University of Twente Student Theses


Resilient Dutch food supply chains before, during and after COVID-19 : a case study of an entire supply chain

Demirci, Harun (2021) Resilient Dutch food supply chains before, during and after COVID-19 : a case study of an entire supply chain.

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Abstract:Supply chains nowadays are becoming more vulnerable to disruptions. The current COVID-19 pandemic impacts supply side, operations as well as demand side of supply chains. A vital part of societies is the food supply chain. Literature provides measures to manage supply chain risks. While supply chain risk management seems only cause-oriented, supply chain resilience is an extension which aims to make sure a supply chain can recover from risks regardless of the cause. Yet, little is known about how food supply chains respond before, during and after pandemics such as the current COVID-19 pandemic and what strategies enhances supply chain resilience of food supply chains in general. Therefore, this research aims to provide insight in how Dutch food supply chains should synchronise (e.g. allow timely availability of material, product and information flows among all supply chain partners) a resilient supply chain before, during and after the current COVID-19 crisis. A framework with strategies for Dutch food supply chains to synchronise supply chain resilience is explained. After a structured literature review in supply chain resilience, a qualitative study was applied in the form of a case study interview methodology for one Dutch food supply chain to explore the taken strategies before, during and after the current COVID-19 crisis. The author interviewed 8 managers from retailers, distribution centres, head quarter and a supplier. Additionally, internal documents and online publications were used to support the findings. This research demonstrates how Dutch food supply chains can synchronise resilience before, during and after a pandemic through a created framework and is of exploratory nature. The framework indicates Dutch food supply chains should be proactive by having contingency plans to prepare for unexpected disruptions. This could lead to adapt or absorb the negative impact of the risk, followed by a quick response to recover to the regular performance. In all supply chain links, no concrete contingency plans were found. Furthermore, collaboration both internally and externally with supply chain partners seems to be an important driver for supply chain resilience. The case company should improve its external collaboration with suppliers in times of pandemics rather than focusing on cost efficiencies. Finally, the size of the supply chain seems to be a moderating effect. A smaller food supply chain as shown in this case study seems to be impacted less by pandemics. Five strategies have been identified in the framework that should be used by food supply chains before, during and after a pandemic to prevent, mitigate and recover from pandemic disruptions: 1) Multiple sourcing, 2) Safety stocks, 3) Collaboration, 4) Agility, 5) Focus on key products. Although this research analysed specifically one Dutch food supply chain, the results can also be adapted by other food supply chains.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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