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Enabling supply chain segmentation through demand profiling

Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.
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  • Design


Purpose: Whilst there are a plethora of theoretical ideas regarding a segmented approach to supply chain strategy, there is paucity of empirical data. This paper aims to present the results of a field-based case study in a fast moving consumer goods company (FMCGCo) that sought to identify the most relevant basis for supply chain segmentation. Design/methodology/approach: Research carried out on a single instrumental case, FMCGCo. A four-stage research design was employed to develop and test an approach to developing a segmented supply chain strategy for FMCGCo supply chain Western Europe. Findings: The study identified demand profiling at an item level (using volume and variability classifiers) as the primary driver of supply chain strategy. It also developed a novel profiling tool. This not only segmented demand but identified through the introduction of the concept of filters a method for turning the results of the demand profiling analysis into a segmented supply chain strategy. Research limitations/implications: The results presented are based on a single instrumental case. It is the approach that is transferable to other supply chain contexts not the specific solution per se. Practical implications: The paper presents a practical and pragmatic approach for companies to develop a segmented supply chain strategy based on demand profiling. Originality/value: The introduction of a new tool as a practical and relatively quick means of developing a segmented supply chain strategy, that considers both market and product characteristics.

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