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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1999

Remko I. van Hoek

Both postponement and outsourcing have been identified as important characteristics of modern and competitive supply chains. The implementation of postponement may require…

Abstract

Both postponement and outsourcing have been identified as important characteristics of modern and competitive supply chains. The implementation of postponement may require extensive (spatial) reconfiguration of the supply chain. Presents findings from interviews with managers of food, electronics, automotive and clothing manufacturers in The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Findings reveal that in food supply chains both postponement and outsourcing are applied to a lesser extent than in other industries. Reasons, which refer to the industry‐specific characteristics, are given. Ways for food companies to assure competitiveness are then described on the dimensions of postponement, outsourcing and spatial reconfiguration. A framework is developed to position chains in terms of degree of outsourcing, level of postponement and spatial configuration. The framework can help managers diagnosing and repositioning their organizations, along the dimensions mentioned.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 22 October 2020

Remko van Hoek, David Loseby and Chee Yew Wong

Abstract

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International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 50 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1998

Remko I. van Hoek

The supply chain concept fundamentally changes the nature of organizations; control is no longer based on direct ownership and control, but rather based on integration…

Abstract

The supply chain concept fundamentally changes the nature of organizations; control is no longer based on direct ownership and control, but rather based on integration across interfaces between functions and companies. This has consequences for the measurement of performance. Traditional measurement approaches may have to be abolished and a supply chain measurement system developed. Traditional performance measures may limit the possibilities to optimize supply chains as management does not “see” supply chain wide areas for improvement. This note raises issues critical to measuring supply chain performance. A new measurement approach should lead the way for supply chain competitiveness and should direct management attention to areas for supply chain optimization. A preliminary framework for measuring unmeasurable performance is developed.

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Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 25 October 2019

Remko van Hoek

There is great interest in blockchain in the supply chain yet there is little empirical research to support the consideration of the technology. Ferdows (2018) calls for…

Abstract

Purpose

There is great interest in blockchain in the supply chain yet there is little empirical research to support the consideration of the technology. Ferdows (2018) calls for research aimed at learning from pioneers in the field and Gartner points out that the interest in blockchain holds similarities to the interest surrounding RFID 15 years ago. As a result, there may be opportunities to leverage insights from RFID research to inform the consideration of blockchain. The purpose of this paper is to explore how the Reyes et al. (2016) framework for the implementation of RFID may inform the consideration of blockchain in the supply chain.

Design/methodology/approach

A two-stage approach is used to explore RFID implementation considerations from the Reyes et al. (2016) RFID implementation framework, using an initial exploration of managers interested in blockchain using a focus group and a survey and to more in depth explore three case companies pioneering blockchain.

Findings

Several RFID implementation considerations can inform the consideration of blockchain but there are also differences in considering blockchain. A framework is developed that details considerations found to be relevant by implementation stage.

Originality/value

This paper adds to the limited amount of empirical research on blockchain in the supply chain and advances research beyond the consideration of use cases into the exploration of actual implementation of blockchain in the supply chain. The decision framework developed both leverages and nuances findings from RFID research and can inform managerial decision making. It also adds to research a multi-stage approach to implementation and uncovers rich opportunity to further learn from pioneers.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 39 no. 6/7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2020

van Hoek Remko

The COVID-19 crisis has caused major supply chain disruptions, and these can be traced back to basic supply chain risks that have previously been well identified in…

Abstract

Purpose

The COVID-19 crisis has caused major supply chain disruptions, and these can be traced back to basic supply chain risks that have previously been well identified in literature. The purpose of this paper is to suggest a pathway for closing the gap between supply chain resilience research and efforts in industry to develop a more resilient supply chain.

Design/methodology/approach

Based upon virtual roundtables with supply chain executives, supplemented with interviews and publicly available datapoints about COVID-19 impact on the supply chain, we explore challenges in industry and suggest opportunity areas where research can support efforts in industry to improve supply chain resilience.

Findings

During the COVID-19 crisis, participating supply chain executives are experiencing textbook supply, demand and control risks in the supply chain. They also observe a lack of preparedness, shortcomings of current response plans and the need for greater supply chain resilience. Focus areas in improving resilience mirror generic recommendations from literature and provide a rich opportunity to reduce the gap between research findings and efforts in industry.

Research limitations/implications

More empirical, event-based and less conceptual research into supply chain resilience has been called for several times during the last two decades. COVID-19 provides a very rich opportunity for researchers to conduct the type of research that has been called for. This research may contribute to the structurally de-risking of supply chains. Areas of research opportunity include decision models for supply chain design that avoid overfocusing on costs only, and that consider the value of flexibility, short response times and multiple sources as well as methods for enriching supplier segmentation and evaluation models to reduce a focus on savings and payment terms only.

Practical implications

Key levers for de-risking the supply chain include the need to balance global sourcing with nearshore and local sourcing, the adoption of multiple sources and a greater utilization of information technology to drive more complete and immediate information availability. Perhaps most importantly, talent management in supply chain management needs to promote a focus not just on costs, but also on resilience as well as on learning from current events to improve decision-making.

Social implications

There is a great opportunity for supply chain managers to grow their contribution to society beyond risk response into the proactive reduction of risks for the future. Researchers can serve society by informing this progress with impactful research.

Originality/value

This article offers initial empirical exploration of supply chain risks experienced in the context of COVID-19 and approaches considered in industry to improve supply chain resilience. Opportunities for empirical, event-based and less conceptual research that has been called for years, are identified. This research can help close the gap between supply chain resilience research and efforts in industry to improve supply chain resilience. Hopefully the research opportunities identified can inspire the flurry of research that can be expected in response to the multiple special issues planned by journals in our field.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 40 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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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

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Article
Publication date: 13 May 2021

Remko van Hoek

This paper offers a retrospective on the launch and first volumes of this journal. It describes the history of a unique period in our discipline when founding fathers in…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper offers a retrospective on the launch and first volumes of this journal. It describes the history of a unique period in our discipline when founding fathers in the US and UK collaborated with industry and each other to create a new field.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors interviewed founding editor Professor Martin Christopher and coeditor in Chief Professor Doug Lambert, conducted a bibliometric review of the first volumes of the journal and informed the analysis by approaches taken in other retrospectives published in the journal. The authors also feature historical artifacts from the journal.

Findings

The editorial focus during the early days of the journal demonstrate how the roots of the field are in cost modeling and technical work but quickly moved toward customer orientation and managerial focus. The editorial approach during the early days of the journal was on innovative research and publishing, scholarship engaged with industry, a focus on relevance and industry impact as well as leveraging research in education.

Originality/value

There have been retrospectives on the journals most recent volumes but what the authors aim to do is to reflect upon the launch and the first volumes of the journal. The authors expand and further detail the timeline of the development of the logistics field. In the process, the authors identify several historical roots for topics of greater focus in logistics and supply chain management in later years. The authors also find that many of the essential approaches and lessons learned in the period leading up to the launch and shortly after the launch of the journal do not only capture the early development of the discipline it also offers an approach and model for scholarship worthy of consideration still today. On top of that, several of the lessons learned in that period hold high relevance still today and they imply part of the path forward for the discipline and the journal, the authors develop questions for future research and research and editorial strategies.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 2 June 2021

Remko van Hoek and David Dobrzykowski

Reshoring is one of the supply chain risk management techniques suggested in literature. However, literature suggests that the decision-making involved in reshoring is…

Abstract

Purpose

Reshoring is one of the supply chain risk management techniques suggested in literature. However, literature suggests that the decision-making involved in reshoring is complex and not fully understood. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, reshoring may represent a way to reduce reliance on global sources and improve resilience of their supply chains. This paper aims to explore if the pandemic is driving reshoring decisions and if the pandemic will actually lead to companies reshoring parts of their supply chain.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper critically engages with senior(-most) supply chain managers from three manufacturing companies as they proceed through reshoring decision-making. This enables to develop experiential knowledge about reshoring decision-making processes and their context, as well as insights into the relevance of existing knowledge about reshoring. While not a full multiple case study, the opportunity to engage directly with senior(-most) supply chain managers as they consider reshoring, enables near real-time learning. Not only is reshoring a very timely topic literature has also called for more event-based empirical research. Further to that, it is hoped that this can complement this special issue and support, in a timely manner, the many researchers that are actively studying the impact of the pandemic on supply chains.

Findings

Reshoring was being actively considered by all three companies during the research process in Q3 and Q4 of 2020. During this period the pandemic has not yet led to substantial implementation of reshoring, at least by the companies studied in this paper. In response to tariffs on Chinese imports, companies had been diversifying their supply base away from China, but doing so by developing alternative, global sources. Additionally, companies are using alternative risk management techniques, such as supplier collaboration, in the short to medium term. Reshoring decision-making is indeed found to be complex and requires a longer-term time horizon for decision-making and implementation. Logistical challenges and growth in demand do drive a willingness of consumers to pay a premium for locally sourced products. However, when supply normalizes these considerations might lose relevance well before reshoring decision-making and implementation can be completed.

Originality/value

This paper studies reshoring in a real-world setting, learning directly from insights from industry as they emerge. This paper develops four extensions to existing knowledge, develop these in frameworks and hope that this will support ongoing consideration in industry and support the many researchers that are active in this domain today. This paper also suggests several directions for further research.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 29 November 2019

Remko van Hoek

There is a lot of interest in blockchain technology in the supply chain, but to date, there is little empirical research to support managerial decision-making. Verhoeven…

Abstract

Purpose

There is a lot of interest in blockchain technology in the supply chain, but to date, there is little empirical research to support managerial decision-making. Verhoeven et al. (2018) suggested five screens for ensuring mindful development of use cases for blockchain in the supply chain. This paper aims to extend the Verhoeven et al.’s (2018) framework and empirical research beyond the use case stage into the pilot stage.

Design/methodology/approach

Three case studies in different industries (logistics services, consumer products and retail), supply chain positions (manufacturer, carrier, and retailer) and geographies (Europe and USA) are conducted to explore lessons learned by early adopters of blockchain technology in the supply chain.

Findings

The case studies indicate that the Verhoeven et al.’s (2018) screens, with one added screen, are helpful in considering “what to adopt.” Based on the insights from the case studies, it is also possible to develop pilot design considerations that can inform “where to start.” Lessons learned include that there is value in scoping pilots in a targeted manner, including the use of existing technology in the pilot (as opposed to replacing existing technology) and that there is the ability to start a pilot fast, provided the existence of executive and stakeholder engagement.

Practical implications

In addition to the need to be being mindful in considering what use case for blockchain in the supply chain to potentially adopt, mindful consideration of blockchain technology in the supply chain extends into the design of pilots. Six specific design considerations are offered.

Originality/value

Based on the insights from early adopters in industry, the author extends guidance for the mindful adoption of blockchain in the supply chain beyond the development of use cases, into the design of actual pilots. These insights directly address calls for research from literature (including from Dobrovnik et al., 2018 and Ferdows, 2018).

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 28 June 2019

Remko van Hoek

There is a lot of interest in blockchain in the supply chain and several papers call it a disruptive technology. Existing research, however, is mostly conceptual and…

Abstract

Purpose

There is a lot of interest in blockchain in the supply chain and several papers call it a disruptive technology. Existing research, however, is mostly conceptual and focused on use-case development and early pilots. This paper aims to report the findings from a workshop with managers aimed at empirically exploring what adoption rates and focus areas are for blockchain in the supply chain, what drives blockchain in the supply chain applications and what barriers are to the implementation of blockchain in the supply chain.

Design/methodology/approach

A workshop with managers was organized to empirically explore blockchain adoption levels and focus areas in the supply chain, as well as drivers and barriers of implementation.

Findings

Workshop participants reported that adoption of blockchain in the supply chain today is very limited but actively considered by many. Drivers for this consideration include achieving greater transparency and visibility, as well as, improving processes and reducing costs. Participants identify many barriers, including a lack of understanding of costs and benefits of blockchain in the supply chain. Interestingly, participants report less concern about the feasibility of the technology implying managerial consideration if progressing beyond the technology and into the potential adoption of it. As a result, participants may be moving beyond the hype surrounding blockchain and giving consideration to the many remaining questions. A working technology does not yet mean that there is a feasible supply chain adoption. As a result, it may be too early to tell whether blockchain will be a disruptive technology. This paper identifies several fruitful areas for further consideration by management and in research.

Originality/value

As there is little empirical research on blockchain in the supply chain, this paper moves beyond use-case development and the exploration of pilot cases and studies how companies may consider supply chain adoption beyond the pilot and the early development of blockchain. Although only offering an initial exploration, this paper uncovers progress being reported in industry and many areas where further consideration and research can help advance thinking and practice.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

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