Investigating the implications of extending synchronised sequencing in automotive supply chains: the case of suppliers in the European automotive sector.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years automakers have paid considerable attention to synchronizing supply chain material flow. Potential benefits associated with synchronization include stability in both demand and supply patterns, inventory reduction, elimination of demand amplification and better long-term planning. In major European production sites, the geographic proximity of suppliers to the vehicle assembly plants provided the motivation for examining the feasibility of extending the synchronized sequenced delivery of components upstream in the vehicle supply chain. The value stream used in the research concerned the seating systems at two major European production sites. The results of extending synchronized sequencing from the first to the second tier showed a reduction in demand amplification to negligible levels, achieved overall synchronization levels of 99-100% and considerably reduced overall pipeline inventory between the vehicle assembly plant and the second tier component supplier. The findings suggest how the geographic proximity of suppliers can be used to implement multi tier synchronized sequencing of components to improve supply chain performance. Based on the results of the study a series of recommendations are provided concerning the supply chain implications of multi tier synchronized sequencing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2867 - 2888
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008


  • Supply chain management
  • Assembly
  • Sequencing
  • Automotive

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