Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Supply Chain Collaboration:: Making Sense of the Strategy Continuum


Author Info

  • Holweg, Matthias
  • Disney, Stephen
  • Holmström, Jan
  • Småros, Johanna
Registered author(s):


    Collaboration in the supply chain has been widely discussed, and a wealth of concepts is at hand. Large-scale projects like the Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) in the fast moving consumer goods sector, for example, or Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) and Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment (CPFR) initiatives more generally provide a rich continuum of strategies for collaborating amongst supply chain partners. While individual successful implementations of the latter have already been reported, there has not yet been the widespread adoption that was originally hoped for. In our research, we looked at implementations across several industries and countries, and our findings show that the slow progress to date may be due to a lack of common understanding of these concepts, and the difficulty of integrating external collaboration with internal production and inventory control. In this paper, we set out to classify collaboration initiatives using a conceptual water-tank analogy, and discuss their dynamic behavior and key characteristics. We draw upon case studies from both successful and less successful implementations to illustrate what companies need to do to fully benefit from their collaborative efforts, given their particular circumstances. We conclude that the effectiveness of supply chain collaboration relies upon two factors: the level to which it integrates internal and external operations, and the level to which the efforts are aligned to the supply chain settings in terms of the geographical dispersion, the demand pattern, and the product characteristics.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Management Journal.

    Volume (Year): 23 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 2 (April)
    Pages: 170-181

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:eee:eurman:v:23:y:2005:i:2:p:170-181

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page:

    Order Information:

    Related research

    Keywords: Supply chain Collaboration Strategy Bullwhip effect;


    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. T. Saikouk & I. Zouaghi & A. Spalanzani, 2011. "Mitigating Supply Chain System Entropy by the Implementation of RFID," Post-Print halshs-00665653, HAL.
    2. Sarac, Aysegul & Absi, Nabil & Dauzère-Pérès, Stéphane, 2010. "A literature review on the impact of RFID technologies on supply chain management," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(1), pages 77-95, November.
    3. Cao, Mei & Zhang, Qingyu, 2010. "Supply chain collaborative advantage: A firm's perspective," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(1), pages 358-367, November.
    4. Lyu, JrJung & Ding, Jyh-Hong & Chen, Ping-Shun, 2010. "Coordinating replenishment mechanisms in supply chain: From the collaborative supplier and store-level retailer perspective," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(1), pages 221-234, January.
    5. Beata Skowron-Grabowska, 2010. "Value Added In A Logistics Center," Advanced Logistic systems, University of Miskolc, Department of Material Handling and Logistics, vol. 4(1), pages 123-129, December.
    6. Ciancimino, Elena & Cannella, Salvatore & Canca Ortiz, José David & Framiñán Torres, José Manuel, 2009. "Análisis multinivel de cadenas de suministros: dos técnicas de resolución del efecto bullwhip // Supply Chain Multi-level Analysis: Two Bullwhip Dampening Approaches," Revista de Métodos Cuantitativos para la Economía y la Empresa = Journal of Quantitative Methods for Economics and Business Administration, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Quantitative Methods for Economics and Business Administration, vol. 8(1), pages 7-28, December.
    7. Roh, James & Hong, Paul & Min, Hokey, 2014. "Implementation of a responsive supply chain strategy in global complexity: The case of manufacturing firms," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(PB), pages 198-210.
    8. Shenle Pan & Michele Nigrelli & Eric Ballot & Rochdi Sarraj, 2013. "Performance Assessment Of Distributed Inventory In Physical Internet," Post-Print hal-00876280, HAL.
    9. Ryu, Seung-Jin & Tsukishima, Takahiro & Onari, Hisashi, 2009. "A study on evaluation of demand information-sharing methods in supply chain," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(1), pages 162-175, July.
    10. Ciancimino, Elena & Cannella, Salvatore & Bruccoleri, Manfredi & Framinan, Jose M., 2012. "On the Bullwhip Avoidance Phase: The Synchronised Supply Chain," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 221(1), pages 49-63.
    11. Southard, Peter B. & Swenseth, Scott R., 2008. "Evaluating vendor-managed inventory (VMI) in non-traditional environments using simulation," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 275-287, December.
    12. Beata Skowron-Grabowska, 2007. "Place of logistics centers in supply chains in the context of electronic markets," Advanced Logistic systems, University of Miskolc, Department of Material Handling and Logistics, vol. 1(1), pages 38-44, December.
    13. Rad, Reza Hosseini & Razmi, Jafar & Sangari, Mohamad Sadegh & Ebrahimi, Zahra Fallah, 2014. "Optimizing an integrated vendor-managed inventory system for a single-vendor two-buyer supply chain with determining weighting factor for vendor׳s ordering cost," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 295-308.
    14. Prajogo, Daniel & Olhager, Jan, 2012. "Supply chain integration and performance: The effects of long-term relationships, information technology and sharing, and logistics integration," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 514-522.


    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:eurman:v:23:y:2005:i:2:p:170-181. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.