Alignment of supply chain complexities with product demand and product design characteristics

Hashemi, S 2015, Alignment of supply chain complexities with product demand and product design characteristics, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Business IT and Logistics, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Alignment of supply chain complexities with product demand and product design characteristics
Author(s) Hashemi, S
Year 2015
Abstract Firms’ capacity to alter products at a short notice to fulfil an uncertain and highly diverse customer demand requires building agile supply chains, which should be highly responsive, transparent, and structurally aligned. Thus, analysing and modeling the relationship between supply chain and product characteristics are the key focus of recent supply chain management research. Most studies, however, have either concentrated on examining the relationships between supply chain and product demand or supply chain and product design. While the first perspective argues the necessity of matching the supply chains strategy to the characteristics of product demand; whereas the second perspective places greater emphasis on aligning the supply chain design with product design characteristics to improve supply chain performance.To date, there is no empirical study that has simultaneously examined the alignment of supply chain with product demand and product design.

The extent and characteristics of this alignment has therefore remained unanswered. Understanding the combined impact of product demand and product design on supply chain as interlinked factors is critical to the improvement of supply chain alignment –– a strategic fit or the appropriateness level of supply chain –– to align with the complexity of product demand and design characteristics. To address this gap, the main research objectives of this thesis are: i) to identify the key characteristics of product demand and product design, which impact on the supply chain complexity; and ii) to examine the extent to which supply chains are aligned with product characteristics, considering the simultaneous role of product demand and design. Building on supply chain complexity research and drawing from previous studies on supply chain alignment theory, this thesis develops and then empirically examines an alignment-based model to establish the impact of product characteristics on supply chain complexity. Using the Hieber’s approach, this thesis measures supply chain complexity through three key constructs – complexity in coordination, configuration and collaboration of supply chain.

This model investigates whether higher product demand and/or design complexity leads to higher supply chain coordination and/or configuration complexity and lower collaboration complexity. Based on the results, organisations with products having greater demand and design complexity are suggested to reduce their supply chain coordination complexity by improving information sharing and integrated planning managed by strategic centres. This serves the purpose of aligning their operations to reduce collaboration complexity and strategically re-direct their resources to enhance the supply chain performance. This research extended the supply chain alignment theory by integrating both the product demand and design as interrelated constructs in explaining supply chain complexity. A supply chain alignment framework is also developed to conceptualise and empirically examine the simultaneous impacts of product demand and product design on supply chain complexity using a structured equation modeling technique. The framework is also a decision support strategic tool to evaluate supply chain collaboration, coordination and configuration complexity at different levels according to the complexity of product demand and design characteristics.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Business IT and Logistics
Keyword(s) Supply Chain
Product Demand
Product Design
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Created: Fri, 22 May 2015, 08:42:28 EST by Denise Paciocco
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