Flexible Supply Chains: A Boost for Risk Mitigation?

Flexible Supply Chains: A Boost for Risk Mitigation?

María Jesús Sáenz (Zaragoza Logistics Center & University of Zaragoza, Spain), Maria Pilar Lambán (and University of Zaragoza, Spain) and Eva Navarro (University of Zaragoza, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-607-0.ch010
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Abstract

Organizations that remain flexible take advantage of new opportunities, explore new ways of working and resolve unanticipated consequences. When the focus is on integrating company strategies and operations in the same supply chain, flexibility is unarguably a very promising concept but at the same time, a concept very hard to implement, a cumbersome process with numerous uncertainties and risks along the way. In this chapter, a conceptual strategic framework for increasing value chain flexibility is proposed. This framework addresses issues such as the company’s own strategy towards the supply chain partners, the organization strategy, the logistics approach, the market strategy, the production strategy and finally innovation. To support the validity of our proposed framework, an empirical study is presented followed by the conclusions propagated by this study and a description of future research prospects.
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Flexible Companies

The first step of our approach includes a thorough understanding of the concept “flexible company” from an individual company’s point of view. This introduction on flexible companies begins with what different, yet complementary, expert authors think about flexibility. Upton (1995) perceives flexibility as the capacity of an organization to adapt to changes. Gunasekaran et al. (2001) suggest that being flexible refers to the availability of products/services to satisfy customer demand.

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