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Aligning product design with supply chain: a case study

Khan, Omera; Christopher, Martin; Creazza, Alessandro


Omera Khan

Martin Christopher

Alessandro Creazza


– The purpose of this paper is to investigate the alignment between product design and the supply chain and to identify how this alignment impacts on a firm's supply chain responsiveness and resilience.

– An in‐depth case study methodology was adopted to uncover the strategies undertaken by one of the UK's fastest growing fashion retailers to create a competitive advantage through its management of the product design/supply chain alignment.

– The findings of this case illustrate that not only is the alignment of product design with the supply chain important in improving competitive advantage for the focal company, but it also has a significant impact in improving supply chain resilience and supply chain responsiveness. This case illustrates how fundamental shifts in the organisation, particularly in integrating product design and supply chain have enabled the repositioning of the company from a low priced fashion store to becoming a leading global fast fashion retailer.

Practical Implications
– The paper provides guidance for companies seeking to improve supply chain costs and performance by a higher alignment of product design and the supply chain.

– This case study highlights the importance of the product design/supply chain alignment and highlights the benefits of adopting a “design centric” approach. The findings from this paper also contribute to the growing debate on supply chain risk management.


Khan, O., Christopher, M., & Creazza, A. (2012). Aligning product design with supply chain: a case study. Supply chain management, 17(3), 323-336. doi:10.1108/13598541211227144

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 30, 2012
Publication Date 2012
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2014
Journal Supply Chain Management-An International Journal
Print ISSN 1359-8546
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 17
Issue 3
Pages 323-336
Keywords REF 2014 submission!!
Public URL
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