Supply Chain Interfaces: Defining Attributes and Attribute Values for Collaborative Logistics Management
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2008
Supply chain interfaces are areas where information or physical goods are exchanged between one trading partner and another – where trading partners “interface” with one another to achieve the successful transfer of goods or information. Interfaces, by their very nature, tend to be unique for each trading partner dyad, i.e, what works for one dyad may not work for another depending on the nature of the goods and information being exchanged. Collaborative logistics management (CLM) is one area where interfaces play a key role in achieving success because of the inter-enterprise nature of the processes required for execution.
In the logistics arena, and in CLM specifically, three important players in managing supply chain interfaces, and the players studied in this work, are: (1) transportation carriers, (2) logistics service providers (LSPs), and (3) logistics service intermediaries (LSIs). It is the processes of exchanging information and goods among these three players and a buyer-seller trading partner dyad that are the context of this work. Understanding these processes has become more and more important as the trend toward outsourcing transportation and logistics services has strengthened. While outsourcing transportation and logistics services provides opportunity to buyers and sellers to move their information and goods more effectively and efficiently, it also adds complexity and potential bottleneck areas to the flow of materials and information. Not surprisingly, the bottlenecks tend to be at the interfaces – the areas of “exchange” of either information or goods.
In this work we focus on understanding: (1) What interfaces exist? and (2) How can we describe the interfaces so that trading partners can begin to understand one another and build collaborative arrangements to improve supply chain performance? In the balance of this paper we present literature relevant to supply chain interfaces, describe our grounded theory approach to the work, present the results, provide insights for managers, summarize our findings, and discuss limitations and future research.
Supply chain management