Implementation of a responsive supply chain strategy in global complexity: The case of manufacturing firms
Although a responsive supply chain is an integral part of order-winning manufacturing strategies, it has not been clear how firms build a responsive supply chain in global manufacturing environments. Built upon a synthesis of the existing literature and relevant theories, this paper presents a research model that defines the drivers, strategy, and practices of a responsive supply chain and the performance outcomes. This paper is one of the rare empirical studies that identify key variables relevant to the implementation of a successful responsive supply chain. The effective implementation of a responsive supply chain requires a careful definition of a responsive supply chain strategy in terms of the product range, and the frequency and innovativeness of the product offerings. Firms also need to provide key implementation practices (i.e., sharing of information with customers, collaboration with suppliers, use of advanced manufacturing technology) to achieve pull production to achieve responsiveness to the market. This study also suggests that the key contextual factors that influence the extent of implementation of a responsive supply chain strategy are mostly the size of firms, industry characteristics, and customer and supplier bases, rather than the location of manufacturing firms. This paper shows that the effective implementation of a responsive supply chain strategy involves the integration of inter-organizational resources (i.e., socio-relational and techno-process integration) across the global supply chain to enhance pull production capabilities.
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