تمهیدات یکپارچه سازی تامین کننده در صنعت خودرو: یک مطالعه چند موردی از شعبه های خارجی در چین
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|21322||2010||17 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||14129 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Operations Management, Volume 28, Issue 3, May 2010, Pages 240–256
Supplier integration has become an important concept for improving supply chain performance. The aim of this paper is to identify factors that facilitate and inhibit supplier integration in the context of the Chinese automotive industry. An inductive approach based on grounded theory was chosen as the research methodology, where data was collected through 30 detailed case interviews with subsidiaries of foreign automotive companies operating in China. The results indicate that buyer-side leadership is an important antecedent for building motivation, trust, and commitment among suppliers and for shaping their mindsets. This, in turn, facilitates strategic alignment and enables suppliers to build collaborative capabilities, which are finally shown to be a key enabler for successful supplier integration.
Both anecdotal and empirical evidence (Pyke et al., 2000, Murray et al., 2004 and Wilkinson et al., 2005) indicate that many foreign companies in China are experiencing difficulties in sourcing strategic supplies from domestic suppliers and in forming long-term partnerships with them. In China, the difficulties seem to be more frequent in industries such as automotive that are characterized by high requirements on quality, delivery and intellectual property protection (Holweg et al., 2005 and Zhang and Chen, 2006). Despite the rapid growth of the Chinese automotive industry (Zhu et al., 2007), the collaborative capabilities of domestic suppliers are still limited. In addition to lacking basic process management skills (Eberhardt et al., 2004), challenges can be found in a historical shortage of R&D capabilities (Holweg et al., 2005). As a consequence, key components are still predominantly designed outside China and are imported by, or sourced from global suppliers with operations in China (Holweg et al., 2005). The efforts among automotive companies in China to find suitable domestic suppliers have to be seen both in the context of response to local content requirements as promulgated by the Chinese central government, as well as within the context of the global sourcing strategy the automobile companies want to pursue. Therefore, both original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and their non-Chinese suppliers are currently trying to integrate more domestic suppliers into their supply chains in China. Suppliers extensively influence the competitiveness of the buying firm in terms of quality, costs, and innovation. In a networked industry like the automotive industry, it is virtually impossible for individual firms to possess all the technical expertise and capabilities needed to develop and produce a complex product like a car (Wolters and Schuller, 1997, Binder et al., 2007 and Wagner et al., 2008). In these situations, it is crucial for key players to work towards supplier integration. As will be shown in this study, supplier integration is a complex and multi-faceted phenomenon that requires a comprehensive approach that provides and recognizes viewpoints from several angles. First, it is necessary to understand which intra- and inter-organizational capabilities have to be developed. Secondly, in the light of the apparent expectation gap between the requirements of foreign companies and the capabilities of domestic suppliers, it is essential to gain a better understanding of how trust and commitment between buyers and suppliers can be created and how necessary changes of mindset, competencies, and organizational configurations of Chinese automotive suppliers can be induced. Even as they try to integrate indigenous Chinese suppliers into their supply chains, this issue assumes a particularly high degree of importance when viewed from the perspective of Chinese subsidiaries of foreign firms. These subsidiaries form our study's focus. In this context, it should be noted that all foreign OEMs must have a Chinese joint venture partner by law at a 50:50 share and that many, but not all, suppliers have Chinese partners as well. The goal of this paper is to contribute to theory building in supplier integration within the specific context of the Chinese automotive industry by analyzing empirical data gathered through qualitative case research methodology. Thus, the paper aims at answering the following research questions: • How is the integration of domestic suppliers characterized among subsidiaries of foreign automotive companies in China? • What are the antecedents to supplier integration in the Chinese automotive industry, and how do they motivate domestic suppliers to engage in collaborative buyer–supplier relationships? • What are the critical capabilities needed for suppliers of foreign subsidiaries in China, and what facilitates the development of these critical capabilities?
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The study had three research questions, namely: (1) How is supplier integration characterized in the Chinese automotive industry?, (2) What are antecedents to supplier integration in the Chinese automotive industry, and how they motivate domestic suppliers to engage in collaborative buyer–supplier relationships?, and (3) What are the critical capabilities needed for suppliers, and what facilitates the development of these critical capabilities? In examining the first question, this study found that a close and intense collaboration and interaction between buyers and suppliers is required in order to cope with the challenges in the automotive industry. Additionally, the basis for collaborative relationships has not yet been realized in the case of interaction with domestic suppliers in China. In terms of important antecedents (question 2), it was found that collaborative production planning processes with domestic suppliers are rather manual and reactive. Insufficient and inconsistent IT systems, and a lack of process management skills among domestic suppliers lead to unstable processes. These render JIT delivery concepts that rely on timely and accurate planning information somewhat obsolete. Instead of implementing more advanced production technologies and systems, companies have to focus on process stabilization when it comes to domestic suppliers. Furthermore, with respect to collaborative product development activities, genuine ‘black box’ or ‘gray box’ engineering capabilities are the rare exceptions among domestic suppliers. This means that current joint R&D projects are mainly buyer-driven, and in most cases limited to product and process modifications with supplier consultation. Regarding the third research question, the interviewees frequently pointed out that supplier integration directly hinges on a set of critical supplier capabilities (Salvador et al., 2002 and Hult et al., 2007). Process management, performance management, communication/autonomous problem solving, planning, engineering/innovation and learning capability were found to drive SI in the automotive industry. The results show that most domestic suppliers in China currently lack the above-mentioned capabilities. Antecedent elements that lead to better capabilities of suppliers, and in turn to a higher SI, have been identified. These elements have been aggregated as supplier collaboration readiness. The elements of this category are quality mindset/customer orientation, top management support, strategic alignment, willingness to learn/improve, long-term orientation, and trust. The results also emphasize the prominent role of supplier development activities in this aspect. The focus on such continuous programs is an important aspect in understanding the concept of supplier development and integration at least in the analyzed context. Furthermore, considering the task of the local purchasing department of the responding firms to manage external supplier relationships in China, vis-à-vis managing internal customer relationships overseas, its role as an organizational interface becomes evident. A lack of internal support, combined with a large cultural distance, evidently makes this task significantly more difficult to accomplish. Buyer leadership has the ability to create relational capital in the buyer–supplier relationship in terms of willingness, commitment, and trust. Many interviewees did not attribute quality problems among others primarily to a lack of technology or know-how – which can be acquired in the market to a certain extent, but rather to a lack of management skills and mindset. Hence, changing the mindset and the willingness of the supplier was found to be of paramount importance in the Chinese context. In sum, the idiosyncratic aspects of domestic supplier integration within the Chinese automotive industry are as follows: First, this industry in China is still at an immature stage with regards to supply chain development. Often, domestic suppliers lack the necessary experience to take part in early supplier involvement initiatives. The basic project plans and milestones related to this aspect are not apparent in many cases. Second, inherent cultural aspects concerning communication and socialization patterns necessitate a different approach when managing the domestic suppliers; more efforts need to be spent on monitoring and quality assurance compared to other countries. Third, when evaluating suppliers, more attention has to be paid to evaluation of suppliers’ senior management to assure alignment of culture, mindset and strategic orientation. As evidenced by our study, this alignment is crucial to building essential organizational capabilities such as quality management, precision manufacturing, autonomous/proactive problem solving, and continuous improvement.