Innovative approaches to collaboration in the supply chain
conference contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Claudine SoosayClaudine Soosay, Mario FerrerMario Ferrer, Paul HylandPaul Hyland
Innovation within logistics organisations does not occur in isolation. Most innovation occurs in response to environmental factors outside the direct control of management. The logistics function is increasing in its strategic importance as more and more firms in developed economies such as Singapore and Australia are forced to compete globally to survive. In such a dynamic environment, logistics business must innovate; and to benefit from innovative technologies, systems, processes and practices, organisations must consider the nature and extent of inter-firm relationships with customers and suppliers. In seeking to develop a portfolio of relationships that minimise risk and maximises returns, logistics organisations need to develop innovative practices and processes of managing this portfolio. The key objective of the study was to investigate how collaborative relationships enhance innovation in the supply chain. This study adopts an iterative process of data collection by conducting ten case studies (5 in Singapore and 5 in Australia) comprising interviews with twenty-three managers and visits to observe the operations of Distribution Centres. This study provides important lessons for managers in logistics organisation in Australia and Singapore and demonstrates how differing relationships can impact on the operation of firms and their capacities to innovate.