Risks Posed by Uncertainties in the Supply Chain

  • Brian C. Lawrence
  • Athisarn Wayuparb
Keywords: risks, uncertainties, collaboration, trust, commitment


Competition today is so savage that it creates uncertainties a real threat to an organization’s survival. Creating and managing supply chains is a method for controlling these uncertainties. This paper examines empirical research from postgraduate students and scholarly papers published in the journal of an international university in Thailand, on supply chain techniques.

Major uncertainties are found in: matching supply to demand, production and information problems, and lack of co-ordination with chain partners. Several methods which firms use to improve their supply chains are examined: these include inventory control, systematic forecasting, selection of quality suppliers, distribution, and partnership collaboration.

Valuable through these efforts are, they cannot be perfect and have to be frequently reviewed and updated. Some methods of evaluating supply chains are explored. But some uncertainties will always be present, mainly in the human software because supply chain partnerships are vulnerable to a lack of trust and commitment. In addition to disaster planning, eternal vigilance is also greatly needed.

The methodology in this paper is a literature review of research papers from a Thai international university, and the extraction of meta-themes. Limitations include generalizability, as the research was restricted to firms in Thailand, and there are inevitable limitations within each of the research projects mentioned in this paper.

Author Biographies

Brian C. Lawrence

Assistant Professor Emeritus, Martin de Tours School of Management and Economics, Assumption University

Athisarn Wayuparb

Lecturer at the School of Logistics and Supply Chain, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand.