An information management approach for supply chain disruption recovery

Author:Dario Messina, Ana Cristina Barros, António Lucas Soares, Aristides Matopoulos
Publication Date:06 Aug 2020
An information management
approach for supply chain
disruption recovery
Dario Messina
INESC TEC and Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
Ana Cristina Barros
INESC TEC, Porto, Portugal
onio Lucas Soares
INESC TEC and Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal, and
Aristides Matopoulos
Department of Engineering Systems and Management,
Aston University School of Engineering and Applied Science, Birmingham, UK
Purpose To study how supply chain decision makers gather, process and use the available internal and
external information when facing supply chain disruptions.
Design/methodology/approach The paper reviews relevant supply chain literature to build an
information management model for disruption management. Afterwards, three case studies in the vehicle
assembly sector, namely cars, trucks and aircraft wings, bring the empirical insights to the information
management model.
Findings This research characterises the phases of disruption management and identifies the information
companies useto recover from a variety of disruptive events.It presents an information managementmodel to
enhancesupply chain visibilityand support disruptionmanagement at theoperational level. Moreover,it arrives
attwo design propositionsto help companiesin the redesign of theirdisruption discoveryand recovery processes.
Originality/value This research studies how companies manage operational disruptions. The proposed
information management model allows to provide visibility to support the disruption management process.
Also, based on the analysis of the disruptions occurringat the operational level we propose a conceptual model
to support decision makers in the recovery from daily disruptive events.
Keywords Supply chain disruption managemet, Supply chain visibility, Information management
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
With uncertainty becoming the new norm for businesses, all supply chains are susceptible
to disruptions (Ambulkar et al., 2015). Studying how firms are capitalising from previous
disruptions to ref ine mitigation str ategies is an import ant step towards shor tening
the recovery time during future disruptions (Macdonald and Corsi, 2013). In doing so, we
approached two complementary research streams on supply chain, namely disruption
management and information management.
Approach for
supply chain
This work is financed by the FCT Fundaç~
ao para a Ci^
encia e a Tecnologia (Portuguese Foundation for
Science and Technology) within project CMUP-ERI/TPE/0011/2013 of the CMU Portugal Program and
by the project "TEC4GrowthPervasive Intelligence, Enhancers and Proofs of Concept with Industrial
Impact" (NORTE-010145-FEDER-000020) financed by the North Portugal Regional Operational
Programme (NORTE 2020), under the Portugal 2020 Partnership Agreement and through the European
Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
Received 23 November 2018
Revised 21 October 2019
29 April 2020
8 July 2020
Accepted 8 July 2020
The International Journal of
Logistics Management
Vol. 31 No. 3, 2020
pp. 489-519
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/IJLM-11-2018-0294
The informational, physical and financial flows of supply chains (Rai et al., 2006) may be
disrupted in a continuum that ranges from catastrophic events, such as fire, earthquake,
hurricane (Sawik, 2013) or pandemics like the COVID-19, to operations management
problems, such as supplier delays, poor quality or insufficient inventory (Blackhurst et al.,
2005). Although supply chain disruption (SCD) represents a highly studied topic (Blackhurst
et al., 2005;Ivanov et al., 2017;Zsidisin and Wagner, 2010), researchers have so far mainly
focussed their attention on the response to catastrophic events as primary causes for
supply chain disruptions and less on everyday operational disruptions, which are less
severe, but more frequent (Marley et al., 2014). This paper addresses this important gap of
lack of studies related to operational disruptions and thus contributes to broadening the
picture of disruptions in supply chains. Whilst the two types of events require similar
responses to deal with supply chain disruptions, the causes that generate them, the
information needed to select the recovery strategy and especially the redesign actions are
different. Therefore, in this paper, we aim at filling this gap by identifying and analysing
the actions taken and the information usedby decision makers during and after operational
disruptive events, in order to propose a conceptual model that supports decision makers in
the recovery from disruptions.
When disruption occurs companies follow a disruption management process composed
by discovery, recovery and redesign (Macdonald and Corsi, 2013), and in many cases, this
process is supported by the previous implementation of a risk management process in the
company composed by risk identification, assessment, mitigation and monitoring (Berg,
2010;Tummala and Schoenherr, 2011). Hence, this research considers two types of strategies:
(1) mitigation strategies countermeasures that need to be preventively in place to face
possible disruptive events in the future and (2) recovery strategies actions applied during
disruption for fast recovery. Still, some recovery strategies are only possible to use if previous
mitigation strategies have been implemented. For example, a company may only use a second
source supplier if the company has a multiple sourcing strategy, or it can only count on
suppliersability to speed up orders if a collaborative relationship exists. Consequently, there
is a clear input from the redesign phase of the disruption management process for the risk
management process of a company.
This paper focusses on information management as a way to achieve improved visibility
in the supply chain which is an enabling factor for supply chain members to effectively apply
recovery strategies during disruptive events (Barratt and Barratt, 2011). Supply chain
visibility has been defined as the capability of a supply chain player to have access to or to
provide the required timely information from/to relevant supply chain partners for better
decision support (Goh et al., 2009). Companies achieve supply chain visibility by using
information systems to gather, process and share supply chain data (Barratt and Barratt,
2011). Still, there is a lack of empirical research on how to provide such visibility instrumental
to support decision-making. This represents the second gap that this research aims to
address by proposing an information management model tailored for supply chain
disruption management, which, when implemented, can help practitioners to have the
information visibility they need to effectively manage disruptions.
We tackle this problem using the information processing theory (IPT) as our lens for the
analysis (Galbraith, 1973;Tushman and Nadler, 1978). This theory is used to explore the
adoption of the information management model, as a proxy of the decision process, in dealing
with supply chain disruptions.
To summarise, the contributions of this paper are twofold. The first contribution is the
information management model that allows to provide visibility to support the disruption
management process. The second contribution arrives from the analysis of disruptions
occurring at operational level to submit two design propositions and a conceptual model
aiming at supporting decision makers in the recovery from daily disruptive events.

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