Subject and Keywords:
The aim of the article is to outline the characteristics of supply chain management (SCM) in Bulgaria on the basis of data from the Bulgarian business practice and to reveal the existing reserves for improvement. The research methodology includes the systemisation and development of variables measuring two aspects of SCM: internal – the integration between the company’s functions, and external – the integration between the companies in the supply chain. Personal interviews on the basis of a questionnaire were used for the collection of the data. The general conclusion is that there are organizational prerequisites for internal integration of the logistics activities in the Bulgarian companies and they become more cooperative towards their partners too. But they lag behind the foreign companies in the areas of goals setting and performance management, the investments in information technologies and the greater focus on the relationships with customers. A main outcome of the research is the development of the model of SCM application in Bulgaria which constitutes of three phases: traditional relationships, coordination, collaboration and full integration. The second phase consists of three stages that correspond to different degrees of coordination. The role of the logistics sector for SCM is also assessed. Although the logistics service providers in Bulgaria lag behind the logistics sector in well-developed countries, as a whole they demonstrate an aspiration for the improvement of their competitive position and proneness to implement contemporary business practices which could contribute to the success of SCM application in Bulgaria.