The purpose of the paper is to provide a contextual basis for the supply chain activity of the generic Australian cereal products supply chain. It identifies the business‐environment factors underpinning the cereal products supply chain efficiency. It also further highlighted the complex nature of the extended supply chain and all the factors to be considered in its management. The approach to the topic is that of developing a holistic overview of the extended supply chain, its networks and its business‐environment influences in order to understand the complex reality of issues that a supply chain manager must deal with in order to optimise efficiencies.
A qualitative methodology was used in the study, involving an examination of supply chain practices throughout the cereal product supply chain, determined through interviews with players at all stages from seed to supermarket supply. Identification of key business‐environment influences impacting on the cereal products supply chain was achieved through thematic examination of the responses and comparison of the findings with literature relating to the Australian business‐environment. Field research activity included semi‐structured interviews throughout the supply chain for mapping and examining the status of supply chain networks and practices.
The business‐environment factor findings, depicted in a model, concerned the impact of globalisation and demand trends; industry complexity and realignment; power relationships; delivery imperatives; the competitive supply chain imperative; the information economy; industry accountability requirements; freight challenges; supply chain labour requirements and climatic conditions affecting crop yields.
The research was limited in that it represented a sample of viewpoints/supply chain activity in the Australian cereal products industry and lacked the comprehensiveness of a full industry study covering the entire gamut of regional, crop‐wide and circumstantial influencing factors.
The paper highlights the influence of the identified business‐environment factors on supply chain activity and points the way for supply chain managers in the cereal product industry to be aware of broad contextual factors as well as their own immediate operating environment. The identified business‐environment influences present strategic challenges to players throughout the cereal products supply chain. A globally responsive cereal products supply chain will need to strategically align itself with the wider Australian grain industry, food industry and government to meet future market requirements. It will also need to maintain a constant supply chain dialogue focusing on common goals, being aware of constraints and future challenges.
This research paper is original and of value to supply chain management theory in presenting a wide contextual view of the supply chain and hence supply chain management.
Sohal, A. and Perry, M. (2006), "Major business‐environment influences on the cereal products industry supply chain: An Australian study", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 36 No. 1, pp. 36-50. https://doi.org/10.1108/09600030610642922Download as .RIS
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