Managing Supply Chain Vulnerability: Lessons in Addressing Variability and Discontinuity Risks from the Personal Computer Industry

Since the vulnerability of supply chains has been exposed to everyone by recent catastrophes, the importance of managing supply chain risks cannot be overstated. However, companies tend to lack of understanding about this issue and most of them ignore how to deal with it. In the present dissertation, a comprehensive literature review is carried out with the aim of exploring the recent concepts of supply chain vulnerability, supply chain risks and supply chain risk management.

After a review of strategies that can be employed in order to reduce supply chain risk, the case of the personal computer industry is examined through three case studies. This research provides examples of pioneering initiatives and results suggest the linkage of supply chain risk management with product uncertainty. This paper contributes to further the supply chain risk management research via the development of a definition of supply chain risk.

The distinction between variability and discontinuity risks represents the underpinning of a theoretical framework for the management of supply chain risk. The author also introduces the concept of convergence so as to describe the relationship between risk management and supply chain management. Additionally, the notion of risk management strategy is studied in the context of the supply chain.

  • 30,000 words – 140 pages in length
  • Extensive and excellent use of literature
  • Good use of business models
  • Ideal for business students
  • Outstanding dissertation

1. Background
The evolution of supply chains and its impact on vulnerability
The reality of supply chain risks
Uncertain times and the need to adopt a new mindset

2. Supply Chain And Vulnerability
Supply chain management
The concept of vulnerability in supply chain management
Defining supply chain risks
The concept of risk in supply chain management
Supply chain risks categories
A proposed distinction between variability and discontinuity

3. Supply Chain Risk Management
The convergence of supply chain management and risk management
Risk management
A new research area: supply chain risk management
The convergence of two fields
The management of risk in the supply chain
The complexity of the task
The need for a proactive and collaborative approach
The trade-offs between risk management and efficiency
Tackling supply chain vulnerability
A change management approach
Supply chain risk management strategy
Addressing supply chain vulnerability: a chosen approach

4. Reducing Vulnerability To The Variability Risk
Align supply chain strategy with product uncertainty
Uncertainty and supply chain strategy
The uncertainty framework
Address international risks
Global supply chain management and the operating exposure
The limits of agility in an international context

5. Reducing Vulnerability To The Discontinuity Risk
Increase supply chain security
The range of security measures
Combining security and effectiveness in the supply chain
Improve supply chain resilience
Resilience and the organisation
Resilience and the network

6. Research Objectives And Methodology Purpose of the research
Reflections on the literature review
Research focus and objectives
Research design
Research methodology
Research strategy
Time horizon and sample
Data collection method
Assessment of the research design

7. The Case Of The Personal Computer Industry Presentation of the PC industry
Industry features
Industry supply chain strategies
The management of supply chain vulnerability in the PC industry
Dell Computer Corporation
Apple Computer Products
Hewlett-Packard Company

8. Analysis Reflections on case studies
Reducing supply chain vulnerability to variability
Product uncertainty in the PC supply chain
Initiatives implemented to address the variability risk
Reducing supply chain vulnerability to discontinuity
The impact of the earthquake
The resilience of PC supply chains
Conclusions on the PC industry

9. Recommendations
General recommendations
Adopt a new mindset
Avoid typical mistakes in supply chain risk management
Distinguish variability and discontinuity risks to refine your approach
Understand how to reduce supply chain risk
Lessons from the personal computer industry
Manage the variability risk to optimise supply chain efficiency
Align supply chain risk management initiatives
Beware of the discontinuity risk
Recommendations for future research
Build an empirically grounded definition of supply chain risk
Test the convergence between risk management and supply chain management
Investigate other industries



Supply Chain Vulnerability Dissertation
Supply Chain Risk & Vulnerability Dissertation

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