A taxonomy for selecting global supply chain strategies

Martin Christopher (Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University, Cranfield, UK)
Helen Peck (Defence College of Management and Technology, Cranfield University, Shrivenham, UK)
Denis Towill (Logistics Systems Dynamics Group, Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK)

International Journal of Logistics Management, The

ISSN: 0957-4093

Publication date: 1 May 2006



The purpose of this paper is to address the increasingly important question of supply chain design for global operations. With the rise of off‐shore sourcing and the simultaneous need for improved responsiveness to customer demand, the choice of supply chain strategy is critical.


The paper draws its conclusions from case‐based research supported by survey data.


The paper provides evidence that the choice of supply chain strategy should be based upon a careful analysis of the demand/supply characteristics of the various product/markets served by a company. It presents the basis for a taxonomy of appropriate supply chain strategies.

Research limitations/implications

The case studies and empirical research reported in this paper are specific to the clothing manufacturing and fashion industries and there would be benefit in extending the research into other sectors.

Practical implications

Given the increasing trend to out‐sourcing and off‐shore sourcing, the choice of supply chain strategy is of some significance and clearly impacts competitive performance.


Whilst there is a growing recognition of the need to match the supply chain to the market, there is still limited research into what criteria should be utilised to aid the choice of supply chain strategy. This paper attempts to extend our understanding of the issues.



Christopher, M., Peck, H. and Towill, D. (2006), "A taxonomy for selecting global supply chain strategies", International Journal of Logistics Management, The, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 277-287. https://doi.org/10.1108/09574090610689998

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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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