Using a systems approach in logistics design and planning

Edward Sweeney

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


The international economic and business environment continues to develop at a rapid rate. Increasing interactions between economies, particularly between Europe and Asia, has raised many important issues regarding transport infrastructure, logistics and broader supply chain management. The potential
exists to further stimulate trade provided that these issues are addressed in a logical and systematic manner. However, if this potential is to be realised in practice there is a need to re-evaluate current supply chain configurations. A mismatch currently exists between the technological capability and the supply chain or logistical reality. This mismatch has sharpened the focus on the need for robust approaches to supply chain re-engineering. Traditional approaches to business re-engineering have been based on manufacturing systems engineering and business process management. A recognition that all
companies exist as part of bigger supply chains has fundamentally changed the focus of re-engineering.
Inefficiencies anywhere in a supply chain result in the chain as a whole being unable to reach its true competitive potential. This reality, combined with the potentially radical impact on business and supply chain architectures of the technologies associated with electronic business, requires organisations to
adopt innovative approaches to supply chain analysis and re-design.
This paper introduces a systems approach to supply chain re-engineering which is aimed at addressing the challenges which the evolving business environment brings with it. The approach, which is based on work with a variety of both conventional and electronic supply chains, comprises underpinning principles, a methodology and guidelines on good working practice, as well as a suite of tools and techniques.
The adoption of approaches such as that outlined in this paper helps to ensure that robust supply chains are designed and implemented in practice. This facilitates an integrated approach, with involvement of all key stakeholders throughout the design process.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationASEM symposium on an Iron Silk Road
Subtitle of host publicationovercoming the land divide between Asia and Europe
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2004
EventASEM Symposium on an ‘Iron Silk Road’ - Korean Railway Research Institute (KRRI), Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 17 Jun 200418 Jun 2004


SymposiumASEM Symposium on an ‘Iron Silk Road’
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of


  • transport infrastructure
  • systems
  • re-engineering
  • business processes
  • methodology


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