Measuring Service Individuality in Third Party

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Purpose - 3PL services are more or less individually designed bundles of logistics operations that are provided on the basis of a long term relationship between logistics service providers and their clients mostly in industry and retail. The appropriate degree of the individuality is however subject to a trade-off between the creation of complexity to reflect individual customer needs and the realization of synergy effects by the replication of common elements and the multiplied utilization of relevant resources for different customers. The appropriate mix of the more individual elements and the more common elements is seen as a major success factor for the design of the service propositions.
Design/methodology/approach - The explorative paper is combining major elements and frameworks from different interdisciplinary research streams, such as modularity and service design and adapts them to the subject of third party logistics.
Findings - As a major result the paper is providing a conceptual model for the systematic and formal description of modularity and individuality in the configuration of third party logistics services. The model thus serves as a tool to classify and categorize degrees of complexity that are embedded in TPL settings.
Research limitations/implications (if applicable) - As our research is still in the exploratory stage, we do not offer empirical findings.
Practical implications - Our findings can help firms to better understand the critical factors in their current TPL service offerings and how to replicate or (re)design the new services offered. Depending on the level of complexity of the TPL services, firms need also to consider the implications of the replication and/or (re)design on the configuration of the supply chain, especially downstream.
Originality/value - The paper crosses disciplinary boundaries and combines relevant research streams to provide a sound foundation for the categorization and classification of TPL services and for new service design/development (NSD) and supply chain configuration.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 25th NOFOMA Conference
EditorsPer Olaf Arnäs, Niklas Arvidsson, Rickard Bergqvist, Mats Johansson, Pehr-Ola Pahlén
Number of pages16
Place of PublicationGöteborg
PublisherGöteborg Universitet
Publication date2013
ISBN (Print)9789198097337
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventThe 25th NOFOMA Conference 2013: Annual Nordic Logistics Research Network Conference - Göteborg, Sweden
Duration: 3 Jun 20135 Jun 2013
Conference number: 25


ConferenceThe 25th NOFOMA Conference 2013
SponsorThe Nordic Logistics Research Network
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