Indian cold chain: modeling the inhibitors

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Abstract:

Purpose ‐ The cold chain has become an integral part of the supply chain of perishable items. Recent studies have shown a critical absence of a strong and dependable cold chain in developing economies. The purpose of this paper is to set out to identify and inter-relate the inhibitors that significantly influence the efficiency of a cold chain in developing economies like India. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The synthesis and prioritization of inhibitors are done on the basis of an extensive literature review as well as consultation with academicians and industrial professionals. Using semi-structured interviews and Fuzzy Interpretive Structure Modeling (FISM) approach, the research presents a hierarchy-based model. Findings ‐ The end result is a model that establishes the relationships among the identified inhibitors with their respective dominance. The research shows that there exists a group of inhibitors having a high driving power and low dependence with strategic importance and requiring maximum attention and another group includes inhibitors that have high dependence and the consequential actions. Research limitations/implications ‐ At the time when cold chain is the key domain for the food sector, these findings will be immensely helpful for industry professionals, Government, non-government, academia and the community in developing strategies and impounding the root causes responsible for the inefficient and weak cold chain in India. The Indian situation echoes to the situation in most of the developing economies and similar solutions can apply there also. These findings will be truly useful for organizations that are planning to operate food chains in developing nations. Orignality/value ‐ Presentation of inhibitors in hierarchy and their classification into driver and dependent categories with their respective dominance on the system is a unique effort in the area of cold chain management. This would help decision makers to better utilize the limited resources.

Keywords: India; Modelling; Supply chain management

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00070700911001077

Publication date: October 24, 2008

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