Journal of Supply Chain Management

Managing Supplier Involvement in Process Improvement in Manufacturing Members Only Content

This research examines strategies for maximizing supplier contributions to process development/improvement in manufacturing organizations. One hundred and sixty-nine senior purchasing managers who are employed by manufacturing firms responded to a mail questionnaire regarding purchasing and supplier involvement in process development/improvement. "Process" was defined as "any production/operations process that used materials and supplies, capital equipment, labor, and information to convert inputs into products/services." One hundred and thirty-five respondents indicated that suppliers are involved in process development/improvement in their organizations. Stepwise multiple regression was used to identify variables that affect supplier effectiveness when they are involved. The results indicate that supplier contributions to process development/improvement are facilitated when the firm processes are a source of competitive advantage, there is comprehensive involvement by purchasing, and decisions regarding supplier involvement are not overly structured. Implications of this research for supply chain practitioners, teachers, and researchers are discussed.

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