When Supply Chain Strategy Does not Match Supply Chain Capabilities: Lessons that can be Learnt from the Supply Chain of Boeing 787

When Supply Chain Strategy Does not Match Supply Chain Capabilities: Lessons that can be Learnt from the Supply Chain of Boeing 787

Narasimha Lamba (University of Massachusetts, USA) and Ehsan Elahi (University of Massachusetts, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0065-2.ch008
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Abstract

During the early 2000s, the Boeing Company was experiencing a market shrink due to a downturn in the aerospace industry after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as well as severe competition from its rival Airbus. To deal with the situation and salvage its market share, Boeing proposed the design of a new aircraft called Boeing 787 or the Dreamliner. This futuristic aircraft was received very well by the airlines. Very soon, it became the fastest-selling new airplane in the history of commercial aviation. Nevertheless, after the initial successful launch, the company faced many supply-chain-related problems, which resulted in repeated delays and huge extra costs. These delays (now more than two and a half years) could add up to as long as three years. In this research, the authors investigate how the mismatch between the supply-chain capabilities and the Boeing’s strategy for developing this airplane led to these delays and extra costs.

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