This again is an old classic in supply chain risk literature. In 1997 Marshall L. Fisher published this article in the Harvard Business Review targeting a simple question: “What is the Right Supply Chain for Your Product?”
It is noteworthy that this appears to be one of the most often cited papers in supply chain management. So I overlook the fact that it is quite weak on the methodological foundations.
Today’s article finally closes a gap in the blog that I wanted to close for a while now.
Flexibility can be seen as a key basis for some companies and supply chains as a business strategy and for most companies as an approach for risk mitigation. The article by Duclos et al. presents a flexibility concept from a supply chain point of view and can be used as a foundation for further decisions on the supply chain strategy.
The Bullwhip Effect was first discovered and analyzed in the 1950s. It triggered more intense research on the supply chain system (even though the term supply chain was not yet coined).
Starting in the early 1980s, this research finally lead to significant changes in real supply chains as well.
This article does a follow up on these developments and evaluates the relative improvements of each of the strategic stages.
This time I’d like to have a look at supply chain risk management from a strategic point of view: What are the prerequisites in the design and culture of an organization to mitigate supply chain risks? The title of the article I review today is: “The organizational antecedents of a firm’s supply chain agility for risk mitigation and response”.
The authors use structural equation modeling technique to establish the relations within their model (figure 1).
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.
I just found the first supply chain risk related paper from a professor (Biying Shou) of one of my alma maters: The City University of Hong Kong, and I think this a good time to have a look at his work.
I have to distract myself a little bit from thinking about supply chain risks too much, so I thought why not use the chance to read a different article once in a while. Well, at least the authors are familiar: Paul Childerhouse and Denis R. Towill and their paper of 2003: “Simplified material flow holds the key to supply chain integration”
In research the decisions on the product and the corresponding supply chain are usually separated. This happens for a variety of reasons, one may be the reduction of problem complexity, another that the research focus is on a brown field approach where the products are seen as given.
This makes this article even more interesting, since it combines the both decisions in one conceptual process and a model to optimize the decision.
Defining a conceptual framework for supply chain risk management can support thinking about risks in supply chains and streamline the decision making process, and therefore improve the current supply chain at hand.
This is similar to a brown-field approach, where gradual changes and risk mitigation strategies are employed onto an existing supply chain. Thus another source for improvement strategies can be a green-field approach, where the supply chain is modeled and optimized to generate new input for real-world optimization.