The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of a commercial partnership in a project‐type supply chain. The research focuses on the performance of suppliers who develop a partnering mechanism for procurement of complex manufacturing projects. In total, four supply chain metrics are evaluated: project scope change, ratio of actual‐to‐estimated project costs, gross profit margin, and delay in deliverable shipments. Hypotheses are formulated to contrast partnerships and arms‐length relationships for industrial procurement. Statistical results support the conclusion that supplier performances improve under partnership.
Four supply chain metrics were generated through review of literature and in‐depth field study. The authors utilized the supply chain management, project management, and principal‐agent theory literature to develop hypotheses to examine effects of instituting a partnership agreement. A case study approach was employed to collect financial and operational data from 167 projects among a manufacturing supplier and a group of customers that purchase industrial analyzer systems. Statistical techniques were employed for hypothesis testing.
The findings from the authors' empirical work support the prediction in partnership literature that suppliers' operational and financial performances improve after they and manufacturing customers jointly implement partnerships. A supplementary finding also suggests that a manufacturer should develop partnering mechanisms with suppliers to achieve higher performance for both the individual firms and the entire supply chain.
This study, like other “before and after” analyses, encounters limitations on causality. Advanced techniques, e.g. cause‐effect investigation with richer data, are hence necessary to validate the causal relationships between performance metrics and their drivers. This study focuses only on the supplier's side of the supply chain and its partnership in a specific industrial setting. Future research may consider studying the joint performance by supplier‐customer dyads in commercial partnerships with variations of partnering agreements.
Partnerships motivate trading partners to engage in higher level of coordination. Transactional hazards can be reduced and performance may improve under the partnering mechanism. The manufacturer may design the procurement partnership as a collaborative mechanism, thus helping a partnering supplier and itself to obtain increased mutual gains.
The paper provides detailed information of a unique case study of the partnership in a project‐type supply chain, which is relatively new in the literature. Research streams on supply chain management, project management, and principal‐agent theory are integrated to evaluate supplier performance. Empirical results confirm partnership impacts on suppliers' business performance.
Cheng, L. and Carrillo, E. (2012), "Assessing supplier performances under partnership in project‐type procurement", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 112 No. 2, pp. 290-312. https://doi.org/10.1108/02635571211204308Download as .RIS
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