Title: Aligning flexibility in the supply chain for coping with supply-side risks to ensure mass customisation

Authors: Carolin Singer; Wolfgang Kersten; Meike Schroeder; Joerg Dalhoefer

Addresses: Institute of Business Logistics and General Management, Hamburg University of Technology, Schwarzenbergstr. 95, 21073 Hamburg, Germany. ' Institute of Business Logistics and General Management, Hamburg University of Technology, Schwarzenbergstr. 95, 21073 Hamburg, Germany. ' Institute of Business Logistics and General Management, Hamburg University of Technology, Schwarzenbergstr. 95, 21073 Hamburg, Germany. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering and Economics, University of Applied Sciences Luebeck, Moenkhofer Weg 239, 23562 Luebeck, Germany

Abstract: While individualised customer demand leads various companies to take a mass customisation approach, organisations also cooperate more closely with their supply chain partners and depend even further on each other. Hence, they are at a higher risk. In order to cope with risks and to ensure mass customisation, flexibility plays a prominent role. Based on an analysis of the relevant literature and an identification of current gaps, this paper presents a method which aims at the integration of supply chain risk and flexibility management in order to enable mass customisation. The proposed method facilitates the management of flexibility within supply chain risk handling. The application of the method is then demonstrated with two case studies focusing on different parts of the same supply chain. They illustrate the considerable importance for aligning flexibility along the mass customisation supply chain.

Keywords: supply chain flexibility; flexibility management; flexibility alignment; flexibility adjustment; mass customisation; supply chain risks; risk management; risk handling; supply chain management; SCM.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMASSC.2012.047401

International Journal of Mass Customisation, 2012 Vol.4 No.3/4, pp.255 - 273

Available online: 18 Jun 2012 *

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