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Understanding information sharing in supply chains - Identifying contingency factors that impact benefits of information sharing

Kembro, Joakim LU (2012)
Abstract (Swedish)
För att öka vår förståelse av informationsdelning i försörjningskedjor så är studiens syfte trefaldigt: att granska och analysera existerande akademisk litteratur för att beskriva och strukturera forskningsområdet; att empiriskt utforska informationsdelning i en försörjningskedja som representerar mer än tre led; och att utforska kontextuella faktorer genom litteraturgenomgång och empirisk datainsamling. Därigenom adresserar denna studie flera luckor som identifierats i akademisk litteratur. Specifikt råder det förvirring kring definitioner av informationsdelning samt försörjningskedjor. Dessutom verkar det finnas en brist på empiriska studier som undersöker informationsdelning mellan tre eller flera företag i en försörjningskedja. För det... (More)
För att öka vår förståelse av informationsdelning i försörjningskedjor så är studiens syfte trefaldigt: att granska och analysera existerande akademisk litteratur för att beskriva och strukturera forskningsområdet; att empiriskt utforska informationsdelning i en försörjningskedja som representerar mer än tre led; och att utforska kontextuella faktorer genom litteraturgenomgång och empirisk datainsamling. Därigenom adresserar denna studie flera luckor som identifierats i akademisk litteratur. Specifikt råder det förvirring kring definitioner av informationsdelning samt försörjningskedjor. Dessutom verkar det finnas en brist på empiriska studier som undersöker informationsdelning mellan tre eller flera företag i en försörjningskedja. För det tredje argumenterar flertalet forskare att informationsdelnings påverkan på prestanda beror på matchning av

informationsdelning med vissa kontextuella faktorer. Tidigare forskning har kartlagt enskilda möjliga kontextuella faktorer som kan ha en påverkan på nyttan av informationsdelning i försörjningskedjor. Däremot saknas studier som tar hänsyn till ett brett spektrum av kontextuella faktorer och deras påverkan på nyttan av informationsdelning.



En fallstudiemetod tillämpas där det valda fallet illustrerar ett företag och dess samarbetspartners vilka har jobbat nästan 30 år med att skräddarsy informationsdelning för att öka prestanda i försörjningskedjan. Data insamlades från tre steg i försörjningskedjan: dels från produktion, lager samt kundservice inom The Absolut Company som är utgångspunkten för den studerade försörjningskedjan; dels från leverantörer av utvalda komponenter som krävs för tillverkning och förpackning av 70 cl-flaskor av Absolut Citron; och dels från marknadsföretag som ansvarar för distribution av produkter för respektive marknad. Data samlades in via en kombination av metoder. Studien innefattade en

heldag på plats i Åhus med The Absolut Company inklusive presentationer, fem halvstrukturerade entimmes-intervjuer samt genomgång av dokument relaterade till informationsdelning, processer, projekt och förbättring av prestanda. Dessutom genomfördes strukturerade intervjuer med nyckelpersoner som representerade utvalda företag i försörjningskedjan. Intervjupersonerna ombads också att fylla i och skicka tillbaka en enkät. Slutligen genomfördes en workshop tillsammans med en forskarkollega och utvalda representanter för The Absolut Company.



Att försörjningskedjor representerar en unik kontext medför att det inte är möjligt att utveckla normativa lösningar som kan kopieras från en situation till en annan. Detta påstående bekräftas genom fallstudien som illustrerar att konceptet “fokuserad strategi” bör ersätta “one size fits all”-ansatsen. Vidare visar studiens resultat på att informationsdelning är huvudsakligen dyadisk i försörjningskedjor. Med andra ord sker informationsutbyte endast mellan två företag åt gången som tillsammans bildar en informationskedja mellan producent och slutkund. Således kunde studien inte identifiera någon information som delades mellan tre eller fler led i försörjningskedjan. Med avseende på dyadiska relationer bör olika strategier för informationsdelning utvecklas för olika delar av försörjningskedjan. Framförallt gäller denna skillnad mellan den del av kedjan som fokuserar på produktion och den del som fokuserar på distribution av slutprodukt.



Följaktligen verkar det som att olika kontextuella faktorer spelar roll för beslut relaterade till informationsdelning beroende på vilken del av försörjningskedjan som avses. Det finns annars en risk att resurser förbrukas utan att förbättra företagets och försörjningskedjans prestanda samt utan att ha tillgodosett kundernas behov. I distributionsled kunde två kontextuella faktorer identifieras: osäkerhet i efterfrågan samt total volym/värde av produkt. Samtidigt urskildes nio faktorer i produktionsled. Framförallt bör företag satsa resurser på informationsdelning med partners som representerar stor volym/högt värde av total omsättning. Därigenom får olika initiativ störst påverkan på prestanda. Kapacitet i form av flexibilitet och begränsningar är en annan viktig faktor som bör vägas in på olika organisationsnivåer. Sammanfattningsvis har ett ramverk med olika kontextuella faktorer tagits fram. Dessa faktorer framställs i sex förslag som bör undersökas i vidare forskning. (Less)
Abstract
To increase our understanding of information sharing in supply chains the purposeof this licentiate was threefold: to review and analyze existing academic literature

to describe and structure the research field; to empirically explore information sharing in a supply chain representing more than three tiers; and to explore contingency factors through literature reviews and empirical data collection. Thereby this licentiate thesis addresses several gaps identified in academic literature. Specifically, there appears to be confusion regarding the definitions of information sharing and supply chain. Second, there seems to be a lack of empirical studies of information sharing in supply chains representing three or more companies. Third,... (More)
To increase our understanding of information sharing in supply chains the purposeof this licentiate was threefold: to review and analyze existing academic literature

to describe and structure the research field; to empirically explore information sharing in a supply chain representing more than three tiers; and to explore contingency factors through literature reviews and empirical data collection. Thereby this licentiate thesis addresses several gaps identified in academic literature. Specifically, there appears to be confusion regarding the definitions of information sharing and supply chain. Second, there seems to be a lack of empirical studies of information sharing in supply chains representing three or more companies. Third, academic authors argue that the impact of information sharing on performance depends on the matching of an information sharing strategy with certain contingency factors. Previous research has mapped various potential contingency factors that may impact the benefit of information sharing in supply chains. However there is a lack of studies considering the wide spectrum of environmental factors, intra-organizational factors, and inter-organizational factors and their impact on benefits of information sharing.



The research study applies a single case study with multiple embedded cases. The selected case illustrates a focal company and its supply chain partners who have worked almost 30 years with tailoring information sharing to improve supply chain performance. The data used in this research study were collected from three tiers of the supply chain: First, the production and warehouse facilities as well as customer service of The Absolut Company, which is the focal company of the studied supply chain. Second, data was collected from one tier upstream, including the suppliers of selected components required for the production and packing of a 70 cl bottle of Absolut Citron. Third, data was collected from the market companies who are responsible for distributing products to respective market through the distribution centers. A range of methods was used to collect data. The study included a full day on-site with the focal company including presentations, five one hour semi-structured interviews and reviewing documents related to information sharing processes, initiatives and performance improvements. In addition, 14 structured interviews were conducted with key staff representing the various identified companies. The respondents were also requested to fill out a questionnaire. In the final stage of data collection a half-day workshop was

conducted together with a fellow researcher and key staff from the focal company.



The context-specific nature of supply chains implies that it is not possible to develop normative solutions that can be “copy pasted” from one situation to another. This statement is corroborated by the studied case which illustrates that the concept of focused strategy has replaced the “one size fits all” approach. Further, based on the findings from the study, information sharing seems to be primarily dyadic in supply chains. Thus no triadic or extended sharing could be identified in the studied supply chain. Considering dyadic relationships, different information sharing strategies should be developed for the upstream and downstream supply chain. The main difference between these two parts of the supply chain is that upstream involves production whereas downstream focuses on distribution of the final product.



Different contingency factors may have to be considered when deciding what information to share with whom in the upstream and downstream supply chain respectively. The risk is otherwise that organizational resources are wasted without enhancing the performance of the firm and the supply chain and without satisfying customers’ needs. In the downstream supply chain two contingency factors were identified: demand uncertainty and total volume/value of product, whereas a total of nine factors were identified in the upstream supply chain. Upstream, information sharing should primarily be focused on partners representing large volume/value of the total turnover. Thereby the impact of any changes will have the biggest effect. Capacity in terms of flexibility and constraints is another important to consider on all organizational levels. The findings are summarized by putting forward a framework that can guide researchers and practitioners in describing and analyzing information sharing in supply chains. Moreover, based

on the identified contingency factors six propositions are put forward that should be subject to further research. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Logistics, Supply chain, Supply chain management, Information sharing, Information flow, Demand data, Contingency theory, Contextual factor
pages
231 pages
publisher
Faculty of Engineering, Department of Industrial Management and Logistics
external identifiers
  • Other:LUTMDN/TMTP-1054-SE
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
4050d7b2-0836-4b93-9d5d-4518895780e3 (old id 3795210)
date added to LUP
2013-05-24 13:53:32
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:10
@misc{4050d7b2-0836-4b93-9d5d-4518895780e3,
  abstract     = {To increase our understanding of information sharing in supply chains the purposeof this licentiate was threefold: to review and analyze existing academic literature<br/><br>
to describe and structure the research field; to empirically explore information sharing in a supply chain representing more than three tiers; and to explore contingency factors through literature reviews and empirical data collection. Thereby this licentiate thesis addresses several gaps identified in academic literature. Specifically, there appears to be confusion regarding the definitions of information sharing and supply chain. Second, there seems to be a lack of empirical studies of information sharing in supply chains representing three or more companies. Third, academic authors argue that the impact of information sharing on performance depends on the matching of an information sharing strategy with certain contingency factors. Previous research has mapped various potential contingency factors that may impact the benefit of information sharing in supply chains. However there is a lack of studies considering the wide spectrum of environmental factors, intra-organizational factors, and inter-organizational factors and their impact on benefits of information sharing.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The research study applies a single case study with multiple embedded cases. The selected case illustrates a focal company and its supply chain partners who have worked almost 30 years with tailoring information sharing to improve supply chain performance. The data used in this research study were collected from three tiers of the supply chain: First, the production and warehouse facilities as well as customer service of The Absolut Company, which is the focal company of the studied supply chain. Second, data was collected from one tier upstream, including the suppliers of selected components required for the production and packing of a 70 cl bottle of Absolut Citron. Third, data was collected from the market companies who are responsible for distributing products to respective market through the distribution centers. A range of methods was used to collect data. The study included a full day on-site with the focal company including presentations, five one hour semi-structured interviews and reviewing documents related to information sharing processes, initiatives and performance improvements. In addition, 14 structured interviews were conducted with key staff representing the various identified companies. The respondents were also requested to fill out a questionnaire. In the final stage of data collection a half-day workshop was<br/><br>
conducted together with a fellow researcher and key staff from the focal company.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The context-specific nature of supply chains implies that it is not possible to develop normative solutions that can be “copy pasted” from one situation to another. This statement is corroborated by the studied case which illustrates that the concept of focused strategy has replaced the “one size fits all” approach. Further, based on the findings from the study, information sharing seems to be primarily dyadic in supply chains. Thus no triadic or extended sharing could be identified in the studied supply chain. Considering dyadic relationships, different information sharing strategies should be developed for the upstream and downstream supply chain. The main difference between these two parts of the supply chain is that upstream involves production whereas downstream focuses on distribution of the final product.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Different contingency factors may have to be considered when deciding what information to share with whom in the upstream and downstream supply chain respectively. The risk is otherwise that organizational resources are wasted without enhancing the performance of the firm and the supply chain and without satisfying customers’ needs. In the downstream supply chain two contingency factors were identified: demand uncertainty and total volume/value of product, whereas a total of nine factors were identified in the upstream supply chain. Upstream, information sharing should primarily be focused on partners representing large volume/value of the total turnover. Thereby the impact of any changes will have the biggest effect. Capacity in terms of flexibility and constraints is another important to consider on all organizational levels. The findings are summarized by putting forward a framework that can guide researchers and practitioners in describing and analyzing information sharing in supply chains. Moreover, based<br/><br>
on the identified contingency factors six propositions are put forward that should be subject to further research.},
  author       = {Kembro, Joakim},
  keyword      = {Logistics,Supply chain,Supply chain management,Information sharing,Information flow,Demand data,Contingency theory,Contextual factor},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {231},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x870a0e0)},
  title        = {Understanding information sharing in supply chains - Identifying contingency factors that impact benefits of information sharing},
  year         = {2012},
}