Integrating the spare parts supply chain: an inter‐disciplinary account

Harry Martin (Department of Management Science, Open Universiteit Nederland, Heerlen, The Netherlands)
Aris A. Syntetos (Salford Business School, Centre for Operational Research and Applied Statistics, University of Salford, Manchester, UK)
Alejandro Parodi (K.U. Leuven, Centre for Industrial Management/Traffic and Infrastructure, Heverlee, Belgium)
Yiannis E. Polychronakis (Centre for Organisational Excellence, Salford Business School, University of Salford, Manchester, UK)
Liliane Pintelon (K.U. Leuven, Centre for Industrial Management/Traffic and Infrastructure, Heverlee, Belgium)

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management

ISSN: 1741-038X

Publication date: 9 February 2010



This paper aims to substantiate the need for additional research into a more holistic and multidisciplinary approach to managing the supporting supply chains that may also capture contextual information, also pointing out emerging avenues for further scholarly contributions.


The supply chain is viewed from a spare part consumer as well as from a supplier perspective. Key to the discussion is an accurate description of the maintenance demand pattern (MDP) known at the consumer's side as a valuable information source for the entire supply chain.


Solving the spare parts supply chain puzzle exceeds the realms of a single scientific discipline and involves hard and soft sciences. Besides, extending on the quantitative modelling aspects of MDPs, soft modelling and analysis is needed to define cooperative settings in which the supply chain parties can operate effectively.

Practical implications

In this paper, the authors argue for the sharing of the appropriately balanced combination of quantitative and qualitative information that is currently hidden, or exists in isolation, within supply chains. Debatably, such information sharing may potentially generate substantial benefits for all “players” within a given supply chain.


This contribution is unique in the sense that it provides a most accurate characterization of MDPs based on the proven maintenance concept design theory. In addition, the supply chain problem is analysed in a realistic context, with an open and broad mindset rather than approaching this issue from a single hard science perspective.



Martin, H., Syntetos, A.A., Parodi, A., Polychronakis, Y.E. and Pintelon, L. (2010), "Integrating the spare parts supply chain: an inter‐disciplinary account", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 226-245.

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