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Improving sales and operations planning in a German medical technology OEM using critical success factors

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Christian Hicks


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This paper reports on the implementation of a sales and operations planning (S&OP) project in a German Medical Technology (MT) OEM via coupling of an academic action research approach with a real-world, industrial imperative. Supply Chain Management (SCM) success is of strategic importance within the German MT sector, being the second biggest market in the world worth 30 billion euros. Although innovative and fast-growing, this sector faces immediate competition from emerging markets such as China. Following previous theory development work on the reappraisal of critical success factors (CSFs) for the German MT sector, this study implemented a newly prioritised S&OP process over a 13-month period in a case company. This research used a longitudinal, participative Action Research process, following well-established methods by Näslund et al (2010) and Coughlan and Coghlan CITATION Cou02 \n \t \l 1031 (2002). The key aspects of these methods are their interventional orientation and emergent/cyclical approaches. The value of this paper is twofold: it challenges existing assumptions about CSFs in SCM literature and it implements these findings in a case company; it demonstrates benefits of S&OP alignment with sector-specific-CSFs in a case organisation, improving its customer relationship management strategy, its procurement strategy, and its production system.

Publication metadata

Author(s): García-Villarreal E, Bhamra R, Hicks C

Editor(s): Missbauer H; Tang O

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Twenty-first International Working Seminar on Production Economics

Year of Conference: 2020

Online publication date: 24/02/2020

Acceptance date: 04/11/2019

Publisher: University of Innsbruck