Triple-A Supply Chain Performance

January 2012 | Whitten, Dwayne

Purpose – In 2004 Lee proposed that successful supply chains must be agile, adaptable, and aligned and described those chains as “Triple-A” supply chains. The purpose of this paper is to theorize a Triple-A supply chain performance model that incorporates Triple-A supply chain status as antecedent to supply chain performance and supply chain performance as antecedent to organizational performance. Design/methodology/approach – Using data from a national sample of 132 supply chain professionals collected in partnership with APICS, the authors develop scales based on descriptive items listed by Lee for the Triple-A supply chain strategy dimensions of agility, adaptability, and alignment and assess the complete model using a structural equation methodology. Findings – Results indicate that Triple-A supply chain strategy positively impacts supply chain performance and that, in turn, supply chain performance positively impacts organizational performance. Supply chain performance is more strongly related to the marketing performance than to the financial performance of the organization. Additionally, marketing performance positively impacts financial performance. Research limitations/implications – The major limitation is that only one person in each organization was surveyed with regards to both organizational and supply chain performance. Future research can be aimed at multiple respondents per organization. Practical implications – Based on the results of this study, the authors argue that organizational success depends on the agility, adaptability, and alignment of supply chains. Originality/value – This is the first research which has empirically tested Lee’s suggestions; his propositions were based on his extensive supply chain research and experience and reported in the Harvard Business Review. The paper’s findings are valuable to both practitioners and academic researchers.



  • Kenneth W. Green Jr
  • Pamela J. Zelbst


International Journal of Operations & Production Management