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Article
Publication date: 13 June 2016

Joe Miemczyk, Mickey Howard and Thomas E. Johnsen

This paper aims to reflect on recent closed-loop supply chain (CLSC) practices using a natural resource-based view (NRBV) and dynamic capabilities (DC) perspective.

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2751

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to reflect on recent closed-loop supply chain (CLSC) practices using a natural resource-based view (NRBV) and dynamic capabilities (DC) perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

Two empirical case studies of CLSC exemplars are used to discuss the theoretical relevance of these views.

Findings

The paper shows how strategic resources help companies in two sectors achieve successful CLSC designs. Strategic supply chain collaboration is an important success factor but also presents a number of challenges. The NRBV is used to explain the importance of new resources in technology, knowledge and relationships and stresses the role of DCs to constantly address changes in the business environment to renew these strategic resources.

Research limitations/implications

This research elaborates on NRBV theory related to CLSCs and reinforces the inclusion of DCs. It specifies the application of NRBV in the context of textiles and carpet manufacture and highlights the inherent conflicts in seeking value while moving towards sustainable development.

Practical implications

Investments in technical and operational resources are required to create CLSCs. Pure closed-loop applications are impractical, requiring relationships with multiple external partners to obtain supply and demand for recycled products.

Social implications

CLSCs may provide opportunities for social enterprises or third sector organizations collaborating with manufacturers.

Originality/value

This paper provides insights into the constituent resources needed for successful CLSCs. It also helps move CLSC research from a tactical logistics problem to a problem of strategic resources and relational capabilities: what we term “dynamic supply chain execution”. This paper develops a framework for transitioning towards CLSCs, underlining the importance of co-development and forging new relationships through commitment to supply chain redesign, co-evolution with customers and suppliers and control of supply chain activities.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

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867

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 28 January 2014

Nigel Caldwell and Mickey Howard

– The aim of the paper is to identify and review the impact and challenges of new contractual arrangements on UK military procurement and other limited or oligopolistic markets.

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2529

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the paper is to identify and review the impact and challenges of new contractual arrangements on UK military procurement and other limited or oligopolistic markets.

Design/methodology/approach

The unit of analysis is the large-scale procurement programme. Two cases of major military platforms (naval and air defence) examine through-life maintenance or “contracting for availability” and build theory on procuring complex performance (PCP). Propositions are developed from the literature then tested and extended from the case analysis, supported by 35 interviews from buyer and supplier representatives.

Findings

Examining UK military platform procurement reveals a perspective not present in fast moving high volume supply chains. In oligopolistic markets such as defence, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) represents a market of one, seeking ambitious and non-incremental innovation from the prime contractor during the procurement process. The new contractual arrangements show an increasing shift in responsibility to the prime contractor who coordinates service support and supply chain incentivisation over extended, often multi-decade platform lifecycles.

Research limitations/implications

The cases were conducted separately and later compared. Whilst based on defence sources, the paper concludes with general recommendations for all public-private complex procurements and seeks to explore other industry sectors as part of further research into PCP.

Originality/value

Examined from a theoretical and practical perspective, the cases reveal the challenges facing procurement in major public-private projects. The changing role identified reflects extended timescales and the quasi-market military procurement environment, compounded by current economic and politically charged conditions. Procurement by default increasingly plays a new shaping role in large-scale programme management driven by outcome-based contracting. Customers such as the MOD must re-evaluate their role under these new contractual arrangements, providing leadership and engaging with future contracting capability and innovation.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 28 January 2014

Laura Smith, Roger Maull and Irene C.L. Ng

The purpose of this paper is to provide further insight into operations management of the product-service (P-S) transition, known as servitization, and the resulting…

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7636

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide further insight into operations management of the product-service (P-S) transition, known as servitization, and the resulting product service system (PSS) offerings. In exploring the P-S transition, this paper adopts a service-dominant (S-D) logic view of value creation, using it as a lens through which to explore value propositions of the P-S transition and their operations design.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents an in-depth case study of an original equipment manufacturer of durable capital equipment who, over the last five years, has expanded its offerings to include use- and result-orientated PSS. The research design uses a multi-method approach; employing 28 in-depth qualitative interviews with customers and employees and analysis of texts, documents and secondary data including five years of enterprise resource planning (ERP), call centre and contract data.

Findings

The paper identifies ten generic P-S attributes that are abstracted into four nested value propositions: asset value proposition; recovery value proposition; availability value proposition; and outcome value proposition. In examining the operations design for delivery of these value propositions, it is found that the role and importance of contextual variety increases as the organisation moves through the value propositions. Interdependencies amongst the value propositions and differences in operational design for each value proposition are also found.

Research limitations/implications

The paper investigates PSS through a S-D logic mindset. First, the paper considers value propositions of PSS not according to “product” or “service” but in terms of how resources (both material and human) are optimally designed to co-create customer value. Second, a value co-creation system of nested value propositions is illustrated. In so doing, the findings have a number of implications for literature on both PSS and S-D logic. In addition, the research adds to the PSS literature through the identification and consideration of the concept of contextual use variety.

Practical implications

The paper demonstrates the complexity of the transition from product to service. Specifically, service cannot be seen as a bolt-on extra to their product offering; complexity caused by interactions and changes to the core offering require a systems perspective and consideration of both firm and customer skills and resources.

Originality/value

This paper extends existing literature on the P-S transition and its implications for operations management. Notably, it takes an S-D logic perspective of value creation and in so doing highlights the importance and role of contextual use variety in the P-S transition. It also provides further empirical evidence that the P-S transition cannot be treated as discrete stages but is evolutionary and requires a complex systems perspective.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 28 January 2014

Andreas Hartmann, Jens Roehrich, Lars Frederiksen and Andrew Davies

The paper analyses how public buyers transition from procuring single products and services to procuring complex performance (PCP). The aim is to examine the change in the…

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2070

Abstract

Purpose

The paper analyses how public buyers transition from procuring single products and services to procuring complex performance (PCP). The aim is to examine the change in the interactions between buyer and supplier, the emergence of value co-creation and the capability development during the transition process.

Design/methodology/approach

A multiple, longitudinal case study method is used to examine the transition towards PCP. The study deploys rich qualitative data sets by combining semi-structured interviews, focus group meetings and organisational reports and documents.

Findings

The transition towards PCP can be best described as a learning process which cumulates the knowledge and experience in the client-supplier interaction accompanied by changing contractual and relational capabilities. In public infrastructure this process is not initially motivated by the benefits of value co-creation, but is politically driven.

Practical implications

The study proposes three generic transition stages towards increased performance and infrastructural complexity moderated by contract duration. These stages may help managers of public agencies to identify the current procurement level and the contractual and relational challenges they need to master when facing higher levels of performance and infrastructural complexity.

Originality/value

The study adds to the limited empirical and conceptual understanding on the nature of long-term public-private interactions in PCP. It contributes through a rare focus adopting a longitudinal perspective on these interactions in the transition towards PCP.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 June 2007

Mickey Howard, Mike Lewis, Joe Miemczyk and Alistair Brandon‐Jones

This paper investigates the stalled adoption of a supplier park at Bridgend Engine Plant in the UK. It starts from the position that not all firms can or should implement…

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1335

Abstract

Purpose

This paper investigates the stalled adoption of a supplier park at Bridgend Engine Plant in the UK. It starts from the position that not all firms can or should implement the same set of practices.

Design/methodology/approach

Critical incident technique and semi‐structured interviews over five years were used to understand the influence of institutional and strategic choices during the implementation of a supplier park. A conceptual framework was developed to incorporate practices broadly associated with parks, i.e. improving supply stability, supply coordination, redefining the OEM/supplier boundary and enhancing interaction between co‐located firms.

Findings

The findings demonstrate a limited implementation of supply practices at Bridgend with only one component supplier brought onto the site. The original plan was to create a supplier park that would “grow” to an industrial park, creating an automotive sector in the area. However, a combination of operational, processual, and contextual factors have conspired against the plan.

Research limitations/implications

The combination of a broad range of theoretical and practical elements means there are associated discussions that could be more fully explored. Condensing the interview notes has resulted in the researchers' own interpretation of events becoming a significant reality filter. Whilst single case studies raise inevitable concerns over comparability, our focus is on theoretical generalizability through richness of empirical data.

Originality/value

As firms continue to use best practice as a core ingredient of strategy, researchers must respond with robust theoretical concepts explaining adoption and implementation. This paper integrates disparate perspectives across multiple levels in order to build a richer and more believable picture of a stalled initiative. Three key conclusions can be drawn: the contingent nature of “bundles of practice” implications of political ambiguity over the efficiency argument and the effect of isomorphic or bandwagon responses by firms.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 27 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 25 January 2008

Joe Miemczyk and Mickey Howard

Vehicle manufacturer “CarCo” has spent decades developing its supply strategy based on customer ordered production. Yet the combination of an over‐crowded European market…

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4449

Abstract

Purpose

Vehicle manufacturer “CarCo” has spent decades developing its supply strategy based on customer ordered production. Yet the combination of an over‐crowded European market and the need to grow sales poses a dilemma: what strategy does it adopt to manage its global operations? This research aims to examine the implementation of responsive operations and supply strategy to analyse how and why a firm's strategy changes over time.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the observations from a two‐day workshop held for 50 managers at the firm's headquarters, the paper explores theoretical and practitioner implications for the continued development and implementation of build‐to‐order (BTO) as a cornerstone of supply strategy.

Findings

Despite considerable capability at functional and business level, CarCo must address corporate and industry factors in order to raise responsiveness. Managers understand the conflict between operational and supply strategies presented here, yet are limited in the extent they can act on this knowledge due to the multi‐level aspect of strategy and difficulties over control beyond the boundary of the firm.

Practical implications

Key performance indicators need to be modified to gauge individual sale profitability, alongside new incentives and measures to overcome demand distortion and supplier game‐playing. Further, the balance between flexibility investment and better customer fulfilment should be explored through cost analysis.

Originality/value

Presents a managerial perspective of supply chain strategy development, analysed through a structured academic lens. The paper illustrates the increasingly dynamic nature of supply chains and the importance of connections between retail distribution, manufacturing, and in‐bound supply as part of the global operation.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 28 January 2014

Wendy van der Valk and Finn Wynstra

The paper aims to empirically validate a recently developed typology to demonstrate that services that are similar in terms of technical content, but different with regard…

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2427

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to empirically validate a recently developed typology to demonstrate that services that are similar in terms of technical content, but different with regard to how they are used by the buying company, require different buyer-supplier interaction processes.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper conducts an embedded case study based on dyadic data collection to investigate the purchase of cleaning services by Netherlands Railways (NS) from two suppliers. These services differ with regard to how they are used by NS: as part of the value-proposition to customers (train and station cleaning) or as part of the support processes for NS (office cleaning).

Findings

The paper finds that for a technically homogenous service, fundamental differences in required interaction arise as a result of different usage situations. These differences are reflected in the sourcing decision and the design of the service delivery management process.

Research limitations/implications

Besides the general limits of single case studies regarding external validity, a specific limitation of the study is the limited number of supplier interviews conducted.

Practical implications

In order to develop appropriate sourcing and service delivery management strategies, practitioners need to consider the use of the service purchased and how it relates to their value proposition. This research shows that pooling volume for services that are used differently may enable immediate price reduction but could reduce supplier performance and ultimately customer satisfaction.

Originality/value

The case study and the validated typology complement the limited literature on the procurement of services transferred to the next level of customers in the supply chain.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 28 January 2014

Jens Roehrich and Mike Lewis

While previous studies explored the argument that allies the notion of complexity to the complex product-service offerings being procured, this paper aims to explore…

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1759

Abstract

Purpose

While previous studies explored the argument that allies the notion of complexity to the complex product-service offerings being procured, this paper aims to explore whether there is a corollary with exchange governance complexity. More specifically, the paper analyzes the relationship between systemic complexity and complexity of contractual and relational exchange governance in procuring complex performance (PCP) arrangements.

Design/methodology/approach

A multiple, longitudinal case study method is used to examine the relationship between systemic complexity and exchange governance complexity. The study deploys rich data sets by combining government and company reports with 43 semi-structured interviews.

Findings

Preliminary conclusions suggest that as a response to increasing systemic complexity, organizations respond with increasing contractual governance complexity. However, better performing PCP arrangements illustrate that the use of simplified contractual governance in form of working agreements in combination with relational governance such as inter-personal relationships may be more effective to counteract complexity.

Practical implications

The paper questions whether organizations should respond with increasing exchange governance complexity to counteract systemic complexity. Managers must consider the manageability and enforceability of complex contracts in combination with the formation of inter-personal relationships and simplified working agreements.

Originality/value

This study adds to the limited empirical understanding on the nature of long-term public-private interactions in PCP. It also contributes through a rare focus on the relationship between systemic complexity and exchange governance complexity in PCP arrangements.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 28 January 2014

Martin Spring and Luis Araujo

The paper argues that indirect capabilities – the ability to access other organizations' capabilities – are an important and neglected part of firm strategy in procuring…

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3353

Abstract

Purpose

The paper argues that indirect capabilities – the ability to access other organizations' capabilities – are an important and neglected part of firm strategy in procuring complex performance (PCP) settings, and that this is especially so if these settings are treated as genuinely complex, rather than merely complicated. Elements of indirect capabilities are identified. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a theoretical paper, drawing on complexity notions and Penrose's analysis of endogenous innovation to drive a disequilibrium-oriented discussion of the capabilities required by firms in a PCP setting.

Findings

Six inter-related elements of indirect capabilities are proposed and discussed: IT infrastructure, boundary management practices, contracting, interface artefacts, valuing others' capabilities and relating direct to indirect capabilities. These are important in PCP settings and in other operations and supply settings characterised by complexity.

Originality/value

This paper reconsiders the way complexity has been treated in the PCP literature and develops an extended discussion of the notion of indirect capabilities. It potentially provides the basis for an operations and supply strategy more attuned to the demands of shifting inter-organizational networks.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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