Supply chain design approaches for supply chain resilience : a qualitative study of South African fast-moving consumer goods grocery manufacturers

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 9
  • SDG 8
  • Abstract:

    ORIENTATION : In today's globalised and complex business environment, firms are ever more vulnerable to supply chain disruptions, originating both internally and externally from the supply chain. Supply chain resilience minimises the impact of a disruption through design approaches, which allows the supply chain to respond appropriately to disruptive events. RESEARCH PURPOSE : This article investigated the supply chain risks faced by grocery manufacturers in the South African fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry and explored supply chain design approaches that enable supply chain resilience. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY : South African grocery manufacturers are faced with distinct risks. Whilst supply chain risk management studies have provided firms with certain guidelines to mitigate risk, supply chains are still vulnerable to unanticipated risks. Literature on supply chain resilience in the South African context is scant. The concept of supply chain resilience provides firms with strategies that are built into the supply chain that allow firms to react and recover swiftly from disruptions. Furthermore, supply chain resilience strategies assist firms in becoming less vulnerable to possible disruptions. RESEARCH DESIGN APPROACH AND METHOD : This study was conducted by using a descriptive qualitative research design. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with senior supply chain practitioners specifically within the South African FMCG grocery manufacturing industry. MAIN FINDINGS : The study found that labour unrest is the most common risk faced by the industry. Furthermore, strategic stock and supply chain mapping are of the most useful design approaches to enhance supply chain resilience. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS : The study provides managers with new insights in guiding supply chain design decisions for resilient supply chains. Through the identification of risks and appropriate solutions linked to the various risks, the study allows managers an array of options to choose from when enforcing a resilient supply chain. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD : The study contributes to the body of knowledge by being one of the first empirical studies conducted on supply chain design approaches for supply chain resilience in the South African context. The study also adds to the scarce literature on supply chain resilience in the FMCG industry, both globally and in a South African context.