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Ph.D. Thesis – Enhanced Supplier Development Framework

Ph.D. Thesis – Abstract

Enhanced Supplier Development Framework: a systematic approach to improve supplier performance

Although Supplier Development (SD) has been of importance to industry for a number of years, the academic community has been slower to study this phenomenon.  However, in the last two decades, the focus on SD has increased. This Ph.D. thesis research is particularly addressing SD from both an industry and academic perspective. The specific weakness of existing activities within the industry in deploying their SD programs is the lack of a systematic approach. Given that such an approach could not be identified within the literature either, it is argued here that there was a widespread need for purchasing and supply chain management professionals to be able to identify appropriate SD activities by means of an appropriate method or framework.

To address this research gap, this Ph.D. thesis has developed a conceptual SD framework through action research. This is the first study which demonstrates the development and detailed account of the implementation process. Performance improvements observed include: improving delivery and quality performance of selected suppliers.

And this Ph.D. thesis and doctoral dissertation, empirical evidence was collected from supply chain practitioners via interviews/ questionnaires pre- and post-implementation to identify their views on the important issues to consider when developing and implementing a SD framework.

Key practical implications of the SD framework developed in this doctoral dissertation are the alignment of goals/objectives internally within the organisation and with the suppliers. It is intended to serve as a high level process map for SD and acts as a communication tool to create a common understanding of key steps involved in SD amongst all the stakeholders involved. Future research should explore case studies and/ or involve survey methods with a wider audience to increase the validity of the results. Finally, this thesis takes a buying firm’s perspective only and does not include any views from the supplier’s perspective; therefore taking a supplier’s perspective is also a key recommendation for future research.

Book Contents

  • Acknowledgements 2
  • Abstract 3
  • Publications 5
  • Glossary of Abbreviations 6
  • Table of Contents 8
  • List of Tables 9
  • List of Figures 11
  • Chapter 1 Introduction 1
    • Role of Supplier Development in Supply Chain Management 1
    • History of Supplier Development 4
    • Research Motivation 5
    • About Company P 7
    • Research Objectives and Question 10
    • Organisation of the Thesis 13
  • Chapter 2 Supplier Development - Literature Review 15
    • Definition of SD 17
    • The need for a new Literature Review 19
    • Classification of the Literature 21
    • Classification of article type 23
    • Classification of research content 27
    • Literature focusing on SD content categories 30
    • SD Activities, Practices, Success Factors 31
    • Direct and Indirect SD 41
    • SD as a Reactive or Strategic process 45
    • SD in Lean Six Sigma and SME context 51
    • SD - The Supplier Perspective 58
    • Conclusion and future research area 60
  • Chapter 3 Research Methodology 66
    • Research Paradigms 67
    • Research Design 71
    • Phase I- The Development of the Proposed Conceptual Process map          78
    • Phase II- Implementation and Evaluation        79
    • Conclusion   101
  • Chapter 4 The Development of the Proposed Conceptual Framework          102
    • The development of the proposed conceptual framework 103
    • Evaluation and analysis of existing frameworks         103
    • Process flowchart or diagram   106
    • Decision points   106
    • Link with SRM, commodity strategy & supplier reduction    107
    • Project selection  108
    • Cross-functional team work  108
    • SD activities  109
    • Lean Six Sigma tools & methodology 109
    • Conceptual SD Framework  112
    • Empirical evidence: Issues to address   114
    • Current system/process/approach for SD   115
    • Tools/activities/features to improve SP reactively or strategically         116
    • SD Linkage with Category/Commodity  117
    • Determining suppliers to be developed  119
    • Area to be improved in the Current SD process    120
    • Views on the proposed SDF    121
    • Key Steps of work in the SDF   125
    • SD Project Selection  125
    • SD Project Execution   129
    • OPEX Tools & Methodologies   132
    • Conclusion   136
  • Chapter 5 Action Research Cycle I: Company P Electrical Division-EMEA       137
    • Case company- problem diagnosis   139
    • Action Planning - Company P’s ED-EMEA SD Approach    141
    • Company P’s ED-EMEA SD Project Execution Approach      142
    • Taking Action - Company P’s ED-EMEA SD Project Descriptions     146
    • Project SNT   147
    • Project NE   156
    • Evaluating Action - Company P’s ED-EMEA SD Project Evaluation               164
    • Process Flowchart or Diagram           164
    • Decision Points          166
    • Link with SRM and CS        167
    • Project Selection and Cross-functional Teams           167
    • SD Activities and use of Lean Six Sigma tools and methodology                168
    • Practitioners’ Feedback- Post-Implementation Interviews            170
    • Conclusion      175
  • Chapter 6 Action Research Cycle II: Company P’s Hydraulics Division-EMEA       178
    • Case Company- Problem Diagnosis 180
    • Action Planning- The HYD’s SD Project Approach     181
    • The HYD’s Procurement Strategy and Organisational Structure             181
    • The HYD Procurement Commodity Strategy- Turned Parts           184
    • Selecting Suppliers for Development             186
    • Taking Action- The HYD SD Project Description        191
    • Project MONI         191
    • Evaluating Action- The HYD SD Project Evaluation            195
    • Link with SRM and Commodity Strategy         195
    • Process Flowchart or Diagram                   196
    • Decision Points          200
    • Project Selection and Cross-functional Team                    200
    • SD Activities and use of Lean Six Sigma tools and methodology                 201
    • Practitioners’ Feedback- Post-Implementation Interviews           202
    • Conclusion         208
  • Chapter 7 Discussion and Conclusions  211
    • Discussion 211
    • Revisiting the Research Questions     212
    • Linking all the research elements    218
    • Research Contributions        220
    • Managerial Implications   225
    • Limitations    227
    • Future Research     227
  • References  230
  • Appendix  254
    • Appendix 1: A list of literature focusing on SD content 254
    • Appendix 2: Previous literature review of SD articles and books, by Krause and Ellram (1997b)       271
    • Appendix 4- Action Plan Health Check workshop, SNT       286
    • Appendix 5- post-implementation interview questions and replies              287
    • Appendix 6 Drill Deep Analysis       296
    • Appendix 7- post-implementation interview questions and replies         297