Int. J. Production Economics 121 (2009) 550–561
A swift response framework for measuring the strategic ﬁt for ahorizontal collaborative initiative
, Ludo Gelders, Liliane Pintelon
Centre for Industrial Management, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
Available online 27 April 2007
Companies operate globally and face increasing competition. Collaboration between companies could be a critical factorto remain competitive. Extensive academic research addressed the collaboration inside a supply chain (verticalcollaboration). Despite persuasive research, a literature survey indicates some major theoretical shortcomings, as presentedin this paper.A major theoretical and practical shortcoming is the lack of a strategic decision support framework for theimplementation of horizontal collaboration (collaboration between different supply chains). An appropriate collaboration-feasibility test is needed here. Two companies strategically ready to work together should ﬁrst test if no insurmountablepractices inhibit the collaboration. If such practices are present, initiating a collaborative strategy will be probably a wasteof time and effort. This paper starts with determining the key elements inﬂuencing feasibility based on a literature studyand in-depth interviews in different companies. The Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) model is used. Thesequantitative elements are hierarchically classiﬁed and are combined in a feasibility-test model. At the same time, lower-level hierarchical qualitative elements such as company characteristics are aggregated using the analytic hierarchy processas a method of multi-criteria decision-making and are integrated in the model in order to evaluate the differentcollaboration-types. The model is validated by means of several case studies of which one is presented in this paper.
2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
SCM; Collaborative supply network; Strategic ﬁt; AHP; Case study
Companies are continuously searching for com-petitive advantage. This is necessary due to shorterproduct life cycles, shrinking proﬁt margins, in-creased delivery requirements and increased globalcompetition. To maintain a competitive advantage,working together or collaborating could be a criticalsuccess factor. Collaboration may take severalforms such as informal meetings or formal teamswith members of different companies.In general, two types of collaboration can bedistinguished, namely vertical and horizontal colla-boration. The former can be deﬁned as collabora-tion between parties performing complementaryactivities or services while the latter indicates thecollaboration between parties performing the sametype of activities and/or services (Naesens et al.,2004b;Cruijssen et al., 2005).
Traditionally, collaboration was limited to part-ners inside the supply chain, which was considered
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