The product-relationship-matrix as framework for strategic supply chain design based on operations theory
The strategic design of supply chains can be analysed building on recent theory development in operations management. Schmenner and Swink [1998. On theory in operations management. Journal of Operations Management 17 (1), 97-113] have identified the theory of performance frontiers and the theory of swift, even flow, which integrate various concepts from operations strategy and management. Transferring these theories to the supply chain level allows five strategic decision fields in supply chain management to be outlined: Products and Services, Partners and Partnerships, Plants and Stocks, Processes and Planning and Control. These decision fields form the backbone of the product-relationship-matrix, a conceptual framework for supply chain management. This is built by combining a life-cycle dimension with a partnership dimension. The framework conceptualises both the content and process of such decisions. This is illustrated by five case studies from different industrial sectors.
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