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Several authors have warned of the perils of misaligning products, customers and supply chains

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Individual assignment ONE C11LS 2021 – 22

Strategies for Managing Supply Chains

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Several authors have warned of the perils of misaligning products, customers and supply chains

(Fisher,1997; Christopher and Towill, 2002 and others) as failure to do so can lead to a loss of

competitive advantage caused by degraded customer service levels, surplus inventory, escalating costs

and declining profits or poor return on assets (Lee, 2002) Fisher’s seminal paper “What Is the Right

Supply Chain for Your Product?” published in Harvard Business Review in 1997, outlines the steps that

a company should take to develop an effective supply chain strategy by understanding the nature of

demand for their products, with products being classified as either functional or innovative. Building

on Fisher’s work Christopher and Towill (2002) devised a supply chain taxonomy that incorporates a

Top-Up Agile pipeline which combines Lean and Agile approaches. Subsequently many researchers

have produced numerous examples of product and market (customer) driven segmentation to

underpin supply chain strategy design and selection.

You are asked to do the following:

Provide an academic review of literature which critically discusses the evolution of supply chain

strategy design and selection. The contemporary argument is made more complex in relation to the

type of supply chain an organization has, by the vulnerability of that supply chain set against the

technological developments which are changing the landscape of how supply chains operate and are


The 5 papers listed below must be included in your review. All are accessible via the University Library

search engine Discovery. You are also required to select an additional 4 key contemporary papers to

include in your review. You are required to critically evaluate how and why supply chain strategy

selection taxonomies have evolved and developed in the academic literature since the publication

of Fisher’s paper in 1997. You must discuss different supply chain strategies AND the range of

taxonomies and criteria used to design differentiated supply chain strategies. Do not cite literature

pre-1997. You will need to write concisely and avoid including irrelevant discussion.

5 core references:

1. Christopher, M. & Towill, D. R. (2002) ‘Developing Market Specific Supply Chain Strategies’. The

International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 13, pp. 1-14.

2. Fisher, M. L. (1997) ‘What Is the Right Supply Chain for Your Product?’ Harvard business review,

Vol. 75, pp. 105-116.

3. Godsell, J., Diefenbach, T., Clemmow, C., Towill, D. & Christopher, M. (2011) ‘Enabling supply chain

segmentation through demand profiling’. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics

Management, Vol. 41, pp. 296-314.

4. Godsell, J., Harrison, A., Emberson, C. & Storey, J. (2006) ‘Customer responsive supply chain

strategy: An unnatural act?’ International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications, Vol. 9,

pp. 47-56.

5. Lee, H. L. (2002) ‘Aligning supply chain strategies with product uncertainties’. California

management review, Vol. 44, pp. 105-119.





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Please read and follow these instructions carefully:

• Your essay should be between 1300 and 1600 words. The word count excludes figures, tables, table of contents, reference list and appendices. You will be penalized 10% if you go over or under the word limit.

• You should offer a brief introduction and conclusion to your essay. Do not introduce any new information in the conclusion.

• Your essay does not require either an abstract or an executive summary.

• You MUST use the Harvard Referencing style. Your essay should include relevant journal papers only.

• Use 11 or 12 point font (Calibri, Arial or Times New Roman are all acceptable), with 1.5 line spacing.

• This coursework accounts for 20% of the final course mark.

The submission deadline to upload your final essay as a word doc. or pdf file via this Canvas site is

Thursday 14th October at 12.00(BST), i.e. 15.00 in Dubai. All late submissions will receive a 30% penalty

(late means from 12:01 (BST) onwards). The penalty will only be lifted if Mitigating Circumstances (MC)

are submitted (via the appropriate School process) with evidence and only if approved by the School’s

MC committee. In line with University Policy we cannot give extensions beyond the published deadline

for any reason. If you cannot complete the work on time then your only option is submit an application

for mitigating circumstances to be considered.

Read the University policy on plagiarism and guidance on how to avoid plagiarism. Any form of

suspected cheating will be dealt with by the Disciplinary Committee.

Please do not email your completed work to your lecturer.


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