Author: Martin Gullberg & Peter Lundvall
International management: Master Thesis No 2003:18
Retailers face many challenges: time-to-market reductions are necessary due to shorter and shorter product life cycles, greater product variety causing more fluctuation in demand calls for high responsiveness in supply chains, and the ever increasing need for shorter lead times continues. However, as a result of the power that comes with control over consumer contacts, retailers today have the opportunity to organize the work in their supply chains in suitable ways. This thesis focus on how retailers organize their supply chains in light of how they choose to compete in consumer markets, and asks the question: how are supply chains affected by retail value propositions? Three case studies have been conducted in order to answer this question. Two of the case companies were considered to utilize cost-based competition, and it was investigated how they had organized activities in order to deliver their specific value propositions. Equivalent research of a third case company utilizing time-based competition was conducted. The study’s findings are in line with theories in this field, i.e. that the nature of products’ demand pattern is crucial for that which should be focused on, and that physical efficiency is important in costbased competition and market responsiveness in time-based competition.
Keywords: Supply chain management, retail, strategy