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Article
Publication date: 2 February 2023

Imranul Hoque, Malek Miguel Maalouf, Moutushi Tanha, Md Shamimul Islam, Mohammad Zahedul Alam and Moniruzzaman Sarker

This study aims to explore the challenges in implementing and sustaining lean in garment supplier factories and the buyer–supplier role in mitigating lean barriers in a typical…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the challenges in implementing and sustaining lean in garment supplier factories and the buyer–supplier role in mitigating lean barriers in a typical situation and pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a qualitative research approach and multiple embedded case study method, data were collected through in-depth interviews with senior managers of one lead buyer and their four key garment supplier factories in Bangladesh. Within and cross-case analysis, techniques were applied to understand the context-oriented lean challenges and buyer–supplier role in mitigating the challenges.

Findings

The study findings demonstrate that garment suppliers are less prepared and unsystematic in lean implementation having limited capabilities and less preparation. Moreover, they have limited support from buyers, less commitment from top management and employee resistance to implementing lean. Lean challenges become more intense because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, buyer–supplier responsible, cooperative and collaborative behaviour can mitigate lean challenges.

Research limitations/implications

Whereas many stakeholders may be responsible for lean challenges, this study explores dyadic role between buyer and supplier only based on a single lead buyer and their four suppliers. Hence future studies could consider more buyers and suppliers for a holistic understanding.

Practical implications

This study could help buyers and suppliers understand the underlying causes of lean implementation challenges in garment supplier factories and their role in sustaining lean reducing the challenges, particularly in a pandemic.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, for the first time, this study depicts how buyer and supplier can play their due roles to mitigate lean challenges in garment supplier factories in a pandemic situation.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 14 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 October 2021

Imranul Hoque and Miguel Malek Maalouf

This study investigates the impact of a buyer-assisted quality intervention on suppliers' quality performance and buyer–supplier relational dynamics in the garment industry.

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigates the impact of a buyer-assisted quality intervention on suppliers' quality performance and buyer–supplier relational dynamics in the garment industry.

Design/methodology/approach

This study employed a multiple-embedded case study following a qualitative research approach. The study used data from buyer-assisted quality interventions in sewing lines of four garment supplier factories. Qualitative data were collected through semi-structured interviews of buyer's representatives at their office and senior managers, line inspectors, supervisors and workers in supplier factories. In addition, data related to product quality was obtained from quality check sheets and observations on the shop floor. Data were analysed using qualitative data analysis techniques.

Findings

This study demonstrates that a buyer-assisted quality intervention improves product quality performance by reducing quality defects in targeted garment products resulting in improved buyer–supplier relationships. Moreover, this study identifies the lack of a systematic approach in quality control as a key reason for poor product quality.

Research limitations/implications

The study adds knowledge to the literature on quality improvement and buyer–supplier relationships by analysing buyer-assisted quality interventions in the garment industry in Bangladesh. The study demonstrates that buyer's assistance and adopting a systematic approach in quality control can significantly improve product quality in the garment industry.

Practical implications

This research can help the quality assurance managers in buyer and supplier firms understand the significance of quality interventions and systematic quality control approach to decrease product quality defects and ensure smooth buyer–supplier relationships.

Originality/value

The study adds new knowledge on the link between buyer-assisted quality interventions, systematic quality control and product quality in garments factories in Bangladesh.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 29 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 March 2020

Imranul Hoque, Peter Hasle and Miguel Malek Maalouf

Investigate the potential of using “lean” in garment supplier factories to enhance productivity and compliance capability, so as to fulfill a buyer's expectation of lower price…

Abstract

Purpose

Investigate the potential of using “lean” in garment supplier factories to enhance productivity and compliance capability, so as to fulfill a buyer's expectation of lower price, shorter lead time, and higher occupational health and safety (OHS) standards.

Design/methodology/approach

By means of an intervention, lean tools integrated with OHS elements were introduced in four Bangladeshi key garment suppliers of a Danish buyer. By employing a qualitative approach, both quantitative and qualitative techniques were used to collect data on productivity, OHS, and buyer–supplier efforts.

Findings

This study demonstrates that lean tools, integrated with OHS elements, can be used to improve the productivity and compliance capabilities of supplier firms, which meet a buyers' changing demands for lower prices, shorter lead times, and higher compliance standards. This study suggests that the improvement of productivity and OHS in supplier firms through lean implementation could be a better choice for buyers than switching to new suppliers with uncertainties in productivity and delivery, as well as OHS compliance problems.

Practical implications

The findings of this study suggest that garment suppliers can benefit from implementing lean, thereby improving their capacity to meet buyers' expectations. Therefore, both suppliers and buyers have a mutual interest in the application of lean in suppliers' production facilities.

Originality/value

By considering both buyer and supplier perspectives, this research is a unique attempt to investigate the possibilities of lean implementation at the shop-floor level to meet the market challenges in the context of a developing country.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 69 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

Content available

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 45 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Article
Publication date: 5 May 2015

Diego Vega and Christine Roussat

In recent years, logistics service providers (LSPs) have become important players in the humanitarian field, providing support for NGOs and governments when they respond to major…

5293

Abstract

Purpose

In recent years, logistics service providers (LSPs) have become important players in the humanitarian field, providing support for NGOs and governments when they respond to major disasters. However, the academic literature on humanitarian logistics has not really explored the roles that LSPs play in relief supply chains. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of LSPs in humanitarian relief.

Design/methodology/approach

The research uses a two-stage exploratory approach: first, it systematically reviews the humanitarian logistics literature to see the extent to which LSPs are taken into account. Then it analyses the web sites of leading LSPs to examine how they communicate about their role in humanitarian relief.

Findings

This research produces some surprising findings. While the academic literature seems to neglect the roles of LSPs in humanitarian logistics, some major third-party firms highlight their roles in relief networks. A number of research propositions are presented describing emerging roles for LSPs in relief supply chains.

Research limitations/implications

This paper focuses on academic humanitarian logistics literature; a review of practitioner articles and the LSP literature might also be relevant. The web site analysis is based on corporate communication which may contain bias. Further research should add to this work with NGO/government perspectives and produce primary data in order to demonstrate the external validity of the research propositions.

Practical implications

The research identifies different roles LSPs could play in humanitarian supply chains, suggesting opportunities for new business lines.

Originality/value

The main contributions of this paper are to explore the roles LSPs could play in humanitarian logistics and to bring a new perspective to humanitarian logistics research.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 45 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 May 2015

Britta Gammelgaard

Many city logistics projects in Europe have failed. A better understanding of the complex organizational change processes in city logistics projects with many stakeholders may…

2278

Abstract

Purpose

Many city logistics projects in Europe have failed. A better understanding of the complex organizational change processes in city logistics projects with many stakeholders may expand city logistics capabilities and thereby help prevent future failures. The purpose of this paper is therefore to increase understanding of how city logistics emerge, and secondarily, to investigate whether such processes can be managed at all.

Design/methodology/approach

A paradigm shift in urban planning creates new ways of involving stakeholders in new sustainability measures such as city logistics. Organizational change theory is applied to capture the social processes leading to emergence of city logistics. The methodology is a qualitative processual analysis of a single longitudinal case.

Findings

The change process took different forms over time. At the time of concluding the analysis, positive dialectic forces were at play. City logistics schemes are still in an innovation phase. The biggest challenge in managing a process toward city logistics is to convince the many public and private stakeholders of their mutual interest and goals.

Research limitations/implications

Urban goods transport sustainability schemes take many forms, and city logistics is but one such form. Furthermore, the methodology of a single context specific case study does not make prediction possible.

Practical implications

Fewer city logistics projects may fail due to stakeholder participation.

Social implications

Fewer city logistics projects may fail. Thereby, cities become more environmentally and socially sustainable.

Originality/value

Insights into a city logistics project from a change management perspective has not previously been reported in literature.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 45 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 May 2015

Alex da Mota Pedrosa, Vera Blazevic and Claudia Jasmand

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the microfoundations of customer knowledge acquisition during logistics innovation development. Specifically, the authors explore the…

1971

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the microfoundations of customer knowledge acquisition during logistics innovation development. Specifically, the authors explore the activities and behaviors of employees with customer contact (i.e. boundary-spanning employees (BSEs)) to deepen and broaden their knowledge about customers for the development of innovations.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative research based on multiple semi-structured interviews with BSEs of six logistics service providers was conducted to explore the deepening and broadening of customer knowledge during innovation development. Data were analyzed for similarities and differences in BSEs’ knowledge acquisition and their interactions with customers across six innovations.

Findings

Results show that BSEs engage sequentially in deepening and broadening customer knowledge throughout the logistics innovation development process. Yet, the specific sequence depends on the type of innovation developed (customized vs standardized). Customer knowledge tends to be deepened in one-on-one interactions, while knowledge tends to be broadened in interactions with numerous and diverse customer firm members.

Research limitations/implications

In general, this paper contributes to the understanding of the individuals’ behaviors underlying organization-level phenomena, such as logistics service providers’ customer knowledge acquisition.

Practical implications

Findings illustrate that BSEs are well advised to concentrate on either deepening or broadening their customer knowledge in a single stage of the logistics innovation development process but switch between these two knowledge acquisition approaches from stage-to-stage to leverage customer interaction.

Originality/value

By investigating firms’ customer knowledge acquisition at the individual level, this paper addresses the calls in the literature for more research into the microfoundations of organizational phenomena.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 45 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 May 2015

Vikram Bhakoo, Prakash Jagat Singh and Austin Chia

The purpose of this paper is to develop a better understanding of how the supply chain structure (i.e. degree of vertical integration) of a focal organization shapes the breadth…

2159

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a better understanding of how the supply chain structure (i.e. degree of vertical integration) of a focal organization shapes the breadth of its portfolio of technologies.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, three case studies were conducted involving key players in the Australian mass grocery retail sector. Each had a distinct supply chain structure (i.e. totally vertically disintegrated, partially vertically integrated and totally vertically integrated). Each supply chain case study included manufacturers or suppliers, transport and logistics service providers, wholesalers/distributors, as well as the mass grocery retail organizations. Interviews with key personnel from these organizations and other relevant information informed the findings and conclusions.

Findings

The information technologies employed by the three focal case organizations and their extended trading partners varied in terms of level, type, complexity and sophistication. The authors highlight how the choice of supply chain technologies is affected by supply chain structure (extent of vertical integration). The authors found that disintegrated supply chain structures have a broader portfolio of technologies, whereas integrated supply chains have a narrow portfolio.

Research limitations/implications

This study is confined to three organizations in the Australian mass grocery retail sector, so any extensions should be made with caution.

Practical implications

The framework presented in this study can guide organizations in assessing the appropriateness of their supply chain portfolios of technologies with the structure of their supply chains. For standard setting bodies, the findings of this study suggest that technologies need to be tailored to the requirements of the supply chains, with the level of vertical integration being one easy way to segment the supply chain types.

Originality/value

The study adapts and extends the “arcs of integration” framework. The propositions enhance the understanding of how supply chain structure, in the form of degree of vertical integration influences an organization’s supply chain portfolio of technologies.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 45 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

Malek Maalouf and Britta Gammelgaard

Through the identification and investigation of the organisational paradoxes in lean, the purpose of this paper is to deepen the understanding of lean implementation intricacies…

1887

Abstract

Purpose

Through the identification and investigation of the organisational paradoxes in lean, the purpose of this paper is to deepen the understanding of lean implementation intricacies, and contribute to sustaining lean in companies.

Design/methodology/approach

Case study based on semi-structured interviews with participants in lean conversion from three companies in Denmark. The companies come from different business sectors: public transport, healthcare and finance.

Findings

This study identifies three types of organisational paradoxes in lean: organising, performing and belonging. The study also points to a range managerial responses used for dealing with the three paradoxes and facilitating lean transformation.

Research limitations/implications

This is a theory development paper which increases the understanding regarding the role of the organisational paradoxes in facilitating or hindering lean transformation.

Practical implications

The study generates insights which help managers identify and deal with the individual motivations for opposing lean practices, and thus facilitates lean transformation.

Originality/value

This study adds clarity to the process of managing lean implementation by identifying three different motivations for people to oppose lean transformation. The study also recommends managerial actions for dealing with each situation.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 36 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 November 2021

Chee Yew Wong

This article celebrates the 50th anniversary of IJPDLM, reflects on the contribution of IJPDLM to the field of logistics and supply chain management (LSCM) and discusses future…

Abstract

Purpose

This article celebrates the 50th anniversary of IJPDLM, reflects on the contribution of IJPDLM to the field of logistics and supply chain management (LSCM) and discusses future directions for the journal.

Design/methodology/approach

Descriptive analysis of manuscripts received and accepted by IJPDLM during 2015–2019 is used to provide an overview of the journal. Content analysis of selected articles is used to highlight important contributions of the journal. Changes made since 2020 are highlighted to inform future directions of IJPDLM. Invited articles are discussed and used to clarify future directions.

Findings

IJPDLM has made tremendous progress in informing and shaping the field of LSCM. Key issues addressed include sustainability and reverse logistics, omni-channel, e-commerce, retail logistics, risk, resilience, volatility, and complexity and digital technology innovation. The journal has expanded the use of methods beyond the typical qualitative and quantitative methods to explore the use of design science, experiment, conjoint analysis, qualitative comparative analysis, narrative analysis. The invited articles provide (1) a historical reflection of the purpose of the journal when it was launched, (2) new guidance on how to develop theories using literature review and grounded theories and (3) understanding of startups and supply chain ecosystems.

Practical implications

Some exemplar articles are highlighted to explain how IJPDLM informs LSCM managers, companies and policy makers.

Originality/value

This article explains the recent development and sets future directions for the LSCM field.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 51 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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