Aligning Product Design with the Supply Chain: Towards a Responsive and Resilient Enterprise

Aligning Product Design with the Supply Chain: Towards a Responsive and Resilient Enterprise

Omera Khan (University of Manchester, UK) and Alessandro Creazza (Università Carlo Cattaneo LIUC, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-607-0.ch009
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The continued rise in global sourcing and manufacturing has significantly extended supply chains for many companies and has added to their complexity, often implying business fragmentation and virtualization, and thus increase supply chain risk. At the same time, there is now a growing realization that the supply chain ‘begins on the drawing board’; meaning that design decisions can dramatically impact the risk profile of the business. Historically, most organizations have been functional in their structure with responsibility for each stage in the value chain, including design being separate from the other. In today’s challenging markets these ‘silo’ type structures have been found wanting as typically they are not capable of rapid response to fast-changing requirements. This paper is focused on the need to bring design into the heart of supply chain management to achieve a more responsive - and hence competitive - organization. Thus, the primary purpose of this paper is to propose that one of the ways to achieve a more responsive and resilient enterprise is by better aligning product design with the supply chain and hence developing a concurrent design strategy. The recommendations suggest ways in which managers and key decision makers can adopt a more ‘design centric’ approach to their supply chain, which has been shown to enhance the resilience and responsiveness of a firm.
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