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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2020

Robert B. Handfield, Gary Graham and Laird Burns

Using the constructal law of physics this study aims to provide guidance to future scholarship on global supply chain management. Further, through two case studies the…

Abstract

Purpose

Using the constructal law of physics this study aims to provide guidance to future scholarship on global supply chain management. Further, through two case studies the authors are developing, the authors report interview findings with two senior VPs from two multi-national corporations being disrupted by COVID-19. This study suggests how this and recent events will impact on the design of future global supply chains.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors apply the constructal law to explain the recent disruptions to the global supply chain orthodoxy. Two interviews are presented from case studies the authors are developing in the USA and UK – one a multi-national automobile parts supplier and the other is a earth-moving equipment manufacture. Specifically, this is an exploratory pathway work trying to make sense of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on supply chain scholarship.

Findings

Adopting the approach of Bejan, the authors believe that what is happening today with COVID-19 and other trade disruptions such as Brexit and the USA imposing tariffs is creating new obstacles that will redirect the future flow of supply chains.

Research limitations/implications

It is clear that the COVID-19 response introduced a bullwhip effect in the manufacturing sector on a scale never-before seen. For scholars, the authors would suggest there are four pathway topics going forward. These topics include: the future state of global sourcing, the unique nature of a combined “demand” and “supply shortage” bullwhip effect, the resurrection of lean and local production systems and the development of risk-recovery contingency strategies to deal with pandemics.

Practical implications

Supply chain managers tend to be iterative and focused on making small and subtle changes to their current system and way of thinking, very often seeking to optimize cost or negotiate better contracts with suppliers. In the current environment, however, such activities have proved to be of little consequence compared to the massive forces of economic disruption of the past three years. Organizations that have more tightly compressed supply chains are enjoying a significant benefit during the COVID-19 crisis and are no longer being held hostage to governments of another country.

Social implications

An implicit assumption in the press is that COVID-19 caught everyone by surprise, and that executives foolishly ignored the risks of outsourcing to China and are now paying the price. However, noted scholars and epidemiologists have been warning of the threats of pandemics since the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus. The pundits would further posit that in their pursuit of low-cost production, global corporations made naive assumptions that nothing could disrupt them. Both the firms the authors have interviewed had to close plants to protect their workforce. It was indicated in the cases the authors are developing that it is going to take manufacturers on average one month to recover from 4–6 days of disruption. These companies employ many thousands of people, and direct and ancillary workers are now temporarily laid off and face an uncertain future as/when they will recover back to normal production.

Originality/value

Using the constructal law of physics, the authors seek to provide guidance to future scholarship on global supply chain management. Further, through two case studies, the authors provide the first insight from two senior VPs from two leading multi-national corporations in their respective sectors being disrupted by COVID-19. This study is the first indication to how this and recent disruptive events will impact on the design of future global supply chains. Unlike the generic work, which has recently appeared in HBR and Forbes, it is grounded in real operational insight.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 40 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 June 2021

Daniel J. Finkenstadt and Robert B. Handfield

The authors identify the critical bottlenecks that exist in the vaccine supply chain that are preventing a robust coronavirus disease (COVID) response. The authors posit…

Abstract

Purpose

The authors identify the critical bottlenecks that exist in the vaccine supply chain that are preventing a robust coronavirus disease (COVID) response. The authors posit that improved supply chain signals can result in improved handling and distribution of vaccines in a post-COVID world and identify recommendations for redesign of the vaccine supply chain as well as future research questions for scholars.

Design/methodology/approach

The supply chain operating reference (SCOR) model is used as a framework to identify each of the major gaps that exist in the supply chain for the COVID vaccine. The critical bottlenecks and delays that exist within this supply chain are identified through this framework and validated through the ongoing research and interviews in the field.

Findings

Whilst the vaccine supply chain for influenza is perfectly sized for development and distribution of this cyclical virus, the emergence of a new virus created a pandemic, which has exposed a number of critical shortages. The authors find that the design of the COVID vaccine supply chain suffers from a flawed structure. To date, less than 3% of the United States and global population has been fully vaccinated. The authors advocate a “back to front design”, beginning with demand planning for actual vaccinations and working backwards toward supply planning and distribution planning. These lessons may be helpful for capacity planning and supply chain strategy for future vaccinations as variants of the COVID vaccine emerge.

Originality/value

The authors provide a unique approach for viewing the current shortages that exist in the vaccine supply chain and offer suggestions for new variants of this supply chain for the future.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 January 2015

Yung-Yun Huang and Robert B Handfield

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of implementing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and the selection of ERP vendors on supply management…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of implementing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and the selection of ERP vendors on supply management performance for Fortune 500.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopts the supply chain maturity model adopted by Gupta and Handfield (2011) and used publicly available information such as articles, research report, newspapers to develop objective maturity ratings for four key indicators – strategic sourcing, category management, and supplier relationship management.

Findings

The analysis results suggest ERP users are more mature than non-ERP users in three key indicators: strategic sourcing, category management, and supplier relationship management. Moreover, SAP ERP users are more mature than non-ERP users in strategic sourcing, category management, and supplier relationship management.

Research limitations/implications

This study does not account for the longitudinal performance of ERP systems, nor does it account for differences between organizational scope of ERP deployment, global reach, or implementation duration. The authors also did not include other measures of supply chain performance outside of the procurement area. These factors could provide further insights to supply chain performance, and will be an interesting topic for future research.

Practical implications

This study provides an extensive analysis of how the deployment of ERP systems and the selection of ERP vendors can benefit a company’s supply chain performance. This information is valuable for companies that are considering adapting an ERP system.

Originality/value

This paper uses innovative an maturity assessment rating approach with publicly available resources to measure supply management performance across different companies. This method is novel and provides valuable insights to how ERP systems and their vendors’ impact supply chain management performance.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1997

Ajay Das and Robert B. Handfield

Just‐in‐time (JIT) has been written about since the early 1970s. Studies have investigated the growth of JIT sourcing and its implications. However, there has not been as…

Abstract

Just‐in‐time (JIT) has been written about since the early 1970s. Studies have investigated the growth of JIT sourcing and its implications. However, there has not been as much discussion of the issues faced by companies involved in the pursuit of JIT sourcing in a global supply chain. Undertakes a systematic review of the JIT sourcing and logistics literature and highlights key findings. Notes a number of key problems and best practice issues in the area, followed by an empirical examination of the potential benefits of adopting JIT policies in global sourcing and logistics relative to non‐JIT global buyers. Compares results attained with those of a group of buyers employing JIT sourcing and domestic suppliers. Significant differences in a number of performance areas are found in the sourcing and logistics practices between companies following JIT practices with their global suppliers, as compared to companies not doing so. Finds that some aspects of domestic JIT sourcing and logistics are applicable across borders, while others are not. Concludes with a research agenda for future investigations in the area.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 27 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1992

Robert B. Handfield and Ronald T. Pannesi

Two distinct models of delivery reliability versus delivery speedare tested. On the basis of data from a survey of 193 manufacturingfirms, factors associated with the…

Abstract

Two distinct models of delivery reliability versus delivery speed are tested. On the basis of data from a survey of 193 manufacturing firms, factors associated with the “planning” systems of firms, such as production‐plan goals achieved, inventory goals achieved, and master schedule performance, were found to have a significant effect on delivery reliability. In follow‐up interviews with 13 plant managers; it was found that “process”‐related factors were associated with delivery speed capabilities. Specifically, the biggest inroads to be made into delivery speed are first on the design/manufacturing interface, secondly on the subsequent “translation” of these designs to supplier requirements, and lastly on the production floor in terms of process layout.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Larry Giunipero, Robert B. Handfield and Reham Eltantawy

In the last decade there have been dramatic impacts on, and changes within, the field of purchasing/supply management. Given supply management's new strategic role, this…

Abstract

Purpose

In the last decade there have been dramatic impacts on, and changes within, the field of purchasing/supply management. Given supply management's new strategic role, this research seeks to examine the key skills and knowledge necessary for firms to improve in order to maximize the purchasing function's contribution to the organization. The research also aims to identifies the major shifts in supply management that have occurred in the last decade.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative study was conducted with a series of focus group meetings with 54 executives across the USA in order to construct theoretical relationships with which to develop a grounded theory of supply management skills evolution in a changing business environment.

Findings

The implications from this research indicate that supply management professionals will assume a more strategic role in the future. The data indicate that there are strong trends underlying this movement. These include the need for building strategic relationships, focusing on total cost and strategic cost reduction, yet collaborating and integrating with suppliers. While in the past these efforts may have appeared to be contradictory, with proper strategic planning they can be complementary.

Originality/value

Supply managers of the future need to acquire strategic skills that add value and enable effective alignment with key business functions at a senior decision‐making level. Additional research is needed in the area to determine how best to recruit and train managers in these skills to move forward.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 26 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2000

Keah Choon Tan, Vijay R. Kannan, Robert B. Handfield and Soumen Ghosh

Over the past ten years, intense global competition has forced many firms to examine their business practices and to evaluate how to meet the challenges economic…

Abstract

Over the past ten years, intense global competition has forced many firms to examine their business practices and to evaluate how to meet the challenges economic globalization has presented. Underlying these efforts has been an examination of strategic priorities and in particular recognition of the need to improve product and process quality. While quality improvement has become a pervasive element of business strategy, allowing some companies to respond to increasing competitive pressures, it has not been universally effective. This study uses a survey of over 300 senior quality personnel to identify the challenges businesses face from globalization and how strategic initiatives, and in particular, quality improvement efforts, are used to respond to them.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1999

Keah‐Choon Tan, Vijay R. Kannan, Robert B. Handfield and Soumen Ghosh

Total quality management, supply base management, customer driven corporate policy, and other elements of supply chain management are frequently cited as strategic options…

Abstract

Total quality management, supply base management, customer driven corporate policy, and other elements of supply chain management are frequently cited as strategic options to achieve competitive success in the 1990s. However, attempts by companies to implement these options have not been universally successful and have in many cases failed to yield the desired results. This study presents details of a survey carried out to determine whether particular quality management, supply base management, and customer relations practices can impact corporate performance. In addition it examines the impact analyzing the competitive environment has on performance. Regression models identify several factors that directly and positively impact corporate performance. These include the extent to which companies analyze the strategies of competitors and determine future customer requirements, and the commitment they have to evaluating performance throughout the supply chain.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 19 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1994

Robert B. Handfield

Describes the results of a survey returned by 97 purchasing managers whowere asked to assess current patterns of global sourcing as practised byNorth American firms. Some…

Abstract

Describes the results of a survey returned by 97 purchasing managers who were asked to assess current patterns of global sourcing as practised by North American firms. Some of the issues examined include primary sourcing allocations, supplier evaluation criteria, operational performance measures and costs, managerial problems, and modes of communication. The results point to the importance of linking supplier selection criteria with corporate strategic initiatives in the evaluation of international sources.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 14 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 11 October 2019

Sunil Babbar, Xenophon Koufteros, Ravi S. Behara and Christina W.Y. Wong

This study aims to examine publications of supply chain management (SCM) researchers from across the world and maps the leadership role of authors and institutions based…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine publications of supply chain management (SCM) researchers from across the world and maps the leadership role of authors and institutions based on how prolific they are in publishing and on network measures of centrality while accounting for the quality of the outlets that they publish in. It aims to inform stakeholders on who the leading SCM scholars are, their primary areas of SCM research, their publication profiles and the nature of their networks. It also identifies and informs on the leading SCM research institutions of the world and where leadership in specific areas of SCM research is emerging from.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on SCM papers appearing in a set of seven leading journals over the 15-year period of 2001-2015, publication scores and social network analysis measures of total degree centrality and Bonacich power centrality are used to identify the highest ranked agents in SCM research overall, as well as in some specific areas of SCM research. Social network analysis is also used to examine the nature and scope of the networks of the ranked agents and where leadership in SCM research is emerging from.

Findings

Authors and institutions from the USA and UK are found to dominate much of the rankings in SCM research both by publication score and social network analysis measures of centrality. In examining the networks of the very top authors and institutions of the world, their networks are found to be more inward-looking (country-centric) than outward-looking (globally dispersed). Further, researchers in Europe and Asia alike are found to exhibit significant continental inclinations in their network formations with researchers in Europe displaying greater propensity to collaborate with their European-based counterparts and researchers in Asia with their Asian-based counterparts. Also, from among the journals, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal is found to exhibit a far more expansive global reach than any of the other journals.

Research limitations/implications

The journal set used in this study, though representative of high-quality SCM research outlets, is not exhaustive of all potential outlets that publish SCM research. Further, the measure of quality that this study assigns to the various publications is based solely on a publication score that accounts for the quality of the journals, as rated by Association of Business Schools that the papers appear in and nothing else.

Practical implications

By informing the community of stakeholders of SCM research about the top-ranked SCM authors, institutions and countries of the world, the nature of their networks, as well as what the primary areas of SCM research of the leading authors in the world are, this research provides stakeholders, including managers, researchers and students, information that is helpful to them not only because of the insights it provides but also for the gauging of potential for embedding themselves in specific networks, engaging in collaborative research with the leading agents or pursuing educational opportunities with them.

Originality/value

This research is the first of its kind to identify and rank the top SCM authors and institutions from across the world using a representative set of seven leading SCM and primary OM journals based on publication scores and social network measures of centrality. The research is also the first of its kind to identify and rank the top authors and institutions within specific areas of SCM research and to identify future research opportunities relating to aspects of collaboration and networking in research endeavors.

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