Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Supply chain management in industrial production. A retrospective view

Stocchetti, Andrea and Scattola, Elena (2011): Supply chain management in industrial production. A retrospective view. Published in:

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The article presents a retrospective review on key-issues about how the management discipline evolved up to the current view about supply-chain management (SCM) in industrial production. Specifically, the article resumes: a) the reasons that led to the transition from the traditional procurement policies to the SCM approach, b) the variables involved in the process of defining SCM relations and c) the key managerial principles underlying SCM policies and strategies. In the manufacturing industry the problem of organizing and managing firm’s relationships with supplier has recently become of an unprecedented complexity. The evolution of production systems started around the ‘80s, with the shift from the “flexible” paradigm to the “lean” one, has increased dramatically the intricacy of product and process architecture.. At the same time, the opportunities brought by the technological hybridization of products (that is: opportunities deriving from incorporating complementary technologies within products so to enhance its features and performance) gained a critical role as a competitive advantage. In our view supply chain management, as well as others managerial areas, has undergone a profound change; indeed, in the last 30 years the evolution of the industrial competitive environment has deeply modified the reference framework of supply-chain relationships even in common procurement and/or routine contracts. In the attempt to give an adequate response to changes in the competitive environment, supply policies evolve to become articulate relational strategies based on the strategic assessments of the role and the relevance of the various suppliers. The traditional approach to procurement management is combined with a perspective of value creation, a perspective that goes beyond the traditional “make-or-buy” criteria, since it introduces principles for the assessment of the strategic capability of the suppliers to create value for customer rather than to be able to fulfill its task for the firm. In such a view, firms operating in the same value-chain coordinate their strategies with a view to increase the overall value rather than compete for the allocation of the existing one. Firms’ network of suppliers and the relational capabilities assume a critical role in order to coordinate the value creation processes within the chain.

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