A process framework for selecting supply system architecture in manufacturing supply chains and networks

  • Helen M. Benton

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The process framework comprises three phases, as follows: scope the supply chain/network; identify the options for supply system architecture and select supply system architecture. It facilitates a structured approach that analyses the supply chain/network contextual characteristics, in order to ensure alignment with the appropriate supply system architecture. The process framework was derived from comprehensive literature review and archival case study analysis. The review led to the classification of supply system architectures according to their orientation, whether integrated; partially integrated; co-ordinated or independent. The classification was combined with the characteristics that influence the selection of supply system architecture to encapsulate the conceptual framework. It builds upon existing frameworks and methodologies by focusing on structured procedure; supporting project management; facilitating participation and clarifying point of entry. The process framework was initially tested in three case study applications from the food, automobile and hand tool industries. A variety of industrial settings was chosen to illustrate transferability. The case study applications indicate that the process framework is a valid approach to the problem; however, further testing is required. In particular, the use of group support system technologies to support the process and the steps involving the participation of software vendors need further testing. However, the process framework can be followed due to the clarity of its presentation. It considers the issue of timing by including alternative decision-making techniques, dependent on the constraints. It is useful for ensuring a sound business case is developed, with supporting documentation and analysis that identifies the strategic and functional requirements of supply system architecture.
Date of Award2009
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorDouglas M Love (Supervisor)


  • process framework
  • selecting
  • supply system architecture
  • manufacturing supply chains and networks

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