Title: Milk supply chain management in the tier of retailers and customers – a comparison between Taiwan and Germany

Authors: Tzong-Ru Lee, Shiou-Yu Chen, Johannes Simons

Addresses: Department of Marketing, National Chung Hsing University, 250 Kuokuang Road, Taichung, Taiwan, ROC. ' Department of International Trade, Chung-Yu Institute of Technology, Taiwan; Department of Shipping and Transportation Management, National Taiwan Ocean University, 2, Pei-Ning Road, Keelung, Taiwan 20224, ROC. ' Institute of Agricultural Policy, Market Research and Economic Sociology, Bonn University, Nussallee 21, 53115 Bonn, Germany

Abstract: For the milk supply chain, there exists a tough problem specific to Asian countries, that is, people|s consuming habits change with the weather. This phenomenon will result in a |surplus problem|. In practice, little is known about solving the mismatch problem. This study tries to adopt the Supply Chain Management (SCM) perspective to examine the key tier of milk supply chain and identify what causes the mismatch. In-depth interviews and questionnaires conducted both in Taiwan and Germany to get empirical data from milk supply chain members. Through the analysis of data, this study offers four strategies to milk suppliers: establishing a strong regional brand name, developing a leisure farm, increasing the product variety and offering diversified channels to customers. The results of this international comparison can be used as a universally analysed tool for applying to other industries in other countries.

Keywords: milk supply chains; Taiwan; Germany; supply chain management; SCM; retailers; consumers; assessment indices; logistics; regional brand names; leisure farms; product variety; diversified channels; surplus.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLSM.2007.011823

International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management, 2007 Vol.3 No.2, pp.235 - 251

Available online: 24 Dec 2006 *

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