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Defining communication flexibility for smart logistics

Wang, Yingli 2011. Defining communication flexibility for smart logistics. Presented at: The 3rd International Conference on Logistics and Transport & The 4th International Conference on Operations and Supply Chain Management, Malé, Maldives, 15-17 December 2011.

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Abstract

The provision of logistics services relies heavily on effective intra- and particularly inter-organisational information exchange and communication to which ICT is seen as a key enabler. Effective communication among shippers (consignors), carriers and customers (consignees) helps to foster collaborative relationships, reduce uncertainties and performance-related errors, thereby enhancing operational efficiency and customer responsiveness. Innovative logistics practices that are based on the use of the state-of-art technologies are often referred to as 'smart logistics', i.e. flexible and able to cope with uncertainties. The proposed research is about understanding how increased connectivity and visibility enabled by recent advances in ICT, particularly the Internet, could be harnessed for innovative logistics provisions ('smart logistics') through the lens of defining and measuring communication flexibility. Even though much attention has been focused on the logistics flexibility concept in recent years, one critical dimension is missing - namely, communication flexibility. While the profound effect of ICT in supporting flexible operations, be it at supply chain level or manufacturing level, is well recognised, academic researchers need a more rigorous approach in assessing inter-organisational communication within the logistics context. This is the major driver and novelty of this proposal. Inter-organisational communication flexibility here is defined as the extent to which the firms are able to configure and reconfigure their information linkages in responding to the changing environment. The main objectives are to develop a conceptual model capturing the key indicators of communication flexibility and subsequently validate the model using a large scale survey. As a result, an appropriate method for assessing the level of communication flexibility and its impact to logistics performance will be established, thus laying the foundation for this important yet largely overlooked subject. The data required for this research will be acquired through three focus group discussions, six case studies and a survey of seven hundred plus companies targeting shippers, carriers and ICT providers in the UK. The proposed research is also timely; as it investigates and consolidates the key emerging technologies in the logistics field for instance real time tracking technologies using Global Positioning System (GPS) and electronic logistics marketplaces based on cloud computing solutions. Used separately or in combination they will facilitate interorganisational communication at different levels. Such technologies only emerged recently and therefore by incorporating them, this study advances and updates our knowledge towards the use of ICT in the logistics field. Consequently this research is of great value to practitioners as it will guide them to make sense out of and leverage such emerging technologies for competitive advantages.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Centre for Advanced Manufacturing Systems At Cardiff (CAMSAC)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Uncontrolled Keywords: logistics ; operations management
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:45
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/26094

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