Building the resilient sme: developing the ‘4 in a row’ tool for supply chain risk management
Tutor / director / evaluatorOehmen, Josef
Document typeBachelor thesis
Rights accessOpen Access
The number of supply chain risks has sharply risen due to climate change and the increasing complexity of the 21st century business network whose firms are exporting and importing articles worldwide. Nowadays, it is not enough to ensure an effective production plant; it is high time to guarantee the perfect performance of the whole supply chain. And that means, among other issues, an intense and close relationship between suppliers and customers. This thesis addresses some of the small and medium enterprises’ concerns by developing a new procedure: ‘4 in a row’. ‘4 in a row’ is unpretentious, effective and carefully designed to be implemented taking into account its users constraints. ‘4 in a row’ is the result of a deep literature review and a passionate interaction with supply chain experts. ‘4 in a row’ is the main contribution of a project in which I started to think about one year ago: creating something valuable to improve the small and medium enterprise’s supply chain. The thesis starts with the introduction chapter and the literature review. Then, it follows the research approach chapter in which the motives of choosing a literature review and a semi-structured interview as the main study methods are reasoned. Chapter four summarises feedback from five different supply chain experts. The core of the thesis is in chapter 5: the design of a four-step procedure with the intuitive name of ‘4 in a row’. The first step of ‘4 in a row’ is the adaptation of the tool to the needs of each firm; the second step is the identification and prioritization of supply chain risks through a Failure Mode and Effect Analysis; the third step contains potential mitigation actions in order to cope with the identified high-priority risks organized in two categories, ‘Lean tools’ and ‘best practices’; and the fourth and last step is a benefit/cost analysis which aims to assess from an economical point of view which mitigation actions are worth to implement. The core of the thesis is followed, in chapter 6, by an evaluation of the performance of ‘4 in a row’ in a real small company. Lastly, there is a critical discussion in what could have been done better and some natural indications about how to continue with further investigation. I wholeheartedly expect to capture your attention through this 132-page thesis and 32.980 words mostly written in the awe-inspiring Denmark Technical University facilities. It might not be the longest thesis; however, I hope you will find this text easy-to-read and above all else, profitable and constructive.