The purpose of this paper is to increase the understanding of demand chain management (DCM) by investigating how it has been structured and executed in an international manufacturing company.
The main emphasis has been on producing descriptive results and the applied research strategy has been an embedded single case study. The case organization originates from Sweden, but it has significant international presence. Empirical data have been collected mainly from in‐depth interviews with key persons representing senior management in the case company.
This research shows that DCM is about developing synergies between the demand creation and the demand fulfillment processes. A completely implemented DCM approach should incorporate all the major demand creation and fulfillment processes. This kind of fully implemented approach probably does not exist in real life today but some companies have started to develop versions including some of the major processes, and this research provides an example of this. The ultimate goal of DCM is to gain competitive advantages by differentiating not only the products, but also the delivery process. This is necessary in markets characterized of intensive competition, high product variety, large amounts of customer‐adapted products, and short product life cycles. It can be concluded that DCM is not another name for demand driven supply chains (SCs) or a fad. It is rather a way to finally benefit from decade long marketing discussions on how to achieve customer focus. It highlights the interplay between marketing and supply chain management (SCM) as an enabler of value creation.
This research work is limited to one Swedish company; however, the case company has large international presence and is in top three in their industry measured by sales, which provides some ground for the generalization of the research.
This paper gives an insight for managers and practitioners to the value of coordinating marketing and SCM to develop a truly customer‐driven organization and SC.
Several studies have addressed the synergies between marketing and SCM but failed to address how to in some detail realize this in practice. This paper contributes by discussing how to realize this coordination in practice.
Hilletofth, P., Ericsson, D. and Christopher, M. (2009), "Demand chain management: a Swedish industrial case study", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 109 No. 9, pp. 1179-1196. https://doi.org/10.1108/02635570911002261Download as .RIS
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