Realities of Supply Chain Collaboration

R.P. Kampstra, J. Ashayeri, J. Gattorna

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Successful supply chain collaboration (SCC) practices are rather exceptional, yet collaboration is believed to be the single most pressing need in supply chain management.In this paper we discuss the realities of SCC, present prerequisites for the collaboration process, indicate where the process starts and where it may terminate.During the discussion we make use of the concepts of Theory of Constraints (TOC) and approach SCC as an ongoing effort dealing with the supply chain constraints.The roles of the entities in this ongoing effort are not always clear.Often SCC is proclaimed to be a joint decision-making process.However, keeping in mind the powerhouses in the chain, we believe that other structures are possible as well.We emphasize the need for: 1) having an adequate supply chain strategy and well-articulated goals, which form the basis for: 2) leading supply chain change, and: 3) governing the continual process of strategy alignment and supply chain change, which is itself a dynamic process.These three tasks are featured by many interactions and characterize the continuous improvement of a SCC process.A step-by-step approach like this enables the involved chain entities to climb the ladder of collaboration and take the supply chain performance to a higher level.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
PublisherOperations research
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper


  • supply chain collaboration
  • theory of constraints
  • dynamic alignment
  • business roles
  • change strategies


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