Prioritizing and Analyzing Demand Chain Management (DCM) Processes in Indian Retailing Using AHP

Prioritizing and Analyzing Demand Chain Management (DCM) Processes in Indian Retailing Using AHP

Arun Kumar Deshmukh (Banaras Hindu University (BHU), India) and Ashutosh Mohan (Banaras Hindu University (BHU), India)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2148-8.ch010
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The extant body of literature on demand chain management (DCM) is predominantly conceptual and unequivocal on how to implement it in a real business setting. Keeping the research gap into account, the study aims to identify and prioritize the DCM processes or variables in the context of Indian retailing. The data were collected using survey method using a structured questionnaire with Saaty (1980) scale. The method employed for analyzing the collected data was analytical hierarchy process or AHP. The results of the study have interesting implications for the industry vis-à-vis literature. Some quick measures revealed that the processes which are critical to implementation of DCM in retail context, in the order of importance, comprises supplier relationship management, customer relationship management assortment planning, top-management commitment and support, marketing orientation, information management, supply chain leagility, customer service management, category management, purchasing management, inventory management, and category tactics.
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Supply chain management (SCM) has come forward as an unassailable strategic business weapon for attaining competitive advantage during the previous decades as it has been asserted that supply chains are gradually becoming the bases of competition, as a result the real competition is between the supply chain of the firms and instead of between the companies themselves (Christopher & Ryals, 2014). Thus, the practitioners’vis-à-vis the academics started speaking in one voice to transform the hyper efficiency led SCM process into customer responsive or marketing oriented demand chain.If the specialities of the two are to be discussed, it can be observed that SCM on the one hand is effective in moving products from focal firm to the end user efficiently. However, this hyper-efficiency focussed thinking caused a lopsided thinking of the business operations. And, the efficiency can not be over-emphasized at the cost of effectiveness as the successful businesses were found growing with their co-existence.

In the later stage, the scholars began realizing the overarching need for such co-existence and customer-centric corporate philosophy became the new order contemporaneous with the development of marketing concept from sales orientation to marketing orientation and more recently the societal marketing orientation. This paradigm shift in marketing philosophy not only influenced the marketing function of business but the back-end functions such as operations and supply chain too could not remain unperturbed. Under such unprecedented pressure from the marketplace, firms confronted radical philosophical transition in the way they manage their business functions (typically isolated), and the discussion began among the practitioners to break down the functional silos and promote integration in order for their business to not only satisfy their customers but to gain the differential advantage.

The integration based thinking in the context of supply chain and marketing gave birth to a relatively new concept of ‘demand chain management’ or DCM (Agrawal, 2012 and Juttner et al., 2007) which synthesizes the ‘demand creation’ and ‘demand fulfillment’ dimensions of market and supply chain respectively. The academic literature of recent past gave much space to the concept and simultaneously the industry freaks also realized it as the new business world order of the 21st century. However, due to lack of clarity on its definition, ways of implementation, and lack limiting demarcation boundaries to the concept could not properly demystify it. The studies so far believe that the demand chain management commands wider scope when compared with its counterpart supply chain because of its capability in sensing real-time customer demand and developing an offering to meet the changing market tastes and preferences (Agrawal, 2012 and Santos & D'Antone, 2014).

Taking cognizance of the shift in organizational philosophy about SCM and emergence of DCM with much to be researched around,the aforesaid study was conducted. The present study aimed to meet two key objectives- a) to explore various key processes that constitute demand chain and enable its implementation, and b) to analyze DCM processes or enablers through prioritization. The context of study was Indian apparel retailing.

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