A Supply Chain Selection Method for Early-Stage Companies Based on an Adapted Quality Function Deployment Optimization Approach


  • Omar Romero-Hernandez1 (Hult International Business School and University of California, Berkeley, USA)
  • Sergio Romero-Hernandez1 (ITAM, Mexico)
  • MV Shivaani1 (Hult International Business School, San Francisco, USA)

In this paper, the QFD methodology is adapted to accommodate the assessment and selection of supply chain configurations. This new methodology incorporates a series of factors including supply chain needs, technical specifications, relationships among specifications, and potential synergies. Resultantly, the original contribution of this methodology is the selection of a supply chain scenario that balances the desire to fulfill a series of needs, along with the ability of a supply chain to deliver according to specification. This balance between need fulfilment and availability of supply chain is particularly difficult to strive for early-stage companies. Accordingly, this methodology was applied into the analysis and selection of four different supply chain scenarios considered for the production and final delivery of a large number of customer orders, placed for the Tesla Roadster vehicle, which needed to be fulfilled in record time. In all cases, scenarios were placed in context of the company’s mission so that business goals and operating decisions were aligned. The application was successful, and a specific supply chain design scenario was selected. The proposed methodology could be a roadmap for designing incipient supply chains.

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