Applying the Framework of Demand Chain Strategy in the Context of SMEs (2011)

This dissertation compares the different attributes of large enterprises and SMEs in respect of supply chain management, marketing and other alignment from theoretical perspective. It adapted the framework for demand chain strategy of Laww et al. (2005) which is proposed for the context of large companies, and proposed a modified one that can be applied to the context of SMEs. Meanwhile it applies the modified framework to the real business situation of a focal company in the case study. By research of its current activities, this thesis deploys the modified framework for demand chain strategy to improve the management.

With the growing chemical and pharmaceutical industry in China from the 1980s, the demand for the packaging of chemical drums made of metal and paper is increasing and has led to the emergence of this specialised packing industry. There are numerous companies manufacturing drums in China, located in the areas where the chemical firms are converged. There are only a few top competitors in this industry, and mostly they are small- to medium-sized businesses, limited by finance and scale. With the limitations of delivery costs, most of the companies are constrained by their geographical location.

The objectives of the thesis are developed from the research problem of whether a DC strategy framework can be applied to SMEs. It is necessary to compare the existing relative theories applied to large companies to theories of SMEs because it is the basic hypothesis of this thesis that the application of DCM in large companies differs from SMEs. This will be the literature review level of the thesis. To develop, apply and validate a modified model will be the main content for building the thesis as the research question should be tested and approved both on a conceptual and empirical level. So the objectives of this research are as follows:

Objective 1: Compare and contrast existing Demand Chain strategy frameworks applied to large companies to theories of SMEs, including SCM and marketing

Objective 2: Analyse the findings drawn from the existing literature and develop a modified Demand Chain strategy process to the specific context of SMEs and find the determinants or factors that might influence the application

Objective 3: Apply and validate the model of the Demand Chain strategy process for the focused SMEs

  • 12,000 words – 82 pages in length
  • Good use of literature
  • Good in depth analysis
  • Well written throughout
  • Ideal for marketing and international business students

1: Introduction
The organisation
Research question
Thesis Structure

2: Literature Review
Understanding demand chain management
Concept of demand chain management
Demand chain strategy framework
SCM and marketing in SMEs
Marketing in SMEs
SCM and Marketing Alignment in SMEs
Revised requirements of implementing DC strategy in SMEs
Proposed DC strategy framework for SMEs

3: Methodology
Research strategy
Data collection methods
Data types and ranges
Limitation and ethical implication

4: Case Analysis
Case analysis
Environmental analysis
The aims of environmental analysis
Macro-environmental analysis
Industrial analysis
Internal analysis
Conclusion of environmental analysis
Define DC objectives
Identify customer value proposition
Operating model design
Link operating model with supply chain network
Monitor demand chain performance
Process enablers
Leadership change, employee training & motivation
Organisation design
Information system design

5: Conclusions, Limitations and Further Work



Demand Chain Strategy Dissertation
Demand Chain Strategy Dissertation

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