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Supply Chain Management

Resources for research in supply chain management

Finding Articles at FGCU Library

Company Research in Seven Steps

­Step 1: Identify/Profile a Company

Is the company is publicly-owned (does the company trade stock on an exchange like NASDAQ or NYSE?) or privately-held? Try a Google search.
Look for stock price and stock exchange information?  If  you don't see it, look for language that describes a privately held privately-held organization. 

Check the databases for company profiles. They typically describe current business activities, the company's history, financial information, number of employees, principle executives, products, and services, brands, and key competitor

Search several of these sources to get the most complete picture of your  company. 
Where to find company profiles:

Library Sources - databases
ABI/Inform Complete
Business Insights: Essentials
Business Source Ultimate
Hoovers Company Records
Mergent Online
S&P NetAdvantage

*Company profiles for privately-owned companies may be more challenging to locate but try Business Source Ultimate.  Its MarketLine company profiles include some of the more readily available information on privately-held companies.   Also, Check Hoover’s Company Records (may be listed as Business Market Research Collection).  The most useful information here may be the company description and the list of competitors.

Step 2: Search for Current News and in-depth Articles

What do third parties say about your company?  Check the databases for articles, reports, and financial documents. Articles published in leading business magazines and trade journals often provide insight into a company's operations, strategy and competitors.

Where to look for articles:

Library Resources
ABI/Inform Complete
Business Source Ultimate

These Internet sites are devoted to business news and will also provide access to a lot of free content:
Yahoo! Finance 
Google Business News

Step 3: Visit the Company's Web Site
What does the company say about itself?  Check the company website, specifically the About section; Investor Relations; Corporate Responsibility; Corporate or Investor Relations.   

Step 4: Examine the Company's Financials and Market Performance
Public companies issue annual reports to shareholders and are required to regularly file financial reports including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission (also known as Edgar).  Library sources for financial information include options for downloading it into a spreadsheets for analysis.

Where to find financial information:

Library Resources
Mergent Online
S&P NetAdvantage

Internet Sources
Yahoo Finance

Step 5: Locate a Company's Business Strategy

U.S. Public Companies usually state business strategies in  PART I, Item 1. Business of Form 10-K (or annual report) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The business overview in the 10-K includes a discussion of the company's strategy, products and services, operations, marketing, distribution, international business, suppliers and government regulation.

Where to find 10-Ks:
Library Resource
Mergent Online

Internet Sources
Yahoo! Finance

Step 6: Locate Investment Research Reports
Financial institutions (banks, investment firms)  produce research reports, written by analysts, that discuss a company's health, future plans, and much more, for public companies. 

Where to find Analysts’ Reports:
Business Insights: Essentials (search for the company; under Company Information, look for Investment Reports)
Nexis Uni (under Guided Search, select Company Info, enter the company; under ...and show me, click the dropdown to select Analyst Report)

Step 7: Survey the Industry and Competition
Companies are affected by industry conditions. Industry reports can help to identify the top competitors as well. 

Library Resources
ABI/Inform Collection (search for your industry AND "first research for industry reports) 
Business Source Ultimate (search for industryname AND marketline industry report AND united states).  Limiting to the U.S. will filter out other country reports.  Of course, you can limit your search by any country). 


General tips for identifying search terms

Before you even begin searching a database, consider these steps for creating a list of relevant words and terms:

  • What do you want to know?  Try to state your information need in a sentence, question, or phrase:

 What kind of effect does supply chain management have on customer satisfaction?

  • Identify the key terms in your initial question or sentence:


supply chain management

customer satisfaction

  • Think of other words that could describe your topic.  This is where general information would be helpful.   Search the Library catalog for your topic or the Business Expert Press database (i.e. ethics AND Business Expert Press) or click directly into the platform.  These e-books provide general topic overviews.  You could also consult a thesaurus to help identify similar words.

supply chain management SCM
effect impact
customer satisfaction customer experience

  • Use Boolean operators* (AND, OR) to combine synonymous terms:


  supply chain management OR SCM
AND effect OR impact
AND customer satisfaction OR customer experience

*What is a Boolean operator?  The most common Boolean operators are AND OR. The use of operators allows researchers to combine several search terms into one search. Identify several words and terms that can be used in different combinations to get to relevant results. Keep in mind, it is not necessary or even advisable to enter all of the terms you brainstorm into one search. In the above example:  each column of terms could be a separate search. 

What is a Peer-Reviewed Journal?

Elements of Peer-Reviewed and Scholarly, Trade publications, and Magazines

You will come across several document types in database searches, most of which will be familiar: newspapers, magazines, reports, blogs, and more.  But the publications that might be more challenging are peer-reviewed and scholarly journals and trade publications.  Here are some elements to look for:

 Peer-reviewed/scholarly journals - 

  • To inform or report on original research
  • Written by a scholar or researcher in a field
  • Includes graphs, charts, tables
  • Substantial bibliography
  • Peer-reviewed by subject matter experts in the field before acceptance for publication

Trade publication -

  • Practical news and trends about an industry or profession
  • Written by a practitioner or educator in the industry or profession
  • Advertisements target practitioners in the industry or profession

Magazine -

  • General subjects
  • Written by staff writer or journalist targeted to the general public
  • Includes glossy advertisements and lots of pictures
  • References are rare

For a more complete comparison, see Comparing Scholarly, Trade, General Publications.

Keywords to Consider - Supply Chain Management

distribution channels
inventory control
inventory management
materials handling
materials management
raw materials
supply chain 
supply chain management
value chain