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School of Business | Department of Management Studies | MSc Degree Programme in Strategy | 2016
Thesis number: 14571
Improving supply chain risk management through visibility: A case study in a spare parts context
Author: Schlepper, Anja
Title: Improving supply chain risk management through visibility: A case study in a spare parts context
Year: 2016  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: MSc Degree Programme in Strategy
Index terms: strategia; strategy; toimitusketju; supply chain; riski; risk; riskienhallinta; risk management; prosessit; processes
Pages: 117
Key terms: supply chain management; risk management; visibility; supply chain risk; supply chain risk management process; disruption; countermeasure against disruption
Disruptions in the supply chain can cause severe performance deteriorations along the supply chain. In order to avoid the occurrence of disruptions and their negative consequences, companies practice risk management and try to coordinate their activities. In this regard, visibility can facilitate the discovery of risks. Given the increasing importance of risk management and visibility, the purpose of this study was to connect the two concepts in a structured way, and to determine which elements are necessary to achieve the expected benefits.

A case study of a spare parts provider for a wind turbine manufacturer illustrated how a visibility solution can facilitate the discovery and resolution of disruptions in the source and deliver process. The data was obtained through interviews, qualitative and quantitative documentation, as well as through observation.

The findings showed that visibility can help to discover disruptions sooner and respond to them more effectively. However, the concept of visibility must incorporate the elements of information quality, technology, and SC capabilities, and acknowledge their interactive nature. The suggested eight-step supply chain risk management process incorporates important influential factors, which are related to these elements, in each step. On the one hand, the influential factors relate to soft factors like closeness within the supply chain and empowered decision making. On the other hand, they incorporate hard factors, like a supportive supply chain setup, e.g. the number of suppliers. As a practical implication, companies should consider these factors when planning their countermeasures against disruptions. When done successfully, the findings suggest that companies can reduce costs and improve supply chain performance by means of a visibility solution.
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