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Value-Added Services in Third-Party Logistics: A study from the TPL providers’ perspective about value-added service development, driving forces and barriers
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre of Logistics and Supply Chain Management.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre of Logistics and Supply Chain Management.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Competition in the logistics service industry has constantly increased over the last decades which has lead to the traditional services offered by third-party logistics (TPL) providers becoming commodities and no longer offering attractive profit margins. When the company’s core product becomes a commodity, the company’s performance of supplementary services becomes vital for competitive advantage. The term “value-added service” is defined as a service adding extra feature, form or functions to the basic service and stands for all types of activities which are not directly based on services traditionally offered by TPL providers, i.e., transportation and warehousing. The term value-added service is mainly used in the logistics literature while supplementary service is used in the service management literature. Although value-added services can offer obvious advantages in form of customer lock-in and improved competitive advantage, such services are still offered at a low level and there is much space for development.

The purpose of this thesis is to analyse how TPL firms develop value-added services and to investigate what the driving forces and barriers for developing and providing such services are. In the frame of reference, literature within service management, outsourcing, third-party logistics, value-added services, innovation and learning have been used.

In the thesis, an inductive research approach is used and qualitative study has been carried out by applying multiple case studies as a research strategy. The empirical material is gathered from three TPL providers: Bring Logistics Solutions, Aditro Logistics and Schenker Logistics. Data was collected through several interviews conducted at the three target companies and the findings have been analysed using the existing theory stated in the frame of reference.

The main conclusions from analysing the development process of value-added services are that this process in most cases is initiated by customer request and that development of value-added service can occur both in the beginning or during an ongoing relationship, though a lack of information about a customer’s business in the beginning of the relationship can hinder the TPL provider to develop value-added services. Apart from the TPL provider and the customer, firms such as IT companies, transport suppliers and other companies can be involved in the development process. No formal innovation process is applied for developing value-added services. The main driving force behind value-added services is meeting customer demands. Lack of proactiveness from the TPL provider’s side can be a barrier for developing value-added services, as well as problems with achieving successful organizational learning. The difficulty for the TPL firm to coordinate offering so many different services can be also seen as a barrier.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , p. 75
Keywords [en]
Third-Party Logistics, TPL, Value-Added Services, Service Development, Innovation
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-10243OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-10243DiVA, id: diva2:233689
Presentation
(English)
Uppsok
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2009-09-04 Created: 2009-09-01 Last updated: 2009-09-04Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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