Since the business environment of today is characterized to be dynamic and service-driven, corporations are looking for solutions how to cut costs and still keep their competitive advantage in the market, and also how to decrease lead-time and flexibility. In this environment are 3PL-providers operating with an incentive to always please the customer. This study will investigate a 3PL-provider´s information sharing with its customer and how value can be extracted from this type of sharing.
The purpose of this thesis is to understand and investigate the value of information sharing between the 3PL-provider and its customer. Two research questions have been dictated; R1: How do the respondents at the 3PL-provider perceive the relationship with their customer? R2: How are information requirements met?
For the frame of reference have theories in the area of third-party logistics, information, relation, and value been studied. The carrying out of the study has been performed with a bounded ethnography approach since this study has essences from both the scientific and ethnographic approaches. The research reasoning is mainly inductive but with deductive elements. The research strategy is of qualitative character, where the data collection has been carried out through interviews/discussions within multiple case studies. There were several interviews launched within the target 3PL-relationships. The analysis of the empirical findings has been done through the existing theories in the frame of reference.
The investigation showed that improvements of the information requirements and utilization of the communication methods improves the quality of the information sharing, and the conclusion drawn is that the information requirements and communication methods are big contributors for the information sharing as a whole. Since the information sharing is considered a big contributor to the customer value one can use the customer value as reference for how to value the information sharing. A main conclusion is therefore that the value of information sharing is dependent on its contribution for the customer value.
Source: Jönköping University
Author: Brännhult, Danny | Kapanen, Gustaf