Al-Hakim, Latif (2005) Identification of waste zones associated with supply chain management. In: SAPICS 2005: Supply Chains in Rhythm, 5-8 Jun 2005, Sun City, South Africa.
The question asked by many supply chain managers is 'what supply chain strategy is best to use to gain a competitive advantage?' This research argues that selection of a supply chain strategy represents only one facet, although essential, of realising the competitive advantage. The other facet is the means by which the supply chain entities manage the waste. By waste, here, we mean anything that adds no value to the manufacturing of products or producing the required services. This paper offers a unique point of view about gaining competitive advantage from push-pull strategy through the systematic reduction of waste along the entire supply chain. The paper recognises the intra-organisation waste zones and identifies three main inter-organisation waste zones within a supply chain; information zone, strategic decisions zone and system variation zone. The reduction of waste is seen to be most effective when supply chain entities can clearly identify waste zones and when their learning rate is high.
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