Managing Supply Chains in an Uncertain World: Challenges and Solutions

Modern Supply Chain Research and Applications

Welcome to the virtual special issue of the Modern Supply Chain Research and Applications!

The businesses and their supply chains were still struggling with the uncertainties that stemmed from the Trade War between the U.S. and China, the world’s largest economies, when another storm hit them in the form of COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic emerged as a healthcare crisis, but soon it was identified as a cause of supply chain crises at a scale and scope that is unprecedented. Its impact has been felt not only on the supply of healthcare products but also of tourism, food, cleaning products, and countless other products and services (Laksito & Yudiarta, 2021; Mahmoudi et al., 2021).

Consequently, many businesses were facing existential threats and scrambling to survive in the short term (Wuest et al., 2020). This mega-crisis would be gone sooner or later, but it would leave behind a new world. It would be a world where not only the fear of new exogenous shocks would be real, but the brawl between globalization and trade protectionism is likely to give rise to new forms of business relationships and supply chain disruptions. For example, when the U.S. sanctions on Huawei prevented it from using American chips, the company accelerated the development of its own chips and emerged stronger by improving relations with local suppliers and partners. Last year, as the European Union imposed a ban on Pakistan International Airlines, the company announced a ‘historic reduction in fares’ to offset the damage through increased domestic operations. When the U.S. sanctioned the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, a multinational gas pipeline to connect Russian supplies to European consumers via Germany, it was enough to scare away Swiss pipelaying firm Allseas Group SA and promoting speculations about project delays. It is evident that different companies respond to supply chain disruptions and uncertainty in different ways in light of their own strengths and limitations. Considering the uncertainty and unpredictability surrounding the business environment of today, studying the factors, both natural and human-made, which can contribute to supply chain uncertainty and disruptions, is an important endeavour with both short-term and long-term implications for suppliers and consumers. 

It was in this background the Call for Papers for released. The aim was to seek submissions that could highlight the need to include uncertainty in the way we manage our supply chains to make them more resilient to future uncertainties and risk. In response to our call, we received some submissions. From them only five manuscripts were accepted after a double-blind peer review. Also, the diversity that this special issue holds within itself is interesting. We hope readers would enjoy reading it.

Michael Wang and colleagues attempted to conceptualise reverse logistics uncertainty using supply chain uncertainty literature and presented the types of reverse logistics uncertainty in a triadic model (Wang et al., 2021). Prabal Barua and colleagues attempted to assess the sustainable value chain approaches for marketing channel development opportunities for agricultural products in coastal Bangladesh to combat climate change through an approach of community-based adaptation options (Barua et al., 2021). Thakshila Samarakkody attempted to optimize the business process of a green tea dealer, who is a key supply chain partner of the Sri Lankan tea industry. Most appropriate trips for each vehicle in multiple trip routing system was identified to minimize the total cost with respect to travelling distance (Samarakkody & Alagalla, 2021). Amir Rahimzadeh Dehaghani and colleagues developed a mathematical model for optimizing the blood supply chain network (Dehaghani et al., 2021). Dhruman Gohil and Shivangi Thakker showed how blockchain technology can enhance flexibility and agility in supply chain operations (Gohil & Thakker, 2021).

Guest Editors:

Saad Ahmed Javed,

School of Business, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, P. R. China.

Amin Mahmoudi,

School of Civil Engineering, Southeast University, P. R. China.

Mostafa Salari,

Department of Civil Engineering, University of Calgary, Canada

Seyed Farid Ghannadpour,

Department of Industrial Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Iran.

References:

  1. Barua, P., Rahman, S.H. and Barua, M. (2021), "Sustainable management of agriculture products value chain in responses to climate change for South-Eastern coast of Bangladesh", Modern Supply Chain Research and Applications, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 98-126. https://doi.org/10.1108/MSCRA-07-2020-0020
  2. Dehaghani, A.R., Nawaz, M., Sultanie, R. and Quartey-Papafio, T.K. (2021), "Mathematical modeling for optimizing the blood supply chain network", Modern Supply Chain Research and Applications, Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 174-190. https://doi.org/10.1108/MSCRA-09-2020-0024
  3. Gohil, D. and Thakker, S.V. (2021), "Blockchain-integrated technologies for solving supply chain challenges", Modern Supply Chain Research and Applications, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 78-97. https://doi.org/10.1108/MSCRA-10-2020-0028
  4. Laksito, I. Y., and Yudiarta, I.G.A. (2021). “Grey Forecasting of Inbound Tourism to Bali and Financial Loses from the COVID-19”, International Journal of Grey Systems, Vol. 1, No. 1, https://doi.org/10.52812/ijgs.17
  5. Mahmoudi, A., Javed, S.A., & Mardani, A. (2021). “Gresilient supplier selection through Fuzzy Ordinal Priority Approach: decision‑making in post‑COVID era”, Operations Management Research, https://doi.org/10.1007/s12063-021-00178-z
  6. Samarakkody, T. and Alagalla, H. (2021), "Optimizing the multiple trip vehicle routing plan for a licensee green tea dealer in Sri Lanka", Modern Supply Chain Research and Applications, Vol. 3 No. 4, pp. 246-261. https://doi.org/10.1108/MSCRA-10-2020-0027
  7. Wang, M., Wang, B. and Chan, R. (2021), "Reverse logistics uncertainty in a courier industry: a triadic model", Modern Supply Chain Research and Applications, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 56-73. https://doi.org/10.1108/MSCRA-10-2020-0026
  8. Wuest, T., Kusiak, A., Dai, T., and Tayur, S. R. (2020). “Impact of COVID-19 on Manufacturing and Supply Networks—The Case for AI-Inspired Digital Transformation.” SSRN Electronic Journal. http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3593540

A comprehensive list of papers in the special issue “Managing Supply Chains in an Uncertain World: Challenges and Solutions” guest edited by Saad Ahmed Javed, Amin Mahmoudi, Mostafa Salari and Seyed Farid Ghannadpour are as follows.


Table of Contents

Reverse logistics uncertainty in a courier industry: a triadic model
Michael Wang, Bill Wang, Ricky Chan 

Blockchain-integrated technologies for solving supply chain challenges
Dhruman Gohil, Shivangi Viral Thakker

Sustainable management of agriculture products value chain in responses to climate change for South-Eastern coast of Bangladesh
Prabal Barua, Syed Hafizur Rahman, Maitri Barua

Mathematical modeling for optimizing the blood supply chain network
Amir Rahimzadeh Dehaghani, Muhammad Nawaz, Rohullah Sultanie, Tawiah Kwatekwei Quartey-Papafio 

Optimizing the multiple trip vehicle routing plan for a licensee green tea dealer in Sri Lanka
Thakshila Samarakkody, Heshan Alagalla

The publisher would like to take this opportunity to thank the guest editors and journal editors for their time and effort put into all papers.