Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Identifying High Resource Consumption Supply Chain Points: A Case Study in Automobile Production



Douglas Thomas, Anand M. Kandaswamy, Joshua D. Kneifel


The Pareto principle posits that roughly 80 % of a problem is due to 20 % of the causes, allowing for the targeting of specific efficiency solutions. This paper examines whether the resources used in production are consistent with this principle and then seeks to develop a method to identify those supply chain entities that account for a disproportionately high level of resource consumption. A multi-factor approach is used where resources examined include time, cost, labor, environmental impact, and depreciable assets. This approach facilitates the identification of economy-wide opportunities for efficiency improvement in manufacturing. Those production activities that consume high levels of resources provide a strong opportunity for efficiency improvement, affecting multiple stakeholders. This method is illustrated by examining automobile manufacturing as a case study. The results suggest that the cost distribution is consistent with the Pareto principle. Additionally, sixteen supply chain entities were above the 90th percentile in value added, environmental impact, and labor hours for automobile manufacturing, implying efficiency improvements could be obtained across multiple resources simultaneously. For those supply chain entities that would, traditionally, be considered a supplier (i.e., those that manufacture intermediate parts, components, and materials as opposed to those that provide services), the environmental impact, flow time, labor hours, and depreciable assets were above the 90th percentile for one supply chain entity and an additional two are above the 80th percentile.
Conference Dates
June 19-23, 2017
Conference Location
Atlantic City, NJ, US
Conference Title
25th International Input-Output Conference


Manufacturing, Pareto Principle, Resource Consumption, Supply Chain, Efficiency, Production, Flow Time, Innovation


Thomas, D. , Kandaswamy, A. and Kneifel, J. (2017), Identifying High Resource Consumption Supply Chain Points: A Case Study in Automobile Production, 25th International Input-Output Conference, Atlantic City, NJ, US, [online], (Accessed June 23, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created June 26, 2017, Updated April 6, 2022