Modelling supply chain gaps
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Competitiveness of organisations and in particular resource-based organisations such as supply chain companies which are operating as part of a network could be improved by reducing or eliminating gaps between their perceptions of customers’ expectations and the customers’ experiences (actual delivery) in the expected level of service, quality, cost and speed of delivery of goods and services to be delivered to customers. After the identification of source(s) of differences (gaps), supply chain organisations need to design and implement techniques for reducing or avoiding such gaps. To assist the design of an appropriate model which contains essential new techniques, this thesis examined the role of mapping in determining gaps in the expected level of service, quality, cost and speed of delivery of goods and/or services. These techniques could assist supply chain network organisations in identifying knowledge used in decisions related to the expected level of service, quality, cost and speed of delivery time of the goods and/or services concerned. Ultimately, this could lead to the identification of the various other kinds of defects (gaps) that may exist in supply chain organisations. Furthermore, the thesis explored the proposition of what supply chain companies should do to eliminate or reduce these gaps. This thesis aimed to identify gaps in knowledge and strategy in supply chain companies. Factors influencing and causing such defects (gaps) were identified by this research. Special attention was given to gaps in the expected level of service, quality, cost and speed of delivery of goods and/or services as these product/service elements represent the key attributes of the “value” proposition. The researcher presented a set of hypotheses and then attempted to verify them by using both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Quantitative surveys (questionnaires) were used to collect and analyse data. The instrument consisted of a number of quantitative as well as qualitative questions in order to understand the evolving processes and perceptions involved in the study in a particular empirical context, which was examined and analysed in the selected supply chain population sample in the context of the expected level of service, quality, cost and speed of delivery of goods and/or services to customers. Findings from this study suggest that differences (gaps) between suppliers’ perceptions of customers’ expectations and the actual customers’ experiences in the expected levels of service, quality, cost and speed of delivery do exist and that the overall impact on supply chain company performance is statistically significant. The proposed model highlighted the benefits of applying the concept of identification of gaps in the expected level of service, quality, cost and speed of delivery of goods and/or services in supply chain companies. It is anticipated that the findings from this research will assist managers to better manage supply chain activities. It is also hoped that this study will be helpful for further research in the future.
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