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Improving the Inbound Flow of a Manufacturing Company: Leveraging dimensions of a buyer-supplier relationship to influence the on-time delivery performance in an inbound supply chain - A case study within the Swedish manufacturing industry
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre of Logistics and Supply Chain Management (CeLS).
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre of Logistics and Supply Chain Management (CeLS).
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background: Competition nowadays occurs between different supply chains, rather than between individual firms. Thus, it is not enough to measure the performance of a company individually, but the relationships between companies need to be taken into consideration as well. The need to broaden and complement their internally focused performance measurement practices has been recognized by manufacturing companies, which moved from arm-length purchasing transactions towards buyer-supplier relationships (BSRs). In this context, the focus lies on the connection between dimensions of a buyer-supplier relationship (BSR) and on-time delivery (OTD) performance.


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explore different dimensions of BSRs within a manufacturing company’s inbound supply chain, to identify potential difficulties within those dimensions as well as to integrate problem solving approaches into a checklist. Thus, the thesis aims at generating contributions to literature considering the detected research gaps.


Method: This study is following an abductive approach due to the possibility to simultaneously review existing theory when analyzing the empirical findings. Furthermore, an exploratory and qualitative study has been chosen in order to take a deep dive into means of actively using and shaping BSRs to improve the OTD performance. Empirical data has been gathered through semi-structured and focus group interviews with companies operating in the manufacturing industry. The empirical data has been analyzed using summarizing, categorizing and pattern matching.


Conclusions: Analyzing and comparing empirical findings with literature revealed a connection between BSR dimensions and OTD performance. The dimensions extracted from literature have thereby been supported by the empirical findings, even though they did not prove to be equally applicable for both buyers and suppliers. In addition to that three further dimensions have been identified in the case study, namely Competence, Internal Collaboration and Product Portfolio, showing a significant improvement potential for the underlying business relationship as well as the manufacturing industry in general. Besides the fact that the formulated research questions have been answered another significant insight of the study might be helpful for practitioners: When considering the high number of parties involved into the execution of an inbound supply chain as well as their various impacts on different BSR dimensions, it becomes clear that OTD performance should not be measured as a supplier KPI but rather as a supply chain KPI.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 86 p.
Keyword [en]
On-time Delivery, Buyer-Supplier Relationship, Performance Measurement, Inbound Supply Chain, Dyadic Perspective
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-30859ISRN: JU-IHH-FÖA-2-20160301OAI: diva2:942500
External cooperation
Bosch Rexroth AB
Available from: 2016-08-18 Created: 2016-06-24 Last updated: 2016-08-18Bibliographically approved

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