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Collaborative logistics triads in supply chain management.

Mason, Robert John 2009. Collaborative logistics triads in supply chain management. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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Abstract

Within the field of supply chain management this work focuses on the logistics element studying from both theoretical and practical perspectives the role of logistics provision in creating enhanced value propositions. In particular, it focuses on relationship management involving logistics service providers and asks whether the "logistics triad", as it has become known, is a minimum appropriate unit of analysis for examining the role of modern outsourced logistics within the setting and goals of supply chain management. Recent decades have been characterised by a period of unprecedented change across industries and an intensification of the nature of competitiveness in the marketplace. One strategy deployed by companies has been to closely manage how they conduct their cross-functional business processes, both internally and externally. This inevitably has included developing relations with business partners. In freight distribution, as logistics service provision has become a popular outsourcing activity for many reasons, academic research has focused predominantly on the improved integration of logistics services within their specific supply chain network. Logistics has moved from being a liability to be managed, to a source of potential competitive advantage. Much of this literature has centred on the two-way or dyadic relationship between the outsourcer of logistics, the shipper, and the logistics service provider. However, in logistics provision, a third party logistics service provider in each supply chain it operates within has an inherent relationship with not one but two other connected parties: the party it is contracted to, the shipper (also known as the consigner) and the consignee. This leads to the conclusion that business relationships in logistics should be assessed and managed on a tripartite rather than a dyadic basis between all three inter-connected parties. This study explores this thinking assessing the feasibility of collaborative logistics provision on a tripartite rather than a dyadic basis. The research approach is structured in principally three phases. First, the inductive phase combines empirical research in the field of logistics service provision with critical literature reviews and has two principal aims. Firstly it aids the development of a fuller understanding of the issues and knowledge which contextually surround this evolving subject. Further, it helps refine the focus of the core research activity in the study, supporting the development of a theoretical framework and research questions on the subject of the collaborative logistics triad. The second phase is deductive in nature and features a longitudinal case study which assesses the strengths and weaknesses of selecting the logistics triad concept as a commercial approach. It is shown that when all three parties involved in the collaborative logistics triad focus on aligned goals with clear, shared performance indicators considerable improvement in logistics performance can be realised. The implications and potential for scaling up the collaborative logistics triad concept are then assessed. This is achieved by gauging the response of logistics professionals to questions stemming from the principal findings from both the exploratory study and the collaborative logistics triad case study at a major conference for logistics professionals. The overall findings have implications for supply chain management and logistics theorists as well as practising industry personnel involved in logistics provision. The study concludes that the collaborative logistics triad concept, although in theory a sensible unit of analysis, where improved performance by alignment of all three parties behind shared aims was demonstrated, in practice is a very challenging ideal to set up and sustain. However, there are clear advantages for those that can achieve it and it represents a good source of competitive advantage for those companies keen to compete through enhanced supply chain logistics practice excellence.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
ISBN: 9781303196973
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 05:53
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/54508

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