مطالعه تجربی از معیارهای انتخاب شریک تجارت EDI در روابط مشتری تامین کننده
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|21092||2000||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7786 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Information & Management, Volume 37, Issue 5, August 2000, Pages 241–255
Electronic data interchange (EDI)-enabled trading partnerships are even more important now that EDI and electronic commerce-based technologies are underlying long-term strategic business partnerships. This study investigates the trading partner selection criteria used by firms in a customer-supplier dyad and their relative importance according to EDI implementation level is also established. Using the survey method implementing paired questionnaires for a dyad of customer-supplier firms, the study gathered data from 152 respondent firms. Factor analysis yielded six factors in trading partner selection: strategic commitment, trading partner flexibility, joint partnering for EDI, readiness for high-level EDI, EDI infrastructure, and communications. MANOVA and t-tests were used to test differences in the means of the responses of customer and supplier firms to the selection criteria. Overall, customer firms assigned higher means to all six factors than did the supplier firms. The gap between the two groups of firms were widest for the factors readiness for high-level EDI, trading partner flexibility, and communications.
The environment in which electronic data interchange (EDI) has been used has changed: we now have a ‘digital nervous system’ made possible by wired organizations and Internet-based technologies that allow firms to exchange information, act, and react within shorter windows of time. Traditional EDI has evolved to Internet-EDI, which means using cheaper technology to allow small- and medium-sized businesses to participate in the electronic marketplace. A far more discriminating and demanding customer base that is now accustomed to highly individualized products and services is driving companies towards strategies enhancing mass customization. Highly integrated supply chain management (SCM) and accompanying logistics services have now become the basis of competition in the increasingly electronic and web-driven marketplace. One definition of SCM is the integrative approach that covers the flow of the channel from the time raw materials are sourced from the first supplier up to the time the finished products reach the last customer and beyond, including the disposal process in some systems . Firms that have used EDI are now reexamining themselves so that they could move into the higher trajectory of implementing more highly integrated systems with EDI components that provide robust electronic links throughout the supply chain. New organizational forms such as the ‘extended’ or ‘agile’ enterprise have been emerging to allow for tighter links among strategic partners–customers, suppliers, or other third party service providers–that decide to dovetail their capabilities to provide a seamless and electronically enabled closed loop of unimpeded business processes. The question, then, arises for the firm: how many strategic trading partners should it partner with under more demanding market conditions? In looking at the customer-supplier dyad, Bakos and Brynjolfsson  found that firms are finding it more profitable to work with a smaller number of suppliers. Use of information technology is lowering coordination costs (i.e. search costs, the cost of setting up a relationship, and transaction costs), thus, inviting a situation where a firm could deal with a potentially larger number of suppliers. However, with the movement towards more integrated and agile ‘extended enterprises’, hub firms (i.e. firms that initiate EDI linkages) have been forced to provide incentives to their suppliers to make noncontractible investments in information sharing, quality initiatives, and innovation to enable them to fulfill the requirements of more tightly connected and integrated information networks. It makes better sense, then, to reduce the number of suppliers one could deal with as ‘partners’. While the rationale for selecting trading partners at the least transaction cost has been suggested by transaction cost economics , there has been no comprehensive framework presented addressing the organizational aspects of EDI trading partnerships that directly affect the selection process. Many firms doing EDI have had previous relationships with their trading partners even before electronic linkages were established between them. In the case of these firms, the EDI connection is merely an extension of this relationship. It is also understood that most EDI networks involve the ‘cluster’ pattern where the hub company has sets of trading partners–customers and suppliers for particular line product lines. Their trading partners, in turn, form their own network clusters with other customers or suppliers in the marketplace. A global view of these relationships will present the image of a series of interconnected electronically linked spider-like ‘webs’. This study seeks to investigate the trading partner selection criteria used by firms in a customer-supplier dyad. The importance of these selection criteria is also investigated across the different levels of EDI implementation. EDI is the direct computer-to-computer exchange of information stored in standard formatted business documents, such as invoices, bills of lading, purchase orders, etc., among organizations participating in a trading partnership network , , , ,  and . According to Sprague and McNurlin , EDI systems are a specific form of ‘cooperative’ systems–automated systems shared by two or more organizations. These are also referred to as ‘Inter-organizational Information Systems (IOS)’ , , ,  and . Certain characteristics distinguish EDI IOSs  from other systems: 1. The availability of a computer system that is compatible with that of one’s trading partner is essential if a direct linkage between partners will be established and a third party service network such as a value-added network (VAN) is not used . 2. The adoption of data and communications standards is critical in implementing IOSs. 3. Education is important. Trading partner firm personnel need to be informed about the requirements and implications of such systems to ensure success. 4. The involvement of a third-party entity such as a value-added network or VAN is typical. They train IOS participants, maintain EDI standards, and connect trading partners. 5. Work activities must be synchronized among IOS participants, especially when structured data format standards need to be changed or updated. 6. Work processes need to be reevaluated and possibly, reengineered. 7. The interdependent nature of business activities and processes requires that EDI trading partners share information. The initiator of the IOS is usually the powerful entity since it selects the other firms that will be allowed to join the network. There are several reasons for carefully selecting one’s EDI trading partners. First, it is well established that firms need to be capable of mounting projects involving highly integrated EDI. Examples of EDI requiring considerable integration include ‘Just-in-Time (JIT)’ in manufacturing; ‘Quick Response’ that adapts those principles in the apparel retailing industry and uses complementary technologies such as barcoding; and ‘Efficient Consumer Response’ that also adapts the concepts but in the grocery and food distribution business, and in all these industries, the practice of vendor-management inventories  and . These involve ‘channel partnerships’ ideally cemented by mutual trust and a shared sense of collaboration and common destiny . A channel partnership occurs when ‘… the parties agree on objectives, policies, and procedures for ordering and physical distribution of the supplier’s products….’ . Second, as more firms cluster into such technology-backed partnerships based on IOSs, the locus of market rivalry will shift from competition between firms to competition between IOSs . It is imperative, therefore, for the IOS to effectively manage its logistical, financial, technical, and design interdependencies to allow it to behave as one effective unit. Doing so with carefully selected partners will simplify this complex coordination task. Studies have shown that EDI hub firms that make specialized investments such as in hardware, software, transmission facilities, data/databases, and expertise tend to improve the ‘transactional climate’ or sentiments that exist between itself and its trading partners . Third, the technological issues of managing even high-end EDI networks will eventually be inconsequential and the basis for competitive advantage will be on ‘relationship management’ . Riggins and Mukhopadhyay  have promoted the concept of ‘business partner reengineering’ to strengthen an IOS’s ability to consolidate its resources, coordinate its actions, streamline its procedures, and forge increasing trust levels among partners. Subsequent research studies show that cooperation among EDI trading partners shown, for instance, by increasing the amount of information exchanged, is significantly related to channel performance . Fourth, although collaborative IOSs is the vision behind the clustering of firms into networks, the reality in the marketplace is that of a ‘lopsided’ IOS, with the power accruing to the hub of the network, which is usually a large customer with a prominent presence in industry. What EDI networks have engendered in these cases is conflict and disgruntled compliance with the mandate of the more powerful trading partner. In the apparel retailing industry, retailers enjoy reduced inventory carrying costs, but the suppliers have had to bear EDI and inventory costs. Increased sales for the suppliers usually compensate for the increased inventory carrying costs. The economic and financial aspects of maintaining an EDI network also argue for selectivity in evaluating potential trading partners. One study, using extensive analysis of the EDI network with a two-level hierarchical model consisting of one buyer and a number of heterogeneous, competing suppliers, arrived at the conclusion that it is better for a dominant buyer to subsidize its suppliers especially when the buyer stands to derive a significant reduction in its operating expenses and when the suppliers’ EDI adoption costs are fairly high . This same study also found that a buyer’s profit potential from production will increase as the number of suppliers hooking up the EDI network increases and that adoption by a very productive supplier can have a great impact on the buyer’s profitability. The problem, though, is that the marginal profit increment for the participating suppliers decreases monotonically as more of their competitors are signed into the network. In another study, a model of EDI network growth helps determine benefits when a buyer initiates an IOS with its suppliers . The two-stage model showed that suppliers joining the network in the first stage could reap economic benefits from increased market share or a higher price; however, these benefits start to diminish once the number of competitors increases and the network grows in size. Thus, the ‘rush’ of supplier adoption may be followed by a ‘stalling’ due to this degradation in experiencing network benefits once a certain ‘point of saturation’ is reached. Then, the buyer may have to subsidize the participation of the suppliers so that transition to the second stage can be made. The results of these studies should alert EDI coordinators and managers to allocate the costs of subsidization in the feasibility stage of the project and to tolerate suboptimal benefits from the network for a period of time. Because of this, it is imperative that an EDI network hub carefully choose trading partners. There is, however, one way for a hub to work–just say–‘if you want us to sell your products, join our network’. There is a paucity of research on just how hub firms choose their trading partners (TP). Prior history of doing business together, volume of business or sales generated, and possession of EDI experience have been the most common bases of the selection. The objectives of our study, therefore, are to: 1. Identify selection criteria that firms use in establishing EDI linkages; 2. Compare and contrast the selection criteria that customer and supplier firms use in creating EDI partnerships; 3. Compare and contrast the criticality of the selection criteria according to level of EDI implementation, and 4. Provide prescriptive guidelines for establishing EDI linkages.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The response rate, though acceptable, could still be improved in a future replication to strengthen the representativeness of the findings. The sample size of 2000 firms to which the research packet was sent is only a small part of the relevant population. Financial and logistical constraints made it difficult to overcome this limitation. Also, the study assumed that the views of the head of the EDI or electronic commerce group of the firm were accurate and representative of those of the firm. Large EDI projects are usually undertaken in teams pulling together the talents of cross-functional members with multiple contributions and opinions. Data was not captured on the length of the relationship between the trading partners prior to their EDI connection. This experience may have had an effect on their views of what constitutes a good partner. This study looks only at the attributes of what makes a good EDI trading partner. That is a narrow area within a much larger domain investigating the concept of what makes a good trading partner under different organizational and technological conditions.