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LARG index: a benchmarking tool for improving the leanness, agility and greenness of the automotive supply chain

Azevedo, S., H. Carvalho, V.C. Machado (2016), "LARG index: a benchmarking tool for improving the leanness, agility and greenness of the automotive supply chain", Benchmarking: an international Journal, 23(6), 1472-1499.
Abstract:
Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to suggest a lean, agile, resilient, and green (LARG) index as a benchmarking tool to assess the leanness, agility, resilience and the greenness of the automotive companies and corresponding supply chain (SC).

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed index incorporates LARG supply chain management paradigms and corresponding practices being both weighted according to their importance for the automotive SC sustainability. The Delphi technique is used to obtain the weights for each SC paradigm and a linear aggregated method is proposed. A case study approach related to the automotive SC is chosen to illustrate the LARG index application.

Findings

The case study results confirmed the usefulness and ease of application of LARG index in a real world SC. The application of the suggested index to a set of companies, and consequently to their SC, makes possible to identify: the better and worst performer company in each paradigm, the LARG practices with higher levels of application among the companies, the LARG index for each company and also for the corresponding SC. This becomes an important benchmarking tool since comparative analysis regarding the LARG behaviours are possible to perform with the suggested index.

Research limitations/implications

More LARG practices could be considered to improve the robustness of the index. Future studies should be conducted across more companies for improving the effectiveness of the approach, and more members should be included in the panel of Delphi technique for enhancing the validity of the suggested approach.

Practical implications

SC companies will be able to assess their performance in terms of leanness, agility, resilience and greenness. A study like this could encourage all automotive companies to benchmark their organizations as regards their competitors, the best in class, and also the industry average.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the literature by introducing a new index for measuring the leanness, agility, resilience and greenness of companies and SCs. This index can be used by managers as a benchmarking tool to identify their LARG behaviour and compare it with their SC partners and seek for improvement.