When one understands what a supply chain is, it is easy to see its vital link and rising importance within the development of an operations strategy.
Sunil Chopra and Peter Meindl illustrate the breath and scope of a supply chain in indicating that it “…consists of all parties involved, directly or indirectly in fulfilling a customer request…[and] includes not only the manufacturer and suppliers, but also transporters, warehouses, retailers, and even customers themselves” (Chopra and Meindl, 2013:1). The magnitude itself of a supply chain and the large expanse it covers, clearly demonstrates how it must be an integral part of any corporate operations strategy.
Strategy has long been around, as prior to the Industrial Revolution, it revolved mainly around the concept of gaining a military advantage over one’s opponent through the careful execution of the battle’s plan of attack. Many fine examples exist such as Sun Tzu and Carl Von Clausewitz that describe in excellent detail the challenges that surround strategy.
What makes these writings on military strategy withstand the test of time is they continue to be relevant within a modern military and business context. Such is the ancient Greek writing on strategy by Thucydides in the account of the Peloponnesian War. It still remains relevant today in that through “extraordinary drama and scrupulous attention to detail he addresses the fundamental and recurring problems of strategy at all times and places” (Walling, 2013: 47).
In attempting to understand why the supply chain is becoming so significant in the development of an operations strategy, we need to examine how it is interwoven with the overall corporate strategy. Our course lecture notes put forward that the concept of operations strategy in today’s modern global economy includes more elements that are found within an effective supply chain. “Operations management was once thought of as being principally about the production of goods and it...
References: Chopra, S. & Meindl, P. (2013) Supply Chain Management: Strategy, Planning, and Operation.5th ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
IBS Centre for Management Research (ICMR)(2006) Zara 's Supply Chain Management Practices [Online) available at: http://www.icmrindia.org/casestudies/catalogue/Operations/OPER055.htm Accessed: 20 December 2013.
Sardana, G.D. (2009) Exploring the Performance of a Responsive Supply Chain: Supply Chain Forum: International Journal. 2009, Vol. 10 Issue 2.
Slack, N and Lewis, M. (2011) Operations Strategy.3rd ed. Harlow: Financial Times and Prentice-Hall.
Scniederians, M. (2009) Alignment of Operations Strategy, information Strategic Orientation, and Performance: An Empirical Study. International Journal of Production Research, May 2009, Vol. 47 Issue 10.
Walling, K. (2013) Thucydides on Policy, Strategy, and War Termination: Naval war College Review, Autumn 2013, Vol. 66 Issue 4.
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