Background: The great amount of economic changes brought about by globalization has had long lasting effects on long established manufacturing models, whose origins went back to pre-war and post-war mass production predicated by Ford and others. A world more open to competition has meant that market leaders have now to compete on a global basis, forcing their suppliers, and the suppliers of their suppliers, to follow suit and adopt a global approach. Competition has thus shifted from firm vs. firm to Supply Chain vs. Supply Chain, which justifies the interest of practitioners in how these competitive dynamics happen but also in how those dynamics internal to supply chains evolve. This thesis is aimed at investigating how these dynamics have been evolving and where they are heading to, while offering a comparison between three distinct industrial supply chains: Pharmaceutical, Fashion and Automotive. Summary of Findings: - The separate analysis of the three supply chains has highlighted differences in power dynamics, with the PSC showing a basically producer-driven structure, the FSC a buyer-driven structure and the ASC a fully producer-driven structure. - Such structure has been shown not to be completely static, as they have all undergone changes to different extents. The PSC is growing increasing dis-intermediated, thus becoming more producer-driven; the FSC has witnessed a long-term shift from mass producer-driven SC to buyer-driven, thanks to own-brand mass retailers; the ASC has preserved its producer-driven structure but has become increasingly tiered, as suppliers have concentrated on core-competencies and outsourced non-core processes. - These changes have often come about as a result of concurrent changes in consumer demand, which has gradually become more sophisticated, requiring a larger degree of customization as consumers become more aware of trends. - As a result, demand has become ever volatile, rendering forecasting-based production unable to cope with varying demand. Hence, attempts to reduce NPD lead times, thus creating a responsive SC. Elements of agile supply chain management are being incorporated in the PSC, while the most successful fashion retailers have made QR the key to their success stories. The ASC has found it harder to conciliate lean SCM practices with a BTO model, thus making it likely that a hybrid approach will become the norm among carmakers.

Kurek, K. (Kasia)
Maritime Economics and Logistics
Erasmus School of Economics

Gavitone, P. (Paolo). (2012, September 4). A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THREE INDUSTRIAL SUPPLY CHAINS: AUTOMOTIVE, PHARMACEUTICAL AND FASHION. Maritime Economics and Logistics. Retrieved from