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239SAM Global Supply Chain Management For Distribution Centers And Retailers

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  • Course Code: 239SAM
  • University: Coventry University
  • Country: United Kingdom

Questions:

Consider the following questions as a guide when reading the chosen article and preparing your response:
 
1. What are the objectives of the paper, what are the motivations behind the study and how do the authors argue that their work is important?
2. What are the research questions authors try to answer?
3. How do authors answer research questions? What research method(s) do they use to answer
research questions? What are the assumptions considered in the paper?
4. What are the strengths and weakness parts of the research work?
5. What are the main findings, and how widely applicable are they according to (a) the authors and (b) you?

 

Answer:

Introduction

Global supply chain management includes a network of suppliers and manufacturers along with warehouses, distribution centers, retailers and wholesalers. This network in the supply chain is created among the companies all over the world that is responsible for managing, producing or distributing specific kinds of goods and products. There are also a range of special facilitating systems such as information and transportation systems (Du Toit and Vlok 2014).

For this assignment the article ‘the role of collaboration in supply chain resilience’ by Kirstin Scholten and Sanne Schilder will be considered for reviewing. This article has focused on the aspect of the impact of collaboration on supply chain resilience. The main purpose is to find out the collaborative activities and related mechanisms in association with flexibility, speed and visibility. The approach behind this article consists of the relationship among eight buyers and suppliers in the food processing sector. In the course of this assignment the contemporary and relevant theories and principles of supply chain management will be analyzed.  

Theoretical background

Supply chain resilience is important for events to decrease the effect of disruption and the underlying elements are different within the theory itself. Supply chain resilience strategies include proactive strategies by appropriate selection of suppliers. This will be helpful in reducing the impact such as political constancy in the suppliers’ area, quality, reliability etc.   Reactive strategies include sustainability compliance along with social, economic and environmental requirements to reduce the risks of supply chain for instance reputation risk (Christopher 2016).

For the development of synergies among the groups of supply chain collaboration, joint planning and information exchange is encouraged for recovering from supply chain disruption. According to (Stadtler 2015) the foundation of collaboration is based on the mutuality of benefits, risk sharing and rewards along with the exchange of information. As per the survey conducted by McKinsey & Company, the Grocery Manufacturers Association and Nielsen in 2008, the effort of collaboration between the manufacturers and the retailer customers have grown significantly over the years.

Methodology

A multiple case study was taken into consideration to explore the real life phenomenon of supply chain resilience. This article has focused on the two food processing companies of Netherlands, one has plans to develop resilience and the other has a complex network supply. A resilient supply chain is important because in 2013 supply chain disruption in the first company resulted in the loss of more than 1,000,000 euro with respect to resources, raw materials and customer revenues (Scholten and Schilder 2015).  

For gathering data on this particular topic interviews were collected from the suppliers and the central companies thus linking the topic of supply chain management on a global context. The interviews were conducted on the basis of a strict and organized topic which was well elaborated in relation to previous disruptions. The interview questions that were asked to the participants were linked to the given instance of the two food processing companies.

The collected data were analyzed by adhering to the three steps of reduction followed by display and conclusion. The data collected were reduced to statements in order to answer the research questions such as what are the objectives; what research methods are used; what the assumptions are; what are the main findings and others. Thus different types of collaborative activities in the supply chain got identified. The data were analyzed either for resilience or for collaborative activities but not for both.

 

Findings

The findings when analyzed focused on the importance of sharing of information and collaborative communication which forms the major part for improving supply chain resilience by making flexibility, visibility and speed better (Monczka et al. 2015). Therefore organizations all around the world need to take into consideration the kind of information that is shared in order to increase the three aspects mentioned. For this particular article, the information was gathered by conducting personal face- to- face interviews and also telephone interview which made it possible to mitigate the problem of supply chain disruptions.

Joint relationship effort is much wider than only sharing of information or the collaborative activities because it participates in supply chain resilience too. To be specific the process of combining decision through associated problem solving and resource sharing arose from the collected data for making speed and flexibility better (Hugos 2018). For instance in this particular article adapting the suitable process n both the food processing companies will help in the quick response to disruption.

While reviewing this article Mangan, Lalwani and Lalwani (2016) also found out that competitors are really crucial when effort is required to decrease the effect of disruption in the supply chain network. For instance if one of the food processing companies does not have a truck to supply the goods then they can use one of their competitors’ truck and get the advantage. It has actually focused on a minor level of incentive flexibility among the central companies and their suppliers. Thus, strong indicating factors were found that focused on the efforts of joint relationship in working for better speed and flexibility. Given below is the framework which will support the above discussion-

 

The data collected for this article has shed light on the fact that mutual dependency between two groups act as a catalyst in sharing of information, getting joint solution, and therefore learning and investments taking a part in the increase of resilience.

Moreover there are certain strategies that the organizations worldwide can adapt in order to make a strong supply chain network. Those strategies are formulated below-

  • Get adapted to a model of planning and business that focuses on timely demand with proper shaping.
  • Creating a supply chain that will be adaptive as well as swift after proper planning and combined execution.
  • Modifying the designing and management of product for manufacturing, supply and also sustainability so that innovation can be enhanced in a profitable way
  • Linking the supply chain with the business objectives by combining with sales and operations planning along with corporate business planning
  • Mix sustainability with the operations of supply chain
  • Making the supply reliable as well as predictable (Fahimnia, Sarkis and Davarzani 2015)

The findings have stressed on the fact that knowledge when created with mutual understanding acts better in supply chain resilience. It was specifically analyzed that combined learning along with speed and duration that the organizations have been working on has an impact on visibility. It also helps to manage disruptions, if any, caused by the variable characteristic of the products.

In order to work towards effective global supply chain managerial decision making the supply chain design must support strategic objectives and linked with the business objectives. These are long term planning and also expensive so market condition should be considered (Brandenburg et al. 2014). Decision making again takes into consideration certain factors such as location of the markets, building inventories, backup planning, policies, time and size of promoting market. In addition to these factors the planning should also take into account uncertainty in demands, rates of exchange and competition in the changing market.

Discussion

While discussing the features of supply chain network it can be stated that the frequency and effect of supply chain disruptions is very high. That is why those resilient supply chains which can get adapted to the risks of visibility, speed, flexibility and collaborative activities are of utmost importance in the international market.  

In order to answer the research question of the role played by the collaborative activities in leading to a resilient supply chain between the supply chain members, Brindley (2017) mentioned that the case of eight buyer- supplier relationship did justice to the question. This analysis has stressed impact of network collaboration level on supply chain resilience. In addition to that, the interdependent organizations get involved in investments to boost mutual dependency. 

Conclusion

From this essay it can be concluded that the research findings have been apt in focusing on the role of collaboration in supply chain resilience by aligning with visibility, flexibility and speed. Collaboration has been identified as an antecedent in the construct of resilience. This study had the scope to analyze and evaluate supply chain from the viewpoint of a number of companies and thus added new value. It helped in recognizing that not only mutual sharing or dependencies but also competition in the market identifies the level of resilience in a supply chain.

 

References

Brandenburg, M., Govindan, K., Sarkis, J. and Seuring, S., 2014. Quantitative models for sustainable supply chain management: Developments and directions. European Journal of Operational Research, 233(2), pp.299-312.

Brindley, C. ed., 2017. Supply chain risk. Taylor & Francis.

Christopher, M., 2016. Logistics & supply chain management. Pearson UK.

Du Toit, D. and Vlok, P.J., 2014. Supply chain management: A framework of understanding. South African Journal of Industrial Engineering, 25(3), pp.25-38.

Fahimnia, B., Sarkis, J. and Davarzani, H., 2015. Green supply chain management: A review and bibliometric analysis. International Journal of Production Economics, 162, pp.101-114.

Hugos, M.H., 2018. Essentials of supply chain management. John Wiley & Sons.

Mangan, J., Lalwani, C. and Lalwani, C.L., 2016. Global logistics and supply chain management. John Wiley & Sons.

Monczka, R.M., Handfield, R.B., Giunipero, L.C. and Patterson, J.L., 2015. Purchasing and supply chain management. Cengage Learning.

Scholten, K. and Schilder, S., 2015. The role of collaboration in supply chain resilience. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 20(4), pp.471-484.

Stadtler, H., 2015. Supply chain management: An overview. In Supply chain management and advanced planning (pp. 3-28). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Wisner, J.D., Tan, K.C. and Leong, G.K., 2014. Principles of supply chain management: A balanced approach. Cengage Learning.

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