Sustainability in supply chain management: suggestions for the auto industry

Yu Xia (Department of Management and Marketing, Jennings A. Jones College of Business, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA)
Thomas Li‐Ping Tang (Department of Management and Marketing, Jennings A. Jones College of Business, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Publication date: 3 May 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The auto industry in the USA is facing tremendous challenges – plunging demands due to economic downturn, the gloomy trend in technology development, and fierce global competition. This article aims to examine the challenges of supply chain management and to propose a triple‐C (cease‐control‐combine) remedy for the North American auto industry's supply chain management.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors applied management theories, collected information from managers at different levels of the auto industry's supply chain management, and developed a novel theoretical model of sustainability in supply chain management for the auto industry.

Findings

It is argued that outsourcing to low cost countries – the current supply chain strategy – is not only unsustainable but also irresponsible for the auto industry and society. A triple‐C (cease‐control‐combine) remedy is proposed for the auto industry's supply chain management.

Practical implications

The proposed triple‐C strategy will save the auto industry money in R&D investment, reduce quality cost and inventory waste, help the industry go through the volatile economy, and achieve sustainable development. With close relationships and strong supports from suppliers, the industry can speed up technology development, introduce new gas efficiency models quickly, and become less dependent on gas price. Finally, the triple‐C strategy will help the industry keep jobs and generate new jobs in the USA. These activities lead to public support and restored corporate image.

Originality/value

The current business environment is analyzed, problems of current supply chain strategy discussed, and a new supply chain strategy remedy for the North American auto industry proposed.

Keywords

Citation

Xia, Y. and Li‐Ping Tang, T. (2011), "Sustainability in supply chain management: suggestions for the auto industry", Management Decision, Vol. 49 No. 4, pp. 495-512. https://doi.org/10.1108/00251741111126459

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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