A Tailored Toolkit to Enable Seamless Supply Chains


Despite many individual well documented and high profile BPR success stories, the achievement of such enhanced performance still tends to be the exception rather than the norm. What is missing from the equation is a robust, generic, methodology which will help practitioners to plan, execute, and successfully re-engineer supply chains to meet the foregoing integration goal. The aim of this paper is to assist in this process by providing a tailored toolkit to enable a Seamless Supply Chain (SSC) based on the concept of smooth material flow and the associated information flow. This toolkit is then tested in-depth via observations on 40 real world value streams covering a range of market sectors. The applicability of each of the 12 Rules forming the Toolkit is then assessed in relation to a range of operational factors including product marketing characteristics and product delivery processes. The output of this research shows how the Toolkit is tailored to meet specific landscapes encountered by practitioners improving supply chain integration. The consequence is the segmentation of the Rules into those found to have universal applicability, and those which are especially important in specific product related scenarios. There is further partitioning into rules which are primarily universal looking and those requiring external application. Finally, the critical importance of time compression elimination of all process uncertainties, information transparency, and use of shortest planning periods are all essential to enabling the SSC.

17th International Conference on Production Research, 3rd-7th August, Virginia, USA, 13 pages