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Supply chain management as beyond operational efficiency

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Woods, E. J., Wei, S., Singgih, S. and Adar, D. (2000) Supply chain management as beyond operational efficiency. Acta Horticulturae, 575 . pp. 425-431. ISSN 9066058854

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The orthodoxy of supply chain management (SCM) emphasises competitive advantage through increased operational efficiency and market responsiveness from production and distribution processes into the hands of consumers. It anticipates that future competition will be between chains rather than between firms. While well established in other industry sectors, the SCM concept is newly developed in the Australian agri-food sector. Critical review of the concept has identified key issues of power among channel members, processes of chain initiation and innovation, and the inability of SCM to offer a viable business strategy for some firms. Building on those insights, this paper examines the supply chain concept for horticulture. Horticultural products are characterised by perishability, heterogeneity and lags in production response to market signals. Producers' profits are vulnerable to quantity, timing of supply and product specification. Many supply chains in smaller industries are loose, fragmented, interwoven, unstable and unique! Firms operating within these environments need an astute understanding of the chains, the hierarchy of channel members and their relative position. Effective business strategies - for individual firms and supply chains - need to be developed and redeveloped to accommodate the dynamic nature of horticulture. Two case studies are discussed as contributions to this early stage of the theoretical development of supply chain management. The SCM concept also has implications for horticultural researchers, involving a wider range of industry stakeholders, technical problems and research skills. As for business management, the usefulness of the concept will depend on its capacity to increase responsiveness to customers' preferences and customer value.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural economics
Plant culture > Harvesting, curing, storage
Plant culture > Food crops
Live Archive:30 Apr 2019 00:50
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:45

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