Title: One size does not even fit one: supply chain strategies in the decline phase

Authors: Robin Von Haartman; Weihong Wang; Lars Bengtsson; Camilla Niss; Gunnar Herdin

Addresses: CLIP – Centre for Logistics and Innovative Production, University of Gävle, Sweden ' CLIP – Centre for Logistics and Innovative Production, University of Gävle, Sweden ' CLIP – Centre for Logistics and Innovative Production, University of Gävle, Sweden ' CLIP – Centre for Logistics and Innovative Production, University of Gävle, Sweden ' CLIP – Centre for Logistics and Innovative Production, University of Gävle, Sweden

Abstract: Given that aligning supply chain strategies with changing product characteristics across the phases of the product life cycle is increasingly important, this study investigates the changes in supply and demand uncertainty when a product enters the decline phase and how these changes in turn affect the supply chain strategies applied. Based on four case studies, the analysis reveals that the uncertainties increase in three of four cases when the product enters the decline phase, and that the type of uncertainty, as well as the related challenges, depends on the product's initial uncertainty of supply and demand. This implies that companies need to redesign their supply chain strategies towards either more lean or more agile supply chains, or combinations thereof, when the products are declining.

Keywords: supply chain strategy; product life cycle; PLC; decline phase; lean; agile; demand uncertainty; supply uncertainty; product characteristics.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMTM.2020.105818

International Journal of Manufacturing Technology and Management, 2020 Vol.34 No.1, pp.25 - 45

Received: 31 Oct 2015
Accepted: 07 Nov 2016

Published online: 26 Feb 2020 *

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