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Article
Publication date: 25 July 2008

Elkafi Hassini

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a special issue that looks at how enterprises could build competitive advantage through supply chain management.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a special issue that looks at how enterprises could build competitive advantage through supply chain management.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides an overview of competitiveness within a supply chain framework, introduces the issue papers and summarizes their major features.

Findings

Nowadays competition is increasingly between supply chains rather than individual companies. Thus, one would expect supply chain management to be a key in maintaining enterprises competitiveness. Through conceptual models and empirical studies this special issue's papers demonstrate how designing and operating efficient supply chains, through the effective use of information technology, can provide enterprises with a competitive advantage.

Research limitations/implications

The paper implies that enterprises can associate with a supply chain and develop a mechanism to fairly share surpluses. The papers in the special issue offer insight in to how an enterprise can position itself within a supply chain and how risks and profits can be shared equitably.

Practical implications

The paper introduces articles that report on practical implementation issues of supply chain principles.

Originality/value

The paper suggests a unified framework for the special issue papers.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

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Article
Publication date: 11 October 2019

Dheeraj Chandra and Dinesh Kumar

Delivering vaccines to the children who need them requires a supply chain that is efficient and effective. In most of the developing countries, however, the unknown and…

Abstract

Purpose

Delivering vaccines to the children who need them requires a supply chain that is efficient and effective. In most of the developing countries, however, the unknown and unresolved supply chain issues are causing inefficiencies in distributing vaccines. There is, therefore, a great need in such countries to recognize the issues that cause delays in vaccine delivery. With this purpose, the present study aims to identify and analyze the key issues in the supply chain of basic vaccines required to immunize children in developing countries.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a field survey of three states of India, in-depth review of relevant literature and experts’ opinions, 25 key issues were recognized as factors of the vaccine supply chain (VSC) and categorized into five main domains. Using integrated interpretive structural modeling and fuzzy analytic network process approaches, the issues have been prioritized to determine their relative importance in the VSC. In addition, a sensitivity analysis has been performed to investigate the priority stability of the issues.

Findings

The results of the analysis show that among the five domains of VSC issues, the economic domain with a weight of 0.4262 is the most important domain, followed by the management (0.2672), operational (0.2222), environmental (0.0532) and social (0.0312).

Research limitations/implications

This study focuses on the prioritization of VSC issues; therefore, the results of the present study can provide direction to the decision-makers of immunization programs of developing countries in driving their efforts and resources on eliminating the most important obstacles to design successful vaccination programs.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, this paper is first to provide a direction to the decision-makers in identifying and managing important issues through the use of an analytical approach.

Details

Journal of Modelling in Management, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5664

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Article
Publication date: 28 January 2019

Samanthi Silva and Stefan Schaltegger

The necessity to assess and manage supply chains to be free from social problems such as human and labour rights abuses has become particularly apparent since the…

Abstract

Purpose

The necessity to assess and manage supply chains to be free from social problems such as human and labour rights abuses has become particularly apparent since the introduction of conflict minerals regulations in the United States (Dodd-Frank Act) and the European Union. Similarly, stakeholders demand that products are free from social problems. Ever more companies are therefore challenged to assess and manage social issues in their supply chains. At the same time, the increasing literature on assessment and management of social issues is disperse and an overview missing. This paper aims to provide an overview of the existing literature on social assessment and management approaches relating to conflict minerals and connected to social issues in supply chains.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of the academic literature on social assessment and management of conflict minerals to provide an overview is currently missing. This paper addresses this gap by systematically reviewing the existing research literature on approaches for the social assessment and management of conflict minerals from a supply chain perspective.

Findings

The systematic literature review found 21 social assessment and 30 social management approaches with reference to conflict minerals, with the most referenced approach being the OECD guidelines. Overall, the conflict mineral related literature discusses rather general social assessment and management approaches, such as codes of conduct, while the effectiveness of the approaches is not analysed in depth. The paper finds that an analysis of the effectiveness and interlinkages of different approaches is missing. The large variety of social and human rights issues addressed in the academic literature ranges from corruption to violence, going beyond the scope of regulations focused on conflict minerals. This indicates that regulations on conflict minerals and the consequences for management are seen as a specific case with wider implications for future regulations and the necessity for management to solve social problems in supply chains in an effective way.

Research limitations/implications

The review paper is conceptual and develops a framework to classify social assessment and management approaches for conflict minerals, drawing on the supply chain management literature.

Practical implications

The overview reveals that research refers to broader social assessment and management approaches indicating wider implications for assessing and managing social issues in supply chains in general, irrespective of whether they are conflict mineral related. Research has, however, so far not addressed the effectiveness and interlinkages between social assessment and management approaches. The aim of the emerging regulations, however, is to foster more effective management of social issues in supply chains. Management is therefore challenged to develop and implement innovative approaches to effectively reduce social problems in supply chains beyond conflict minerals. Conclusions are drawn for management and research.

Social implications

The paper highlights the need for collaboration with NGOs, industry associations and suppliers, recommending to engage in supplier development.

Originality/value

The paper conducts the first systematic review of academic literature on conflict mineral related social assessment and management approaches. A framework is proposed to classify social assessment and management approaches based on supply chain management literature. While conflict minerals often represent a small fraction of components in a product, they can have huge and costly implications for companies, which require (potentially) large changes for the sourcing and supply strategy of a company. Conflict mineral regulations represent the first attempt to regulate social and human rights abuses in supply chains holding companies responsible for misconduct caused by suppliers abroad.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Siddharth Varma, Subhash Wadhwa and S.G. Deshmukh

When a supply chain initiative is taken up by a firm a number of issues come up during implementation. The purpose of this paper is to identify some of the major issues

Abstract

Purpose

When a supply chain initiative is taken up by a firm a number of issues come up during implementation. The purpose of this paper is to identify some of the major issues related to such implementation and draw out practices from literature to serve as remedies for these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper starts by suggesting a broad framework for implementing supply chain management (SCM) in a firm. This consists of strategy formulation, identification of areas for improving material flow, identifying issues in these areas, and finally performance evaluation in order to determine how well the supply chain initiative has been implemented. Subsequently, the paper follows this framework step by step and in the process identifies the issues likely to arise in the process of SCM implementation. By reviewing current literature it suggests how these issues can be handled effectively.

Findings

The major issues related to SCM implementation are in the areas of logistics, outsourcing/partnerships, and environment. Apart from these issues the prerequisite for implementation is formulation of strategy while the final step in the exercise is performance evaluation. These two activities need to be handled carefully also.

Practical implications

The paper has important implications for the industry since it tries to bring out practices which would help in successful implementation of SCM in a firm. This is more so for the process industry which has lagged behind its counterparts in other industries with respect to implementation of SCM.

Originality/value

The value of this paper which is based on extensive literature review lies in: suggesting a framework to implement SCM, identifying likely issues, and suggesting ways to handle them. The summary diagrams would definitely facilitate understanding. This can be of interest to SCM personnel in the industry. Major contributions by researchers relevant to handling the issues have been tabulated at the end which can be useful for academicians.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

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Article
Publication date: 16 March 2015

Payman Ahi and Cory Searcy

– The purpose of this paper is to identify the metrics used in the literature to measure social issues in sustainable supply chains.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the metrics used in the literature to measure social issues in sustainable supply chains.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic literature review was conducted to identify peer-reviewed articles containing metrics pertaining to social issues in the supply chain. A structured content analysis of each identified article was conducted to extract the metrics. This analysis provided a basis for a frequency analysis to determine how often the various metrics appeared in the literature. The metrics were also analyzed to determine whether they: simultaneously addressed the other areas of the triple bottom line, namely, environmental and/or economic issues; were quantitative or qualitative metrics; and could be classified as absolute, relative or context-based metrics.

Findings

A total of 53 unique metrics were identified. The analysis of the results showed that a limited number of environmental (3 metrics) and economic (11 metrics) issues were addressed by the metrics as well. A combination of quantitative (39.6 per cent) and qualitative (60.4 per cent) measurements were used. The vast majority of the metrics (90.6 per cent) were further classified as absolute metrics.

Originality/value

This paper presents one of the first in-depth analyses of metrics used to measure social issues in supply chains. This is important because social issues are often overlooked in research focused on performance measurement in sustainable supply chains.

Details

Measuring Business Excellence, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-3047

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Book part
Publication date: 20 October 2015

Mohammad Shamsuddoha

Contemporary literature reveals that, to date, the poultry livestock sector has not received sufficient research attention. This particular industry suffers from…

Abstract

Contemporary literature reveals that, to date, the poultry livestock sector has not received sufficient research attention. This particular industry suffers from unstructured supply chain practices, lack of awareness of the implications of the sustainability concept and failure to recycle poultry wastes. The current research thus attempts to develop an integrated supply chain model in the context of poultry industry in Bangladesh. The study considers both sustainability and supply chain issues in order to incorporate them in the poultry supply chain. By placing the forward and reverse supply chains in a single framework, existing problems can be resolved to gain economic, social and environmental benefits, which will be more sustainable than the present practices.

The theoretical underpinning of this research is ‘sustainability’ and the ‘supply chain processes’ in order to examine possible improvements in the poultry production process along with waste management. The research adopts the positivist paradigm and ‘design science’ methods with the support of system dynamics (SD) and the case study methods. Initially, a mental model is developed followed by the causal loop diagram based on in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and observation techniques. The causal model helps to understand the linkages between the associated variables for each issue. Finally, the causal loop diagram is transformed into a stock and flow (quantitative) model, which is a prerequisite for SD-based simulation modelling. A decision support system (DSS) is then developed to analyse the complex decision-making process along the supply chains.

The findings reveal that integration of the supply chain can bring economic, social and environmental sustainability along with a structured production process. It is also observed that the poultry industry can apply the model outcomes in the real-life practices with minor adjustments. This present research has both theoretical and practical implications. The proposed model’s unique characteristics in mitigating the existing problems are supported by the sustainability and supply chain theories. As for practical implications, the poultry industry in Bangladesh can follow the proposed supply chain structure (as par the research model) and test various policies via simulation prior to its application. Positive outcomes of the simulation study may provide enough confidence to implement the desired changes within the industry and their supply chain networks.

Details

Sustaining Competitive Advantage Via Business Intelligence, Knowledge Management, and System Dynamics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-707-3

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Article
Publication date: 20 April 2010

M. Theodore Farris

The development of strategic supply chain mapping techniques has been slowed by four critical issues. The purpose of this paper is to answer a call to address supply chain

Abstract

Purpose

The development of strategic supply chain mapping techniques has been slowed by four critical issues. The purpose of this paper is to answer a call to address supply chain mapping techniques and issues. It offers recommendations for more readable and useful strategic supply chain maps.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper utilized executive MBA, traditional MBA, and graduating logistics undergraduates' applied economic input/output data to refine mapping techniques.

Findings

The paper addresses strategic supply chain mapping issues to serve as the next step in advancing the evolution of strategic supply chain mapping techniques. It utilizes geovisualization to provide useful guidance to individuals trying to map their current supply chain and seeking potential improvements.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is limited in that strategic supply chain mapping is in its infancy. Future research may consider use of the technique comparing alternative approaches to a supply chain, as well as the application of Pareto analysis and other metrics to focus on critical components for mapping.

Practical implications

The use of input/output analysis initiates mapping at the macro industry level as a key starting point. Geovisualization techniques allow those mapping to offer a great amount of detail in a simple, easy‐to‐read format to identify the critical components of the specific supply chain.

Originality/value

This paper is the critical next step to help further advance the evolution of strategic supply chain mapping techniques by both practitioner and academic.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 40 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2011

Rodney W. Thomas, C. Clifford Defee, Wesley S. Randall and Brent Williams

Discussions about the managerial relevance of scholarly research have been taking place for decades and the topic continues to be a source of debate in a number of…

Abstract

Purpose

Discussions about the managerial relevance of scholarly research have been taking place for decades and the topic continues to be a source of debate in a number of business disciplines. The purpose of this paper is to make an initial attempt to empirically assess the relevance of supply chain management research.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative methods were utilized to provide some initial evidence that can help validate or refute assumptions about perceived relevance in contemporary supply chain management research.

Findings

Findings of this research indicate that the most impactful supply chain management issues for managers are internal supply chain organizational structure, communication and information exchange, information technology, forecasting and sales and operations planning, and strategic leadership. Some of these managerial issues appear to be well aligned with recent research trends, but other issues are not frequently researched.

Research limitations/implications

Future research opportunities are identified based on managerial feedback. Results of this study also suggest that a broader view of supply chain management may be appropriate if researchers want to be managerially relevant.

Practical implications

This research potentially highlights opportunities for firms to gain a competitive advantage via their approach to supply chain management.

Originality/value

This research utilizes a unique approach to assess managerially relevant topics through a “magic wand” interviewing technique (i.e. “If we gave you a magic wand and granted you just one wish, what would you wish for to improve your supply chain?”).

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 41 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2019

Roya Manuela Akhavan and Dimitar Zvezdov

Gaining a better understanding of various actors’ information demands and developing suitable approaches to fulfilling them is key in managing sustainability performance…

Abstract

Purpose

Gaining a better understanding of various actors’ information demands and developing suitable approaches to fulfilling them is key in managing sustainability performance in supply chains. Sustainability thereby creates different levels of uncertainty and equivocality. This paper investigates the challenges in managing sustainability information flows along several nodes in the supply chain.

Design/methodology/approach

A multiple case study approach explores the various sustainability information needs along different nodes of supply chains. For this, three automotive triads are investigated, each comprising an original equipment manufacturer, a first-tier supplier and a second-tier supplier.

Findings

The results reveal that fulfilling information demands presents a substantial challenge to each of the three actors, albeit a different one in each case: whereas focal companies seek to figure out what information may be relevant to sustainability performance, their direct suppliers struggle to develop suitable approaches for enabling second-tier suppliers to generate and provide such information.

Practical implications

Depending on the level of uncertainty and equivocality, companies are supported in approaching sustainability information needs by applying individual or collective processing mechanisms. Decisions on such mechanisms and organisational structure can help to allocate resources according to the degree of challenges to achieve a fit between information needs and mechanisms.

Social implications

Reducing uncertainty and equivocality related to sustainability information provides a powerful approach to improving the sustainability performance along supply chains.

Originality/value

Having identified sustainability information challenges, the paper analyses and develops a typology of potentially useful approaches.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2016

Elliot Simangunsong, Linda C. Hendry and Mark Stevenson

The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate effective management strategies for 14 sources of supply chain uncertainty, with a particular emphasis on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate effective management strategies for 14 sources of supply chain uncertainty, with a particular emphasis on uncertainties or strategies that involve ethical issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Manufacturing strategy theory, underpinned by alignment and contingency theory, is used as the theoretical foundation. Multi-case study data are collected from 12 companies in the Indonesian food industry, including four focal manufacturers, four first-tier suppliers, and four first-tier customers (retailers).

Findings

Within the context of appropriately aligned management strategies to address 14 sources of uncertainty, three ethical issues are empirically identified: first, collusion amongst suppliers to ration supplies and increase prices; second, unethical influences on government policy; and third, “abuse” of power by large retailers at the expense of smaller competitors. Joint purchasing is argued to be a key strategy for combatting the first of these ethical issues.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited to the Indonesian food industry, and so further research is needed in other cultures/contexts.

Practical implications

Management strategies that aim to reduce an uncertainty at its source lead to better overall supply chain performance than strategies that merely cope with uncertainty, which only have an impact on firm-level performance.

Social implications

The ethical issues identified have implications for fair negotiations between customers and suppliers.

Originality/value

This study is unique in its in-depth case study-based empirical investigation of the management of multiple supply chain uncertainties; and in its discussion of ethical issues in this context.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 36 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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