An investigation into the driving forces and enabling factors towards effective supply chain collaboration
(2013) An investigation into the driving forces and enabling factors towards effective supply chain collaboration, no. 102.
Context The management of the supply chain in any organisational setting has one common objective; adding value for the end customer (Gattorna 2010). It is therefore surprising that the more traditional business functions have, to date, overshadowed supply chain management (Ballou 2004). Organisational collaboration involves the supply chain working together as a team in order to add value for the customer, but also for mutual benefit amongst member organisations (Christopher 2011). The literature focuses heavily on the merit of collaborative supply chains; however, there has been significantly less research in to the enablers towards achieving collaboration. Objectives Therefore, this study will examine the extent of collaboration from different stages in the Diageo supply chain. The study also aims to assess the strengths of different enabling factors towards collaboration, whilst also identifying barriers to the development of a collaborative supply chain. Design The research was conducted under a qualitative paradigm and was completed as part of the requirements of the BA (Hons) business management degree. Organisation of employment, role within the organisation, expertise and experience were the criteria for respondent recruitment before participants were identified and then approached. Four respondents, each from different stages within the Diageo supply chain provided the data in the study. Method Semi structured interviews were used, each interview following a set list of questions whilst the semi structured approach allowed further questioning based on respondents answers. Results The results showed that the Diageo supply chain did work collaboratively, however, there was evidence that cost focussed relationships remained and this was the main barrier to the supply chain becoming fully collaborative. The main enabler towards collaboration development was shown to be a high level of communication and trust between organisations. Conclusions The study indicated that while the Diageo supply chain did work collaboratively, improvements could be made in terms of eliminating cost based relationships. These acted as the main barrier to collaboration, while communication and trust were shown to be the main enabling factor. The study concludes by recommending that further research should be carried out on a wider scale within the Diageo supply chain, with the aim of identifying how to eliminate cost based relationships and allow the chain to become fully collaborative.