Continuous Supply Chain Collaboration: Road to Achieve Operational Excellence

Topics: Supply chain management, Supply chain, Management Pages: 14 (3953 words) Published: May 9, 2013
Management Science Letters 1 (2011) 149–156

Contents lists available at GrowingScience

Management Science Letters


Continuous supply chain collaboration: Road to achieve operational excellence

N. Senthil Kumar a* and P. Subburethina Bharathib
a b

Department of Management Studies, Anna University, Chennai – 600 025, Tamilnadu, India. Hallmark Business School, Tiruchirappalli – 620 102, Tamilnadu, India.

Article history: Received October 1 2010 Received in revised form 14 December 2010 Accepted 15 December 2010 Available online 16 December 2010 Keywords: Continuous supply chain collaboration (CSCC) Supply chain management Continuous improvement Operational excellence Supply Chain Management




Supply chain management (SCM) is becoming critical as firms recognize that competition is shifting from company versus company to supply chain versus supply chain. In the present competitive scenario, the fierce competition has driven most companies to seek for means of enhancing performance beyond their four wall boundaries. The firm’s ability in collaborating with its upstream and downstream partners determines its success in attaining better performance with supply chain collaboration; a firm is able to serve fragmented markets in which end customers require more product varieties and availability with shorter product life cycle and, at the same time, lower supply chain costs. This paper introduces the framework of continuous supply chain collaboration (CSCC), which extends the traditional frame of reference in strategic sourcing from a supplier centric to a supply-chain-scope as continuous improvement efforts to enhance the customer satisfaction. CSCC practices are rather exceptional, yet CSCC is believed to be the single most comprehensive framework for attaining operational excellence.  © 2011 Growing Science Ltd.  All rights reserved. 

1. Introduction

Supply chain management (SCM) was evolved from a traditional focus on purchasing and logistics' practices between 60’s and mid 90’s, to a broader, more integrated emphasis on value creation in the new millennium. In the present scenario global companies increasingly view supply chain excellence as more than just a source of cost reduction, rather, to a source of competitive advantage. Supply chain management is expressed as a strategy of choice for improving competitiveness (Rich & Hines, 1997; Quinn, 1997). Effective collaboration with entity (cross-functional) and chain of entities (crossenterprise) is essential to achieve goals, individually, collectively and continuously. The idea that strategic supply chain alliances are an important frame work for value creation. This evidence is supported by studies suggesting that, on average, alliances do create economic value (Anand & Khanna, 2000). The supply chain council (2008) has evolved the supply chain operational reference (SCOR) model for the purpose of proactively modeling and assessing the relationships between the sequential stages of a supply chain. Collaboration is a recognized term which could explain many * Corresponding author. Tel./fax: +98402 57515 E-mail addresses: (N.Senthilkumar)

© 2011 Growing Science Ltd. All rights reserved. doi: 10.5267/j.msl.2010.03.007



features. Based on Min et al. (2005), collaboration must be defined as a firm’s culture of working together with other firms towards a common set of goals that bring mutual benefits to a partnering relationship. According to Bowman (2004), the best supply-chain performers are deeply involved in relationships that call for tight links among partners. It is an environment where information flows freely in both directions, upstream to suppliers, or downstream to customers. The situation where manufacturers, distributors and retailers respond quickly to changing business conditions and customer service is...
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