یک تحقیق کیفی نوآوری بین ارائه دهندگان تدارکات شخص ثالث و مشتریان
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|1462||2012||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||12930 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Production Economics, Volume 140, Issue 2, December 2012, Pages 944–958
Despite the challenges of creating innovation in third-party logistics (TPL) provider–customer relationships, little is known about how TPL providers and customers engage in joint innovation projects and the benefits that can be obtained from such innovation activities. Therefore, this exploratory study investigates contingency factors that are important in joint TPL provider–customer innovation projects, and the project outcomes for TPL providers and TPL provider–customer relationships. The study applies a multiple case study research design to examine four TPL provider–customer innovation projects. Cross-case analysis reveals that several contingency factors (e.g., high integration with customer, establishing links to customers insisting on new services, complementary relationship-specific investments, agreement of benefit sharing) influence the joint TPL provider–customer innovation projects. Furthermore, the analysis shows that such innovation projects allow the TPL providers to upgrade their positioning, intensify customer relationships and lead to higher performance. Furthermore, this research underlines that innovation in logistics services can be a source of sustainable competitive advantage for TPL providers.
Service outsourcing literature has indicated that outsourcing performance should not only be assessed in terms of cost reduction for the outsourcer, but also on added benefits such as improved margins for the outsourcing service provider as well as improved service and innovation (e.g., Tate et al., 2009 and Vitasek and Ledyard, 2010). Likewise, a survey of third-party logistics (TPL) customers showed that after price and service quality, customers of TPL providers value the improvement of service levels (indicated by 67% of the respondents across the world), a broader range of value-added services (62%) and innovative IT support (61%) as most important in their selection of a TPL provider (Georgia Institute of Technology et al., 2007). In other words, TPL providers must possess the capability for continuous change and innovation, be able to develop new, and improve existing processes and services. For logistics service providers (LSPs), offering simple transport and warehousing services with a short-term operational approach is no longer sufficient to satisfy and retain customers, even less to capture larger shares of the market and maintain growth. More than ever, a firm's competitiveness and performance depend on its ability to develop innovations that add value to the customers’ bottom line. Some leading LSPs have recognized this need and adopted innovation practices. Deutsche Post DHL, for example, opened its Innovation Center in 2006 and defines it as a “space for new ideas, for forming innovative networks and developing solutions, from prototype to market launch.” (Deutsche Post DHL, 2012) Kuehne+Nagel received the German Logistics Prize for an innovative concept for the aviation industry in 2005 (Kuehne+Nagel, 2005), and the Swiss Innovation Prize a year later (Kuehne+Nagel, 2006). Despite these promising examples, innovation management has assumed only a marginal role in many logistics service firms, and the innovation activities of firms in this industry and the proportion of innovators are much lower than in other industries (Oke, 2007 and Wagner, 2008). The criticality of being innovative and becoming an innovator, coupled with the low level of innovation realized by logistics service firms and TPL providers, raises the question of why this situation exists and what can be done to improve innovation integration in the industry. Some initial recommendations can be derived from commonly observed barriers to innovation in the logistics service industry (Oke, 2008) and the pitfalls that logistics service firms face in innovation processes (Gammelgaard, 2008). However, since the ability to work collaboratively with customers will determine the future success of TPL providers (Deepen, 2007, Georgia Institute of Technology, Capgemini, DHL, SAP, 2007, Tian et al., 2010, Wallenburg, 2009 and Wong and Karia, 2010) and innovation in logistics services occurs at the customer interface (Flint et al., 2005, Franklin, 2008 and Oke, 2008), a much deeper understanding of the cooperation between TPL providers and their customers in innovation projects is needed. Since research on innovation at logistics service firms and TPL providers is still in an early stage, the objective of this article is to develop a number of empirically grounded explanations of how innovation occurs at the TPL provider–customer interface. More specifically, we aim to answer the following two research questions: What are some contingency factors that are influential in a joint TPL provider–customer innovation project? When these factors are considered, what is the outcome of the project, for the TPL provider, and for the TPL provider–customer relationship? The findings of our exploratory study can guide future theory development, inspire empirical studies, or inform analytical modeling approaches. This article is structured as follows: In Section 2, we review the work on third-party logistics (TPL) and relevant literature on innovation in general, and innovation at logistics service firms in particular. Furthermore, we discuss the strategic positioning of TPL providers, and the relationship between TPL providers and customers. In Section 3 we will discuss how we collected and analyzed the case data. The results of the analysis are presented in Sections 4 (within-case analysis) and Section 5 (cross-case analysis). Section 6 presents the discussion, managerial implications, and advances research propositions. The article ends with limitations and an outline for future research (Section 7) and a summarizing conclusion (Section 8).
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Given that firms in the logistics service industry on average have low levels of innovative activities and outputs (Oke, 2007 and Wagner, 2008), but innovation is critical for the success of logistics service firms (Panayides, 2006, Wallenburg, 2009 and Yang et al., 2009), a better understanding of LSPs’ innovation practices was desirable and practically relevant. Since customers play an important role in logistics service innovation, one aim of this study was to investigate the influence of selected contingency factors in joint TPL provider–customer innovation projects. From the analysis of data pertaining to four innovation projects in the logistics service industry we identified and discussed several contingency factors (e.g., high integration with customer, establishing links to customers insisting on new services, complementary relationship-specific investments, agreement of benefit sharing). Another aim was to better understand the consequences of TPL provider–customer innovation projects (e.g., type of innovation, TPL provider strategic positioning, TPL provider–customer relationship). The findings can help firms in the logistics service industry in their attempt to develop innovation management capabilities as a source of sustainable competitive advantage, and ultimately become more innovative, generate new solutions for their customers, and become more competitive in the marketplace. Being innovative supports the strategic development of logistics service firms, offers new potential for future business and the termination of the relationship by customer firms is less likely. Researchers can use these insights for future empirical studies or analytical modeling approaches on how to increase innovation at LSPs.