Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Business and Management.

Publication Details

Published: in Bridging the Land Divide between Europe and Asia, Proceedings of the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) Symposium on the Iron Silk Road, pp. 214-221, Korean Railway Research Institute (KRRI), Seoul, Korea, June 2004.


The international economic and business environment continues to develop at a rapid rate. Increasing interactions between economies, particularly between Europe and Asia, has raised many important issues regarding transport infrastructure, logistics and broader supply chain management. The potential exists to further stimulate trade provided that these issues are addressed in a logical and systematic manner.

However, if this potential is to be realised in practice there is a need to re-evaluate current supply chain configurations. A mismatch currently exists between the technological capability and the supply chain or logistical reality. This mismatch has sharpened the focus on the need for robust approaches to supply chain re-engineering. Traditional approaches to business re-engineering have been based on manufacturing systems engineering and business process management. A recognition that all companies exist as part of bigger supply chains has fundamentally changed the focus of re-engineering. Inefficiencies anywhere in a supply chain result in the chain as a whole being unable to reach its true competitive potential. This reality, combined with the potentially radical impact on business and supply chain architectures of the technologies associated with electronic business, requires organisations to adopt innovative approaches to supply chain analysis and re-design.

This paper introduces a systems approach to supply chain re-engineering which is aimed at addressing the challenges which the evolving business environment brings with it. The approach, which is based on work with a variety of both conventional and electronic supply chains, comprises underpinning principles, a methodology and guidelines on good working practice, as well as a suite of tools and techniques.

The adoption of approaches such as that outlined in this paper helps to ensure that robust supply chains are designed and implemented in practice. This facilitates an integrated approach, with involvement of all key stakeholders throughout the design process.