HOCKEY-STICK PHENOMENON: SUPPLY CHAIN CHALLENGE IN EMERGING COUNTRIES.
The objective of this study is to investigate a very common phenomenon in an important emerging country, namely the spike in demand at the end of the sales period, known as the hockey stick phenomenon. The analysis will encompass the causes as well as the impacts of this phenomenon, in a way that allows alternative policies to be proposed that are able to provide a better financial result for the agents involved. Data collected from a Brazilian branch of a large multinational in the non-durable consumer goods industry and in semi-structured interviews conducted face-to-face with executives of 26 clients. After internal and external validation of the model, scenarios were generated to identify causes, impacts and alternative policies. The findings showed that the phenomenon negatively impacted the manufacturer’s financial performance in the long term and indicated requisite changes able to eliminate it. The study showed that companies should not assume the hockey stick phenomenon to be an exogenous problem; it showed that there are alternative policies; and it provided ideas regarding ways to carry out the change process. This is the first empirical study on the hockey stick phenomenon, a problem that affects diverse companies in emerging countries.