Original Research

Supply chain design: Some critical questions

J. D. Nel, J. A. Badenhorst-Weiss
Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management | Vol 4, No 1 | a68 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jtscm.v4i1.68 | © 2010 J. D. Nel, J. A. Badenhorst-Weiss | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 November 2010 | Published: 30 November 2010

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J. D. Nel, University of South Africa, South Africa
J. A. Badenhorst-Weiss, University of South Africa, South Africa

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Abstract

Effective supply chain management (SCM) requires organisations to work together in order to satisfy the needs of their end customers. Since organisations have to determine which processes and relationships will best achieve this aim, the design of their supply chains is important. Supply chain design thus forms an integral part of SCM and embodies the supply chain's structure. Unfortunately, too many organisations allow the design of their supply chain to evolve into its current form instead of planning their supply chain design (SCD) efforts. The literature is vague on what SCD efforts constitute. This article consists of a comprehensive literature study in which an effort was made to bring more clarity on exactly what purposeful SCD efforts consist of, and some key questions were formulated that organisations could use as a guide in their SCD practices. From these critical questions a conceptual framework has been developed that can be used to determine whether organisations' SCD practices are aligned with organisational objectives. The conceptual framework was tested at two South African organisations to determine if it indeed can be be used to analyse the SCD practices of organisations.

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