Summary: The paper describes a collaborative decision making process that makes possible to select optimal combination of suppliers and carriers that meet both business operational and security requirements. Security information is quantified in order to create a pool of qualified suppliers and logistics providers. Quantification enables to incorporate security with other business criteria such as price, delivery and quality into an optimization model. Logistics and purchasing managers can use the model to analyze the tradeoff between these criteria. The paper can be viewed here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.
Full review: Different managers typically carry out security assessments and selections for logistics providers and suppliers separately. The study presents a mechanism for quantifying and measuring supply chain security that justifies removing of suppliers and carriers from further consideration if they fail to meet the minimum required security performance. In the next phase security is incorporated into an optimization model that minimize procurement and quality costs caused by late and rejected deliveries. The optimization model allows selecting a combination of suppliers and logistics providers that best suits their individual situation defined by risks and operational requirements. The study demonstrates how the tradeoff between security and cost can be assessed parallel in a way that the process leads to the better solutions than if assessed separately.
The paper presents a dynamic optimization tool that can be considered both revolutionary and easy to implement in practice. There are security-rating systems that set minimum requirements for suppliers and carriers such as TAPA Facility Security and Trucking Requirements that enable to create a pool of qualified service providers for transportation of high-value goods. However, several manufacturing and logistics companies are outside the TAPA system, because the goods produced and transported are not prone to thefts and hold-ups. For them it is a matter of internal management coordination when choosing suppliers and carriers and willingness to carry out necessary steps to minimize the cost of providing a secure supply chain. It is also a strategic decision, if company aims at minimizing internal costs by managing suppliers and carriers by contracts or operation management principles. Several international companies have chosen the first option by selecting one or two main service providers instead of issuing regularly quotations for materials and transportation services. The paper proves it is more a question of company practices to select suppliers and carries than minimizing internal management costs.
The paper brings very interesting viewpoint to the CORE project. The CORE project focus on managing risks and unexpected events through additional sensors and information systems. However, commercialization and selling of the CORE technologies and data management platforms requires understanding procurement processes in private and public organizations. The presented model embeds security into the selection process of suppliers and carriers. It is essential the CORE project can identify decision-making moments that give opportunity to introduce new technologies and practices and improve collaboration in supply chain network. Only collaboration between logistics managers and purchasing managers as well as among buyers, suppliers, and carriers can result in improved supply chain security performance in the whole network.
Reference: Meixell, M. J., & Norbis, M. (2012). Integrating carrier selection with supplier selection decisions to improve supply chain security. International Transactions in Operational Research, 19(5), 711–732.