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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2024

Mike Brookbanks and Glenn C. Parry

This study aims to examine the effect of Industry 4.0 technology on resilience in established cross-border supply chain(s) (SC).

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the effect of Industry 4.0 technology on resilience in established cross-border supply chain(s) (SC).

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review provides insight into the resilience capabilities of cross-border SC. The research uses a case study of operational international SC: the producers, importers, logistics companies and UK Government (UKG) departments. Semi-structured interviews determine the resilience capabilities and approaches of participants within cross-border SC and how implementing an Industry 4.0 Internet of Things (IoT) and capitals Distributed Ledger (blockchain) based technology platform changes SC resilience capabilities and approaches.

Findings

A blockchain-based platform introduces common assured data, reducing data duplication. When combined with IoT technology, the platform improves end-to-end SC visibility and information sharing. Industry 4.0 technology builds collaboration, trust, improved agility, adaptability and integration. It enables common resilience capabilities and approaches that reduce the de-coupling between government agencies and participants of cross-border SC.

Research limitations/implications

The case study presents challenges specific to UKG’s customs border operations; research needs to be repeated in different contexts to confirm findings are generalisable.

Practical implications

Operational SC and UKG customs and excise departments must align their resilience strategies to gain full advantage of Industry 4.0 technologies.

Originality/value

Case study research shows how Industry 4.0 technology reduces the de-coupling between the SC and UKG, enhancing common resilience capabilities within established cross-border operations. Improved information sharing and SC visibility provided by IoT and blockchain technologies support the development of resilience in established cross-border SC and enhance interactions with UKG at the customs border.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 July 2021

Pedro Lafargue, Michael Rogerson, Glenn C. Parry and Joel Allainguillaume

This paper examines the potential of “biomarkers” to provide immutable identification for food products (chocolate), providing traceability and visibility in the supply chain from…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper examines the potential of “biomarkers” to provide immutable identification for food products (chocolate), providing traceability and visibility in the supply chain from retail product back to farm.

Design/methodology/approach

This research uses qualitative data collection, including fieldwork at cocoa farms and chocolate manufacturers in Ecuador and the Netherlands and semi-structured interviews with industry professionals to identify challenges and create a supply chain map from cocoa plant to retailer, validated by area experts. A library of biomarkers is created using DNA collected from fieldwork and the International Cocoa Quarantine Centre, holders of cocoa varieties from known locations around the world. Matching sample biomarkers with those in the library enables identification of origins of cocoa used in a product, even when it comes from multiple different sources and has been processed.

Findings

Supply chain mapping and interviews identify areas of the cocoa supply chain that lack the visibility required for management to guarantee sustainability and quality. A decoupling point, where smaller farms/traders’ goods are combined to create larger economic units, obscures product origins and limits visibility. These factors underpin a potential boundary condition to institutional theory in the industry’s fatalism to environmental and human abuses in the face of rising institutional pressures. Biomarkers reliably identify product origin, including specific farms and (fermentation) processing locations, providing visibility and facilitating control and trust when purchasing cocoa.

Research limitations/implications

The biomarker “meta-barcoding” of cocoa beans used in chocolate manufacturing accurately identifies the farm, production facility or cooperative, where a cocoa product came from. A controlled data set of biomarkers of registered locations is required for audit to link chocolate products to origin.

Practical implications

Where biomarkers can be produced from organic products, they offer a method for closing visibility gaps, enabling responsible sourcing. Labels (QR codes, barcodes, etc.) can be swapped and products tampered with, but biological markers reduce reliance on physical tags, diminishing the potential for fraud. Biomarkers identify product composition, pinpointing specific farm(s) of origin for cocoa in chocolate, allowing targeted audits of suppliers and identifying if cocoa of unknown origin is present. Labour and environmental abuses exist in many supply chains and enabling upstream visibility may help firms address these challenges.

Social implications

By describing a method for firms in cocoa supply chains to scientifically track their cocoa back to the farm level, the research shows that organizations can conduct social audits for child labour and environmental abuses at specific farms proven to be in their supply chains. This provides a method for delivering supply chain visibility (SCV) for firms serious about tackling such problems.

Originality/value

This paper provides one of the very first examples of biomarkers for agricultural SCV. An in-depth study of stakeholders from the cocoa and chocolate industry elucidates problematic areas in cocoa supply chains. Biomarkers provide a unique biological product identifier. Biomarkers can support efforts to address environmental and social sustainability issues such as child labour, modern slavery and deforestation by providing visibility into previously hidden areas of the supply chain.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 27 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 May 2020

Michael Rogerson and Glenn C. Parry

This paper aims to investigate how blockchain has moved beyond cryptocurrencies and is being deployed to enhance visibility and trust in supply chains, their limitations and…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate how blockchain has moved beyond cryptocurrencies and is being deployed to enhance visibility and trust in supply chains, their limitations and potential impact.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative analysis are undertaken via case studies drawn from food companies using semi-structured interviews.

Findings

Blockchain is demonstrated as an enabler of visibility in supply chains. Applications at scale are most likely for products where the end consumer is prepared to pay the premium currently required to fund the technology, e.g. baby food. Challenges remain in four areas: trust of the technology, human error and fraud at the boundaries, governance, consumer data access and willingness to pay.

Research limitations/implications

The paper shows that blockchain can be utilised as part of a system generating visibility and trust in supply chains. Research directs academic attention to issues that remain to be addressed. The challenges pertaining to the technology itself we believe to be generalisable; those specific to the food industry may not hold elsewhere.

Practical implications

From live case studies, we provide empirical evidence that blockchain provides visibility of exchanges and reliable data in fully digitised supply chains. This provides provenance and guards against counterfeit goods. However, firms will need to work to gain consumer buy-in for the technology following repeated past claims of trustworthiness.

Originality/value

This paper provides primary evidence from blockchain use cases “in the wild”. The exploratory case studies examine application of blockchain for supply chain visibility.

Article
Publication date: 18 March 2024

Alisha Tuladhar, Michael Rogerson, Juliette Engelhart, Glenn C. Parry and Birgit Altrichter

Firms are increasingly pressured to comply with mandatory supply chain transparency (SCT) regulations. Drawing on information processing theory (IPT), this study aims to show how…

Abstract

Purpose

Firms are increasingly pressured to comply with mandatory supply chain transparency (SCT) regulations. Drawing on information processing theory (IPT), this study aims to show how blockchain technology can address information uncertainty and equivocality in assuring regulatory compliance in an interorganizational network (ION).

Design/methodology/approach

IPT is applied in a single case study of an ION in the mining industry that aimed to implement blockchain to address mandatory SCT regulations. The authors build on a rich proprietary data set consisting of interviews and substantial secondary material from actors along the supply chain.

Findings

The case shows that blockchain creates equality between actors, enables compliance and enhances efficiency in an ION, reducing information uncertainty and equivocality arising from conflict minerals regulation. The system promotes engagement and data sharing between parties while protecting commercial sensitive information. The lack of central authority prevents larger partners from taking control. The system provides mineral provenance and a regulation-compliant record. System cost analysis shows that the system is efficient as it is inexpensive relative to volumes and values of metals transacted. Issues were identified related to collecting richer human rights data for assurance and compliance with due diligence regulations.

Originality/value

The authors provide some of the first evidence in the operations and supply chain management literature of the specific architecture, costs and limitations of using blockchain for SCT. Using an IPT lens in an ION setting, the authors demonstrate how blockchain-based systems can address two key IPT challenges: environmental uncertainty and equivocality.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 September 2013

Oscar F. Bustinza, Glenn C. Parry and Ferran Vendrell-Herrero

The purpose of this paper is to understand how firms manage their product and service offerings, integrating supply chain management (SCM) and demand chain management (DCM…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand how firms manage their product and service offerings, integrating supply chain management (SCM) and demand chain management (DCM) strategies. Adding services to the product portfolio of a firm may bring benefits to an organisation, but requires a reconsideration of the supply chain management approach.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey is used to collect data, with valid questionnaires obtained for 4,227 UK-based respondents. Empirical analysis utilises structural equation modelling (SEM).

Findings

The paper proposes that a combination of management approaches is required by firms which add services to their portfolio of traditional product offerings. A supply chain management approach may be suitable for traditional product offerings. The management of the services value chain, where the customers' role as value creator is a central feature of the construct, is better served by integration of the market orientation of DCM.

Originality/value

The paper addresses a research gap related to the shift in traditional activities carried out by a firm moving from purely product to a product service offer and reconsiders the supply and demand chain management approach. The paper is from a Business to Consumer (B2C) perspective. In this context, the work pioneers analysis into a particular case where a firm's product and service offerings may be substitutes for each other in the eyes of the customer.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 18 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Glenn C Parry, Saara A. Brax, Roger S. Maull and Irene C. L. Ng

Improvement of reverse supply chains requires accurate and timely information about the patterns of consumption. In the consumer context, the ways to generate and access such…

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Abstract

Purpose

Improvement of reverse supply chains requires accurate and timely information about the patterns of consumption. In the consumer context, the ways to generate and access such use-visibility data are in their infancy. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate how the Internet of Things (IoT) may be operationalised in the domestic setting to capture data on a consumer’s use of products and the implications for reverse supply chains.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses an explorative case approach drawing on data from studies of six UK households. “Horizontal” data, which reveals patterns in consumers’ use processes, is generated by combining “vertical” data from multiple sources. Use processes in the homes are mapped using IDEF0 and illustrated with the data. The quantitative data are generated using wireless sensors in the home, and qualitative data are drawn from online calendars, social media, interviews and ethnography.

Findings

The study proposes four generic measurement categories for operationalising the concept of use-visibility: experience, consumption, interaction and depletion, which together address the use of different household resources. The explorative case demonstrates how these measures can be operationalised to achieve visibility of the context of use in the home. The potential of such use-visibility for reverse supply chains is discussed.

Research limitations/implications

This explorative case study is based on an in-depth study of the bathroom which illustrates the application of use-visibility measures (UVMs) but provides a limited use context. Further research is needed from a wider set of homes and a wider set of use processes and contexts.

Practical implications

The case demonstrates the operationalisation of the combination of data from different sources and helps answer questions of “why?”, “how?”, “when?” and “how much?”, which can inform reverse supply chains. The four UVMs can be operationalised in a way that can contribute to supply chain visibility, providing accurate and timely information of consumption, optimising resource use and eliminating waste.

Originality/value

IDEF0 framework and case analysis is used to identify and validate four UVMs available through IoT data – that of experience, consumption, interaction and depletion. The UVMs characterise IoT data generated from a given process and inform the primary reverse flow in the future supply chain. They provide the basis for future data collection and development of theory around their effect on reverse supply chain efficiency.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 February 2014

Glenn Parry, Oscar F. Bustinza and Ferran Vendrell-Herrero

This paper highlights the challenges and key arguments for digital copyright protection legislation for creative industries.

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper highlights the challenges and key arguments for digital copyright protection legislation for creative industries.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by independent academics who place the arguments in context based upon literature and market data.

Findings

Many of the arguments used against copyright protection laws draw upon flawed analysis. Artistic creators should be treated fairly and their work should be afforded the same protection as other property.

Practical implications

Digital legislation warrants review, but not for the frequently cited reasons of “stifling innovation” or “restriction” of others using the work. Rather, artists need better protection for their work and fairer treatment with regards their property rights.

Originality/value

The paper provides context and practical insights into the data used to influence policy decision makers, providing a stronger case for legislative review.

Details

Strategic Direction, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 January 2017

Ferran Vendrell-Herrero, Vasileios Myrthianos, Glenn Parry and Oscar F. Bustinza

The unobserved benefits of digital technologies are described as digital dark matter. Product service systems (PSSs) are bundles of products and services that deliver value in…

Abstract

Purpose

The unobserved benefits of digital technologies are described as digital dark matter. Product service systems (PSSs) are bundles of products and services that deliver value in use, which is unobserved but generates benefits. This paper aims to empirically quantify digital dark matter within PSSs and correlates that measure with national competitiveness.

Design/methodology/approach

A novel methodology establishes the link between customer needs and a product and digital service portfolio offered across ten developed economies. The case context is the music industry where product and services are often substitutes – a cannibalistic PSS. Consumer information is obtained from a unique database of more than 18,000 consumer surveys. Consumer demand for digital formats is modelled and predicted through logistic regressions.

Findings

The work provides inverse estimations for digital dark matter within PSSs by calculating the gap between supply and demand for digital offers – described as the business model challenge. The USA has the lowest business model challenge; the home of major companies developing digital technologies. Digital dark matter is shown to be positively correlated with national competitiveness and manufacturing competitiveness indices.

Practical implications

The success of a cannibalistic PSS requires good understanding of market demand. Governments embarking on soft innovation policies might incentivise the development of service-orientated business models based on digital technologies.

Originality/value

Work expands theory on the concept of digital dark matter to the PSS literature. Empirically, a novel method is proposed to measure digital dark matter.

Details

Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1059-5422

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 May 2021

Philip Davies, Glenn Parry, Laura Anne Phillips and Irene C.L. Ng

The purpose of this paper is to explore the interplay between firm boundary decisions and the management of both efficiency and flexibility and the implications this has for…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the interplay between firm boundary decisions and the management of both efficiency and flexibility and the implications this has for modular design in the provision of advanced services.

Design/methodology/approach

A single case study in the defence industry employs semi-structured interviews supplemented by secondary data. Data are analysed using thematic analysis.

Findings

The findings provide a process model of boundary negotiations for the design of efficient and flexible modular systems consisting of three phases; boundary ambiguity, boundary defences and boundary alignment.

Practical implications

The study provides a process framework for boundary negotiations to help organisations navigate the management of both-and efficiency and flexibility in the provision of advanced services.

Originality/value

Drawing upon modularity, paradox and systems theory, this article provides novel theoretical insight into the relationship between firm boundary decisions and the management of both-and efficiency vs. flexibility in the provision of product upgrade services.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 41 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 10 March 2022

Mike Brookbanks and Glenn Parry

This paper examines the impact of a blockchain platform on the role and importance of trust in established buyer-supplier relationships.

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper examines the impact of a blockchain platform on the role and importance of trust in established buyer-supplier relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review provides insight into trust development in supply chains. Research uses a case study of two wine supply chains: the producers, importers, logistics companies and UK Government agencies. Semi-structured interviews determine how trust and trustworthiness develop in buyer-supplier relationships and the impact of a blockchain-based technology proof of concept on supply chain trust.

Findings

A blockchain-based platform introduces common trusted data, reducing data duplication and improving supply chain visibility. The platform supports trust building between parties but does not replace the requirements for organisations to establish a position of trust. Contrary to literature claims for blockchain trustless disintermediation, new intermediaries are introduced who need to be trusted.

Research limitations/implications

The case study presents challenges specific to UK customs borders, and research needs to be repeated in different contexts to establish if findings are generalisable.

Practical implications

A blockchain-based platform can improve supply chain efficiency and trust development but does not remove the need for trust and trust-building processes. Blockchain platform providers need to build a position of trust with all participants.

Originality/value

Case study research shows how blockchain facilitates but does not remove trust, trustworthiness and trust relationships in established supply chains. The reduction in information asymmetry and improved supply chain visibility provided by blockchain does not change the importance of trust in established buyer-supplier relationships or the trust-based policy of the UK Government at the customs border.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 27 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

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