Improving supply chain management in Thai industries

The Thai-British delegation
The Thai-British delegation
22 September 2010

The management of supply chains in Thai industries is set to be transformed, thanks to groundbreaking research in Thailand and the UK by prominent academics from Aston Business School and colleagues in Bangkok.

A tailored workshop, entitled ‘Issues and Challenges of Managing Supply Chain in Thai Industries’, was led by Dr Prasanta Kumar Dey and Professor David Bennett, in collaboration with Dr. Gun Indrakoses from the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce. The workshop was organised as part of British Council funded collaborative research project between the two Universities under PMI2 Connect.

The workshop, which took place in the Thai capital Bangkok earlier this month, was chaired by Martin Dowle, British Council’s Director of Programmes, Central and South Asia. He spoke on the British Council’s initiatives on developing research collaboration between the UK and Thailand. Professor Bennett and Dr Dey spoke, respectively, about supply chain risk and performance management.

Among the key issues and challenges identified concerning the management of supply chains in Thai industries were: political unrest, people’s lack of knowledge of supply chain concepts, (in)effective communication with clients, wrong forecasting, and lack of integration among supply chain partners. In addition, it was also highlighted that (i) the information flow was not smooth enough for efficient supply chain process (ii) organisational relationships were not as aligned as much they could be, and (iii) there was an absence of a standard supplier performance measurement methods.

Dr Dey, Reader in the Operations and Information Management Group at Aston Business School, explained:

“From our joint research a number of things have emerged that will enable us to progress to the next stage of this project. Ultimately, we would like to create an effective, efficient and simpler model for supply chain management. In addition, this project aims to benchmark supply chain performance in the participating organisations.”

Dr Dey expressed his appreciation to the British Council for endorsing and supporting this important project.

A number of recommendations have been made as a result of collaborative research. These include:
  • Thai supply chain performance could be improved by integrating demand forecasting, inventory management and procurement through the Enterprise Resource Planning system.

  • Integration of supply chain stakeholders using integrated information technology could enhance information sharing across the supply chain.

  • Developing and maintain long-term relationships with major suppliers and customers helps with mitigating supply chain risk

  • Implementing  a strict environmental performance measurement framework across the supply chain improves global competitiveness.
The workshop in Bangkok was attended by researchers, industry practitioners and academics. The British Council funded project is due to be completed by the end of 2010.

Given the promising outcomes so far, other researchers from the Asian Institute of Technology, Chulalongkorn University and Mahidol University in Thailand have also expressed an interest in future collaborative research in the area of supply chain management. The Aston researchers are pursuing related research in India, China and some European countries.

Other academics involved in this project are Professor Duncan Shaw, Breno Nunes and Asawin Pasutham from Aston Business School as well as Dr. Nongnapad Kaewploy and Saovanit Chantanaroj from University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.

For all media enquiries contact Dhiren Katwa, Press Officer at Aston Business School, on 0121 204 4954 or email d.katwa1@aston.ac.uk

Notes to Editors

  1. The delegation from Aston Business School also met with Dr Chiradet Ousawat, President University of University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Dr Chalit Limpanavech, Dean of International Relations at University of University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce,and Dr. Jingjai Hanchanlash, Director of the Executive Board, Thai Chamber of Commerce, and Council Member, University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce)

  2. Other organisations taking part in this project are: University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Bangkok; Rolls Royce, Derby; Land Rover, Solihull and Castle Bromwich; Brintons Carpets, Kidderminster; TEP Kinsho Foods Company Ltd, Thailand; Jong Pattana, Thailand and Thai Urethane Plastic, Thailand.

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