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Supply Chain: General Approach/Mindset

Research Tips for finding suppliers, distributors, and general supply chain information

Useful Key Words OR Search Terms

Here are some key words that will prove useful in your searches (especially in the databases)! Please note, that some databases allow for use of search commands such as *, "xxxx  xxxx", ect. and some don't.  My default mode is usually to try it, so I will show it in the examples.  See the Search Tips tab for how to enter searches in a database (which will explain * and "xxx xxxx")

"supply chain*"        

 "business logistics"      

"physical distribution of goods"    

 "materials management"

"inventory control"       

supplier*                  

purchasing                             

 transportation

 

Use these terms in conjunction with the name of your particular company or industry.

 

 

The difficulty with Supply Chain Research

The difficulty with this research is that many companies consider their supply chain (vendors, suppliers, distributors, etc.) to be confidential or competitive information.  This means that information may or may not be readily available.  Be prepared to have to READ ARTICLES!  Sorry. I don't have a one-stop-shop for this type of information.  No immediate gratification today. :)

Here are some general tips:

1.  Many companies acknowledge the stellar job their suppliers have done by providing public recognition or AWARDS.  Look for articles announcing these awards.  Good places to start would be the databases Factiva or Business Source Complete (go to the Databases/Articles tabs for direct links).

2. In line with #1, use our Databases as your first place of searching.  Googling for supply chain information as your first point of departure will probably prove to be both frustrating and time consuming.  See the box to the left  for suggestions on KEY WORDS/Search Terms to use in the databases.

3. There are some Associations for Supply Chain that may have useful information.  Go to the Trade Associations tab for direct links.

4.  Your company operates within an industry.  Industries also have specific trade associations that collect data on their industry.  You may be able to find some information from the trade associations.  See the Industry Research Guide for information on how to figure out the trade associations for your particular industry.

5.  Look within the 10K report of your particular company.

6. Ask me.  I'll be happy to either help you get started or help you find a specific piece of information you are needing.  Really- helping you is my favorite part of this job.