Purpose – The paper seeks to test the relationships among product design and supply chain design, with specific reference to the product‐supply chain model by Fisher. Design/methodology/approach – An extensive empirical survey with data from 128 companies; the approach is basically theory testing, in that it investigates an existing framework, and discusses extensions. Findings – Significant relationships are found between product types and supply chain types, as well as concerning the impact of alignment on performance. Research limitations/implications – Instead of treating the supply chain characteristics associated with different supply chain types as either/or choices, some companies select properties from both supply chain types in order to gain additional benefits. This creates a supply chain frontier of physical efficiency and market responsiveness; a concept that deserves further attention by researchers. A limitation is that it would be interesting to perform a longitudinal study. Practical implications – Different product types call for different types of supply chains. Alignment between the type of product and the type of supply chain is important, and significant for delivery speed, delivery dependability, and cost performance. Originality/value – This research empirically tests a model that has received considerable attention in the research literature as well as acting as guidelines in practice, but that has not been tested explicitly before.
Supply Chain Management: An International Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 30, 2007
Keywords: Research; Product design; Supply chain management
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