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Article
Publication date: 28 February 2019

Laura M. Birou, Kenneth W. Green and R. Anthony Inman

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of sustainability training and knowledge on sustainable supply chain practices (SSCP) and the resulting impact on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of sustainability training and knowledge on sustainable supply chain practices (SSCP) and the resulting impact on sustainable supply chain outcomes (SSCO) and firm performance. It also provides a valid and reliable measure of SSCO.

Design/methodology/approach

Data collected from 129 manufacturing managers are analyzed using a partial least squares structural equation modeling methodology. Manufacturing managers provide data reflecting the degree to which their organizations improved sustainability training and knowledge, utilize SSCP, the degree to which SSCO result, and the subsequent operational performance (OPP) and environmental economic performance (EEP).

Findings

Organizational sustainability training and knowledge positively impacts SSCP, and the utilization of SSCP results in SSCO which favorably impact OPP and EEP.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited to manufacturing organizations.

Practical implications

Practitioners are encouraged to improve organizational learning and training and are provided with a valid and reliable scale for measuring the outcomes of their sustainable practices. Combined with the work of others, this provides a framework for evaluating different aspects of sustainability with a firm.

Social implications

Improved green manufacturing practices improves the environment by eliminating all forms of waste and provides eco-friendly products and services.

Originality/value

A sustainable supply chain training and knowledge model is proposed and empirically assessed. The results of this investigation support the proposition that sustainability training and knowledge support the implementation of sustainability supply chain practices which, in turn, improve sustainability outcomes and operational and EEP.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1993

Stanley E. Fawcett, Laura Birou and Barbara Cofield Taylor

The development of co‐ordinated global manufacturing is animportant approach to enhancing competitiveness. However, globalmanufacturing strategies provide the greatest…

Abstract

The development of co‐ordinated global manufacturing is an important approach to enhancing competitiveness. However, global manufacturing strategies provide the greatest competitive advantage when they are appropriately supported through key value‐added logistics and purchasing activities. Examines the relationship between global manufacturing and strategic advantage, emphasizing the need to establish adequate logistics and purchasing support. Presents a conceptual overview of the topic and reports the results of a survey‐based empirical study. Objectives are to examine the state of current logistics and purchasing practice as they relate to supporting the global network, and to evaluate the performance of these key activities as they support global operations.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1993

Khalid F. Alotaibi, Stanley E. Fawcett and Laura Birou

Increasing competitive pressure over the past 20 years has forced many companies to re‐evaluate their value‐added systems. This re‐evaluation has greatly amplified the…

Abstract

Increasing competitive pressure over the past 20 years has forced many companies to re‐evaluate their value‐added systems. This re‐evaluation has greatly amplified the managerial attention focused on purchasing. Indeed, many firms have begun to emphasize purchasing in their attempts to improve their competitive positions. Two advanced sourcing practices have been particularly important: global and JIT sourcing. This paper: 1) reviews the literature pertaining to these two sourcing practices, 2) considers potential competitive impact, 3) explores issues of compatibility, and 4) presents future research directions.

Details

International Journal of Commerce and Management, vol. 3 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1056-9219

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1992

Stanley E. Fawcett and Laura M. Birou

Two of the most pervasive trends in purchasing management duringthe 1980s were the increased usage of global sourcing and thedevelopment of JIT sourcing. Both practices…

Abstract

Two of the most pervasive trends in purchasing management during the 1980s were the increased usage of global sourcing and the development of JIT sourcing. Both practices have become quite popular because of the significant competitive benefits they provide to the firms that successfully implement them. Despite their increasingly widespread adoption, these two sourcing strategies have traditionally been viewed as incompatible; therefore, most firms have not sought to integrate them in their efforts to enhance competitive position. Explores the potential of using logistics to facilitate the concurrent usage of global and JIT sourcing. Combines a conceptual discussion with an empirical study to understand better the opportunities to develop integrated global/JIT materials.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 14 August 2007

William J. Christensen, Richard N. Germain and Laura Birou

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of supply chain lead‐time averages and variability on an organization's financial performance.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of supply chain lead‐time averages and variability on an organization's financial performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The “executive” list for manufacturers, consisting of 1,264 individuals of the Institute of Supply Management provided the study's sampling frame, with surveys sent to 402 firms and responses obtained from 210 firms. The empirical model is tested using LISREL.

Findings

The results show that as variance in supply chain lead‐times increases, the financial performance of the organization decreases. Of equal significance, the results show that average supply chain lead‐times have no direct impact on financial performance. The results also indicate that demand uncertainty associates with greater supply chain lead‐time variance and that production technology routineness associates with lower supply chain lead‐time variance. Product complexity and organizational size have no impact on supply chain lead‐time variance or supply chain lead‐time average.

Research limitations/implications

The research is an initial effort to understand variance in supply chain systems. An ongoing challenge in this area is operationalization of measures and data collection techniques that go beyond a single firm and examine a network of organizations cooperating in a value‐added supply chain.

Practical implications

The results suggest that managing the variance in a supply chain system may be more important to an organization's financial performance than managing averages.

Originality/value

This is particularly significant since organizations often act contrary to these findings, focusing scarce resources on reducing average lead‐times rather than on reducing variability in supply chain lead‐times.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 12 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 June 2013

Heather Lutz and Laura Birou

This paper aims to provide the results of a large‐scale survey of courses dedicated to the field of logistics in higher education. This research is unique because it…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide the results of a large‐scale survey of courses dedicated to the field of logistics in higher education. This research is unique because it represents the first large‐scale study of both undergraduate and graduate logistics courses.

Design/methodology/approach

Content analysis was performed on each syllabus to identify the actual course coverage: requirements, pedagogy and content emphasis. Content analysis is a descriptive approach to categorize data and the results may be limited by the categorizations used in analysis. This aggregated information was utilized to compare historical research findings in this area with the current skills identified as important for career success. These data provide input for gap analysis between offerings in higher education and those needs identified by practitioners.

Findings

Data gathering efforts yielded a sample of 118 logistics courses representing 77 schools and six different countries. The aggregate number of topics covered in undergraduate courses totalled 95, while graduate courses covered 81 different topics. The primary evaluation techniques include the traditional exams, projects and homework. Details regarding learning objectives and grading schema are provided along with a gap analysis between the coverage of logistics courses and the needs identified by practitioners.

Originality/value

The goal is to use these data as a means of continuous improvement in the quality and value of the educational experience. The findings are designed to foster information sharing and provide data for benchmarking efforts in the development of logistics courses and curricula in academia as well as training and development by professionals in the field of logistics.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 July 2011

Laura Birou, Richard N. Germain and William J. Christensen

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships between internal process improvement investments, applied channel logistics knowledge, and financial performance…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships between internal process improvement investments, applied channel logistics knowledge, and financial performance for make‐to‐order (MTO) and make‐to‐stock (MTS) manufacturers. This study takes the position that knowledge, specifically tacit or applied knowledge, may serve as a key indicator of organizational performance. In this study, the tacit knowledge exhibited in intentional logistics integration activities is captured in the construct applied channel logistics knowledge.

Design/methodology/approach

A structural equation model, controlling for firm size and demand uncertainty, is used to examine these relationships. A sampling frame of 1,264 senior manufacturing “executives” provided 222 usable surveys representing 210 firms.

Findings

The results show that for MTO firms, higher investments in internal process improvement relate to higher applied channel logistics knowledge, whereas for MTS firms, the relationship does not hold, and this difference is significant. In addition, the results indicate a positive relationship between internal process improvement investment and financial performance for MTO firms, whereas again the relationship does not hold for MTS firms. Both MTO and MTS firms show increased financial performance when applied channel logistics knowledge increases, although the increase in financial performance is significantly greater for MTO firms.

Originality/value

Historically, the success of integration strategies has been postulated to be equally effective for MTO and MTS firms, a “one‐size‐fits‐all” approach to improving system effectiveness. However, given the inherent differences in these manufacturing strategies, this speculation deserves further investigation and serves as the focus of this research. The use of the tacit knowledge construct applied channel logistics knowledge is also unique and of value in understanding supply chain relationships.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 31 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1999

Gregory M. Magnan, Stanley E. Fawcett and Laura M. Birou

The dynamic nature of today’s global marketplace places a premium on a firm’s ability to anticipate and to respond to customer needs as well as changing competitive…

Abstract

The dynamic nature of today’s global marketplace places a premium on a firm’s ability to anticipate and to respond to customer needs as well as changing competitive pressures. Within this environment, developing a successful manufacturing strategy can be critical to the firm’s long‐term competitive success. This paper looks at the potential for using the product life cycle (PLC) as a strategic anchor in the manufacturing strategy planning process. Results of an empirical study that investigated the fit of 44 manufacturing techniques across the PLC stage are presented. The implementation status and impact of the various manufacturing techniques is also considered.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2011

Kenneth W. Green, R. Anthony Inman and Laura M. Birou

This study aims to assess the impact of a JIT‐selling strategy on organizational structure by generally replicating the previous work of Germain et al.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to assess the impact of a JIT‐selling strategy on organizational structure by generally replicating the previous work of Germain et al.

Design/methodology/approach

In contrast to the sample population of logistics managers surveyed by Germain et al. this research draws on data from manufacturing executives with marketing responsibilities. More importantly, a major limitation of the earlier research, use of a single‐item scale measurement of the JIT‐selling construct, is overcome. A structural equation modeling approach was used to assess the impact of JIT‐selling on the organizational structure dimensions of integration, performance control, specialization, and decentralization.

Findings

Germain et al. found that JIT‐selling impacts performance control, specialization, and scheduling decentralization but not integration. While the results of this study support earlier findings that JIT‐selling impacts performance control and specialization, the results alternately find support for a relationship between JIT‐selling and integration and refute the previous finding that JIT‐selling is related to decentralization.

Research limitations/implications

The findings generally support the proposition that adoption of a JIT‐selling strategy will result in changes in organizational structure.

Practical implications

Manufacturing managers working to strengthen relationships with customers through a JIT‐selling approach should prepare for organizational change in terms of increased integration, performance control, and specialization.

Originality/value

JIT strategies are being used to strengthen the operations/marketing interface within the manufacturing sector. Specifically, this study assesses the impact of the JIT‐selling strategy on organizational structure in an effort to verify the work of Germain et al.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 111 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1994

Laura M. Birou and Stanley E. Fawcett

Increasing competitive parity in the areas of cost and quality hasforced global manufacturers to seek other sources of competitiveadvantage with new product development…

Abstract

Increasing competitive parity in the areas of cost and quality has forced global manufacturers to seek other sources of competitive advantage with new product development rapidly becoming the focal point in the quest for sustained growth and profitability. The essence of today′s new product development strategies is the simultaneous development of the new product and the accompanying manufacturing process such that quality is enhanced, costs reduced, and lead times shortened. The implementation of the integrated product development (IPD) process has come to depend on the use of multi‐functional teams. Today, outside suppliers represent increasingly important members of the new product development team. Supplier involvement promotes better resource utilization, the development and sharing of technological expertise, and network effectiveness. Explores the state of supplier involvement in the IPD process, and compares the practices of US and European firms.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 24 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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