The purpose of this paper is the empirical analysis of supply chain risk management practices. The analysis is based on a survey with 67 manufacturing plants conducted in the German automotive industry. After investigating the vulnerability of supply chains in general and examining key drivers of supply chain risks, the paper identifies supply chain risks by analyzing their likelihood to occur and their potential impact on the supply chain. The results are visualized in the probability-impact-matrix distinguishing between internal and external supply chain risks. Furthermore, instruments for dealing with supply chain risks are investigated. Therefore, the impact of supply chain risk management on performance is tested. In order to distinguish between companies with a high degree of supply chain risk management and those with no or only limited implementation the plants are grouped by means of a cluster analysis based on factors reflecting the instruments of supply chain risk management. In particular, groups are created representing two different approaches to deal with supply chain risks, i.e. reactive and preventive supply chain risk management. The clusters are investigated concerning differences in terms of performance criteria. The analyses reveal that companies with a high implementation degree show a better supply chain performance. Furthermore, the results show that the group using reactive supply chain risk management has higher average value in terms of disruptions resilience or the reduction of the bullwhip effect, whereas the group pursuing preventive supply chain risk management has better values concerning flexibility or safety stocks.
Keywords: Supply chain management; Risk management; Automotive industry; Empirical analysis