Postponement is a well-known organizational concept and usually relates to the deferment in time of manufacturing and/or logistics operations. In the current global competitive landscape, situations where postponement can be applied are rapidly increasing. Faced with the wide range of customs duties and free-trade agreements currently in place, companies need to (re)design their postponement strategies to customize their products appropriately, and to the proper degree, in each market. As the actual location where operations take place has a major impact on a company’s overall performance, the spatial perspective must also be taken into account when designing global postponement strategies, alongside the conventional temporal perspective. Heretofore, the academic literature does not offer any comprehensive framework on a global scale either for handling what is known as the postponement boundary problem, or for conceptualizing the related postponement strategies. Building on previous research, the aim of the present study was to investigate the postponement concept in a global environment with a downstream focus. The intended purpose is twofold: first, to review and expand previous studies on the subject and, second, to provide some guidelines for conceptualizing global postponement strategies. A structured literature review was first conducted, followed by the development of a framework that combines both the temporal and the spatial dimensions. Finally, the framework was applied to a group of 28 business cases taken from the literature, to act as a bridge between academic theories and practitioners’ current business operations. 

Postponement Strategies for Global Downstream Supply Chains: A Conceptual Framework

Prataviera, Lorenzo Bruno;Perotti, Sara;Melacini, Marco;Moretti, Emilio
2020-01-01

Abstract

Postponement is a well-known organizational concept and usually relates to the deferment in time of manufacturing and/or logistics operations. In the current global competitive landscape, situations where postponement can be applied are rapidly increasing. Faced with the wide range of customs duties and free-trade agreements currently in place, companies need to (re)design their postponement strategies to customize their products appropriately, and to the proper degree, in each market. As the actual location where operations take place has a major impact on a company’s overall performance, the spatial perspective must also be taken into account when designing global postponement strategies, alongside the conventional temporal perspective. Heretofore, the academic literature does not offer any comprehensive framework on a global scale either for handling what is known as the postponement boundary problem, or for conceptualizing the related postponement strategies. Building on previous research, the aim of the present study was to investigate the postponement concept in a global environment with a downstream focus. The intended purpose is twofold: first, to review and expand previous studies on the subject and, second, to provide some guidelines for conceptualizing global postponement strategies. A structured literature review was first conducted, followed by the development of a framework that combines both the temporal and the spatial dimensions. Finally, the framework was applied to a group of 28 business cases taken from the literature, to act as a bridge between academic theories and practitioners’ current business operations. 
2020
conceptual framework; downstream network design; global supply chain; international distribution; postponement
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1155143
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