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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2020

Robert B. Handfield, Gary Graham and Laird Burns

Using the constructal law of physics this study aims to provide guidance to future scholarship on global supply chain management. Further, through two case studies the…

6386

Abstract

Purpose

Using the constructal law of physics this study aims to provide guidance to future scholarship on global supply chain management. Further, through two case studies the authors are developing, the authors report interview findings with two senior VPs from two multi-national corporations being disrupted by COVID-19. This study suggests how this and recent events will impact on the design of future global supply chains.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors apply the constructal law to explain the recent disruptions to the global supply chain orthodoxy. Two interviews are presented from case studies the authors are developing in the USA and UK – one a multi-national automobile parts supplier and the other is a earth-moving equipment manufacture. Specifically, this is an exploratory pathway work trying to make sense of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on supply chain scholarship.

Findings

Adopting the approach of Bejan, the authors believe that what is happening today with COVID-19 and other trade disruptions such as Brexit and the USA imposing tariffs is creating new obstacles that will redirect the future flow of supply chains.

Research limitations/implications

It is clear that the COVID-19 response introduced a bullwhip effect in the manufacturing sector on a scale never-before seen. For scholars, the authors would suggest there are four pathway topics going forward. These topics include: the future state of global sourcing, the unique nature of a combined “demand” and “supply shortage” bullwhip effect, the resurrection of lean and local production systems and the development of risk-recovery contingency strategies to deal with pandemics.

Practical implications

Supply chain managers tend to be iterative and focused on making small and subtle changes to their current system and way of thinking, very often seeking to optimize cost or negotiate better contracts with suppliers. In the current environment, however, such activities have proved to be of little consequence compared to the massive forces of economic disruption of the past three years. Organizations that have more tightly compressed supply chains are enjoying a significant benefit during the COVID-19 crisis and are no longer being held hostage to governments of another country.

Social implications

An implicit assumption in the press is that COVID-19 caught everyone by surprise, and that executives foolishly ignored the risks of outsourcing to China and are now paying the price. However, noted scholars and epidemiologists have been warning of the threats of pandemics since the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus. The pundits would further posit that in their pursuit of low-cost production, global corporations made naive assumptions that nothing could disrupt them. Both the firms the authors have interviewed had to close plants to protect their workforce. It was indicated in the cases the authors are developing that it is going to take manufacturers on average one month to recover from 4–6 days of disruption. These companies employ many thousands of people, and direct and ancillary workers are now temporarily laid off and face an uncertain future as/when they will recover back to normal production.

Originality/value

Using the constructal law of physics, the authors seek to provide guidance to future scholarship on global supply chain management. Further, through two case studies, the authors provide the first insight from two senior VPs from two leading multi-national corporations in their respective sectors being disrupted by COVID-19. This study is the first indication to how this and recent disruptive events will impact on the design of future global supply chains. Unlike the generic work, which has recently appeared in HBR and Forbes, it is grounded in real operational insight.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 40 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

Article
Publication date: 3 January 2017

Rashid Mehmood, Royston Meriton, Gary Graham, Patrick Hennelly and Mukesh Kumar

The purpose of this paper is to advance knowledge of the transformative potential of big data on city-based transport models. The central question guiding this paper is…

3580

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to advance knowledge of the transformative potential of big data on city-based transport models. The central question guiding this paper is: how could big data transform smart city transport operations? In answering this question the authors present initial results from a Markov study. However the authors also suggest caution in the transformation potential of big data and highlight the risks of city and organizational adoption. A theoretical framework is presented together with an associated scenario which guides the development of a Markov model.

Design/methodology/approach

A model with several scenarios is developed to explore a theoretical framework focussed on matching the transport demands (of people and freight mobility) with city transport service provision using big data. This model was designed to illustrate how sharing transport load (and capacity) in a smart city can improve efficiencies in meeting demand for city services.

Findings

This modelling study is an initial preliminary stage of the investigation in how big data could be used to redefine and enable new operational models. The study provides new understanding about load sharing and optimization in a smart city context. Basically the authors demonstrate how big data could be used to improve transport efficiency and lower externalities in a smart city. Further how improvement could take place by having a car free city environment, autonomous vehicles and shared resource capacity among providers.

Research limitations/implications

The research relied on a Markov model and the numerical solution of its steady state probabilities vector to illustrate the transformation of transport operations management (OM) in the future city context. More in depth analysis and more discrete modelling are clearly needed to assist in the implementation of big data initiatives and facilitate new innovations in OM. The work complements and extends that of Setia and Patel (2013), who theoretically link together information system design to operation absorptive capacity capabilities.

Practical implications

The study implies that transport operations would actually need to be re-organized so as to deal with lowering CO2 footprint. The logistic aspects could be seen as a move from individual firms optimizing their own transportation supply to a shared collaborative load and resourced system. Such ideas are radical changes driven by, or leading to more decentralized rather than having centralized transport solutions (Caplice, 2013).

Social implications

The growth of cities and urban areas in the twenty-first century has put more pressure on resources and conditions of urban life. This paper is an initial first step in building theory, knowledge and critical understanding of the social implications being posed by the growth in cities and the role that big data and smart cities could play in developing a resilient and sustainable transport city system.

Originality/value

Despite the importance of OM to big data implementation, for both practitioners and researchers, we have yet to see a systematic analysis of its implementation and its absorptive capacity contribution to building capabilities, at either city system or organizational levels. As such the Markov model makes a preliminary contribution to the literature integrating big data capabilities with OM capabilities and the resulting improvements in system absorptive capacity.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 37 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 October 2017

Christina Öberg, Gary Graham and Patrick Hennelly

The smart city idea refers to new ways of organising city functions and urban life, which are believed to move production and consumption from global to local…

1783

Abstract

Purpose

The smart city idea refers to new ways of organising city functions and urban life, which are believed to move production and consumption from global to local, manufacturing from competitive to collaborative, and business from a shareholder to a multiple-stakeholder point of view. Most previous research has focussed on the societal level of smart cities, while less seems to be known about the management of business as part of smart cities. The purpose of this paper is to present a literature review on the state of the art of management research on smart cities. The following research question is addressed: How has previous research captured the management of organisations in smart cities?

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review using the search term “smart city/cities” in research on business, management, and operational management was conducted for the purpose of capturing previous research. Findings were coded based on main ideas, central concepts, and theories, thematic content of the articles related to the main ideas underpinning smart cities (digitalization, urbanisation, and sustainability as antecedents, and local, collaborative and multiple-stakeholder manufacturing as indicators), and units of analysis.

Findings

The paper points to how most studies on the management of organisations as part of smart cities focus on sustainability and how digitalisation enables new businesses. Collaborative efforts are emphasised and the theoretical framing is fragmented. Issues related to the organising of business is also not problematised and the business network approach could, as discussed in the paper, provide valuable insights related to the collaborative efforts of organisations and the multiple-stakeholder perspective.

Originality/value

The paper is the first to capture and present an overview of previous research on the management of business as part of smart cities. Research on smart cities has focussed on the policy and societal levels, and so far there is a lack of problematisation on how organisations may act, and potentially change their way of acting, should smart cities become a reality.

Details

IMP Journal, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-1403

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 17 February 2022

Gary Graham

Abstract

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Article
Publication date: 17 July 2018

Gary Graham, Laird Burns, Patrick Hennelly and Royston Meriton

The purpose of this paper is to explore how the sourcing process of the electric sports car sector is changing with respect to competitive advantage, required capabilities…

1058

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how the sourcing process of the electric sports car sector is changing with respect to competitive advantage, required capabilities and emerging opportunism.

Design/methodology/approach

The case study data collection covered the period from January till August 2017, which implies a total period of eight months. The empirical analysis implies a sequence of 20 conducted interviews with senior managers, team leaders and operational employees from various organizational departments and functions within Company A, various suppliers and experts from the automobile industry as well as primary and secondary literature.

Findings

This work makes a contribution to the operations capability literature. It highlights the important role that sourcing will play to achieving strategic advantage in the electric sports car segment. Four key operational capabilities are emerging in the operating model. The first links to “capacity” and the ability of suppliers to be locally based so that they can deliver high-quality products and services in the minimum time (optimizing the “time-value” configuration). The second is the “design” of the supplier network. The third relates to “supplier management.” Finally, the fourth capability relates to the ability of the firm to “integrate” and “align” their marketing and IT planning processes with their sourcing process.

Research limitations/implications

Throughout the adaption of a sourcing framework and its extension to consider operational capabilities, the authors have begun to answer the research question of how the sourcing process for the supply of new electric powertrain components is being transformed. These initial findings, the authors intend to expand with more advanced case study work with the firm that will involve empirical modeling of process efficiency and inventory management.

Practical implications

The work closes the gap regarding the need for practical application tools, designed for process managers, who are being confronted by turbulent, unpredictable and fast moving technological-driven market environments. Although the sourcing framework was developed to test the impact of the electric mobility trend, it can likewise be applied for the sourcing of components in other fast changing environments as well.

Social implications

The paper raises the issues of the social role of the smart city planners in providing city spaces to enable the servicing of electric vehicles and to assist their production by developing the skills, capacity and capabilities of local city populations which will be needed to sustain and scale up any locally based operating model of electric vehicle production and servicing.

Originality/value

Although much has been written about the technological challenges of electric vehicles and the rise of new entrants such as Tesla to challenge the dominance of the sports car manufacturer’s very little work to data have explored the business-to-business (B2B) dimensions. The focus has been largely with the business-to-consumers (B2C) market.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 9 September 2020

Jagjit Singh Srai, Gary Graham, Patrick Hennelly, Wendy Phillips, Dharm Kapletia and Harri Lorentz

The emergence of distributed manufacturing (DM) is examined as a new form of localised production, distinct from previous manifestations of multi-domestic and indigenous…

4665

Abstract

Purpose

The emergence of distributed manufacturing (DM) is examined as a new form of localised production, distinct from previous manifestations of multi-domestic and indigenous production.

Design/methodology/approach

Supply network (SN) configuration and infrastructural provisioning perspectives were used to examine the literature on established localised production models as well as DM. A multiple case study was then undertaken to describe and explore the DM model further. A maximum variation sampling procedure was used to select five exemplar cases.

Findings

Three main contributions emerge from this study. First, the research uniquely brings together two bodies of literature, namely SN configuration and infrastructure provisioning to explore the DM context. Second, the research applies these theoretical lenses to establish the distinctive nature of DM across seven dimensions of analysis. Third, emerging DM design rules are identified and compared with the more established models of localised production, drawing on both literature and DM case evidence.

Practical implications

This study provides a rich SN configuration and infrastructural provisioning view on DM leading to a set of design rules for DM adoption, thus supporting practitioners in their efforts to develop viable DM implementation plans.

Originality/value

The authors contribute to the intra- and inter-organisational requirements for the emerging DM context by providing new perspectives through the combined lenses of SN configuration and infrastructural provisioning approaches.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 40 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 May 2015

Gary Graham, Rashid Mehmood and Eve Coles

The purpose of this technical viewpoint is to provide a commentary of how we went about using logistics prototyping as a method to engage citizens, science fiction (SF…

1712

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this technical viewpoint is to provide a commentary of how we went about using logistics prototyping as a method to engage citizens, science fiction (SF) writers and small- to medium- sized enterprises (SME’s). Six urban logistic prototypes built on the themes of future cities, community resilience and urban supply chain management (SCM) are summarized, together with details of the data collection procedure and the methodological challenges encountered. Our investigation aimed to explore the potential of logistics prototyping to develop “user-driven” and “SME” approaches to future city design and urban supply chain decision-making.

Design/methodology/approach

This Boston field experiment was a case study investigation conducted between May and August 2013. Qualitative data was collected using a “mixed-method” approach combining together focus groups (MIT faculty), scenarios, prototyping workshops, interviews and document analysis. These story-creators could use the prototype method as a way of testing their hypotheses, theories and constrained speculations with regard to specified future city and urban supply chain scenarios.

Findings

This viewpoint suggests that the prototyping method allows for unique individual perspectives on future city planning and urban supply chain design. This work also attempts to demonstrate that prototyping can create sufficiently cogent environments for future city and urban SCM theories to be both detected and analysed therein. Although this is an experimental field of the SCM theory building, more conventional theories could also be “tested” in the same manner.

Research limitations/implications

By embedding logistics prototyping within a mixed method approach, we might be criticized as constraining its capability to map out the future – that its potential to be flexible and imaginative are held back by the equal weighting given to the more conventional component. In basing our case study within one city then this might be seen as limiting the complexity of the empirical context – however, the situation within different cities is inherently complex. Case studies also attract criticism on the grounds of not being representative; in this situation, they might be criticized as imperfect indicators of what transpires in other situations. However, this technical viewpoint suggests that in spite of its limitations, prototyping facilitates an imaginative and creative approach to theory generation and concept building.

Practical implications

The methodology allows everyday citizens and SME’s to develop user-driven foresight and planning scenarios with city strategists’ and urban logistic designers. It facilitates much broader stakeholder involvement in city and urban supply chain policymaking, than current “quantitative” approaches.

Social implications

Logistics fiction prototyping provides a democratic approach to future city planning and urban supply chain design. It involves collectively imagining socio-technical futures and second-order sociological effects through the writing of SF narratives or building “design fictions”.

Originality/value

Decision-making in future cities and urban SCM is often a notable challenge, balancing the varying needs and claims of multiple stakeholders, while negotiating an acceptable trade-off between their competing claims. Engagement with stakeholders and active encouragement of stakeholder participation in the supply chain aspects of future cities is increasingly a feature of twenty-first century social decision-making. This viewpoint suggests that the prototyping method allows for unique individual perspectives on future city planning and urban supply chain design. This work also attempts to demonstrate that prototyping can create sufficiently cogent environments for future city and the urban SCM theories to be both detected and analysed therein. Although this is an experimental field of SCM theory building, more conventional theories could also be “tested” in the same manner.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1994

Gary Graham and Brian Kenny

The proper matching of industry structure to strategy is expected to have a positive impact upon organisational performance. This relationship has not been fully examined…

Abstract

The proper matching of industry structure to strategy is expected to have a positive impact upon organisational performance. This relationship has not been fully examined in the defence industry. The central aim of this paper is to link the competitive performance of small, high technology defence firms to their ability to adapt to industry structure changes. With this in mind a study was conducted to extend Porter's (1980) framework of the strategic management of industry structural change. The study draws upon the experiences of 40 small, high technology defence firms in the UK. Firms in the sample range from 5 to 200 employees, and £50,000 to £10m sales turnover. The study broadens the findings of exploratory research undertaken in the buying department of two large defence firms. A questionnaire was designed to identify macro level phenomena and detail hypotheses generated by the case studies. The empirical analysis of the creation and sustaining of competitive advantages will focus on strategic determinants, and inter‐organisational variables that influence the performance of small firms in tendering for defence sub‐contracts.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Article
Publication date: 11 May 2015

Maria Jose Hernandez Serrano, Anita Greenhill and Gary Graham

The purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual framework to understand the influence that the social era is having on the value chain of the local news industry. The…

1679

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual framework to understand the influence that the social era is having on the value chain of the local news industry. The authors theoretically advance value chain theory by, firstly, considering the influence of community type and age on consumption and, secondly, exploring the role that consumers can play in value-adding activities. The theoretical contribution of this study lies in moving from a transactional approach towards consumer relationships in the value chain towards managing consumers as a source of relational value (e.g. co-creation and integrated perspectives).

Design/methodology/approach

The conceptual framework is theoretically positioned in relation to community and digital community practices in the social era. A series of research questions are presented, then these questions are explored drawing on empirical data from the Pew database. The authors then advance the framework further to consider news firm strategy towards its consumers. Fifteen in-depth executive interviews were conducted with local news organizations in the Manchester area of the UK.

Findings

The authors illustrate that different types of communities (merging cohorts and locations) are influencing levels of technological and social connectivity within the value chain. The authors also found that the news industry is experimenting with reconfiguring its consumer relations from a purely transactional to a co-created and participatory value-added activity in the social era. In terms of its policy impact, the findings in this paper show that the whole strategic value chain ideology of the news industry needs to change radically; away from its largely transactional (and lack of trust) approach in the ability of consumers to create value in the supply chain (other than to buy a product) and, move towards much greater consumer involvement and participation in value chain processes (creation, production and distribution of news products and services).

Originality/value

The change associated with social media and connectivity is changing the way that different community types and consumer groups are now consuming and participating in news content creation. Unlike previous studies, the authors show that there is variance and complexity in the levels of consumer participation by community type/age group. Using the Pew data, the authors contribute to knowledge on the value creation strategy of news firms in the social era, by identifying how communicative, social and communicative logics influence value and co-creation activities in the local news supply chain. Through interviews, the authors advance value co-creation theory from its strategic and marketing origins to operational and supply chain implementation.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

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