MMS DBA Student-Walden University Introduction Christopher and Towill in the article, “Developing Market Specific Chain Strategies”, developed the thesis that there are three feasible pipeline designs for supply chain (Christopher & Towill, 2002). These designs resulted from the analysis of the relations between, demand, product, supply lead-times, as main factors in global supply chain, and, cost and agility, as results from the market requirements. Christopher and Towill adopted a notion of total cost that reflects more the unit cost than the traditional way of limiting cost to manufacturing cost (Christopher & Towill, 2002).
Hewlett-Packard (HP) along with its early integrated process supply chain management has adopted that notion of total cost (Lee & Billington, 1995; Edmondson & Wheelwright, 1989). In fact total integrated inventories with retailers adopted by HP correspond to the quick response model developed by Christopher and Towill (Billington et al. , 2004). The predictable demand model may fit the decentralized incorporated system adopted by HP (Edmondson & Wheelwright, 1989). Analysis and Findings
Based on the assumptions that demand is either predictable or volatile, product is either standard or special, and supply lead-times are either long or short, and all are applicable in the global supply market, Christopher and Towill induced eight possibilities for the supply chain based on demand, product, and supply lead-times (Christopher & Towill, 2002). The findings of eight possibilities based on the characteristics of demand, product, and lead-times specified is coherent to the mathematical combination formulae associated, the number of possibilities to combine three sets of two elements each.
The analysis of these eight possibilities, in respect with agility and cost effectiveness, led Christopher and Towill to conclude on the representativeness of the three pipelines, lean pipeline, agile pipeline, and quick response model, as supply chain models (Christopher & Towill, 2002). These models fit well the global supply chain for, an expected demand is either predictable or volatile corresponding to the two first pipelines and an unexpected demand requires a quick response, hence the quick response model fits that kind of demand.
Christopher and Towill provided in that study examples and tables supporting the findings and developed a concise theoretical basis for the quick response model. The tables may have been supported with more mathematical concepts within the text. The research findings by Christopher and Towill in this study are intended for managers of global supply chain as a whole in order to achieve competitive advantage for their companies.
The lean supply chain that applies the lean model to the entire supply may be a modern view of the quick response model developed by Christopher and Towill (Mentzer, Myers, & Stank, 2007, p. 288). Applicability to HP Hewlett-Packard (HP) started to tackle the global supply cost related problems back in late 1980s, and implemented integrated processes (Lee & Billington, 1995; Edmondson & Wheelwright, 1989). HP company leaders continued research for competitive advantage through supply chain models adopting the concept of total cost and resulted in massive cost savings (Billington et al. 2004). The adoption of the total cost of the supply chain framework mentioned shows that the quick response model as developed by Christopher and Towill is consistent to the HP Company supply model at least for pioneering in viewing the cost of a unit not only in term of manufacturing but in term of supply, building and distribution (Christopher & Towill, 2002). The electronic market is changing rapidly and HP had since 1991 implemented a decentralized and incorporated system that allowed localized divisions to operate more independently (Lee & Billington, 1995).
This incorporated and decentralized system adopted by HP leaders is consistent to the predictable demand pipeline developed by Christopher and Towill. Conclusion Christopher and Towill concluded, suggesting that: Generally the preferred solution will be that predictable demand for standard items will be met via a lean pipeline probably fed from overseas manufacturers. Volatile demand for special items will then be met via an agile pipeline probably fed from home manufacturers.
A third pipeline design is for quick response to top-up standard products for which there are an unexpected demand for specific colors, sizes, and volume. References Billington, C. , Callioni, G. , Crane, B. , Ruark, J. D. , Rapp, J. U. , White, T. , & Willems, S. P. (2004, Jan/Feb). Accelerating the Profitability of Hewlett-Packard’s Supply Chains. Interfaces, 34(1), 59-72, from Business Source Premier, doi: 10. 1287/inte. 0103. 0054 Edmondson, Harold E. , & Wheelwright, Steven C.. (1989). Outstanding Manufacturing In The Coming Decade.
California Management Review, 31(4), 70-90, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 289046). Lee, H. L. , & Billington, C. (1995, Sep/Oct). The Evolution of Supply-Chain-Management Models and Practice at Hewlett-Packard. Interfaces, 25(5), 42-63. Martin Christopher, & Denis R Towill. (2002). Developing market specific supply chain strategies. International Journal of Logistics Management, 13(1), 1-14, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 196608131). Mentzer, J. T. , Myers, M. B. , & Stank, T. P. (Eds. ). (2007). Handbook of global supply chain management. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
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