The purpose of this paper is to investigate dependencies that arise between companies during the ramp-up of production volume in the electric vehicle (EV) supply chain.
An inter-company case study method has been used. Data were collected via tours of manufacturing plants, workshops and interviews from multiple tiers in a supply chain, namely, a niche EV manufacturer, as well as two of its tier-one suppliers and five of its tier-two suppliers.
As production volumes increased, a more relational approach was found to be necessary in inter-company relationships. The authors’ research showed that key suppliers, in addition to providing the parts, pursued a supply chain orchestrator’s role by offering direct support and guidance to the niche EV manufacturer in designing and executing its development plans.
The resource dependence theory (RDT) is used to analyse and explain the changing dependencies throughout the planning and execution of production ramp-up.
This study will help supply chain managers to better manage resource dependencies during production ramp-up.
This study explores dependencies during the early stages of the production ramp-up process in the EV sector, which is in itself in the early stages of evolution. RDT is used for the first time in this context. This study has moved beyond a simple dyadic context, by providing empirical insights into the actions taken by an EV manufacturer and its suppliers, towards a multi-tier supply chain context, to better manage resource dependencies.
The authors would like to thank the Niche Vehicle Network, which is part of the Advanced Propulsion Centre UK, for financially supporting this research. The authors would also like to thank all the companies and people who took part in the empirical research.
Kalaitzi, D., Matopoulos, A. and Clegg, B. (2019), "Managing resource dependencies in electric vehicle supply chains: a multi-tier case study", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 256-270. https://doi.org/10.1108/SCM-03-2018-0116
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