Thematic Section - Operations Management & Social Good

Assessing the current state of supply chain volatility: development of a benchmarking instrument

Benjamin Nitsche; Frank Straube; Peter Verhoeven

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Abstract: Paper aims: The study proposes a benchmarking instrument that enables managers to critically assess the volatility management performance of a product’s supply chain to identify areas on which to focus when managing supply chain volatility (SCV).

Originality: To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the paper is the first to develop an instrument to assess the current state of SCV management of a product’s supply chain.

Research method: The benchmarking instrument is based on volatility performance data from 87 manufacturing firms. Additionally, a confirmatory case study in the automotive industry is performed to demonstrate the applicability of the instrument.

Main findings: An industry benchmark is conducted that provides valuable information for practitioners about the current state of volatility management performance in the manufacturing sector. This is of high importance since performance data generated by the focal firm itself are more valuable if they can be put into context with the performance data of competitors.

Implications for theory and practice: Since SCV can originate from multiple sources, a case-based evaluation of of SCV of a product’s supply chain is necessary. By applying the instrument, managers will be enables to initiate purposeful strategies that focus on the most pressing sources of SCV.


Supply chain volatility, Benchmarking, Performance assessment, Automotive industry


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