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Role of logistics outsourcing on supply chain strategy and management: Survey findings from Northern Europe
University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola Research Unit (Finland), Kouvola, Finland.
2010 (English)In: Strategic Outsourcing, ISSN 1753-8297, E-ISSN 1753-8300, Vol. 3, no 1, 46-61 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of logistics outsourcing in Northern Europe through survey research. Research work intends to shed more light on logistics outsourcing with other than case-based company examples.

Design/methodology/approach – Survey was completed during late 2007 and early 2008 in Finland and Sweden for the largest companies in industrial and service sectors. Altogether 34 answers were received, and they were gained mostly from industrial and trading companies.

Findings – The research results show that warehousing, IT, and customs brokerage outsourcing could have impact on some managerial and strategic aspects of supply chains (SC). Thus, none of the identified difference areas was found to be statistically significant. Potential impact areas of SC strategy and management are integrated IT systems of manufacturing and logistics, reverse logistics procedures, and re-engineering of logistics processes. However, research shows that in-house produced IT function, and potentially outsourced warehousing, have important roles in more international purchasing.

Research limitations/implications – Altogether, the amount of responses in the survey was relatively low, but treating Finnish and Swedish companies as one group gives us some opportunity for statistical analysis. This grouping might be one limiting factors of our study, and especially in its generalization power; however, our earlier analysis with the data shows that these countries operate in a rather similar interest area. Another limiting factor of our research findings is the difference in respondent profiles – operating principles of logistics and trade companies are different as compared to manufacturing.

Practical implications – Research shows that IT is potentially having an important role in both, international purchasing emphasis as well as on warehousing outsourcing activities. Contrary to the common view, this research gives some indication that in-house IT is valuable, and more integrated applications are needed for example, when warehousing is being outsourced.

Originality/value – This is one of the seminal research works regarding North European outsourcing practices, and their affects on SC strategies and management. Both of the countries have an advanced industrial sector, which gives perspective for the readers world wide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2010. Vol. 3, no 1, 46-61 p.
Keyword [en]
Outsourcing, Supply chain management, Finland, Sweden, Distribution management
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-4050DOI: 10.1108/17538291011023070OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-4050DiVA: diva2:323425
Available from: 2010-06-10 Created: 2010-06-10 Last updated: 2015-12-16Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
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More styles
Language
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More languages
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