Impact of Reducing Uncertainty in European Supply Chains

  • Paul Childerhouse
  • Denis R. Towill
Part of the Springer Series in Advanced Manufacturing book series (SSAM)


In this chapter, we show that reducing supply chain uncertainty increases responsiveness and thereby benefits bottom line performance as assessed via total cycle time reduction. This positive effect we term the uncertainty reduction principle. As the key enabler, we use the uncertainty circle to focus on the sources to be eliminated. We also show that these sources of uncertainty can react and magnify in a flywheel effect caused by poor value stream management. A supply chain audit methodology is described for identifying and codifying uncertainty. Our proposition is that smooth material flow leads to and statistically correlates with uncertainty reduction. Examples are given of good real-world supply chain practices thereby identified. Transferability of the uncertainty reduction principle is assured by establishing readily assimilated “best practice” guidelines via the study of “exemplar” operating characteristics.


Supply Chain Supply Chain Management Stream Sample Supply Chain Performance Uncertainty Reduction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Childerhouse
    • 1
  • Denis R. Towill
    • 2
  1. 1.Management Systems, Waikato Management SchoolThe University of WaikatoNew Zealand
  2. 2.Logistics Systems Dynamics Group, Cardiff Business SchoolCardiff UniversityUK

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