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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2012

Qishan Zhang, Haiyan Wang and Hong Liu

The purpose of this paper is to attempt to realize a distribution network optimization in supply chain using grey systems theory for uncertain information.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to attempt to realize a distribution network optimization in supply chain using grey systems theory for uncertain information.

Design/methodology/approach

There is much uncertain information in the distribution network optimization of supply chain, including fuzzy information, stochastic information and grey information, etc. Fuzzy information and stochastic information have been studied in supply chain, however grey information of the supply chain has not been covered. In the distribution problem of supply chain, grey demands are taken into account. Then, a mathematics model with grey demands has been constructed, and it can be transformed into a grey chance‐constrained programming model, grey simulation and a proposed hybrid particle swarm optimization are combined to resolve it. An example is also computed in the last part of the paper.

Findings

The results are convincing: not only that grey system theory can be used to deal with grey uncertain information about distribution of supply chain, but grey chance‐constrained programming, grey simulation and particle swarm optimization can be combined to resolve the grey model.

Practical implications

The method exposed in the paper can be used to deal with distribution problems with grey information in the supply chain, and network optimization results with a grey uncertain factor could be helpful for supply chain efficiency and practicability.

Originality/value

The paper succeeds in realising both a constructed model of the distribution of supply chain with grey demands and a solution algorithm of the grey mathematics model by using one of the newest developed theories: grey systems theory.

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Article
Publication date: 23 January 2009

Arif Khan K, B. Bakkappa, Bhimaraya A. Metri and B.S. Sahay

The purpose of this paper is to identify the critical distribution practices of agile supply chains and provide a comprehensive framework that can be used to improve the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the critical distribution practices of agile supply chains and provide a comprehensive framework that can be used to improve the responsiveness of supply chains. The research is carried out in the context of different manufacturing industries and provides empirical evidence that agile supply chain distribution enhances organisational performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employed survey research, using a sample of 128 manufacturing companies.

Findings

The paper explores the critical distribution practices of supply chains that make supply chains agile. Collaborative distribution, order commitment, distribution flexibility and inventory management are the key SCM distribution practices associated with agile supply chains, and have significant impact on organisational performance.

Research limitations/implications

Data were collected from a single node/respondent of a supply chain. Further research could be carried out using mutiple node data of each supply chain to make the research more meaningful and generalisable.

Practical implications

The findings may be used to gauge the competitive capabilities of SCM distribution and to guide organisations to measure and improve supply chain responsiveness and organisational performance.

Originality/value

The paper provides evidence regarding the impact of the critical distribution practices of agile supply chains on performnace.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 September 2019

Tim Gruchmann, Stefan Seuring and Kristina Petljak

The food industry and its distribution solutions often lie at the center of sustainability-related arguments. However, little is known about the dynamic role of business…

Abstract

Purpose

The food industry and its distribution solutions often lie at the center of sustainability-related arguments. However, little is known about the dynamic role of business capabilities for sustainable transformations in the context of local food distribution. Accordingly, this study aims to investigate how dynamic capabilities drive sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) business practices in short food supply chains (SFSCs) through the professionalization and expansion of online distribution channels.

Design/methodology/approach

The present study analyzes sustainability-related practices at six online distribution channels selling local food products in Germany and Austria. By applying a cross-case study and theory-elaboration approach, the study analyzes empirical data derived from these businesses and provides insights into how dynamic capabilities can facilitate SSCM practices within SFSCs. Hereby, potential pathways for a sustainable transformation in this industry context are deduced through abductive reasoning.

Findings

The empirical findings provide evidence that supply chain orientation, coordination, innovation practices and strategies are highly relevant for SFSCs seeking to reach upscaling effects in regional markets. However, because SFSCs may not be able to reach mass markets without weakening their own sustainability performance, the present study recommends addressing sustainability inefficiencies in the region and developing further expansion potentials through replication in other regions. In this approach, related and necessary SSCM dynamic capabilities were identified and validated based on the empirical findings.

Originality/value

Although SFSCs include sustainability aspects at their core – particularly regarding resource usage, environmental friendliness and social-standard assurance – missing distribution-related capabilities limit growth such that these businesses often remain in a niche. To address this issue, the study builds on dynamic capabilities theory by identifying and describing core SSCM practices and capabilities; moreover, this study is among the first to elaborate empirically on the use of dynamic capabilities theory in this specific industry context.

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Article
Publication date: 25 December 2020

Pallawi Baldeo Sangode and Sujit G. Metre

The purpose of this paper is to identify various risks in the power distribution supply chain and further to prioritize the risk variables and propose a model to the power…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify various risks in the power distribution supply chain and further to prioritize the risk variables and propose a model to the power distribution industry for managing the interruptions in its supply chain. To accomplish this objective, a case of a major power distribution company has been considered.

Design/methodology/approach

Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) analysis has been done to identify the potential failure modes, their severity, and occurrence and detection scores. Then an interpretive structural model (ISM) has been developed to identify and understand the interrelationships among these enablers followed by MICMAC analysis, to classify the risk variables in four quadrants based on their driving and dependency powers.

Findings

The results of this study exhibit that technical failure in the information and technology system, the use of improper equipment, poor maintenance and housekeeping in the internal operations are the major risk drivers. Exposure to live wires and commercial loss in power supply has strong dependence power.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to a single power distribution company and not the whole power distribution sector.

Practical implications

This study suggests the managers of the power distribution company develop an initial understanding of the drivers and the dependent powers on the supply chain risks.

Social implications

Through prioritization, identification of drivers and the dependent risks, the losses in the power distribution supply chain can be minimized.

Originality/value

Various failures in the power distribution have been studied in the past, but they have not investigated the supply chain risks in the power distribution of a power distribution company.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 38 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1995

Martin Fojt

This special “Anbar Abstracts” issue of the International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management is split into eight sections covering abstracts under the…

Abstract

This special “Anbar Abstracts” issue of the International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management is split into eight sections covering abstracts under the following headings: Distribution and supply chain management; Logistics; Air/road/rail transport; Retail/wholesale; Freight and delivery services; International; Purchasing; Accounting.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 25 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2012

Kwok Hung Lau

This case study aims to examine the role of demand management in balancing distribution efficiency and responsiveness to customer needs in the downstream of a retail supply chain.

Abstract

Purpose

This case study aims to examine the role of demand management in balancing distribution efficiency and responsiveness to customer needs in the downstream of a retail supply chain.

Design/methodology/approach

A major machine part supplier in Australia is used as a case study to investigate the challenges faced by the industry in distributing goods to customers. The use of demand management techniques to help improve distribution efficiency without significantly impacting on responsiveness is also explored.

Findings

The findings of the case study reveal that appropriate demand management measures, such as customer segmentation and price discrimination, can help improve overall distribution efficiency of the supply chain while providing the required responsiveness to meet genuine customer needs. Other management attempts, such as vendor‐managed inventory and rationalisation of retail network, can facilitate demand aggregation and improve vehicle utilisation in distribution with minor impact on customer service. These changes require a full understanding of customer requirements and supply capabilities of the company as well as corresponding adjustments in business strategy, leadership style, and organisational culture.

Research limitations/implications

This study lends insight into the use of demand management techniques to improve efficiency in downstream wholesale and retail distribution, thereby enhancing sustainability and profitability of business. To serve mainly as a case study and an illustration of the approach, the scope of the study is limited to six stores in the distribution network of the case company.

Practical implications

Retailers can explore the use of demand management techniques to increase distribution efficiency and hence competitiveness of the company. The approach can also assist managers in adopting best practices among stores and facilitate more effective allocation of distribution resources to serve different market segments.

Social implications

Using demand management techniques to increase distribution efficiency can reduce delivery frequency and total travel distance. This will help lessen energy usage, carbon emission, traffic congestion, and other negative impacts on the environment.

Originality/value

Research in retail distribution efficiency to date focuses mainly on delivery optimisation through routing and scheduling. Attempts to link demand with supply and use demand management techniques to improve distribution efficiency are relatively limited. This paper fills the gap in the literature by investigating the value of demand management in distribution and explores empirically the significance of the approach to achieve higher wholesale and retail distribution efficiency.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 17 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 September 2007

Harri Lorentz, Chee Yew Wong and Olli‐Pekka Hilmola

The purpose of the research is to shed light on the evolution of distribution structures and its consequent implications for supply chain management (SCM) in the context…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the research is to shed light on the evolution of distribution structures and its consequent implications for supply chain management (SCM) in the context of the emerging markets of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

Design/methodology/approach

A structured literature review followed by two case studies, which combine qualitative and quantitative analysis. Mainly in‐depth interviews were used, with company sales data analysis in terms of variation and forecast accuracy.

Findings

It was found that CEE distribution structures are overlapping, and along complex traditional structures there exists a possibility for a more direct approach. This modern key‐account approach improves supply chain performance, mainly due to echelon elimination and information sharing. The case studies also illustrate that supply chain demand distortion originating practices create uncertainty in demand, even in the case of modern key accounts. The findings therefore suggest that general SCM approaches of the “West” are evident and appropriate also in the “East”.

Research limitations/implications

Owing to the limited number of case studies, this research is considered exploratory. The presented two case studies are essentially illustrative examples of the distribution operations of two international companies in CEE markets.

Practical implications

For practitioners, the two case studies provide important insight on the nature of alternative distribution structures in CEE, and what the level of forecast accuracy and the demand fluctuation may be expected. It is proposed that the emerging opportunities for supply chain partnership development should be carefully reviewed.

Originality/value

The paper draws upon real‐life data from emerging CEE markets with an approach that is not commonly used in distribution and SCM studies on CEE.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 37 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1994

Martin Fojt

This special “Anbar Abstracts” issue of the International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management is split into six sections covering abstracts under the…

Abstract

This special “Anbar Abstracts” issue of the International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management is split into six sections covering abstracts under the following headings: Logistics and Distribution Strategy; Supply Chain Management; IT in Logistics and Distribution; Just‐in‐time Management; Accounting for Logistics; International.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 24 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1994

Eric Sandelands

For those who like certainty, now is not a good time to be in logistics management ‐ for those who relish challenges, there are plenty to be had. There are challenges not…

Abstract

For those who like certainty, now is not a good time to be in logistics management ‐ for those who relish challenges, there are plenty to be had. There are challenges not just to the old certainties, but the new certainties which replaced them. Companies have, in recent years, looked to Japan for inspiration, only to find the Japanese economy beginning to falter. Japanese management practices were endorsed by, and imported into, many Western organizations and, when these transplanted practices failed to work, cultural difficulties were cited. It then becomes something of a shock, for example, to see the keiretsu distribution system fall into disrepute, and lean production methods become modified or abandoned by those who developed them.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 25 June 2021

Anuj Dixit, Srikanta Routroy and Sunil Kumar Dubey

The requirement of high-quality government-supported healthcare services has necessitated the significance of recognizing new management practices to enhance patient…

Abstract

Purpose

The requirement of high-quality government-supported healthcare services has necessitated the significance of recognizing new management practices to enhance patient satisfaction. Hence, the purpose of this study is to address the patient's enhanced custom needs through the implementation of supply chain value stream mapping (SCVSM) in government-supported drug distribution system (DDS) for enhanced patient's satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

This study elucidates the role of one popular emerging management technique (i.e. SCVSM) in the healthcare sector by an investigative case study. The DDS in Rajasthan (India) was selected for this study. The data for this analysis were gathered in three ways (i.e. direct observation, documentary analysis and semi-structured interviews).

Findings

The outcome of this current study reveals that it is possible to apply the tool (SCVSM) to investigate the wastes in DDS to deliver the medicines at right time, right quantity and right quality. The application of SCVSM concluded that the various Kaizens (areas needed to improve) in lead time; transportation and routing should be adopted. The study further implemented kaizen on the current SCVSM and developed future SCVSM.

Research limitations/implications

Although various stages and functions exist in the healthcare supply chain, the current study is focused on the distribution system of drugs. The proposed approach provides a platform for both researchers and academicians to understand the existing DDS and to implement the SCVSM approach in the healthcare environment. The results show that the proposed SCVSM model is able to identify some operational bottlenecks and wastes which interfere in DDS.

Originality/value

It was observed that limited literature related to lean implementation on DDS and implementation of SCVSM on the healthcare environment in general and government-supported or public in specific are available. The current study on the application of SCVSM in DDS is unique in nature and will definitely add value to the existing literature of the application of value stream mapping (VSM) on the healthcare supply chain management field.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

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