A supply chain usually does not stand alone. Frequently a supply chain is defined by the need of the end customer which has to be satisfied. Since one company commonly deliver several products, within a single company there can be multiple different supply chains aggregated under one organization. This task of managing multiple supply chains is most often referred to as Supply Chain Portfolio Management. It is still in a very early stage of research, so there are only few researchers focusing on this part.
This article presents a comprehensive practice oriented framework for managing supply chain disruptions by Sunil Chopra and ManMohan S. Sodhi. The article has been published in the MIT Sloan Management Review in 2004. The framework covers everything from risk analysis to the selection of the risk mitigation strategy.
The article on review today serves two distinct needs, by summarizing the current (2012) state of supply chain risk management.
The title of the article implies, that this is only a summary relevant for researchers. But this is not the case: of course there is also a short summary of current research and supply chain risk management, but a major part consists of two focus groups with practitioners and researchers, to define the current gaps in supply chain risk management.
Supply chain mapping can be a great tool to foster the understanding and from its results improve a supply chain network overall. Supply chain mapping can also be used to analyze the risks of a supply chain and improve its resilience (for an example in the blog follow this link).
Agent-based supply chain models are build using small entities (agents), which might represent a single company.
Each of the agents has its own goals and rules of operation programmed into a computer. The interaction between several agents of this kind leads to a more realistic and complex behavior of the system.
Case study’s can give valuable insights for the researcher, but there are many preconceptions about this research methodology, like being too subjective or having a too small sample size to deduce any relevant information.This is also how Flyvbjerg (2006) starts his paper on the “Five Misunderstandings About Case-Study Research“.
He therefore claims the following misunderstandings:
Within a supply chain many supplier-buyer relationships exist. Even though supply chain management aims to take a high level view, these dyadic relationships form the basis of the supply chain and therefore should be the focus of a supply chain analysis.
The negotiation of the terms of these relationships defines the structure of the supply chain and can affect the power and profit distribution within the supply chain itself.
So, this week we’ll have a closer look at negotiations in the supply chain using a 2008 paper by Frederik Zachariassen.