تجزیه و تحلیل عملکرد لجستیک شخص ثالث و ارائه خدمات
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|1406||2011||24 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Volume 47, Issue 4, July 2011, Pages 547–570
The aim of the research described in this paper is to evaluate the relationship between the service capabilities and performance of UK and Taiwanese third-party logistics (3PL) providers. A study is presented based on a recent survey. The results identify the most important services offered by 3PLs and the most important aspects of 3PL operational performance. The results also suggest that excellence in operations is more important than wide-ranging service provision. Furthermore, the research suggests that the range of service provision offered by 3PLs does not directly influence the 3PLs’ financial performance. However, 3PL providers with service capabilities that correspond to the key priorities of customers will gain superior financial performance through a better operational performance. Similarities and differences between logistics practices in the UK and Taiwan are highlighted.
The pursuit of improved efficiency performance in logistics operations is a constant business challenge (Bowersox et al., 2007). One initiative that is proving productive and allows businesses to concentrate on their core competencies is the outsourcing of the logistics function to partners, known as third-party logistics (3PL) providers (Hong et al., 2004 and Lieb and Bentz, 2005a). 3PL providers provide an opportunity for businesses to improve customer service, respond to competition and eliminate assets (Handfield and Nichols, 1999). Many 3PL providers have broadened their activities to provide a range of services that include warehousing, distribution, freight forwarding and manufacturing (Lieb and Randall, 1999). Extending service provision has intensified competition amongst 3PL providers, yet Lieb and Bentz (2005b) reported that very few large, US manufacturers specifically use their 3PL providers for contract manufacturing, purchasing, or financial services despite the shift of many of them into non-traditional activities. To formulate appropriate strategies for leveraging their full business potential and for mitigating investment risks, practitioners would benefit from understanding any correlation that exists between 3PL performance and different types of service provision. Previous research studies (e.g., Arroyo et al., 2006 and Sohail and Al-Abdali, 2005) have examined the factors affecting 3PL provider selection and the extent of 3PL use. However, Murphy and Poist (2000) suggested that there has been relatively little attention given to empirical studies of providers and customers. “Provider” in this context indicates the company that provides logistics services for its customers while the “customer” is the service user. Moreover, as logistics is often international, 3PL providers with different service capabilities encounter varying types of opportunity for service provision and access to customers. Empirical studies that have been undertaken, have usually concentrated on logistics management in a single region, while multi-region studies have received limited attention (Luo et al., 2001). This is particularly true of comparative logistics studies between Western and non-Western practices (Luo et al., 2001). Despite many studies demonstrating that logistics capabilities are positively associated with performance (Shang and Marlow, 2005), there is still insufficient evidence to conclude that outsourcing practices in a Western country such as the UK have exactly the same effect in a non-Western country such as Taiwan. As has been pointed out: “To establish more firm conclusions, studies must conduct parallel (multi-region) studies, with the same sample design and questionnaire. Such studies will be very important for understanding how context influences the outsourcing practice and shapes 3PL services” (Arroyo et al., 2006). Existing research on the relationship between service capabilities and performance has made only a limited contribution to the correlation that exists between 3PL performance and different forms of service provision. Moreover, there has been relatively little attention given to empirical studies of both providers and customers. This research has set out to address these gaps by empirically exploring the relationships between service capabilities and performance from both a provider and customer perspective. Key questions posed by the research are: • Do different forms of service provision lead to discernible profitable contributions for 3PLs? • Does operational performance have a significant effect on the financial performance of 3PLs? • If the service capabilities that correspond to the key priorities of customers and the operational performance of 3PLs do have positive effects on financial performance, how can this be established, measured, and evaluated? Furthermore, this research attempts to provide a comparison of logistics activities in two regions: the UK and Taiwan. The comparison between the UK and Taiwan is appropriate as the two island-based countries are similar in terms of their economies, as shown in Table 1 (Central Intelligence Agency, 2009). In addition, they have stable economic growth and are highly dependent on foreign trade. This, in turn, may significantly impact the characteristics and structure of their logistics sectors. Such a comparative analysis allows another question to be posed: • What are the contextual implications of any identified differences between the 3PL practices in the UK and Taiwan?
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Many 3PL providers have broadened their activities to provide an extended range of services. The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between 3PL performance and service provision in order to provide guidance for 3PLs to be able to take advantage of the full business potential afforded to them and for mitigating investment risks. The research concerned the undertaking of a comparative analysis between the UK and Taiwan form both a customer’s and provider’s perspective. The main findings and response to hypotheses can be seen in Table 14. It is noted that the hypotheses results are the same for both the UK and Taiwan. A positive and significant relationship was found between operational performance and the 3PLs’ financial performance (H3) in both countries. This finding suggests that if 3PL administrators can improve their operational performance, they will increase the financial performance of the firm. It implies that customers will be more willing to use their services. The findings are consistent with a previous study (Yeung et al., 2006). The influences of service provision on 3PL operational performance (H2) were partially supported both in Taiwan and the UK. It appears that 3PL clusters with a wide range of service provision generally have better operational performance. Results showed the ratings differed significantly in 14 of the 15 aspects of operational performance in Taiwan and six of the 15 of those in the UK. In contrast to Taiwan’s 3PLs, aligning high levels of operational performance with quality (i.e., o4 and o5) and innovation (i.e., o13–o15) is a necessary strategy for the UK’s 3PLs. Although the impact of service provision on the 3PL providers’ financial performance (H1) was not supported either in Taiwan or the UK, the relationship between service capabilities which correspond to the key priorities of customers and financial performance is mediated by operational performance for 3PLs (H4). To sum up, the range of service provision offered by 3PLs cannot directly influence the 3PLs’ financial performance. Through a better operational performance, 3PL providers with a broader range of service provision that correspond to the key priorities of customers will gain superior financial performance both in Taiwan and the UK. Several contributions have been made by this study to both the theory and practice of logistics management. Firstly, this study provides a theoretical framework to link service capability, operational performance and financial performance for the 3PLs. Secondly, researchers suggested that there has been relatively little attention given to empirical studies of 3PLs and their customers (Murphy and Poist, 2000). This study not only assesses the relationship between service capabilities and performance for 3PLs but also investigates the impacts of the service capabilities of 3PL providers which correspond to customers’ key priorities on financial performance for 3PL providers. Thirdly, while multi-region studies have received limited attention in the logistics field (Luo et al., 2001), this study provides the results of a comparative analysis between Taiwan and the UK and reveals that both countries have certain fundamental similarities but also some clear differences in their logistics practices. Compared with Taiwan’s 3PLs, aligning high levels of operational performance with quality and innovation is a necessary strategy for the UK. As researchers have pointed out: “To establish more firm conclusions, studies must conduct parallel (multi-region) studies, with the same sample design and questionnaire. Such studies will be very important for understanding how context influences the outsourcing practice and shapes 3PL services” (Arroyo et al., 2006). The study findings have implications for practice and research. First, the results are of benefit to current customers as the list of 13 aspects of operational performance and 32 different service capabilities can help them identify what they can expect from 3PLs. Second, the results suggest that excellence in operations is more important than wide-ranging service provision. Through better operational performance, 3PL providers with a broader range of service provision which correspond to customers’ key priorities will gain superior financial performance. Finally, logistics providers could use the study results to modify their current strategies to more accurately meet customers’ needs. The study findings, however, suffer from several limitations. First, this research was limited to the study of logistics markets in the UK and Taiwan. Secondly, the research sample for customers was drawn from large manufacturing firms in Taiwan and the UK. Therefore, the conclusions inferred can only be generalized to include large manufacturing firms in Taiwan and the UK. Thirdly, the actual financial performance data of 3PLs were difficult to obtain due to the fact that the majority of such companies are not publicly listed. Therefore, this study used perceptual measures to measure the 3PLs’ financial performance. Finally, the respondent firms were asked to evaluate their perceived performance and service capabilities in logistics at a single point in time. The expectations could change over time and the related measurement should also change (Brooks, 2000). Several important issues for further research are suggested and are detailed below: first, the resource-based view (RBV) established a theoretical base for this study. However, the core criteria of resources, namely, valuable, rare and imperfectly imitable were not well considered in this research. Researchers indicated that in order to be a source of competitive advantage and above-average performance, resources must meet these three criteria (Combs and Ketchen, 1999, Powell, 1992 and Rindova and Fombrun, 1999). Future research could attempt to identify the resources with these criteria and examine their effects on the 3PLs’ financial performance. Second, future research could concern qualitative case studies to deeply understand the development of service capabilities and operational performance for 3PLs. Third, structural equation modelling (SEM) can “examine a series of dependence relationships simultaneously” (Hair et al., 2006). This approach could be used to understand if there are any cause and effect relationships between the service dimensions and performance. Fourth, future research could examine the differences between the UK and Taiwanese samples along the 3PL dimensions. Fifth, this study was limited to assess the 3PLs within a particular national industry. Future research could undertake a broader study to enhance the generic applicability of the results. Finally, in this research the data was collected at one point in time, future empirical efforts in the area might consider the use of longitudinal research design to reveal how perceptions of service capabilities and operational performance change over time.