Title: Postponement strategy in food supply chains – an empirical investigation

Authors: Sajed M. Abukhader, Gunilla Jonson

Addresses: School of Engineering, King Khalid University, P.O. Box 394, ABHA, Saudi Arabia. ' School of Design Sciences, Lund University, SE–22100 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relevancy/feasibility of the postponement strategy in food supply chains. The paper also aims at discussing the windows of opportunities for the growth of use of postponement by identifying the factors/drivers/enablers in the adoption of this strategy. It is out of the scope of this paper to survey a specific market/country, or answer how much or how many; it only captures as many cases as possible and build a categorised picture of postponement against the various food commodities by using semi-structured interviews. Our research results show that food postponement is a relevant strategy across the different types of food commodities/categories (frozen, hilled/fresh and long shelf life). Moreover, the results also show that this is not limited to one form of postponement as one may expect (such as logistics postponement or repacking display packs for instance), but is in fact related to the various forms of postponement.

Keywords: postponement strategy; supply chain management; SCM; centralisation; food supply chains; food postponement; order penetration point; produce to order; packaging postponement; logistics.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLSM.2007.011822

International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management, 2007 Vol.3 No.2, pp.215 - 234

Published online: 24 Dec 2006 *

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