توسعه تامین کنندگان و مدیریت هزینه در جنوب شرقی آسیا، نتایج یک مطالعه میدانی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|21302||2007||17 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, Volume 13, Issue 4, December 2007, Pages 228–244
This paper is about supplier development when international companies have production sites in Southeast Asia and look for opportunities to switch from international suppliers to local suppliers. We conducted a field study involving site visits to companies in Thailand and Vietnam, and interviews at corporate supply chain departments. Some key observations are: cost management was a dominant motive for taking local supplier development initiatives. Furthermore, local sourcing and local supplier development were important for international companies to improve access to local customer markets. Firms deliberately assessed whether a particular supplier would likely be able to improve sufficiently to warrant investing in supplier development, which typically involved a combination of initiatives, requiring the international firm to take considerable efforts. Local sourcing strategies and priorities for supplier development initiatives tended to focus on items with low supply risk and low volume. These findings are discussed based on transaction cost economics, and we suggest that firms use several ways to reduce the risk of transaction-specific investments in supplier development initiatives.
Economies in Southeast Asia are developing rapidly and with rising spending power in these countries, international companies are catering to the taste of local consumer markets. Sourcing from local suppliers can help to create access to these local consumer markets (Kotabe and Zhao, 2002). Therefore, many international companies aim to increase local sourcing in Southeast Asia (Humphreys et al., 2004). However, required investments in supplier development and uncertainty about supplier capabilities and potential for improvement hamper the development of a local supply base in Southeast Asia. Not much research on supplier development has addressed these challenges yet (Humphreys et al., 2004). In this paper, we present results of a field study of supply chain experiences of international companies in Thailand and Vietnam. More specifically, this paper is about local supplier development by international companies in Southeast Asia. Krause and Ellram (1997) defined supplier development as “any effort of a buying firm with its supplier(s) to increase the performance and/or capabilities of the supplier and meet the buying firm's short- and/or long-term supply needs” (p. 21). Local supplier development in this study refers to settings where international companies have production activities in Southeast Asia and are in the process of working with locally owned and managed suppliers in Southeast Asia to substitute imported supplies from their international suppliers. These local suppliers are situated in the same country in Southeast Asia as the buyer, although sometimes transportation issues may lead companies to focus on a smaller part of the country. On the other hand, when the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) will come into effect, the area for selection of suppliers for supplier development initiatives may extend to the AFTA region (or part of it) and, thus, it may become larger than just one country. 1 The scope of this paper is illustrated in Fig. 1. Note that “local suppliers” does not refer to suppliers that have local production sites that are owned and managed by international companies. Full-size image (19 K) Fig. 1. Scope of supplier development in this study. Figure options Most of the literature on sourcing and supplier development has focused on (a) supplier development in Europe, North America or Japan, undertaken by international companies, and (b) supplier development for sourcing in low-cost countries to supply to sites in Europe, North America, or Japan. Besides, many studies are based on data gathered through questionnaires (e.g., Boddy et al., 1998; Cho and Kang, 2001; Handfield, 1994; Krause and Ellram, 1997; Modi and Mabert, 2007; Rajagopal and Bernard, 1994). We argue that there is a need to also focus on local supplier development and conduct field-based empirical research investigating practical experiences with supplier development. Existing knowledge about supplier development may need to be adjusted to the context of Southeast Asia. The purpose of this paper is to provide descriptive results on motives, priorities, and practices for local supplier development in Southeast Asia, based on a series of site visits, and to relate these findings to existing supplier development literature. It specifically explores how supplier development activities are influenced by lack of readily available local suppliers, which creates the need for relation-specific investments under uncertainty. The paper is structured as follows. A literature review and the research questions are presented in Section 2. The research method is described in Section 3. Section 4 contains results related to supplier development, and these are organized around four themes that emerged during the analysis of the findings: motives and priorities for supplier development initiatives, ways in which the firms in our sample undertook such initiatives with suppliers, and further insights obtained through follow-up interviews at corporate headquarters of three of participating international companies. The observations presented in Section 4 form the basis for the discussion in Section 5. Section 6 concludes the paper.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In this paper, we looked at local supplier development in Southeast Asia. The results are based on a series of visits of international companies at their sites in Thailand and Vietnam, and interviews at a number of corporate departments in Europe. Lower cost of local suppliers was found to be a key driver of local sourcing and supplier development. This is comparable with previous findings in the literature on supplier development that is not specific to Southeast Asia. Local sourcing and supplier development are also important to improve access to consumer markets in the region, because it demonstrates to consumers that an international company is willing to stimulate the local economy, and because it is required by formal regulation and is looked upon favorably by local government. Practices for supplier development identified in this Southeast Asian context were quite comparable with previous, general literature on this topic. Firms deliberately assessed whether a particular supplier would likely be able to improve sufficiently to warrant investing in supplier development initiatives, and supplier development typically involved a combination of initiatives. However, characteristic for this Southeast Asian setting was the uncertainty surrounding investments in supplier development. Local supplier development involves considerable efforts (which constitute transaction-specific investments), because in many cases there is a considerable gap between a supplier's current and required performance levels with respect to technical specifications, quality, and logistics. The chances of success of a particular supplier are difficult to predict and the process may take considerable time. The companies in our sample took a cautious approach to local supplier development. They would sometimes try to source locally without having to engage in local supplier development, when an international supplier would establish a local production site, or when other international suppliers stimulated the development of a local supply base. In addition, when they engaged in local supplier development, their local sourcing strategy and development initiatives seemed to focus primarily on items with a low supply risk and often a low supply volume. This was surprising, given previous literature suggesting that supplier development initiatives are often focused on strategic items with a high supply risk and high volume. We proposed that the approach followed by the companies in our sample could be understood as a way of managing transaction costs. Supplier development initiatives require transactions-specific investments. Combined with uncertainty regarding the improvement potential of a particular supplier, such investments create risks (transaction costs) for the buying firm. By focusing on low-risk low-volume items, the risk can be mitigated, as the buying firm finds out how much and how fast the supplier can improve. This paper paid attention to local supplier development in globally operating firms, and we found that local suppliers can be important for such firms. However, the local sourcing strategy and initiatives to work with local suppliers in Southeast Asia needs to fit in the corporate purchasing strategy, and the opportunities for local operations to invest in the development of local suppliers may be limited when it comes to strategic supplies. This may be another explanation why current local supplier development initiatives identified in this field study were predominantly not aimed at strategic supplies, as advocated by the supplier development literature. There are limitations to this empirical study, as always. The theoretical discussion in Section 5 can only be exploratory. The data have been gathered to identify significant issues in supply chain management for the firms in our sample. Supplier development was recognized as a key issue. The presentation of the descriptive findings in Section 4 was the result of an iterative process of going back and forth between the data and the literature to find meaningful ways for organizing and summarizing the material, and additional data have been gathered in this process. The transaction-cost perspective discussed in Section 5 was provided as an exploratory theoretical explanation. The data were not gathered with this theoretical idea in mind, and it was not possible to conduct a rigorous test based on our case materials. Another limitation is that we do not have a random sample or other reasons to claim that our results can be generalized to “all” international companies with production activities in Southeast Asia and a mix of local and international suppliers. However, we would suggest that the willingness of the companies in our sample to participate in the study may have self-selected those companies that were involved in supply chain management and supplier development at a more than average level, so it may overstate the role of supplier development. Thus, investigating these companies may still provide valid insights into the motives and experiences of companies who are at the forefront of supply chain management. Furthermore, only the buying organization has been interviewed. Hence, the focus of the study needs to be carefully restricted, and we do not make claims from the perspective of suppliers, e.g., about their motives for participating in supplier development initiatives or about the benefits these created for them. However, we can draw conclusions about the buyers’ motives, priorities, and activities. One avenue for future research could be to conduct longitudinal case studies of supplier development to learn more about the process of working with suppliers and building expertise. In addition, more structured and broader-based empirical studies using questionnaires could provide a better understanding of relationships among priorities, motives, and practices. Such quantitative studies could preferably include both buying firms and suppliers, to compare and contrast perspectives. We would also advocate qualitative in-depth case studies of local suppliers. It will probably require a tradeoff between the number of suppliers included and the level of detail that can be obtained with each. The objective could be to get a better understanding of how and why local suppliers in Southeast Asia work with international firms. For example, such studies could investigate the following. Are particular practices of supplier development associated with particular motives and priorities? Are specific combinations of practices used, and what is the effect on supplier performance? How do buyers monitor the performance of suppliers over time, and what makes them invest more in supplier development? As a buyer's relationship with a particular supplier grows older, does the annual investment in supplier development increase? As the relationship with a particular supplier grows older, do the items sourced become more risky and does the volume increase (from low–low towards high–high in the matrix)?