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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2013

Sebastian H.W. Stanger, Richard Wilding, Evi Hartmann, Nicola Yates and Sue Cotton

Are lateral transshipments an effective instrument to ensure the safe and efficient supply of blood? This paper will use the lens of institutional theory to determine how…

Abstract

Purpose

Are lateral transshipments an effective instrument to ensure the safe and efficient supply of blood? This paper will use the lens of institutional theory to determine how the blood supply chain can benefit from lateral transshipments and what requirements are necessary for their implementation. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The research design comprises two stages. First, 16 case studies clustered into two case groups were conducted with transfusion laboratories in UK hospitals resulting in the derivation of eight key themes which were tested using a follow-up survey.

Findings

The blood supply chain acts under the influence of significant institutional pressures. Coercive pressures result from regulations enforced to ensure the safe supply of blood, normative pressures are imposed by society, demanding wastage is minimized and mimetic pressure from other hospitals fosters efficient supply chain operation. Lateral transshipments offer a powerful organizational tool to allow the blood supply chain to conform to these pressures.

Research limitations/implications

This paper offers a novel institutional perspective on a complex supply chain issue where additional external pressures are seen to complicate the context. Due to the special characteristics of the blood supply chain, generalization of the findings to other industries must be done with care.

Practical implications

The paper confirms the benefits of lateral transshipments in a perishable product context. Special requirements for the blood supply chain/health care services are identified.

Originality/value

The key contributions of this paper are five propositions which offer an institutional theory perspective on the application of lateral transshipment relationships in the blood supply chain.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 43 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2013

Sebastian H.W. Stanger

The purpose of this paper is to develop a generic framework for the assessment of VMI implementation. The framework is used for the analysis of multiple case studies in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a generic framework for the assessment of VMI implementation. The framework is used for the analysis of multiple case studies in German hospitals to discuss the feasibility of VMI in the German blood supply chain.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology is twofold. In a first step, the literature is reviewed and a generic theoretical VMI framework is developed. In a second step, the case study methodology is applied to 13 cases to assess the feasibility of VMI in the German blood supply chain.

Findings

The paper contributes a generic framework for assessing the implementation of VMI in seven steps. The research proposed that hospitals hesitate to enter a VMI relationship for critical resources such as blood. Hospitals fear losing control over critical resources.

Research limitations/implications

The unit of analysis is hospitals in Germany and the case studies do not target the suppliers in the supply chain. The paper contributes three propositions regarding VMI in the healthcare/blood supply chain.

Practical implications

A generic framework for assessing the applicability and feasibility of VMI is provided which supports managers with the implementation of VMI in a supply chain.

Originality/value

The paper is one of the first papers targeting inventory and supply chain management in the German blood supply chain. It provides a generic framework for the assessment of the feasibility of VMI.

Details

Strategic Outsourcing: An International Journal, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8297

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2012

Sebastian H.W. Stanger, Richard Wilding, Nicky Yates and Sue Cotton

Managing perishable inventories is a trade‐off of shortages and lost sales against wastage. This paper aims to identify what drives good management of perishables within…

Abstract

Purpose

Managing perishable inventories is a trade‐off of shortages and lost sales against wastage. This paper aims to identify what drives good management of perishables within the supply chain using the example of blood inventory management in hospitals.

Design/methodology/approach

Seven case studies with hospital transfusion laboratories in the UK blood supply chain were carried out in order to explore how perishable inventories are managed. The case studies identify drivers for good performance in perishable inventories.

Findings

Six recommendations are developed for how managers can improve perishable inventory performance. These are based around simple management procedures implemented by experienced staff. The case studies develop three propositions that recommend how inventory theory should be embedded in practice.

Research limitations/implications

This research demonstrates that managerial changes and training issues have a significant impact on waste reduction and inventory management performance in perishable supply chains. However, as the case studies focus on the blood supply chain, some caution needs to be applied in generalising these findings beyond the specific context studied.

Practical implications

A multi‐disciplinary approach, combining awareness of the importance of the dynamics of the whole supply chain with good skill and experience, leads to new thinking, which enables staff to make better inventory decisions resulting in better performance and reduced wastage. Managerial changes and training are critical for good inventory performance.

Originality/value

Literature suggests that sophisticated and complex inventory models will drive performance; however, in practice a combination of basic well‐grounded inventory theory with simple management procedures carried out by experienced staff leads to better performance.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 22 January 2010

David B. Grant

The blood service sector faces issues with obtaining and retaining loyal donors at one end of its supply chain, a marketing issue, and being efficient and effective in…

Abstract

Purpose

The blood service sector faces issues with obtaining and retaining loyal donors at one end of its supply chain, a marketing issue, and being efficient and effective in blood and related product delivery to customers at the other end of its supply chain, a supply chain management issue. The purpose of this paper is to present an investigation of these issues and propose the adoption of techniques and technologies from the food processing and retailing sector to address them.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory case study with the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service is used to investigate research questions stemming from extant literature.

Findings

This study finds that a national blood service can achieve better stock management and resource optimisation and better communication with “input” and “output” stakeholders by implementing information flows and integration throughout the supply and marketing chain. It also finds that a national blood service can convince non‐donors to donate and increase donor relationships and loyalty by ensuring internal marketing takes place with its employees who can then inform external stakeholders through their first‐contact relationships.

Research limitations/implications

This study is exploratory, thus empirical research is limited.

Practical implications

This paper validates primary issues in recruiting and retaining blood donors and making blood supply chains more efficient and effective, and proposes the adoption of techniques and technology from other process sectors to overcome these issues. Thus, European national blood services should benefit from implementing suggestions in this research.

Originality/value

This paper adopts a multi‐disciplinary approach across the marketing and supply chain management disciplines to explore issues usually associated with medical and pure sciences.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2006

Jyrki S. Rytilä and Karen M. Spens

The overall aim of the research presented is to improve blood supply chain management in order to use the scarce resource of blood more efficiently. Computer simulation is…

Abstract

Purpose

The overall aim of the research presented is to improve blood supply chain management in order to use the scarce resource of blood more efficiently. Computer simulation is used as a tool for increasing efficiency in blood supply chains.

Design/methodology/approach

An application of discrete event simulation modeling in the health‐care sector, more specifically in the area of blood transfusion services. The model has been refined in cooperation with medical expertise as it is vital that practitioners are closely involved so that the model can be tested against their understanding as it develops.

Findings

Decision makers can make better and less risky decisions regarding changes in the blood supply chain based on the knowledge created by simulation experiments. Simulation modeling can be used to make complex and chaotic systems comprehensible and more efficient. In health care, this means that scarce resources can be allocated better, and thereby simulation can aid in increasing the overall quality of health care.

Research limitations/implications

Models are simplifications and there is no guarantee that they will be valid, however, when used sensibly, simulation models and modeling approaches provide an important tool to managing risk and uncertainty in health care supply chains.

Practical implications

Earlier calculations and improvement efforts of blood supply chain in focus were based on “gut feeling”. Through applying simulation to this complex system, the dynamics of blood supply chain was more easily understood by the medical expertise.

Originality/value

There is a lack of work on computer simulations of blood supply chains, a challenge which this work has taken up on.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 29 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2013

John Blake and Matthew Hardy

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the impact on customer service of amalgamating two production/distribution facilities in a blood distribution network, located in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the impact on customer service of amalgamating two production/distribution facilities in a blood distribution network, located in the Maritime region of Canada, into a single production facility and a satellite distribution facility.

Design/methodology/approach

Simulation models of the existing distribution network and the future distribution network were built. Experiments were conducted, using the two models, to compare the performance of each.

Findings

Results indicate that there is no evidence to suggest a decrease in customer service resulting from the consolidation of the two facilities. Furthermore, results indicate that this conclusion is robust with respect to lower inventory levels at the satellite and up to three road closures per annum.

Research limitations/implications

The results are based on specific operational assumptions regarding the number of hospitals supplied by the satellite facility and the methods used to transport blood products between locations.

Social implications

The results of this study have important implications for how vital blood products are distributed to patients in the Maritime provinces of Canada.

Originality/value

This paper is a case study describing a unique application of simulation methods to an important area of application. It will be of interest to readers interested in the management of blood supply chains and to researchers applying simulation methods.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 26 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

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Article
Publication date: 25 May 2010

Reviews the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoints practical implications from cutting‐edge research and case studies.

Abstract

Purpose

Reviews the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoints practical implications from cutting‐edge research and case studies.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context.

Findings

The acquisition and distribution of blood and related products is a service vital to society. The blood service “business” has become global with blood products considered “commodities”. This consideration and the nature of blood supply and demand are comparable to other process sectors dealing with sourcing and selling perishable products such as milk or fresh juice.

Practical implications

Provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world's leading organizations.

Social implications

Provides strategic insights and practical thinking that can have a broader social impact.

Originality/value

The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy‐to‐digest format.

Details

Strategic Direction, vol. 26 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2010

Korina Katsaliaki and Navonil Mustafee

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the viability of using distributed simulation to execute large and complex healthcare simulation models which help government…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the viability of using distributed simulation to execute large and complex healthcare simulation models which help government take informed decisions.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper compares the execution time of a standalone healthcare supply chain simulation with its distributed counterpart. Both the standalone and the distributed models are built using a commercial simulation package (CSP).

Findings

The results show that the execution time of the standalone healthcare supply chain simulation increases exponentially as the size and complexity of the system being modelled increases. On the other hand, using distributed simulation approach decreases the run time for large and complex models.

Research limitations/implications

The distributed approach of executing different parts of a single simulation model over different computers is only viable when the model: can be divided into logical parts and the exchange of information between these parts occurs at constant simulated time intervals; is sufficiently large and complicated, such that executing the model over a single processor is very time consuming.

Practical implications

Based on a feasibility study of the UK National Blood Service we demonstrate the effectiveness of distributed simulation and argue that it is a vital technique in healthcare informatics with respect to supporting decision making in large healthcare systems.

Originality/value

To the best of the knowledge, this is the first feasibility study in healthcare which shows the outcome of modelling and executing a distributed simulation using unmodified CSPs and a software/middleware for distributed simulation.

Details

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6166

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Luluk Lusiantoro, Nicola Yates, Carlos Mena and Liz Varga

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of the relationship between information sharing and performance of perishable product supply chains (PPSC)…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of the relationship between information sharing and performance of perishable product supply chains (PPSC). Building on transaction cost economics (TCE), organisational information processing theory (OIPT), and contingency theory (CT), this study proposes a theoretical framework to guide future research into information sharing in perishable product supply chains (IS-PPSC).

Design/methodology/approach

Using the systematic literature review methodology, 48 peer-reviewed articles are carefully selected, mapped, and assessed. Template analysis is performed to unravel the relationship mechanisms between information sharing and PPSC performance.

Findings

The authors find that the relationship between information sharing and PPSC performance is currently unclear, and there is inconsistency in the positioning of information sharing among constructs and variables in the IS-PPSC literature. This implies a requirement to refine the relationship between information sharing and PPSC performance. The review also revealed that the role of perishable product characteristics has largely been ignored in existing research.

Originality/value

This study applies relevant multiple theoretical perspectives to overcome the ambiguity of the IS-PPSC literature and contributes nine propositions to guide future research. Accordingly, this study contributes to the refined roles of relationship uncertainty, environmental uncertainty, information sharing capabilities, and perishable product characteristics in shaping the relationship between information sharing and PPSC performance.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 48 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2020

Linh Nguyen Khanh Duong, Lincoln C. Wood and William Yu Chung Wang

This research proposes a decision framework for using non-financial measures to define a replenishment policy for perishable health products. These products are perishable…

Abstract

Purpose

This research proposes a decision framework for using non-financial measures to define a replenishment policy for perishable health products. These products are perishable and substitutable by nature and create complexities for managing inventory. Instead of a financial measure, numerous measures should be considered and balanced to meet business objectives and enhance inventory management.

Design/methodology/approach

This research applies a multi-methodological approach and develops a framework that integrates discrete event simulation (DES), analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and data envelopment analysis (DEA) techniques to define the most favourable replenishment policy using non-financial measures.

Findings

The integration framework performs well as illustrated in the numerical example; outcomes from the framework are comparable to those generated using a traditional, financial measures-based, approach. This research demonstrates that it is feasible to adopt non-financial performance measures to define a replenishment policy and evaluate performance.

Originality/value

The framework, thus, prioritises non-financial measures and addresses issues of lacking information sharing and employee involvement to enhance hospitals' performance while minimising costs. The non-financial measures improve cross-functional communication while supporting simpler transformations from high-level strategies to daily operational targets.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 120 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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