تاثیر ادغام الکترونیکی طرف عرضه بر عملکرد خدمات مشتری
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|21080||2013||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Operations Management, Volume 31, Issue 6, September 2013, Pages 363–375
Although information technologies have been expected to directly enhance firm performance in specific value chain activities (e.g., supplier performance or customer service performance), their advanced capabilities offer the promise of organizational integration and spill-over benefits. Enterprise systems provide firms with platforms for electronically integrating their supplier and demand chain activities. Spill-over benefits refer to the impacts that occur when IT investments in one organizational domain benefit performance in a different value chain side of the firm. Supply-side electronic integration (SEI) refers to the use of electronic means to integrate the exchange of information and transactions with suppliers through enterprise systems. In our research, we examine whether SEI generates spill-over effects on customer service performance, over and beyond firms’ direct investments in customer-side digitization. We also examine whether structural attributes of the firm (e.g., vertical integration, diversification, and centralization) moderate the effects of supply-side electronic integration on customer service performance. Our analysis of a secondary dataset of InformationWeek 500 firms shows that SEI helps firms realize cost-savings in their customer service performance, especially if they are less vertically integrated. In addition, SEI investments help diversified and centralized firms achieve cross-selling with their customers. We also find that SEI is more likely to help decentralized and diversified firms achieve customization in their customer service activities. These results suggest that SEI helps firms achieve twin goals in customer service: cost reduction and revenue expansion. Overall, our research reveals how supply-side electronic integration could generate benefits in customer service performance in firms.
The effectiveness of information technologies (IT) for customer service has been the subject of considerable attention and academic research (e.g., Goodhue et al., 2002, Boulding et al., 2005, Rust and Chung, 2006, Barua et al., 2004 and Setia et al., 2013). Firms are investing in specific IT tools for improving their performance in cross-selling, customization of products and services and customer satisfaction, and in reducing customer service costs. Although these investments in customer-related IT (CIT) are important, the advanced capabilities of enterprise systems offer another promising opportunity for enhancing customer service performance. Enterprise systems provide functionality for integrating value chain activities across the entire supply and demand chain instead of just digitizing specific activities (Payne and Frow, 2005 and Coltman et al., 2011). They facilitate supply-side electronic integration (SEI), whereby firms can use electronic means to exchange information and transact with all of their suppliers (Barua et al., 2004). Mithas et al. (2005) found that electronic integration with suppliers allowed firms to develop a better understanding of their customers’ needs and improve customer satisfaction. Similarly, Gosain et al. (2005) and Setia et al. (2009) show that SEI enhances agility and the speed of responses to changes in the end-customer market/environments. The goal of this research is to examine the impacts of supplier electronic integration on customer service performance in firms. We seek to extend the existing research in three important ways. First, most prior research has examined the effects of IT on specific aspects of customer service performance. Some studies suggest that firms must focus on either cost reduction or revenue expansion when they invest in IT to serve their customers (Rust et al., 2002 and Ross and Beath, 2002). In contrast, other studies suggest that a dual and complementary emphasis on these two strategies will allow firms to reap more value from their IT investments (Mittal et al., 2005, Homburg et al., 2008 and Coltman et al., 2011). Therefore, we examine whether investment in SEI beneficially affects all the dimensions of customer service performance (i.e., cost reduction, cross-selling opportunities, customization, and customer satisfaction). Second, we examine whether investments in SEI generate impacts on customer service performance over and above the direct effects of investment in customer-information technologies (CITs). Recent research has demonstrated the potential for spillover effects in IT investments (Cheng and Nault, 2007). Thus, our research examines whether supplier-side electronic integration spills over into customer service performance and generates additional positive benefits on the customer side. Finally, our research also examines how the effects of supplier electronic integration are moderated by the firm's structural attributes. For example, the ability to electronically coordinate with value chain partners may catalyze firms to become less vertically integrated (Brews and Tucci, 2004, Hitt, 1999 and Ray et al., 2009). However, research is needed to understand how vertical integration affects the impacts of SEI on customer service performance. Similarly, IT enables firms to diversify their resources and capabilities and pursue business opportunities across different product markets (Hitt, 1999 and Dewan et al., 1998). On the supply side, firms must coordinate with more diverse suppliers in order to participate in more product markets. Research is needed to understand how the level of diversification influences the impact of SEI on customer service performance. Furthermore, connecting with a diverse set of suppliers often requires that the firm's managers make adaptive decisions in operations. In this regard, the impact of SEI is likely to be moderated by the decentralization of decision rights, which enables managers to leverage SEI in more flexible and adaptive ways. Therefore, it is important to examine how the firm's decentralization of decision rights influences the impact of SEI on customer service performance. Our research findings suggest that SEI simultaneously improves all four dimensions of customer service performance, including cost reduction, cross-selling, customization and customer satisfaction. Therefore, SEI supports the dual emphasis in customer service and enables firms to simultaneously pursue both cost reduction and revenue expansion (Mittal et al., 2005, Homburg et al., 2008 and Coltman et al., 2011). We also find that supplier electronic integration generates spillover effects on customer service performance above and beyond the effects of investments in customer-side IT. In fact, the effects of SEI appear to be stronger than the direct effects of customer-side IT investments. Finally, the effects of SEI are moderated by firms’ structural properties, such as vertical integration, diversification, and the decentralization of decision rights. Specifically, we find that for less vertically integrated firms, SEI makes them more likely to achieve cost reduction in customer-facing activities. For more diversified firms, SEI makes them more likely to achieve cross-selling and customization in their customer-side activities. For decentralized firms, SEI makes them more likely to realize customization in their customer-facing activities. These results also indicate that SEI helps centralized firms achieve cross-selling with their customers. Thus, SEI could contribute to the simultaneous pursuit of cost reduction and revenue expansion in customer-facing activities. However, by adapting different structural attributes, firms with strategic focus (on either cost reduction or revenue expansion) can gear their SEI practices toward a more effective realization of their preferred customer service performance goals. The rest of this paper is organized as follows. We first develop the conceptual model and hypotheses for our research. Next, we present the details of our data and analysis methodologies. The subsequent sections describe the research findings and discuss their implications for future research and practice.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Our study examines how supplier electronic integration supports firm's CIT applications in achieving value from customer service. Our main finding is that firms can simultaneously pursue cost reduction and revenue expansion in customer service through their SEI investments. However, firms with different strategic emphases (on cost reduction or revenue expansion) in customer service should align their structural attributes to gear SEI toward their chosen strategic focus. This study is subject to some data-related limitations. First, our measure of SEI captures the number of suppliers (i.e., the breadth of suppliers that are included in the focal firm's electronic supply chain), but it is insufficient to capture the structural configuration (i.e., the depth of the electronic integration). The focal firm may use electronic communication to configure different types of interactions with their partners and implement different supply chain structures (Malhotra et al., 2005). A more detailed examination of how SEI is configured can help explain how SEI can support various performance dimensions. Second, a more in-depth investigation is needed to explain how SEI contributes to the dual support of cost reduction and revenue expansion. For example, does the focal firm integrate with different groups of suppliers in realizing cost reduction and revenue expansion, or are the same set of suppliers used for both cost reduction and revenue expansion? How the focal firm controls the supply-side information sharing and process integration to balance between efficiency and effectiveness in customer service also needs further analysis. Third, many other organizational details of the focal enterprises are not included in this study. For example, employee involvement is likely to be crucial in generating value (Boulding et al., 2005 and Devaraj and Kohli, 2003). The measure of decentralization in this study, however, mainly captures the relationships between business units and the headquarters, and does not consider how individual employees use and integrate information technologies with actual work processes. Future research can benefit by taking a closer look at how employee involvement and operational-level managers’ real-time decision-making influences SEI's contribution to customer service. Lastly, future research can also explore how the customer-side electronic integration (CEI) benefits firms on the supply side, and how suppliers benefit from the focal firm's CEI. Prior research has identified that suppliers can benefit from the focal firm's SEI by reducing operational costs (Lee et al., 1999) and by developing closer cooperative relationships (Subramani, 2004). However, the focal firm's strategic actions in transferring benefits from its customer-side IT applications to its supply side deserve further study. In summary, the data used in this study primarily captures the organizational-level aggregate information, and considers the more traditionally adopted technologies in electronic integration. By using more operational-level data and by focusing more on specific recent technologies (e.g., mobile technologies) future research can develop deeper understanding about electronic integration.