Methodology/approach: A case study in four companies with observations and face-to-face interviews has been conducted.
Findings: Quality tools and methods are very effective to make the supply chain processes robust and less risky. It has been indicated that Lean Six Sigma companies are robust and have some degree of resilience. It is also important to re-invest in activities that make the entire supply chain resilient. The savings generated from the Lean Six Sigma might be re-invested in risk prevention and mitigation solutions as to create redundancies in the supply chain. Sales and operations plans may be more structured and well worked-out in order to be resilient. Different professions and staff from different companies could be represented in the same training â€śwaveâ€ť which can build bridges between departments; factories and; also; between suppliers and customers. In order to fulfil the highest quality at the lowest total cost; the right quality and resilience must be designed from the beginning. Integrating Lean Six Sigma with suppliers and customers in designing products and processes together in order to strive for resilience will be the next challenge.
Originality/value: This paper provides guidance to organisations regarding the applicability and properties of robustness and resilience in the supply chain. The paper will also serve as a basis for further research in this area; focusing on practical experiences of ways to make the supply chain resilient and robust.
Keywords: Lean; Six Sigma; supply chain management; resilient; robust; demand chain risk