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  • Guest editorial
  • Sustainable value chain management based on dynamic capabilities in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

    Purpose: The aim of this research is to analyze sustainable value chain management based on dynamic capabilities in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative methodology is used, through a multiple case study with three SMEs, to identify the conceptual relationship between the sustainable value chain and dynamic capabilities. Interviews are conducted with managers, and the data are analyzed through content analysis. Findings: It is observed that breaking down barriers in processes is important for establishing the sustainable value chain, generating dynamic capabilities with the readaptation of activities. Research limitations/implications: It is recommended that studies be conducted in other sectors and in large companies, to identify new perspectives. Practical implications: The findings of this study demonstrate the constant processes of SMEs in response to legal, bureaucratic and logistical changes, in the generation of dynamic capabilities and sustainable value chain management, to achieve their customers' goals. Social implications: The research contributes to the literature on the management of dynamic capabilities in the value chain in Brazilian companies and to the supply chain field, particularly in relation to SMEs. Originality/value: This research analyzes sustainable value chain management based on dynamic capabilities in Brazilian SMEs, gathering the managers' perceptions regarding changes in the external environment that influence adaptations and alignments, impacting on their businesses.

  • Assessing the objectives of dry ports: main issues, challenges and opportunities in Brazil

    Purpose: The purpose is to identify the main characteristics of dry ports (DPs) in Brazil, discussing the role of this logistic player, challenges and opportunities. Furthermore, this study provides a structured framework to drive DP decision-makers, identifying and assessing a network of means–end objectives, which could be replicable to other contexts. Design/methodology/approach: This article approached initially a literature review and exploratory research to discuss the main characteristics of DPs in Brazil. The second step was to conduct a qualitative analysis following the value-focused thinking (VFT) approach in two case studies in Pernambuco state to assess the achievement of the main objectives. Findings: This article identified that the main characteristics of DPs in Brazil are offering additional services with a cheaper storage cost, handling mainly import cargo and being connected to seaports through highways. Moreover, this study resulted in a framework to assess the objectives of DPs, which could be replicable in other contexts, improving the current operations of DPs. Practical implications: The framework to assess DPs' objectives bridged the gap between the literature and the practice working as a tool to drive decision-makers to improve the current performance of DPs in Brazil. Additionally, the main issues, challenges and opportunities discussed provide managers, policymakers and DPs operators with valuable insights into this theme. Originality/value: This paper is the first study to present a framework to assess the objectives of DPs as a valuable tool to drive decision-makers to improve DPs operations. From this study, lessons could be learned and the process described could be replicable in other countries.

  • Editorial
  • Trust-based cooperation in Silk Road Economic Belt countries: strategical ordering in the assembly supply chain

    Purpose: This paper's purpose is to suggest that manufacturers strategically place soft orders for assembly materials with suppliers in Silk Road Economic Belt countries who probably doubt the realization of the soft orders placed. Design/methodology/approach: First, a two-stage Stackelberg competition is constructed, taking into account the supplier's trust level in formulating the decision process in the assembly supply chain. The authors then provide a buyback contract to coordinate the supply chain, in which the manufacturer obtains enough supplies by sharing some of the perceived risks of not fully trusted suppliers. Furthermore, the authors conduct a numerical study to investigate the influence of trust under a decentralized case and a buyback contract. Findings: The authors found that all supply chain partners in Silk Road Economic Belt countries experience potential losses due to not fully trusting certain conditions. The study also shows that, in Silk Road Economic Belt countries, operating under a buyback contract is better than being without one in terms of assembly supply chain performance. Research limitations/implications: On the one hand, the authors only consider the asymmetry of demand information without considering that of cost structure information. On the other hand, a natural extension of the paper is to integrate single-period transactions into the multi-period transaction problem setting. As all these issues require substantial effort, the authors reserve them for future exploration. Originality/value: Doing business with not-fully-trustworthy partners in Silk Road Economic Belt countries is risky, and this study reveals how trust works in global cooperation and with strategic reactions in situations of partial trust.

  • Spare parts inventory management: a new hybrid approach

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present a new hybrid approach based on criticality analysis and optimisation to deal with spare parts inventory management in the initial provisioning phase in the mining industry. Spare parts represent a significant part of mining companies' expenditures, so it is important to develop new approaches to reduce the total inventory value of these items. Design/methodology/approach: This hybrid approach combines qualitative and quantitative methods based on VED (vital, essential and desirable) analysis, analytical hierarchical process (AHP), and e-constraint optimisation method to obtain the spare parts to be stocked. The study was applied to a large mining company. The mineral sector was chosen due to the great importance to the emerging Brazilian economy and the lack of researches in this sector. In addition, the spare parts have a relevant weight on the total inventory cost. Findings: Present a novel approach combining multi-objective optimisation and multi-criteria evaluation approaches to tackle the inventory decision in spare parts management. This work also defines and classifies relevant criteria for spare parts management in the mineral sector validated by specialists. The proposed approach achieves an average increase of 20.2% in the criticality and 16.6% in the number of items to be stocked compared to the historical data of the surveyed company. Research limitations/implications: This paper applies the proposed approach to a mining company in Brazil. Future research in other companies or regions should analyse the adequacy of the criticality criteria, hierarchy and weights adopted in this paper. Practical implications: The proposed approach is useful for mining industries that deal with a large variety of resource constraints as it helps in formulating appropriate spare part strategies to rationalise financial resources at both tactical and strategic levels. Originality/value: The paper presents a new hybrid method combining the AHP a multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) approach coupled with e-constraint optimisation to deal with spare parts inventory management allowing for a better spare parts inventory analysis in the initial provisioning phase and providing managers with a systematic tool to analyse the trade-off between spare parts criticality and total inventory value.

  • Supply chain structures for distributing surplus food

    Purpose: New actors have emerged in the food supply chain in response to the increased awareness of food waste and the need to distribute surplus food. The purpose of this study is to analyse the different supply chain structures that have emerged to make surplus food available to consumers. Design/methodology/approach: This study adopts a qualitative multiple-case study of three new surplus food actors: a surplus food platform, an online retailer and a surplus food terminal. Data sources included interviews, documentary evidence and participatory observations. Findings: Three different types of actor constellations in surplus food distribution have been identified: a triad, a tetrad and a chain. Both centralised (for ambient products) and decentralised supply chain structures (for chilled products) have emerged. The analysis identified weak links amongst new actors and surplus food suppliers. The new actors have adopted the roles of connector, service provider and logistics service provider and the sub-roles of mediator, auditor and consultant. Originality/value: This paper contributes to research on closed-loop or circular supply chains for the reuse of products in the context of surplus food distribution.

  • The strategic design of port services based on a total landed cost approach

    Purpose: This paper explores the effect of port's service time, particularly the mean and variability, on shippers' total landed costs to determine the competitive position of the port and derive recommendations for the strategic design of port services. Design/methodology/approach: The competitive position of a port is estimated considering the service level offered to the end-users of the port such as port service time, its variability and its effect on the total landed costs observed by the port users. The proposed methodology is meant to help ports to determine the required service time levels to maintain or gain a competitive advantage against other ports, in terms of attracting common hinterland's customers. Findings: Results show the advantages of considering service levels factors to determine the competitive position of a port, and what are the minimum characteristics required to capture more traffic volumes, that can help port managers to take strategic design decisions to better position the port in the current fierce market. Research limitations/implications: The proposed methodology is illustrated by considering a case study, which is the Port of Guaymas in Mexico. Data was not directly collected by the port, but based on interviews with shippers and public information, a representative case is presented. Due to a confidentiality agreement with the Port, specific references for most of the data used to estimate the model's parameters are not provided. The analysis is intended to show the potential value of this mechanism and can be used for evaluating the competitive position, from a high-level perspective, of any port to determine potential hinterland by improving the service level of the port. Originality/value: The existing literature on port choice and port competition has not previously considered the effect of port service levels under the perspective of total landed costs of the users, being this paper a contribution to fulfill this gap.

  • The impact of institutional voids on risk and performance in base-of-the-pyramid supply chains

    Purpose: Base-of-the-pyramid (BoP) markets are frequently characterized by institutional voids. However, it remains unclear how institutional voids impact corporate and supply chain risk and performance. This intersection will be analyzed in this paper. Design/methodology/approach: This paper presents a systematic literature review of 94 BoP papers published between 2004 and 2019 in peer-reviewed, English-language journals available on Scopus. Drawing upon established frameworks for examining institutional voids, supply chain risks and BoP performance, frequency, and contingency analyses are conducted. Contingencies are established to provide insights into the associations between different constructs from the selected frameworks. Findings: Supply chain risks are pervasive in the BoP discourse, especially when BoP markets are characterized by institutional voids. The frequency analysis of the constructs suggests that the key supply chain risks discussed in the BoP literature include social risk, credit risk, product market and operating uncertainties, knowledge and skill biases and decision-maker risks due to bounded rationality. The contingency analysis suggests that institutional voids are associated with supply chain risks that affect performance. Research limitations/implications: A theoretical framework aligning three research streams in the context of BoP calls for future studies to test the causality of highlighted constructs that are significantly associated. The analysis is confined to the constructs that are taken into account based on specific conceptual frameworks. Practical implications: The study provides practitioners with a framework to manage supply chain risks in BoP-related firms to enhance firm performance. Managers can use key dimensions of supply chain risk, such as the product market, the input market and operating uncertainties, to evaluate performance in the BoP context. Originality/value: Specifically, this research has strengthened the inquiry of supply chain risks in the presence of institutional voids that may have an impact on firm performance

  • Collaborative process competence as an enabler of supply chain collaboration in competitive environments and the impact on customer account management

    Purpose: The purpose of the current research seeks to understand what role supply chain (SC) collaboration plays in effectively managing customers of a firm. The research also investigates what role industry competitive intensity plays on SC collaboration formation. Design/methodology/approach: The current research utilizes empirical survey data from professionals whose companies collaborate within a SC. Structural equations modeling is employed to assess the relationship of collaborative process competence on SC collaboration as well as the moderating impact of industry competitive intensity. A further boundary condition is examined with the partner interdependence SC collaboration relationship. Additionally the SC collaboration account management relationship is also investigated. Findings: The paper provides empirical insights on how SC collaboration contributes to focal firm customer account management. Additionally, results suggest that collaborative process competence and its relationship with SC collaboration works differently in the presence of partner interdependence and the moderator of industry competitive intensity. Research limitations/implications: While the findings help to promote the generalizability of the new research, future research could seek to understand how firms could develop specific account management value propositions through SC collaboration in specific contexts. Originality/value: The main contributions of the work include empirical analysis of a proposed theoretical model, a better understanding of the role collaborative process competence plays on SC collaboration formation and the discussion of customer account management as an outcome of SC collaboration.

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