Supply Chain Management Case Study

Read this journal article, which examines supply chain management drivers and the motivation of sustainability for manufacturing enterprise supply chains in Pakistan.


Supply Chain Management (SCM) has acknowledged a great deal of interest by researchers and practitioners. SCM has become a universal way across industries since it addresses seller-buyer partnerships, shared planning, continuing strategic coalition, control of inventory cross-organizational, information sharing and logistics management. Effective SCM leads to the provision of the necessary level of customer service to a specific segment by decreasing the entire amount of resources as well as enhancing customer services through improved product availability and reduced order cycle time. Therefore, supply chain management field is expanding over the last few decades due to increasing reliance on suppliers' performance, and dynamic changes of suppliers. To compete successfully in the global market economy, firms gradually find themselves dependent on having effective supply chain channels. As a result, performance can no longer be determined exclusively by the decisions made and actions taken within a firm. That is because in a competitive global environment, the execution of members in the supply chain contributes to the overall results of the chain.

Supply Chain Management (SCM) has also received attention from industrialists, especially, strategic planning in design, maintenance, and operation of the supply chain processes. Despite the improvements successfully achieved with the help of SCM, organizations and policy makers overlooked the environmental issues including global energy, global warming, reverse logistic, and ecological concerns in global competition. With the increasing environmental concerns over the past decades, Green Supply Chain Management (GSCM) has recently emerged to comply with regulations for environmental protection. In order to fulfill environmental obligations, organizations are now start recognizing that they cannot work in isolation; since companies have often been charged with the environmental liabilities of their suppliers. Therefore, there has been an urgency to integrate environmental initiatives, not only within the walls of the company, but also across the entire supply chain to ensure the enterprise's sustainable performance.

The sustainable performance in an organization happens when a company or firm creates ongoing value for its stakeholders and shareholders while keeping up with the environmental requirement. Sustainability is a brilliant way of performing a business and developing innovative and constructive corporate culture through integration is one of the essential parts of the sustainability transition process. These healthy cultures would be able to create better organizational performance and make optimum use of the existing assets for the good economic, environmental, and social outcomes. The result of having economic, environmental, and social sustainability would ensure satisfaction of the shareholders, supplier, customer, employee, and society.

Due to awareness of environmental protection on a global level, Green Supply Chain Management (GSCM) has been of great interest of researchers and practitioners of operation and supply chain management. The GSCM is now considered as an important management tool in improving sustainable performance, particularly among SMEs. The GSCM also refers to all stages of supply chain management which must comply with environmental protection requirements. The manufacturers are required to employ Green Supply Chain Integration (GSCI) to integrate the environmental management practices within their companies, with the suppliers and customers. This action will ensure inter-firm cooperation and encourage mutual GSCM as well as influencing the firm's sustainable performance.

Researchers have focused on green supply chain initiatives from last few years to sustain environmental sustainability. To this end, Green Supply Chain Management (GSCM) is an approach, aiming at reducing pollution and waste by integration of sustainable environmental thinking. Various organizations involve green supply chain initiatives to get the advantages of reduced cost, increased profit, and retained stakeholder values making sustainable competitive advantage indicated by Kim and Chai. The manufacturing organizations collaborate with logistics service providers, supply chain partners, customers, and suppliers to get effective command over the competitive position of a company.

In contemporary world, the characteristics of competition are gradually growing to global business environments; therefore, it is required by manufacturing organizations to participate in order to attain common goals such as minimizing delivery cost, stock holding cost, increase punctuality, enhance quality, improved flexibility, and quick response to ensure profitability and customer satisfaction. Otherwise, the organization will ultimately lose competence in extremely varied and volatile market. For instance, Zara, the Spanish apparel organization provides a real illustration of the hybrid supply chain. It is one of Spain's greatest and dynamic apparel organizations, producing trendy apparel to a universal target market of 18 to 35-year's old. Since a major difficulty in most supply chains was lack of visibility in actual demand, forecast-driven management was better than demand-driven management. Therefore, Zara developed a quick response system for the industry to handle the visible problems.

The current research study focuses on green initiatives in manufacturing SMEs of Pakistan. The Pakistani Government enforced environmental regulations and green initiatives to address the scarcity of resources and environmental issues. Recently, the manufacturing production in Pakistan has started growing with a slow pace. In April 2018, the manufacturing production of Pakistan increased by 4.10%. However, the manufacturing industries are facing severe issues regarding environmental sustainability. Both consumers and environmental groups have been concerned about environmental impact, global warming, and sustainability of products and services in the marketplace. The manufacturing firms are under pressure due to increasing awareness of environmental sustainability. In this regard, supply chain management drivers such as production, inventory, information, transportation, and location develop sustainability goals for manufacturing firms to maximize protective measurement of environment.

In an attempt to reduce sources of waste and pollution for overall supply chain, the manufacturing firms initiated to adopt an externally oriented approach that maximizes the utility of green supply chain initiatives. Such extended responsibility comprises organization downstream and upstream as well as closed-loop supply chain, green supply chain, and product stewardship. Thus, green initiatives, as well as supply chain management drivers, unleash the possibility of sustainability in manufacturing SMEs, in particular in Pakistan.

The study of Hsu et al. examines supply chain management drivers fostering the sustainability of the environment and taking a proactive approach. The previous literature ponders green supply chain management relationship with organizational performance and strategy. The adoption of green supply chain initiatives protects the environment and foster development of efficient supply chain management. In literature of business research, a few studies examined the relationship between supply chain management drivers and initiatives of the green supply chain, especially in Pakistan. Accordingly, a research model is proposed whereas various factors of green supply chain have been adopted among different SMEs in Pakistan. In the following section, a rationale for green initiatives in manufacturing enterprises was explored to intimate how drivers pursue sustainability goals. Next, relevant literature and conceptualization of supply chain management drivers were demonstrated. In this regard, a set of hypotheses, research methodology and discussion of manufacturing enterprise of Pakistan were presented. Finally, practical as well as managerial implications of the research findings were identified on order to conclude research parameters in an effective manner.