The goal of integrated supply chains is to remove barriers to ease the flow of materials and information. This article concentrates on an important barrier: shared resources in a supply chain. The removal of these shared resources is closely related to the recently introduced concept of buyer focus. Buyer focus is described as the singling out of resources in order to supply one buyer along the whole range of its products. The value of buyer focus for supply chain integration is evaluated and in two cases illustrated. This article suggests that there are two extreme configurations in supply chains. On the one hand, suppliers with buyer-focused operations to enable high levels of integration in order to cope with uncertainty in volume, mix and leadtime. On the other hand, shared resources and low levels of integration, which are more likely in supply chains that are dominantly cost driven.
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|Published - 2003