Publication Details

Manikas, I., Sundarakani, B. & John, J. V. 2017, 'Analysis of operational efficiency of a meat processing supply chain: A case study from the UAE', Agricultural Economics Review, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 60-76.


The purpose of this paper is to analyse the factors affecting operational efficiency for a meat processing supply chain. The paper focuses on the operations that take place in a slaughterhouse. The results obtained by testing a simulation model and the related factors mentioned are used to analyse the operational efficiency. The study takes place in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region, particularly the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Arena Simulation software which is a discrete event simulation and automation tool developed by System Modelling has been used to develop a process simulation model of a real time slaughterhouse processes scenario along with factors such as waste disposal, and government regulation procedures that are also taken into account. The simulation model analysis shows that the current operational efficiency of the slaughterhouse processes is too low, as compared to the standard industrial operational efficiency. In the Arena based process simulation, the parameters were varied and new resource utilization was obtained. By testing the new values into the relationship it was found that the operational efficiency has improved to the initial results from 0.2193 to 0.2612. This study implies that there is room for improvement in the slaughterhouse facilities to achieve sustainability, and eco-friendliness by increasing the operational efficiency. Even though there is enough literature on operational efficiency of meat supply chain (Fattahi et al., 2013), very few researchers have focused on the slaughterhouse operations and the relevant supporting processes. Further refinement based on the factors that can affect the slaughterhouse operations needs to be studied. The data collected reflect the general aspects of the operations that are easily accessible; a study on the complete process carried out in the slaughterhouse supply chain would possibly support a better understanding of the factors and thus develop a better view of the operational efficiency of the slaughterhouse. The analysis of the operational efficiency of the slaughterhouse may improve the slaughterhouse management practices to increase the performance. The managers and strategic decision makers need to decide on the appropriate mix of factors that would contribute to the improvement of slaughterhouse's operational performance. This study brings to light the improvement needs of the slaughterhouse facilities operate in this region in order to meet the food requirements of the consumers with utmost quality and by reducing the impact on environment which is a growing concern at present.Although few researches have studied the aspects of waste disposal, government regulation, and resource utilization of a slaughterhouse facility, this paper investigates the operational efficiency of a slaughterhouse by considering all the aforementioned aspects by creating a relationship among them which makes it a unique contribution to the meat industry. This study provides an insight on the operation aspects of the slaughterhouse and the common practices carried out in this industry thereby considering the dimensions and factors that can improve the targeted operational efficiency.