Are supply (driven) chains forgotten?

Bradley Z. Hull (Department of Management Marketing and Logistics, John Carroll University, University Heights, Ohio, USA)

International Journal of Logistics Management, The

ISSN: 0957-4093

Publication date: 1 December 2005



The supply chain literature highlights chains that are activated by actual or forecasted demand, and has largely overlooked those that are activated by the supply source. This paper aims to position supply driven chains as a distinct class and to develop their properties.


Supply driven examples are given and their structural and behavioral properties are developed. Their properties are compared with those of demand driven chains using Fisher's classification scheme. The paper is conceptual in nature.


Four properties of supply driven chains are advanced. They show that supply driven chains differ significantly from their demand driven counterparts. As example, supply driven chains are prone to a reverse form of the standard bullwhip effect that is associated with demand driven chains.

Research limitations/implications

Investigating supply driven chains opens several research avenues. Further properties and examples can be developed, along with methods to mitigate the reverse bullwhip effect. Research into synergies and boundary issues between supply and demand driven chains will likely yield operational efficiencies overall.

Practical implications

Differentiating between supply and demand driven phenomena helps practitioners design more efficient supply chains. For example, superimposing a demand driven operational structure on a supply driven phenomenon can be disruptive. Also, an efficiently operated supply driven chain may enhance the operations of related demand driven chains.


This paper highlights and develops supply driven supply chains. It extends supply chain theory and practice by providing additional structural characteristics that can be incorporated into supply chain designs.



Hull, B. (2005), "Are supply (driven) chains forgotten?", International Journal of Logistics Management, The, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 218-236.

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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