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Coping with unpredictable supply: the role of flexibility and adaptation

Coping with unpredictable supply: the role of flexibility and adaptation Purpose – This paper aims to address how firms cope when input due to primary uncertainty is unpredictable, and thus timely and adequate supply to customers are impossible to guarantee. Design/methodology/approach – Two sets of data are applied to capture uncertainties, flexibilities and adaption strategies amongst suppliers and producers respectively. Findings – The findings show that flexibility is a prerequisite to cope when faced with unpredictable supply. Flexibility comes in many forms. They are partly firm‐specific and can be conceived as a valuable resource. Research limitations/implications – The present study is limited to one industry only. Practical implications – Unpredictability imposes the need for adaptations, which requires flexibility. However, adjustment to the new landscape is a prerequisite to succeed. Originality/value – This paper offers insight on how firms cope when needed input to operate is unpredictable, i.e. an almost neglected topic in the marketing literature, where adequate supply in most cases is seen as unproblematic. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Journal of Marketing Emerald Publishing

Coping with unpredictable supply: the role of flexibility and adaptation

European Journal of Marketing , Volume 46 (10): 15 – Sep 14, 2012

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References (25)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0309-0566
DOI
10.1108/03090561211248026
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to address how firms cope when input due to primary uncertainty is unpredictable, and thus timely and adequate supply to customers are impossible to guarantee. Design/methodology/approach – Two sets of data are applied to capture uncertainties, flexibilities and adaption strategies amongst suppliers and producers respectively. Findings – The findings show that flexibility is a prerequisite to cope when faced with unpredictable supply. Flexibility comes in many forms. They are partly firm‐specific and can be conceived as a valuable resource. Research limitations/implications – The present study is limited to one industry only. Practical implications – Unpredictability imposes the need for adaptations, which requires flexibility. However, adjustment to the new landscape is a prerequisite to succeed. Originality/value – This paper offers insight on how firms cope when needed input to operate is unpredictable, i.e. an almost neglected topic in the marketing literature, where adequate supply in most cases is seen as unproblematic.

Journal

European Journal of MarketingEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 14, 2012

Keywords: Primary uncertainty; Unpredictable supply; Adaptation and flexibility; Uncertainty management; Supply

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