The impacts of product design changes on supply chain risk: a case study

Yong Lin, Li Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The main purpose of this paper is to address the impact of product design changes on supply chain risk, and to identify the supply chain risk dimensions in the Chinese special‐purpose vehicle (SPV) industry in the context of product design change.

Case study methodology is adopted to describe the current situation of supply chain risk management in the Chinese SPV industry. Data are mainly collected from in‐depth semi‐structured interviews, and a cause‐effect diagram is used to identify and summarize the internal and external risk dimensions of supply chain risk.

This paper identifies both the internal and external supply chain risk from the perspective of the focal manufacturer in the SPV supply chain. At the level of the external supply chain, customer‐required design change normally leads to risk in supply, delivery, and policy. Internally for the manufacturer, the risk dimensions are R&D, production, planning, information, and organization. All of these risk dimensions have their respective causes.

Research limitations/implications
The risk identification of product design change in this paper is only meant to lay a foundation; further case studies should focus on the best practices and approaches of risk management and extend them to other industries.

Practical implications
The current identification of the risk dimensions and their respective causes will help both practitioners and researchers to better understand supply chain risk in the context of product design change. The identified risk dimensions and cause‐effect diagram provide practitioners with a risk framework and useful tools to recognize and identify their potential supply chain risks.

This paper shows the “big picture” of supply chain risk from product design changes in the Chinese SPV industry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-186
JournalInternational Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2011


  • product design
  • risk management
  • supply chain management
  • China
  • automotive Industry


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