Changing customer and technological requirements force manufacturers to develop agile supply chain capabilities in order to be competitive. Therefore, several companies are stressing flexibility and agility in order to respond, real time, to the unique needs of customers and markets. However, the resource competencies required are often difficult to mobilise and retain by single companies. It is therefore imperative for companies to co-operate and leverage complementary competencies. To this end, legally separate and spatially distributed companies are becoming integrated through Internet-based technologies. The paper reviews emerging patterns in supply chain integration. It also explores the relationship between the emerging patterns and attainment of competitive objectives. The results reported in the paper are based on the data collected from a survey using the standard questionnaire. The survey involved 600 companies in the UK, as part of a larger study of agile manufacturing. The study was driven by a conceptual model, which relates supply chain practices to competitive objectives. The study involves the use of factor analysis to reduce research variables to a few principal components. Subsequently, multiple regression was conducted to study the relationship amongst the selected variables. The results validate the proposed conceptual model and lend credence to current thinking that supply chain integration is a vital tool for competitive advantage.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computer Science(all)
- Modeling and Simulation
- Management Science and Operations Research
- Information Systems and Management