Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to address the increasingly important question of supply chain design for global operations. With the rise of off‐shore sourcing and the simultaneous need for improved responsiveness to customer demand, the choice of supply chain strategy is critical. Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws its conclusions from case‐based research supported by survey data. Findings – The paper provides evidence that the choice of supply chain strategy should be based upon a careful analysis of the demand/supply characteristics of the various product/markets served by a company. It presents the basis for a taxonomy of appropriate supply chain strategies. Research limitations/implications – The case studies and empirical research reported in this paper are specific to the clothing manufacturing and fashion industries and there would be benefit in extending the research into other sectors. Practical implications – Given the increasing trend to out‐sourcing and off‐shore sourcing, the choice of supply chain strategy is of some significance and clearly impacts competitive performance. Originality/value – Whilst there is a growing recognition of the need to match the supply chain to the market, there is still limited research into what criteria should be utilised to aid the choice of supply chain strategy. This paper attempts to extend our understanding of the issues.
The International Journal of Logistics Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 1, 2006
Keywords: Sourcing; Lean production; Agile production; Supply chain management
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