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Outsourcing to TPL firms: Present customers as a decision criteria
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre of Logistics and Supply Chain Management. Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Marketing and Logistics.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre of Logistics and Supply Chain Management. Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Marketing and Logistics.
2011 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Third-party logistics providers (TPLs) and their connections with customers have been described in different ways in the literature.  In this article we consider three important aspects TPLs interactions with their customers.

First, TPLs can be usefully analyzed in terms of the different economies that they achieve, and how they can coordinate differing demands from their customers to achieve efficiency.  The second aspect of TPL interaction with customers is the relation between one TPL and a specific customer, with the TPL providing services of superior quality or low cost.  The third aspect of TPL interaction with customers is the relation between the customers themselves.  We know from previous studies that TPL firms have few customers and deep relationships in most cases (Andersson, 1997).  The consequences for the buyer of the TPL losing or gaining a big customer can then influence the economies of scale and scope extensively. 

The IMP literature has a great deal to say about interaction between industrial actors and we propose to connect this study to IMP writings on interaction and network effects rather than just the effects between a TPL and single customer.  The position of a service provider such as a TPL can usefully be studied by considering IMP dimensions of actors, activities and resources (Håkansson & Snehota, 1995).

We report on the initial interviews of a study to explore the relations between TPLs and their buyers, with particular focus on how coordination of services is handled.  Initial results show that the points from the interviews really touch upon two levels.  There is one level to do with the physical network and logistics operations, and another which deals with the actors and the way they interact.  We suggest that the Johansson & Matsson (1992) model of the network and production system can explain how these two levels interact and propose to employ it more extensively.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011.
Keyword [en]
Third-party logistics, purchasing logistics services, buyer coordination
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-16443OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-16443DiVA: diva2:451109
Conference
The 27th Annual IMP Conference, Glasgow, 1-3 September 2011
Available from: 2011-10-24 Created: 2011-10-24 Last updated: 2013-11-19Bibliographically approved

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http://www.impgroup.org/paper_view.php?viewPaper=7748

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
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  • nn-NB
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Output format
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