Measuring supply chain performance in the agri-food sector

Aramyan, L.H.


Keywords : PMS,agri-food, supply chain, efficiency, flexibility, responsiveness, food quality

The main objective of this research is to contribute to the development of a Performance Measurement System (PMS) foragri-food supply chains that involves the entire chain (i.e. all stages starting from raw materials to retailers) and includes a comprehensive set of performance indicators. For this purpose, Dutch vegetable supply chains have been chosen as case study. The research started by looking at the factors influencing the performance of Dutch vegetables growers. The results show that the choice of marketing channel has an impact on the performance of growers (i.e. growers who used mixed marketing channels, on average, were relatively more efficient than those who sold their total produce through auctions).

The next step of the research was a literature review on existing performance indicators and models in the supply chain literature. Based on this literature review a conceptual framework for measuring performance ofagri-food supply chains is developed which includes financial, as well as non-financial indicators combined with specific characteristics ofagri-food supply chains. The conceptual framework is evaluated in a Dutch-German tomato supply chain and further developed into a condensed model with only the key performance indicators. The results show that efficiency, flexibility, responsiveness and food quality are four key performance components and form the basis for a PMS foragri-food supply chains.

The application of the conceptual framework is carried out by looking at the perceived impact of different requirements of Quality Assurance Systems (QAS) on the performance of a Dutch tomato supply chain. Results indicate that some QAS requirements are perceived to have a positive impact on some supply chain members' performance, while they are perceived to have a negative impact on other chain members' performance. Overall, results revealed that all selected QAS requirements are perceived to have a positive impact on the performance of the supply chain, although the total impact is relatively small. The PMS framework applied in this study provides an insight in the impact of QAS requirements on performance. In addition, the PMS framework allows to make tradeoffs between different performance dimensions within the own firm, as well as throughout the chain.