital supply chain.

References/Academic Reports:

Ben-Daya, M., Hassini, E., & Bahroun, Z. (2019). Internet of things and supply chain management: a literature review. International Journal of Production Research, 57(15-16), 4719-4742.


Büyüközkan, G., & Göçer, F. (2018). Digital supply chain: literature review and a proposed framework for future research. Computers in Industry, 97, 157-177.


Chang, Y., Iakovou, E., & Shi, W. (2020). Blockchain in global supply chains and cross border trade: a critical synthesis of the state-of-the-art, challenges and opportunities. International Journal of Production Research, 58(7), 2082-2099.


Frank, A. G., Dalenogare, L. S., & Ayala, N. F. (2019). Industry 4.0 technologies: Implementation patterns in manufacturing companies. International Journal of Production Economics, 210, 15-26.


Ghobakhloo, M. (2020). Determinants of information and digital technology implementation for smart manufacturing. International Journal of Production Research, 58(8), 2384-2405.


Ivanov, D., & Dolgui, A. (2020). A digital supply chain twin for managing the disruption risks and resilience in the era of Industry 4.0. Production Planning & Control, 1-14.


Ivanov, D., & Das, A. (2020). Coronavirus (COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2) and supply chain resilience: A research note. International Journal of Integrated Supply Management, 13(1), 90-102.


Ivanov, D., Dolgui, A., & Sokolov, B. (2019). The impact of digital technology and Industry 4.0 on the ripple effect and supply chain risk analytics. International Journal of Production Research, 57(3), 829-846.


Li, Y., Dai, J., & Cui, L. (2020). The impact of digital technologies on economic and environmental performance in the context of industry 4.0: A moderated mediation model. International Journal of Production Economics, 229, 107777.


McKinsey & Company Report (2016). Supply Chain 4.0 - the next-generation digital supply chain.


Nucciarelli, A., Li, F., Fernandes, K. J., Goumagias, N., Cabras, I., Devlin, S. & Cowling, P. (2017). From value chains to technological platforms: The effects of crowdfunding in the digital game industry. Journal of Business Research, 78, 341-352.


Queiroz, M.M., Telles, R. and Bonilla, S.H. (2019). Blockchain and supply chain management integration: a systematic review of the literature. Supply Chain Management, 25(2), pp. 241-254.


Roeck, D., H. Sternberg & E. Hofmann (2020) Distributed ledger technology in supply chains: a transaction cost perspective. International Journal of Production Research, 58:7, 2124-2141.


Simchi-Levi, D., & Wu, M. X. (2018). Powering retailers’ digitization through analytics and automation. International Journal of Production Research, 56(1-2), 809-816.


Tao, F., Qi, Q., Liu, A., & Kusiak, A. (2018). Data-driven smart manufacturing. Journal of Manufacturing Systems, 48, 157-169.


Yang, C. S. (2019). Maritime shipping digitalization: Blockchain-based technology applications, future improvements, and intention to use. Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, 131, 108-117.