Supply Chain Management

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ARTICLE IN PRESS

Int. J. Production Economics 89 (2004) 353–361

Supply chain management survey of Swedish manufacturing firms Jan Olhager*, Erik Selldin
Department of Production Economics, Linkoping Institute of Technology, SE-581 83 Linkoping, Sweden . . Received 15 April 2002; accepted 16 January 2003

Abstract Supply chain management practices and principles are evolving and changing rapidly, e.g. through modern information and communication technologies. These changes affect the ways supply chains are designed, the way they are managed, and how planning and control activities take place within these chains. But how far have companies come in dealing with supply chain issues? This paper investigates supply chain management strategies and practices in a sample of 128 Swedish manufacturing firms. We specifically study issues related to the supply chain design, integration, planning and control, and communication tools for managing supply chains. The main findings indicate the following. The extent to which suppliers and customers are involved in supply chain planning and control is expected to increase steadily over the next 2 years. The primary priority for the selection of supply chain partners is quality performance. However, delivery dependability, cost efficiency, volume flexibility, and delivery speed are also judged to be important inputs to the supply chain partner selection process. Today, companies expect to broaden and deepen the use of new information and communication technologies for improving supply chain operations. Our findings concerning future supply chain management practices, principles and priorities are discussed. r 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. Keywords: Supply chain management; Integration; Manufacturing; Survey; Sweden

1. Introduction The challenges for manufacturing firms are shifting from internal efficiency to supply chain efficiency. World-class manufacturing today assumes that the entire supply chain is world class. It may be necessary but no longer sufficient to continuously improve the internal operations if the external linkages are not up to par. A supply chain focus is vital for the long-term well being of *Tel: +46-13-281000; fax: +46-13-288975. E-mail address: jan.olhager@ipe.liu.se (J. Olhager).

any manufacturing firm. During the 1990s the software support systems transited from manufacturing resource planning (MRPII) to enterprise resource planning (ERP) to illuminate the importance of planning and controlling all resources in a manufacturing firm; not only material and capacity. The outward-shifting focus to the supply chain calls for another type of software support systems, i.e. supply chain-planning software. A foundation for implementing such systems is the strategic linkages between successive partners in a supply chain; not only for tactical planning and control, but also with respect to strategic intent; as

0925-5273/03/$ - see front matter r 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/S0925-5273(03)00029-X

ARTICLE IN PRESS
354 J. Olhager, E. Selldin / Int. J. Production Economics 89 (2004) 353–361

suggested by case studies (see e.g. Arntzen et al., 1995; Camm et al., 1997; Hahn et al., 2000), empirical research (see e.g. Frohlich and Westbrook, 2001; Lowe and Markham, 2001) and theory (see e.g. Cohen and Mallik, 1997; Fisher, 1997; Lummus et al., 1998; Simchi-Levi et al., 2000; Stadtler and Kilger, 2000; Stock et al. 2000; Chopra and Meindl, 2001). In this paper we present a survey of supply chain strategies and practices in Swedish manufacturing firms. The motivation for this survey is also based on a previous survey to manufacturing industries in Sweden (Olhager and Selldin, 2002) focusing on the implementation of ERP systems. This study showed that companies are about to extend their ERP functionality. These extensions are primarily concerned with supply chain management, and the top priorities for the near future are supply...
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