شکل گیری روابط خریدار تامین کننده در زمینه تولید: طراحی و آزمون یک مدل احتمالی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|21174||2007||16 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||10448 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, Volume 13, Issue 1, January 2007, Pages 26–41
Although the idea that buyer–supplier partnerships can yield considerable benefits to firms is largely diffused among researchers and practitioners, the approach adopted in this paper is that no “one best way” exists in buyer–supplier relationships, but rather a “best way” for each specific exchange context. Hence, this paper proposes a contingency model for shaping and managing buyer–supplier relationships in manufacturing contexts. In order to test the model, an empirical study was performed on a sample of 45 buyer–supplier relationships within the Italian white goods industry. A three-dimensional performance indicator was computed to compare supplier performance achieved within relations matching the model's suggestions with those set differently. The results strongly suggest that suppliers involved in relationships set accordingly to the contingency model are likely to enjoy superior performance.
As competitive forces induce firms to outsource an increasing part of their business in order to focus on core competencies, partnering with suppliers becomes a major strategic lever (Ellram, 1995). Notable cases of supplier-management practices, rewarded by performance premiums, were recently reported in the literature. They include Toyota (Dyer and Hatch, 2004), Harley–Davidson (Asmus and Griffin, 1993), Kodak (Ellram and Edis, 1996), Dell Computer (Magretta, 1998), and Chrysler (Dyer, 1996b). Partnerships support the creation of competitive advantage both at the buyer (Stuart and McCutcheon, 2000; Landeros et al., 1995) and at the supplier sides (Kalwani and Narayandas, 1995), that may lead to increased market share and profitability (Frolich and Westbrook, 2001; Ellram and Edis, 1996). Table 1 presents an overview of the potential advantages of partnerships for buyers and suppliers, as reported in literature. Table 1. Potential advantages of partnerships (C=advantage for customer firms; S=advantage for supplier firms; B=advantage for both partners) Process Benefit Ellram (1991) McCutcheon and Stuart (2000) Heide and John (1990) Dyer (1996b) Watts and Hahn (1993) Frolich and Westbrook (2001) Sako (1992) Cooper et al. (1997) Akacum and Dale (1995) Kalwani and Narayandas (1995) Shin et al. (2000) Stuart and McCutcheon (2000) Dyer and Hatch (2004) Ellram and Edis (1996) New product development Increased access to technology/information C C C C C C C Reduced time B C C C C C B S S Reduced cost C C C C C C C Improved quality C C C C C C C Reduced risk B C C C C C B S S Joint investments B C C C C C B S S Logistics Improved customer service S C C B C B C S Reduced costs S C C B C B C S Reduced risks S S S S Production Increased quality C C C Reduced costs S B C C Increased flexibility C C C Reduced risk S S Management and strategic planning Reduced costs B C B B C S S Increased customer/supplier loyalty C C C C C S Focus on core competencies and capabilities C C C C C S Longer horizon planning of investments S S S S S Table options Partnerships, however, present potential pitfalls and risks, sometimes overlooked in literature (Goffin et al., 2006). First of all, partnerships usually require parties to incur relation-specific investments (Hallikas et al., 2005), such as dedicated production equipment or interface software, exposing one party to the risk of an opportunistic behaviour by the other party. For instance, if the supplier invests in dedicated machinery, the customer might exploit supplier's dependency by imposing excessive price reductions (Akacum and Dale, 1995). On the other hand, long-term commitment to a supplier may decrease the buyer's flexibility and responsiveness to changes in the supply or demand market. For instance, a manager of a large European television sets manufacturer, who was interviewed in this study, told us that the company recently found itself at odds with its newly established long-term partnership with an eastern European manufacturer of kinescopes due to the flat screen technology outburst. Moreover, partnerships may fail due to cultural differences or absence of the managerial expertise needed in complex inter-organisational configurations (Ellram, 1995). Obstacles to effective coordination are poor communication, lack of managerial support, lack of total quality commitment by suppliers, poor supplier resources or buyer's unwillingness to develop the supplier (Handfield et al., 2000). The size of the parties, the transfer of bargaining power (Ramsay, 1996) or high mutual dependence (Akacum and Dale, 1995; Lambert et al., 1996) are other possible reasons for failure. Table 2 summarises the major potential pitfalls of buyer–supplier partnerships, as reported in the literature. Table 2. Potential pitfalls of partnerships Pitfall Ellram (1995) Forrest and Martin (1990) Lambert et al. (1996) Handfield et al. (2000) Ramsay (1996) Stuart and McCutcheon (1995) Akacum and Dale (1995) Lack of trust X X Different cultures/values X X Lack of managerial commitment X X X Size of buyer/supplier, available resources X X X Lack of shared goals, mismatched perceptions of the partnership X X Unsuitability of the purchased good X Lack of benefit/risk sharing X X Resistance to information sharing or to access to knowledge X X X Loss of bargaining power, high dependence on the other party X X Table options This introduction shows that the relevance of buyer–supplier relationships is largely acknowledged in the academic and managerial community. For instance, the IMP (Industrial Marketing and Purchasing) research group,1 a research initiative involving hundreds of scholars, developed a dynamic model of buyer–supplier relationships in industrial markets (Ford, 1980 and Ford, 1990; Ford et al., 1992). Yet, while several works in literature have explored the potential benefits of buyer–supplier partnerships or the obstacles to their development, understanding when partnerships are desirable still seem an open research issue ( Goffin et al., 2006). By illustrating advantages and pitfalls of partnerships, in fact, we show the importance of carefully identifying in which situation a long-term partnership can yield advantages. For this purpose, the paper develops a contingency model, to determine which is the best purchasing relationship for a particular exchange context. The model is then tested on a sample of buyer–supplier relationships in the Italian white goods industry, focusing on the supplier side. In particular, we compare the performance of suppliers who shaped their relationships according to the model's suggestions with suppliers who did not, in order to assess if following the model actually leads to any performance premiums. Therefore, the paper is organised as follows: Section 2 reviews the existing literature, elaborates a classification of buyer–supplier relationships and explores the links between buyer–supplier relationships and performance outcomes. Section 3 proposes a decision model to identify the kind of relationship best suited for a given exchange context; Section 4 describes and discusses the results of our empirical study. Finally, Section 5 draws some conclusions and managerial implications.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper investigates buyer–supplier relationships adopting a contingency approach. A model is proposed and tested, that suggests the kind of relationship best suited for an exchange context within manufacturing industries. According to the model, the operational impact of an exchange influences the amount and scope of interaction needed between the parties, while the exchange criticality affects the need for cooperation. Value creation “can be regarded as the raison d’être of collaborative customer–supplier relationships” ( Anderson, 1995): nonetheless, a gap in literature exists on the assessment of value creation through quantitative measures, especially from the supplier perspective, as well as of contingency models on when to develop closer relationships ( Olsen and Ellram, 1997b; Mair, 2000). The empirical study performed within this work contributes to fill this gap. The point made by this paper is that no specific kind of relationship is always best: rather, it is argued that a relationship might achieve superior returns if it is consistent with the exchange context. The proposed contingency model is, in fact, meant to provide managers with suggestions on how to shape their buyer (or supplier) relationships in order to maximise value creation within each relational context. The empirical findings support the validity of the proposed model. We found that suppliers matching the model's suggestions reach better efficiency, effectiveness and improvement results than firms implementing relationships not adequate to the exchange context. As a matter of fact, the inferential analysis reported in the paper does not allow to discern whether: (a) the compliance to the model actually leads to increased performance, or (b) best performing firms tend to act accordingly to the model, or (c) another (unknown) factor leads both to compliance with the model and to increased performance. Nevertheless, it seems possible to conclude that the model can provide managers valuable insights on how to shape a buyer–supplier relationship on the basis of the exchange context. In addition, the fact that companies that stick to the model tend to perform in a superior way, regardless of the specific relationship implemented, stands as a confirmation of the hypothesis that no one-best-way in managing relationships exists. Moreover, no factor such as the specific market sector, the firms’ size, or the kind of relationship itself was found to be significant in influencing firm performance. This study, in conclusion, contributes to research on buyer–supplier relationships by showing that the strategic definition of the scope and level of cooperation stands as a critical factor to achieve success on the market. Messages for practitioners emerge from our findings. The development of relationships oriented to increased interaction and/or cooperation with customers may bring competitive advantages to supplier companies, finally leading to superior financial and growth performance. Nonetheless, this happens only when the exchange context is characterised by a high operational impact (i.e. high volumes, relevant costs for the item, its transport, inventory or stock-out) and/or by a high criticality (customisation, technological content, interfaces and interaction with the finished product, or market criticality). Therefore, managers at the supplier side should carefully evaluate these two aspects for each buyer relationship they are in or they plan to develop. They should then develop the kind of relationship suggested by the model presented in Fig. 1, by implementing the appropriate managerial techniques. For instance, when an operational relationship appears as the best suited relation, suppliers should accept or propose to buyers the development of practices such as lean deliveries, vendor management inventory or coordinated operations planning (through e.g. blanket orders, or reservation of production capacity). Information tools, such as shared production and inventory databases, should also be implemented in order to increase the level of integration. On the other hand, they should avoid over-investing in relationships characterised by a low criticality and operational impact, i.e. in context where a traditional relationship applies, since in this case no significant benefit may be achieved. On the opposite side, buyer firms should not only align their supply strategy with their corporate strategy ( Cousins and Spekman, 2003) but also align their relationship requirements towards suppliers to the characteristics of the exchange context. Although the empirical research was performed in the Italian white goods industry, no restrictive hypotheses have been made that prevent from a broader generalisation of the results obtained. The homogeneity of the sample, in fact, prevented from biases due to different kind of industries. This work presents, however, some limitations. First of all, although the sample homogeneity and the statistical analysis performed support our results, the limited sample size calls for the collection of a larger set of data, in order to confirm on a broader basis (cross-industry and cross-country) the paper's conclusions. As any model of reality, moreover, the proposed contingency model does not encompass all the strategic or environmental variables, such as the evolution of norms and legislation, that could influence the choice of a relationship. These have, in turn, to be taken into account by managers when planning the implementation of a relationship. Finally, areas of relevant research interest to be addressed in the future are the assessment of value creation on a joint buyer–supplier perspective, and the sharing of costs and gains between the parties. Moreover, how to implement a relationship is only implicitly suggested by the list of integration techniques in Table 5. Future work should investigate the path to the adoption of these techniques, with an integrated and longitudinal approach to the specific relationship (Spina and Zotteri, 2000) and the whole portfolio of relationships managed by a firm, at both buyer and supplier sides.