A Classification of Supply Chain Problems

  •  Beverly Osborn    
  •  Barrie Nault    


Supply chain problems referenced in peer-reviewed journals and selected management magazines were collected, with information about the journal, the resource affected, the cause of the problem, the solution(s) applied, and the firm(s) involved. Keywords were used to group these problems into naturally occurring categories. Nine types of supply chain problems were identified: conflict, delays, demand fluctuations, excess/unused resources, inaccuracy, insufficient resources, long tail, pricing, and security. These categories together present a comprehensive view of problems that typically affect different resources within the supply chain, and can be used to diagnose problems and to evaluate solutions.

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