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Supply chain integration configurations: Process structure and product newness

Tsinopoulos, C.; Mena, C.

Supply chain integration configurations: Process structure and product newness Thumbnail


C. Tsinopoulos

C. Mena


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the configurations of supply chain integration. Design/methodology/approach – The authors use qualitative data from manufacturers shortlisted for the UK’s Manufacturing Excellence awards over three years. Detailed processes and policies of 68 manufacturers are analysed. Findings – Process structure and product newness require different supply chain configurations, which change as products mature. Supply chain integration is dynamic, and the extent of collaboration between suppliers and customers will be different at different moments in time. The authors define and discuss four key supply chain configurations: customised; ramp-up; recurring; coordinated. Research limitations/implications – Future studies on supply chain integration should be controlled for the variation in the configurations. A limitation is the use of data which were derived for an award. The paper explains how the authors have mitigated the associated risks. Practical implications – The configuration of integration will change as the manufacturing plant becomes more familiar with a product. Additionally, different suppliers may provide better support at different stages of a product’s lifecycle. To yield better performance, supply chain integration would need to take different forms. Efforts to integrate with suppliers should not be avoided as, when certain conditions are met, integration can lead to improved performance. Originality/value – The authors have identified manufacturers’ main process structures and products’ newness as two strategic characteristics that differentiate integration approaches with customers and suppliers, and defined four integration configurations. To the authors’ knowledge this is the first study to argue that these also define the configuration of supply chain integration.


Tsinopoulos, C., & Mena, C. (2015). Supply chain integration configurations: Process structure and product newness. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 35(10), 1437-1459.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 8, 2014
Online Publication Date Sep 25, 2015
Publication Date Oct 5, 2015
Deposit Date Dec 6, 2014
Publicly Available Date Dec 8, 2014
Journal International Journal of Operations and Production Management
Print ISSN 0144-3577
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 35
Issue 10
Pages 1437-1459
Keywords New product development, Supply chain integration, Supply chain management, Configuration, Process structure.
Public URL


Accepted Journal Article (663 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This article is © Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

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