A theoretical framework to adopt collaborative initiatives in supply chains

Abstract Collaborative initiatives emerged in the 1980s as a means to increase inter-organizational cooperation, thereby achieving performance improvements in supply chains. Despite this, no consensus exists among researchers with respect to which collaborative initiatives should be deployed along a supply chain. This study analyzes five collaborative initiatives—Quick Response (QR), Efficient Consumer Response (ECR), Continuous Replenishment Program (CRP), Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) and Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment (CPFR)—by conducting a systematic literature review, aiming to develop a theoretical framework to guide the decision-making process of adopting and implementing these initiatives. Based on the characteristics of the collaborative initiatives, expected benefits, reasons for adopting, and possible barriers found in the literature review, a theoretical framework was developed as a flowchart, clearly indicating to decision-makers the main aspects of concern when adopting one or more collaborative initiatives and highlighting the need to constantly monitor the chosen initiative’s performance.