استراتژی سیستم های اطلاعاتی زنجیره تامین : اثرات روی عملکرد زنجیره تامین و عملکرد شرکت
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|836||2012||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Production Economics, Available online 4 October 2012
This paper examines the relationship between supply chain (SC) strategy and supply chain information systems (IS) strategy, and its impact on supply chain performance and firm performance. Theorizing from the supply chain and IS literatures within an overarching framework of the information processing theory (IPT), we develop hypotheses proposing a positive moderating effect of two supply chain IS strategies – IS for Efficiency and IS for Flexibility – on the respective relationships between two SC strategies – Lean and Agile, and supply chain performance. Based on confirmatory analysis and structural equation modeling of survey data from members of senior and executive management in the purchase/materials management/logistics/supply chain functions, from 205 firms, we validate these hypotheses and show that the IS for Efficiency (IS for Flexibility) IS strategy enhances the relationship between Lean (Agile) SC strategy and supply chain performance. We also show a positive association between supply chain performance and firm performance, and a full (partial) mediation effect of supply chain performance on the relation between Agile (Lean) SC strategy and firm performance. The paper contributes to the supply chain literature by providing theoretical understanding and empirical support of how SC strategies and IS strategies can work together to boost supply chain performance. In doing so, it identifies particular types of supply chain IS application portfolios that can enhance the benefits from specific SC strategies. The paper also develops and validates instruments for measuring two types of SC strategies and supply chain IS strategies. For practice, the paper offers guidance in making investment decisions for adopting and deploying IS appropriate to particular SC strategies and analyzing possible lack of alignment between applications that the firm deploys in its supply chain, and the information processing needs of its SC strategy.
A critical aspect of successfully managing the supply chain lies in measuring and monitoring information about its key operational and performance parameters (e.g. inventory, delivery schedules and lead times) (Gunasekaran and Ngai, 2004). It is therefore important for a firm to adopt information systems (IS) that are aligned to its supply chain, that is, adopt IS that facilitate the particular processes of its supply chain and provide information about parameters that assess specific goals of its particular supply chain (SC) strategy. Practice-based commentary provides instances of both success and failure of firms in achieving such alignment. For example, Wal-Mart's adoption of IS for materials management, ordering, and RFID-based inventory-tracking has enabled real-time demand forecasting and inventory management, leading to higher inventory turnover and reduced inventory costs. These applications have thus supported the company's low cost SC strategy. On the other hand, Nike's $100 million deployment of supply chain software failed to prevent significant inventory shortages and excesses in its supply chain (McLaren et al., 2004), largely as a consequence of lack of fit of the application with its supply chain objectives. Examples such as these clearly suggest the importance of aligning information systems that are deployed in the supply chain with the goals and objectives of the supply chain itself (Shah et al., 2002). Why are some firms successful at such alignment whereas others are not? One important reason is lack of adequate analysis regarding whether benefits from a particular application address the specific information processing and management control needs of the supply chain (Gunasekaran and Ngai, 2004 and Richmond et al., 1998). For instance, if minimizing inventory or achieving leanness is a key objective of the supply chain, what kind of applications should be adopted by a supply chain member firm to support leanness in its processes? Or, which applications are required for effectively addressing the information processing requirements emanating from the objective of inventory minimization? Appropriate fit between supply chain and IS thus requires a basis for analyzing how information processing needs of particular types of supply chains can be supported by specific IS applications. We examine the moderating relationships between SC strategies (i.e. particular types of strategic goals and objectives that supply chains can have) and supply chain IS strategies (i.e. particular IS applications portfolio profiles for the supply chain), and their associated effects on the supply chain performance (i.e. supply chain flexibility, integration and customer responsiveness) and firm performance (i.e. how well a firm achieves its market-oriented and financial goals). In particular, theorizing from the supply chain and IS literatures, we develop hypotheses proposing that positive moderating relationships between two distinct SC strategies (Lean and Agile) and two respective supply chain IS strategies (IS for Efficiency and IS for Flexibility) are associated with enhanced performance of the particular supply chain and that of the focal firm. Validation of the framework with confirmatory analysis of survey data from senior executives in supply chain/materials management/procurement roles from 205 manufacturing firms shows that IS for Efficiency and IS for Flexibility positively moderate the relationship between Lean SC strategy and Agile SC strategy, respectively, and supply chain performance. The theoretical implication is that IS for Efficiency and IS for Flexibility reinforce the supply chain benefits from Lean SC strategy and Agile SC strategy, respectively, and also facilitate improved firm performance. To situate the paper's contribution, we note here that firstly, the literature has developed classifications of SC strategies (Fisher, 1997, Lee, 2002 and Vonderembse et al., 2006), without explaining the associated implications for adopting supporting information systems. Therefore it is largely deficient, in offering a theoretical understanding of how particular IS can support the information processing requirements of processes associated with specific types of supply chains, or how or why specific SC strategies should be aligned with relevant IS strategies. Our study addresses this conceptual gap by offering a theoretical and empirical basis for analyzing the benefits of different types of IS applications to supply chains. It shows that particular types of information systems application portfolios when associated with different types of SC strategies, can enhance supply chain and firm performance. Secondly, existing studies describe the impact of information technology (IT) in general on individual supply chain aspects such as supply chain integration ( Shah et al., 2002, McLaren et al., 2004 and Rai et al., 2006), procurement-related activities and supplier relationships ( Premkumar et al., 2005, Subramani, 2004 and Sanders, 2008). This paper builds on and extends these studies by considering the broader aspect of the nature of the supply chain (i.e. SC strategy), and identifying the relevant set of applications (i.e. IS strategy) that would enhance its impact on supply chain performance. Based on these observations, we submit that the paper contributes to the literature by suggesting that appropriate fit between SC strategy and supply chain IS strategy leads to improved supply chain performance, to the best of our knowledge, one of the first studies to theoretically and empirically examine such alignment. Thirdly, it offers validated instruments for measuring SC strategy and supply chain IS strategy of a firm and supply chain performance. For supply chain and operations management practitioners, the study demonstrates the importance of adopting and implementing those IS applications that fit the particular type of the supply chain. We provide guidance to managers for acquiring and deploying appropriate applications in the supply chain, for a specific supply chain strategy. In doing so we provide a basis for understanding which IS applications should be developed/purchased and implemented, for specific supply chains. That is, the paper offers a framework by which supply chain and operations managers can analyze investment decisions with regard to the deployment of IT in the supply chain. The paper is set out as follows. First, we provide theoretical background from IS and supply chain literatures. Next, we develop the research model and hypotheses. We then describe methods and findings, followed by interpretations, contributions and limitations.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The study makes a number of contributions. First, it theoretically explains and empirically demonstrates how and why specific IS strategies can be gainfully aligned with different types of supply chains, thus introducing a contingency view in the relationship between the nature of IS deployed in the supply chain and type of supply chain. Past studies (Gunasekaran and Ngai, 2004) investigating relationships between SC strategy and supply chain performance suggest that in general, effective deployment of IS into supply chains is associated with improved performance. Our results extend these by showing that specific SC strategies require the adoption of corresponding IS strategies such that they can more significantly impact supply chain performance. While the use of IS in the supply chain has been found to deliver supply chain performance benefits in general (e.g. ( Rai et al., 2006 and Subramani, 2004), acknowledgment of contingency in the relationship between the nature of applications and type of supply chain has been missing. This paper addresses that gap. We first note that the R2 of supply chain performance=0.547, indicating that a significant amount of variance explained is explained by the two SC strategies and the moderating effects of the two IS strategies. Hypothesis H1a is significant (t-coefficient=2.9), implying that IS for Efficiency positively moderates the relationship between Lean SC strategy and supply chain performance. This means the IS for Efficiency strategy facilitates improved supply chain performance from the Lean SC strategy. In particular then, if a focal firm is planning to create leanness or cost efficiency in its supply chain, then the firm should also adopt applications indicated by the IS for Efficiency strategy in its supply chain, such as transaction processing systems, intra- and inter-organizational workflow applications, and applications that help coordinate and improve operational information sharing with suppliers. The fit (interaction) between these two strategies is associated with better supply chain performance and improved firm performance. Hypothesis H1b is significant (t-coefficient=2.3), indicating that the IS for Flexibility IS strategy positively moderates the relationship between an Agile SC strategy and supply chain performance. The Agile SC strategy is found to exist in product-market environments that are relatively dynamic and possibly requiring frequent re-orientation of supply chain resources. IS on the other hand, take time to develop, configure and implement. It is important to note there that for agile supply chains, appropriate IS applications may therefore be required to be deployed relatively quickly and in a manner capable of frequent and easy re-configuration in concert with changing environmental conditions. Implementation details and issues might thus be an important factor in the ability of the Agile SC strategy to appropriate benefits from the IS for Flexibility IS strategy. Hypothesis H2a is significant (t-coefficient=3.7), indicating that lean SC strategy improves supply chain performance. Lean SC strategy allows the supply chain to minimize inventory and reduces time required for activities, such as setup, thus enabling economic production of small batch quantities, and enhancing flexibility in the supply chain (Vonderembse et al., 2006). Additionally, the lean SC strategy requires the supply chain partners to coordinate and collaborate for conjoint problem solving with respect for eliminating waste, lowering costs and increasing efficiency ( Thun, 2010 and Qi et al., 2009). This leads to higher integration across the supply chain as many suppliers participate in strategic alliances and joint ventures to cut costs and achieve incremental improvement in products design Hypothesis H2b is significant (t-coefficient=2.7), implying that the greater the extent of agility in its supply chain, the better the supply chain performs. Agile SC strategy requires a dynamic, context-specific, and aggressively changing supply chain; it allows the supply chain to interface with customers and quickly adapt to future changes. As a result, the supply chain can provide products at varying volumes and deliver to varying market demands. Previous studies have explored the relationship between supply chain performance and firm performance. The key argument here is that if the supply chain performs well (that is, has accomplished integration, is flexible to market changes, or is responsive to customer requirements), then the focal firm will benefit in terms of improved performance in the context of price, quality, and delivery times of its products (Li et al., 2006). We find that hypothesis H3 is significant (with t-coefficients=7.3) supporting findings from prior research (e.g. Vickery et al., 2003, Chen et al., 2004 and Kim, 2009) relating SC strategy, supply chain performance, and firm performance. To further explore the impact of SC strategy on supply chain performance and firm performance, we examined post-hoc, the mediation effects of supply chain performance on the relationships between the Lean and Agile SC strategies and firm performance. As a first step we observed a significant direct effect of Lean and Agile SC strategies on firm performance without the presence of the mediating variable, i.e. supply chain performance. We then inserted supply chain performance as the mediating variable between Lean and Agile SC strategies and firm performance. We found that supply chain performance fully mediated the relationship between Agile SC strategy and firm performance (T-coefficient of the Agile SC-firm performance link=0.29, Agile SC-supply chain performance link=3.7 and supply chain performance–firm performance link=2.37, all path coefficients positive). This shows two things. One, that superior firm performance is contingent upon superior supply chain performance, in firms that aim to be responsive to fast changing customer needs. This is because rapid introduction and delivery of new products, which are measures of supply chain performance, are also key aspects of firm success, given the fast changing and quickly obsolescent products that are usually associated with agile supply chains. Two, the matching presence of the IS for Flexibility strategy (to boost the positive relationship between Agile SC strategy and supply chain performance) is especially important because enhancing supply chain performance is critical to improving firm performance, given the full mediation effect. We also found that supply chain performance partially mediated the relationship between Lean SC strategy and firm performance (T-coefficient of the Lean SC-firm performance link=2.4, Lean SC-supply chain performance link=4.66, and supply chain performance–firm performance link=2.37, all path coefficients positive). This indicates that in addition to boosting firm chain performance indirectly through a positive impact on supply chain performance, the Lean SC strategy can directly enhance firm performance. This is possibly due to the general emphasis of such supply chains on operational and cost efficiencies and benefits, which ultimately contribute to financial performance. These post-hoc results provide intriguing and important insights on the impact of SC strategies on firm performance, and as such we believe they highlight an interesting contribution that deserves further study. Second, our results call for attention to the need for fit between the focal firm and its suppliers in terms of IS sophistication and capabilities. For example, recent firm activities in the RFID domain, exemplified by RFID-based tracking by Wal-Mart and its suppliers (Roh et al., 2009), show that when a focal firm invests in supply chain applications, it is important to consider whether the technology capabilities of suppliers allow for similar adoption in their operations. This study provides a theoretical basis for identifying specific areas where IT sophistication of suppliers may need to be upgraded, depending on the particular SC strategy. For example then, the Lean SC strategy may require adoption of inter-organizational operational and transaction processing applications along the supply chain, which would entail different kinds of IS investments and IS adoption on the part of suppliers, from that implied by the Agile SC strategy which requires adoption of decision support and market intelligence applications. Third, the study develops and validates measures for the four constructs measuring SC strategy and IS strategy, allowing for researchers to use and build on these measurements in future research. Supply chains are becoming increasingly complex, and their effective management increasingly requires intelligent and appropriate information processing. Yet, with the glut of IS available for deployment in supply chain processes, supply chain practitioners are often hard pressed to analyze which of these would bring the greatest benefits. For practitioners, then, our results reveal the importance of deploying applications in the supply chain that support the particular SC strategy. For instance, if a focal firm's goal is to primarily cut costs along its value chain, not only is the Lean SC strategy required, to achieve this goal, but it is also necessary to acquire appropriate applications (e.g. EDI, ERP). Or, if a particular SC strategy is supported by inter-organizational applications, our findings alert supply chain managers to the need for assessing applications’/standards’ compatibility with, and IS sophistication of, their suppliers. That is, unilateral or one-sided adoption of the suggested applications may not be an effective facilitator for implementing the particular SC strategy. As an extension then, the study also proposes a decision-framework for supply chain managers of a focal firm to identify, based on the primacy of the SC strategy, particular classes of applications that their suppliers might need to adopt, and if required, areas in which they might need to enhance their technology maturity