Essays on Global Supply Chain Management - Bridgestone Case Study

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The paper 'Global Supply Chain Management - Bridgestone " is a good example of a management case study. The recommendation for Bridgestone is two-fold: First, adoption of distributor storage with last mile delivery chain design, and second, setting up plants in regions which are the main sources of raw materials for tire manufacture. The delivery chain design involves tailoring the “ last mile” to market density; in any form, it is a strategy that introduces retailers to the distribution network, and as a result, helps the company reach out to customers. The bulk delivery supply chain strategy will work best in the European market because it consists of dense local markets, which lowers transportation costs.

The current distributor storage with carrier delivery supply chain design will work best in sparsely-populated markets such as the African markets. International dispersion of some manufacturing supports both supply chain strategies by reducing the physical distance between raw materials, production, and markets, thus further reducing costs. Distributor Storage/Last-Mile Delivery Chain In the context in which it applies to Bridgestone, “ last mile” delivery means delivery to the location of the customer’ s choosing – an automotive dealership, tire specialty shop, or local repair shop.

The term is usually used in the context of “ home delivery” (Agatz, Fleischmann & van Nunen, 2008; Minguela-Rata & De Leeuw, 2013), but quite obviously, retail tire customers require the services of a mechanic to properly install the tires on the customers’ vehicles. The choice of strategy is a decision based on product and customer characteristics. Tires are not a perishable product and they are not customized to individual customers, therefore they do not require a direct distribution channel.

Tires are also not a complex product requiring aftersales attention, although of course, they require the services of properly equipped and skilled technicians to install on a customer’ s vehicle.  

References

Agatz, N.A.H., Fleischmann, M., and van Nunen, J.A.E.E. (2008) “E-fulfillment and multi-channel distribution – A review”. European Journal of Operational Research, 187(2), 339-356.

Bridgestone Corporation. (2013) “Locations”. Available from: http://www.bridgestone.com/corporate/locations/index.html.

Dunning, J.H. (2000) “The eclectic paradigm as an envelope for economic and business theories of MNE activity”. International Business Review, 9, 163-190.

Galvan, D., Robusté A., Francesc, E.R., Ángel, M., and Campos Cacheda, J.M. (2005) “Modeling e-Logistics for urban B2C in Europe”. E-prints UPC -Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya. Available from: http://www.temoa.info/node/131177.

Goffin, K. (1999) “Customer support: A cross-industry study of distribution channels and strategies”. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 29(6), 374-398.

Makadok, R. (2001) “Toward a synthesis of the resource-based and dynamic-capability views of rent creation”. Strategic Management Journal, 22(5), 387-401.

Mentzer, J.T., Flint, D.J., and Hult, G.T. (2001) “Logistics service quality as a segment-customized process”. Journal of Marketing, 65(4), 82-104.

Minguela-Rata, B., and De Leeuw, S. (2013) “Managing the last mile of the supply chain for spare parts”. Universia Business Review, 3rd trimester, 104-117.

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