Current theories concerning logistics and supply chain management (SCM) tend to ignore the prospect of competing through logistics. Tradition dictates that marketing sets the business strategy and that SCM executes it. In other words, SCM must shape its capabilities and advantages to fit the marketing strategy. One example of this is producers of low-priced and high-volume products. In these companies, the management focus tends to be on reducing supply chain cost. A common result is that business vision and strategy are replaced with focus on internal efficiencies, ultimately resulting in reduced overall effectiveness.
A different type of company is necessary when customers want customised products; they could also prefer customised service and delivery solutions, and perhaps be willing to pay more for this. Additionally, there is a trend towards commoditisation in many industries, resulting in customers perceiving little difference between products. This implies that brand loyalty dwindles and that competition through customer service becomes a major determinant of success. Such a situation, in turn, implies that companies must enhance customer value to remain competitive. This is often achieved by adding value to the core product in the form of customer-desired services, which can only be done with a service-capable supply chain.
This special issue aims to shed light on how firms can use logistics and supply chain capabilities to enhance their competiveness, and to investigate the role of logistics and supply chain capabilities in overall competitiveness. Our main interest is in industrial case studies, and real-life implementations.
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following, in the context of supply chain differentiation:
- Supply chain management
- Supply chain design
- Supply chain segmentation
- Supply chain differentiation
- Service-augmented supply chains
- Mass customisation
- Sourcing systems
- Manufacturing systems
- Distribution systems
- Freight transportation modes
- Intermodal transportation chains
- Warehousing solutions
- Logistics outsourcing
- Concurrent design
Full paper due: 30 October, 2011
Notification of acceptance: 28 February, 2012
Final version of the paper due: 31 May, 2012