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The supply base reduction process: an empirical investigation

Jeffrey A. Ogden (Operational Sciences Department, Air Force Institute of Technology, Dayton, Ohio, USA)
Phillip L. Carter (Supply Chain Management Department, W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA)

The International Journal of Logistics Management

ISSN: 0957-4093

Article publication date: 23 May 2008

Abstract

Purpose

This research seeks to better understand the supply base reduction approaches and processes utilized by organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

In‐depth case studies were conducted with ten organizations that recently reduced their supply bases. These organizations represented a variety of industries, type of product or service being purchased, and number of suppliers reduced from the supply base.

Findings

Three different types of supply base reduction approaches are identified (systematic elimination, standardization, and tiering), examples of each are provided, and guidance is provided about situations in which each would be useful. A basic supply base reduction process is developed and outlined based on the similarities observed among these three different approaches.

Practical implications

A better understanding of these supply base reduction approaches and processes can help organizations successfully implement such efforts by learning from the experiences of other organizations.

Originality/value

Many of the case study respondents commented on the lack of literature pertaining to supply base reduction approaches and processes. Consequently, many of the case study organizations had to perform extensive benchmarking or hire outside consultants to learn more about supply base reduction approaches and processes prior to implementing them within their various organizations. This paper is the first step in filling the void in the literature concerning supply base reduction approaches and processes.

Keywords

Citation

Ogden, J.A. and Carter, P.L. (2008), "The supply base reduction process: an empirical investigation", The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 5-28. https://doi.org/10.1108/09574090810872578

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited