A Case Study of Supply Chain Management in a Manufacturing Company in China

Open access


How to manage inventory is becoming an increasingly crucial issue for most manufacturing companies. R&D, the pseudonymous case study considered here, is a foreign direct investment (FDI) company engaged in producing electronic components. As the prices of raw materials and operation costs increased, R&D was challenged to maintain a smooth relationship among several factors: level of inventory, customer satisfaction and production efficiency. This paper first discusses the key factors that affect R&D’s inventory level. It then combines recent supply chain management theories and quantitative data into a framework for identifying how R&D might determine optimal ordering policies and strategies to reduce overall costs, while at the same time satisfying customers in terms of service.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Ballou R. H. (2003). Business logistics/supply chain management (5th ed.). London: Prentice-Hall.

  • Baralis E. Cagliero L Fiori A. & Garza P. (2015). MWI-Sum: A multilingual summarizer based on frequent weighted itemsets. ACM Transactions on Information Systems 34(1) 1–35.

  • Beamon M. B. (1998) Supply chain design and analysis: Models and methods. International Journal of Production Economics 55(3) 281-294.

  • Bowersox D. J. Closs D. J. Cooper M. B. Bowersox J. C. (2012). Supply chain logistics management (4th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill

  • Cachon G. P. & Fisher M. (2000). Supply chain inventory management and the value of shared information. Management Science 46(8) 1032-1048.

  • Chopra S. & Meindl P. (2016). Supply chain management: Strategy planning and Operation (6th ed.). Harlow: Pearson.

  • Claassen M. J. T. van Weele A. J. & van Raaij E. M. (2008). Performance outcomes and success factors of vendor managed inventory (VMI). Supply Chain Management 13(6) 406-414.

  • Copper J. C. (1993). Logistics strategies for global businesses. International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management 23(4) 12-23.

  • Fitzsimmons J. A. & Fitzsimmons M. J. (2010). Service management: Operations strategy information technology (7th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

  • Hendry L. C. & Kingsman B. G. (1989). Production planning systems and their applicability to make-to-order companies. European Journal of Operational Research 40(1) 1-15.

  • Holmstrom J. (1998). Implementing vendor-managed inventory the efficient way: A case study of partnership in the supply chain. Production and Inventory Management Journal 39(3) 1-5.

  • Ishii K. Takahashi K. & Muramatsu R. (2007). Integrated production inventory and distribution Systems. International Journal of Production Research 26(3) 473-482.

  • Kim S. H. (2008). Designing robust supply chains using a new hybrid push-pull control with multiple push-pull boundaries. Dissertation Arizona State University.

  • Kouki C. Babai M. Z. Jemai Z. & Minner S. (2016). A coordinated multi-item inventory system for perishables with random lifetime. International Journal of Production Economics 181(A) 226–237.

  • Lambert D. M. & Cooper M. C. (2000). Issues in supply chain management. Industrial Marketing Management 29(1) 65-83.

  • Lin T. C. & Huang S. L. (2014). Understanding the determinants of consumers’ switching intentions in a standards war. International Journal of Electronic Commerce 19(1) 163–189.

  • Mather H. (1992). Design for logistics (DFL) — The next challenge for designers. Production and Inventory Management 33(1) 7-10.

  • Muniappan P. Uthayakumar R. & Ganesh S. (2016). A production inventory model for vendor-buyer coordination with quantity discount backordering and rework for fixed life time products. Journal of Industrial and Production Engineering 33(6) 355-362.

  • Newhart D. D. Stott K. L. & Vasko F. J. (1993). Consolidation product sizes to minimize inventory levels for a multi-stage production and distribution systems. Journal of the Operational Research Society 44(7) 637-644.

  • Raturi A. S. Meredith J. R. McCucheon D. M. & Camm J. D. (1990). Coping with the build-to-forecast environment. Journal of Operations Management 9(2) 230-249.

  • Simchi-Levi D. Kaminshy P. & Simchi-Levi E. (2003). Designing & managing the supply chain: Concepts strategies & case studies (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

  • Waller M. Johnson M. E. & Davis T. (1999). Vendor-managed inventory in the retail supply chain. Journal of Business Logistics 20(1) 184-186.

  • Williams J. F. (1981). Heuristic techniques for simultaneous scheduling of production and distribution in multi-echelon structures: Theory and empirical comparisons. Management Science 29(1) 336-352.