International Journal of Production Economics vol:121 issue:2 pages:550-561
Companies operate globally and face increasing competition. Collaboration between companies could be a critical factor to remain competitive. Extensive academic research addressed the collaboration inside a supply chain (vertical collaboration). Despite persuasive research, a literature survey indicates some major theoretical shortcomings, as presented in this paper.
A major theoretical and practical shortcoming is the lack of a strategic decision support framework for the implementation of horizontal collaboration (collaboration between different supply chains). An appropriate collaboration-feasibility test is needed here. Two companies strategically ready to work together should first test if no insurmountable practices inhibit the collaboration. If such practices are present, initiating a collaborative strategy will be probably a waste of time and effort. This paper starts with determining the key elements influencing feasibility based on a literature study and in-depth interviews in different companies. The Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) model is used. These quantitative elements are hierarchically classified and are combined in a feasibility-test model. At the same time, lower-level hierarchical qualitative elements such as company characteristics are aggregated using the analytic hierarchy process as a method of multi-criteria decision-making and are integrated in the model in order to evaluate the different collaboration-types. The model is validated by means of several case studies of which one is presented in this paper.