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Supply Chain Complexity

[Supply chain] complexity does not mean complicated, but rather it describes a condition of inter-connectedness and inter-dependencies across a network where a change in one element can have an effect on other elements (Christopher).

Information about Supply Chain Complexity

Supply chains consist of multiple business partners who work together directly or indirectly and collaborate by information, material and financial flows (Isik, 2010). Supply chains are usually faced with a considerable number of exogenous and endogenous drivers of complexity originating from diverse sources which can arise from network, process, range, product, customer, supplier, organisational and information complexities (Blecker et al., 2005; Christopher).

Supply chain complexity is characterised by copiousness, interdependency, variability, variety and uncertainty. These complexity characteristics are interrelated. For example, a high level of variety may lead to variability or high density. Similarly, diversity may cause uncertainty. Reducing the level of these characteristics can help companies reduce supply chain complexity (Isik, 2011).

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