Marijn Plomp and Ronald Batenburg

Measuring Chain Digitisation Maturity: An Assessment of Dutch Retail branches

The purpose of this article is to develop a validated measurement model and typology for chain digitisation maturity, defined as the degree of interorganisational collaboration through ICT.

Through a literature (meta) study, 22 existing maturity models are found and analysed, on the basis of which an integrated framework is developed. This framework is subsequently applied to interorganisational collaboration within the Dutch retail sector (i.e. retailers and their wholesalers, manufacturers, customers, and trade organisations). The measurement model is tested by determining the chain digitisation level of 24 different retail sub-sectors (branches) through desk research, interviews, and surveys. Data are collected at the level of the branch, mainly through representatives of trade organisations.

The framework (i.e. measurement model) appears to be applicable to describing the Dutch retail sector and comparing its branches, providing both expected and new insights. The typology supports the vision of the combination of two dimensions: the level of technology and the level of organisation. Research limitations/implications – The framework has been applied to the (Dutch) retail sector only. It seems suitable for application to other sectors as well.

The empirical application provides an extended view of the current situation of the (Dutch) retail sector with regard to chain digitisation. On this basis, a roadmap can be derived to support the adoption and deployment of chain digitisation among retail organisations.

Our framework for chain digitisation and the derived typology are of value to the SCM research community, as they are specifically developed and tested at the level of interorganisational chains.

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