Supply chain management : perceptions of requirements and performance in European automotive aftermarket supply chains
This dissertation is about supply chain management. Some authors have used the term to describe a strategic, inter-organisation issue, others authors to discuss an alternative organisational form to vertical integration. Much of the operations management literature uses the phrase to describe the planning and control of materials flow internally within a company or externally between companies. This work develops a definition of supply chain management. The empirical research tests hypotheses relating to gaps in customers' and suppliers' perceptions of requirements and performance in supply chains, against a set of performance dimensions. The hypotheses are tested in four automotive aftermarket supply chains, two of which are in Spain and two in the UK. All four chains have similar structures and include a manufacturer, an area distributor, a local distributor and ten installers, or garages. Qualitative and quantitative analysis show significant :differences between different types of gaps in perceptions; suppliers in the chains do not recognise the 'degree of customer dissatisfaction in existence. A positive correlation is shown to exist between the amount of misperception in the chains about performance and the amount of customer dissatisfaction. It is also shown this customers are more dissatisfied with some performance dimensions than others. In these supply chains, customer dissatisfaction and misperception of performance both significantly increase upstream i.e, downstream customers are more satisfied and there is less misperception in downstream relationships about performance levels. This effect is compared to the industrial dynamics "Forrester Effect". The work develops the concept of supply chain management into a broader, holistic concept of interorganisation operations management. It contributes to operations management by (i) developing the concept of supply chain management (ii) improving knowledge about relationships in supply chains (iii) identifying the significant role of performance (iv) improving knowledge about the implication of position in a supply chain (v) integrating related literatures, notably service management, purchasing, industrial dynamics and logistics.