Supply chain management

Supply chain management

This unit addresses the fundamentals of managing the supply chain, including the impact of e-commerce on order placement, processing and delivery. Supply chains across functional and organisational boundaries and the contribution of logistics strategy implementation will be examined. This includes issues such as demand driven supply chains, collaborative commerce, postponement strategies, third and fourth party logistics providers and strategic alignment of the supply chain.

Researcher expertise

Value Chain, Logistics, Supply, Customer, Product, Services, Processes.

Who this research helps

Supply chain professionals and managers.

Research overview

Focuses on identifying and understanding how domestic, national and international supply chains contribute to meet the real needs of the customer, by examining:

  • How to design or improve supply chains to maximise benefits and reduce risk for organisations and the whole value chain
  • Management solutions and processes that can apply to the supply chain to improve product and service delivery
  • Metrics and measurements for monitoring specific activities and the whole value chain
  • How supply chains can provide products and services to customers across a range of situations.

Research streams

Global supply chains and globalisation

Managing towards global optimisation: Includes managing risk and uncertainty in today’s economic, social and environmental climate; and assessing practices and performance.

Outsourcing, off-shoring, and procurement strategies: Issues include whether to make (vertical integration) or buy (outsource); managing networks within national boundaries or international supply chains; and concentrating on operational or strategic procurement policies.

Supply chain integration, and strategic alliances and supply chain collaboration: Issues include how closely we should interact with partners up and down the value chain; when supply chain collaboration is appropriate and how integrated this relationship should be.

The development chain: Issues include supply chain management in the context of product design; and whether organisations should pursue growth through disruptive innovation as opposed to building this and core capabilities through adjacent activities.

Links between supply chain practice and performance: Conducting research involving:

  • audits into the practices and performance of service and manufacturing activities
  • performing international benchmarking
  • guiding organisational improvements using global audit tools
  • moderating effects of knowledge development on performance of supply chain capabilities.

Sustainable supply chains

Studies in this area trace the entire ‘product life cycle’ and apply an end-to-end supply chain approach to environmentally sustainable business opportunities and reducing costs.

Sustainability frameworks: Uses sustainability frameworks to translate global concerns into a concept of sustainability useful to companies and other organisations.  Frameworks include the Triple Bottom Line, The Natural Step, Ecological Footprint, and the Sustainability Hierarchy.

Green supply chains: Issues relating to the challenges and benefits to organisations wanting to ‘green their supply chain’. These are closely linked to corporate social responsibility (CSR) issues in business. Includes examining green activities within organisations and throughout the supply chain, and the implications of policy development and adoption.

Humanitarian and international aid supply chains

Extends to the two related – but different – aspects of humanitarian supply chains and aid provision.

Emergency response and disaster management explores:

  • complex issues and challenges involved in responding to disasters (including short  and long-term onset, localised or dispersed, natural and/or man-made events)
  • complexities supply chains create in response to these events
  • activities and processes involved in providing products and services in disaster  situations
  • measuring the ‘success’ of these ventures via financial and operational metrics.

International aid supply chains:

Issues and challenges in providing aid, support and development to long-term humanitarian situations. Developing new global solutions for those who are poverty-stricken, disenfranchised, and for populations in developing regions of the world.

The recipient’s viewpoint:

Providing humanitarian aid and charity, focusing on developing ‘appropriate’ metrics from the perspective of the recipient in either of these situations. Current collaboration with a number of organisations active in these areas has provided data that will help identify and develop well-being metrics.

Industry agglomerations/clusters and supply chains

Supply chains are linked to geographical locations. When organisations associated in a supply chain are co-located, there are often interactions and activities that benefit the region, bringing greater value, stronger knowledge networks and an increasingly innovative supply network.

Identification of supply chains in industry agglomerations.

How supply chain mapping and analysis techniques can be used to:

  • Identify potential industry agglomerations
  • Determine activities to be pursued
  • Value sourced goods and end products entering and leaving a geographical area
  • Establish the value of activities within a region.

Find a Supply Chain Management research academic.

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