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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2015

Inga-Lena Darkow, Bernadette Foerster and Heiko A. von der Gracht

This study aims to examine the management of food supply chains in complex and volatile business environments, where the sustainability requirements of customers and…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the management of food supply chains in complex and volatile business environments, where the sustainability requirements of customers and legislation are increasing. This challenging situation gives rise to the question as to how a logistics company can achieve and sustain competitive advantage through environmentally-oriented sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

This empirical study gathers insights on emerging practices in European food service supply chains from two parallel Delphi surveys conducted with 145 industry experts from 27 countries. The long-term industry expectations of a leading provider in food service logistics are compared with an industry-wide external panel. The questions were designed to understand how managers perceive the emerging domain of sustainability in supply chains.

Findings

Environmentally oriented sustainability will remain a key driver of success in the field. However, after applying the dominant logic concept for analyzing results, it becomes apparent that managers have to continuously challenge internal existing expectations to translate an emerging domain into strategy. We show how the senior management team under investigation was challenged in its dominant logic and how it tried to overcome this situation during strategy development.

Originality/value

The study shows how managers perceive and cope with the emerging domain of environmentally oriented sustainability, how they translate it into strategy, and utilize resources for creating customer value. The research supports managers in adapting to new competitive environments. Furthermore, the study contributes by visualizing the dominant logic of a firm and the approach of top management for adjustment.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 May 2014

Bernadette Förster, Jonas Keller, Heiko A. von der Gracht and Inga-Lena Darkow

Consumer goods supply chains (SCs) are characterized by continuously changing customer trends. Early detection of these trends is crucial for deriving successful long-term…

Abstract

Purpose

Consumer goods supply chains (SCs) are characterized by continuously changing customer trends. Early detection of these trends is crucial for deriving successful long-term SC strategies. The purpose of this paper is to present a systematic process to support decision makers in assessing future-relevant issues and developing strategies.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to contribute to the quality of long-term decision making for SC strategy, we combine strategic issue management (SIM) and corporate foresight methodology. The authors develop a procedure that integrates the Delphi technique and SIM to empirically demonstrate how “Delphi-based SIM” can support SC strategy development.

Findings

The paper demonstrates how to craft a strategy for consumer goods SCs supported by Delphi-based SIM. The authors are able to include and evaluate uncertain and ambivalent future developments. Pertinent strategic issues for the consumer goods SC include: consumer demographics, automated ordering, city supply, and concept stores. For the reference company, five different strategic paths were created and evaluated.

Practical implications

It is challenging for companies to be well prepared for dynamic business environments and to successfully establish a robust SC strategy. The authors develop a systematic Delphi-based SIM for detecting and evaluating signals and integrating them into SC strategy development.

Originality/value

To date, a structured approach to integrate uncertain and ambivalent issues into SC strategy development is missing. With SIM and corporate foresight, the authors provide novel methods for strategy development in the consumer goods SC.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 44 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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