Aligning Product Strategy to Supply Chain Practices

Read this article. The authors study whether organizational products are aligned with optimal supply chain types. Besides the product, what other aspects must be analyzed when selecting a specific type of supply chain?

The purpose of the article

Research on the impact of supply chain design on product strategy for small businesses is sparse. The supply chain includes upstream linkages (from the raw materials and manufacturing side), internal linkages (either manufacturing or crafting, or internal business processes) and downstream linkages (focused on the end customer); this research will focus primarily on the internal and downstream linkages. Internal linkages include those value-creating activities that relate to the process of transforming raw materials into finished products and services, whilst downstream linkages refer to distribution activities involved in warehousing, storing, order processing, order picking and packing, shipping, delivery vehicle operations and distributing the finished product to the customer. Marketing, distribution and customer sales and satisfaction are the downstream activities, whilst the upstream portion of the organisation's value chain focuses on feeding the production or conversion process of the supply chain.

In light of the above, the purpose of this article is therefore to determine if product strategies are aligned to supply chain practices in craft businesses in Gauteng, South Africa. This research will also show that significant challenges are often faced by small-to-medium-sized craft businesses (in Gauteng) in aligning their product strategies with their supply chain strategies. One may also logically be able to extrapolate that if small-to-medium-sized craft businesses face alignment problems, then other similar small-to-medium-sized businesses in other industries may also face similar challenges to those of craft businesses. In other words, if small-to-medium-sized craft businesses face significant challenges in matching or aligning the gap between their product and supply chain strategies, then other similar-sized businesses will face similar challenges both in South Africa and other parts of the world. However, this latter statement will not be proven or discussed in this research article as it is beyond the scope of this research project (research limitation).