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Study of emerging avenues in supply chain resilience; the case of integration of additive manufacturing with spare parts procurement

Som Sekhar Bhattacharyya (Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Indian Institute of Management Nagpur, Nagpur, India)
Onkar Kulkarni (Department of Industrial Management, National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai, India)
Ashutosh Mishra (Department of Industrial Engineering, National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai, India)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Article publication date: 20 December 2022

52

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research was to study the impacts of adoption of additive manufacturing (AM) for spare parts procurement, specifically in the context of supply chain resilience (SCR) especially regarding efficient spare parts inventory management. Furthermore, key narratives in the adoption of AM toward better SCR are explored.

Design/methodology/approach

In-depth interviews with semi-structured open-ended questionnaire were conducted to collect primary qualitative data from 24 supply chain management (SCM) experts. Respondents consisted of experts across various industries. The data were analyzed by thematic content analysis method.

Findings

The results indicated that AM could be a suitable tool to reduce dependence on original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for spare parts procurement. Data analysis also revealed that AM adoption might lead to significant cost and lead time reduction. Designs protected as intellectual properties (IP), substantive post-processing requirements and material compatibility were revealed to be barriers in adoption.

Research limitations/implications

The impacts of utilizing AM for procurement of spare parts on the overall resilience of the supply chain were highlighted. Theoretical analysis of the findings was based on theoretical aspects of SCR. This was especially regarding efficient spare parts inventory management. The study results revealed the factors responsible adoption of the AM technology. A novel approach was undertaken to study the effect of AM adoption on “time-to-market” of newly launched products.

Practical implications

The research provided insights regarding practical applications of AM adoption in spare parts procurement. The study could be beneficial to the early adopters of AM across industries for making managerial decisions. Unfamiliarity of supply chain managers with the AM technology was believed to be a major reason to adopt the technology. The study provided essential inputs regarding challenges and alternate adoption strategies of AM. Thus, the research was believed to be of potential value for creating awareness among supply chain managers regarding AM technology.

Originality/value

The research provided new insights on the impact of AM adoption in the context of SCR toward efficient spare parts inventory management. Various limiting and facilitating factors specific to Indian context were also explored.

Keywords

Citation

Bhattacharyya, S.S., Kulkarni, O. and Mishra, A. (2022), "Study of emerging avenues in supply chain resilience; the case of integration of additive manufacturing with spare parts procurement", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/BIJ-03-2022-0163

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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