Supply Chain and Logistics in Thailand

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SUPPLY CHAIN AND LOGISTICS IN THAILAND

Abstract
Supply chain and Logistics management has become an emergent strategy for a developing country, like Thailand, in this new economy. Low labour cost – as a competitive advantage factor - is no longer sufficient for surviving under this high pressure and competitive economy. However, at the time that the concept plays a key role in Thailand industry and a number of researches have been conducted, all the knowledge in the field are still not effectively managed. The actual needs, trends and directions are still missing.

The paper examines research and knowledge management directions as well as needs in supply chain and logistics management in Thailand industry based on recommendation from the TRF (Thailand Research Fund) sponsored workshop, and subsequent by the authors’ effort to synthesize and extract the visions formed in the workshop. A main goal of this paper is to stress on the needs of Thailand industry in supply chain and logistics development and to lie down the directions of research that should be subsequently conducted for serving the country needs. We proposed a framework that, firstly, high potential and key competitive industrial cluster should be selected for in-depth study. Then, exploratory research should be done in order to guide and indicate all the needs for implementing supply chain in each cluster. The critical activities in each industrial group for developing supply chain should be identified. After that, all those needs at particular areas should be subsequently tackled by conducting further applied research. Human Resources issues are also highlighted. It is hoped that the direction model presented in the paper can be a prototype for supply chain nationwide implementation for developing countries in South East Asia.

Keywords: research directions, knowledge management, supply chain and logistics implementation, developing country, Thailand.
256 Logistics Research Network 2003, London
Introduction
Today high competitive global market climate sparks Thai industrial demand for supply chain and logistics management. Running the old style management and competing with competitors only sales and marketing side like the old day will not work again for Thailand. Since, edges of having lower labor cost and cheaper raw materials than other exporting countries are fading out. Markets for Thai products in most sectors are gradually losing to other countries. To stay competitiveness, companies in Thailand start cultivating supply chain and logistics management. The corporate crusade to gain competitive advantage using new supply chain and logistics management methods is constantly extending to all Thai industry.

Regarding to this emerging need for Thai Industry, a group of Thai researchers, Thai Value Chain Management and Logistics Researcher’s Consortium (ThaiVCML), leaders in private sectors, and government officers from Thai Research Fund joined an effort by organizing a workshop on November 2nd -3rd , 2002. The objective of the workshop was to elaborate a research direction in Supply Chain and Logistics Management for Thailand.

Methodology and Outcome
In order to have insight and synthetic outcomes, a group of participants was divided into three distinct areas: 1) Inbound Logistics and Supply Chain; 2) Physical Distribution and Transportation; and 3) Strategic Logistics and Supply Chain Management. Each group was assigned to examine all fundamental issues and factors in their area, and then try to lay down all needed and sufficient research that should be subsequently conducted for serving Thailand needs. The following are the research directions in each area, which the authors synthesized and extracted from the outcomes of the workshop.

Research Direction of Inbound Logistics and Supply Chain
The research of inbound logistics and supply chain should be emphasized on three directions: 1) To study state of the art and characteristics of inbound...
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