Bask, A. (2009), "Guest editorial", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 58 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijppm.2009.07958aaa.001Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Guest editorial From: International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Volume 58, Issue 1
About the Guest Editors
Anu BaskWorked as Professor of Logistics (acting), Project Manager and Senior Researcher at the Department of Business Technology, Helsinki School of Economics, Finland. She received her doctoral degree on February 2007. The Finnish Logistics Forum has awarded her doctoral dissertation “Preconditions of successful supply chain relationships – integrated processes and differentiated services” as “Best Logistics Study of the Year 2007”. Her research interests are supply chain management, supply chain relationships, services and service processes. She has published in refereed journals. She was the chairman of the NOFOMA 2008 Educators’ Day, and the member of scientific and organizing committees of the Annual Conference for the Nordic Logistics Research Network, NOFOMA 2008.
Karen SpensProfessor of Supply Chain Management and Corporate Geography at the Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki, Finland. She earned her PhD from Hanken in 2001, and has since published articles in logistics journals such as International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management and the International Journal of Logistics Management. She has also edited several special issues for different journals. Her research interests include humanitarian logistics, health care related research and methodological issues in logistics and supply chain management. She was the chairman of the Annual Conference for the Nordic Logistics Research Network, NOFOMA 2008.
Performance and productivity are important topics in the fields of logistics and supply chain management. This special issue focuses around the topic of “performance and productivity in a logistics and supply chain context”, and approaches the supply chain context from different viewpoints. Thereby this special issue nicely fits the journals objectives defined by the journal:
The International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management aims to address new developments and thinking in productivity science and performance measurement and management including new techniques, approaches and related reflective analysis designed to improve individual, group and organisational performance. It seeks to develop an understanding in and across manufacturing, service and public sector organisations. The journal aims to be multi-disciplinary drawing from, amongst others, the fields of operations, marketing, accounting, supply chain and organisational behaviour.
The papers from The Nordic Logistics Research Network (NOFOMA) 2008 annual conference were invited to this special issue of IJPPM based on the suitability of the topic and also based on review outcomes. The NOFOMA conference prides itself with a rigorous review process of full papers. At least two referees assigned for each paper have given their comments to improve the quality of the articles. The outcome of the review process was 109 submitted papers of which 41 qualified for the proceedings. The six papers included in this special issue have all gone through double-blind review process, a final round of polishing, and an editorial review, before being included.
The NOFOMA is a network of Nordic researchers within the field of logistics and supply chain management. The aim of NOFOMA is to contribute to the continuous improvement and further development of Nordic logistics research and researchers. NOFOMA was established in the end of 1980s, and since then it has strengthened its position among researchers in logistics and supply chain management. Today, Nordic logistics research environments have also attracted international researchers to participate in joint research with researchers and research networks from the Nordic countries. Also an increasing number of participants join the conference from outside the Nordic countries, even though the conference still is strongly North European based. NOFOMA has a good reputation among logistics and supply chain management researchers and has increasingly strengthened its position as one of the top academic meeting places.
Ten years ago, NOFOMA started the refereeing process of the papers intended to the Proceedings. Currently, the refereeing process is carried out in the way the practice was established ten years ago, having a double-blind review format. This process has improved substantially the quality of the conference papers and increased international publishing in refereed journals.
The 2008 NOFOMA conference, held in Helsinki in June, marked the twentieth anniversary of the Nordic Logistics Research Network. The conference was hosted with the close cooperation of four universities in Finland: Hanken School of Economics (HANKEN), Helsinki School of Economics (HSE), Helsinki University of Technology and the National Defence University.
This special issue is a collection of six papers from this anniversary conference and all articles, as mentioned earlier, revolve around the special topic of “performance and productivity in a logistics and supply chain context”. There are 17 contributors in the six articles included in this special issue. These papers nicely highlight the co-operation between, universities (countrywide and across countries), companies, and among units within the universities.
The first article is co-authored by:
Katrina M. Nordström, Helsinki University of Technology, Department of Biotechnology and Chemical Technology, Finland;
Marko O. Närhi, Helsinki University of Technology, Department of Biotechnology and Chemical Technology, Finland; and
Ari P.J. Vepsäläinen, Helsinki School of Economics, Department of Business Technology, Logistics, Finland.
The second article is co-authored by;
Kari Tanskanen, Helsinki University of Technology, Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management, Finland;
Jan Holmström, Helsinki University of Technology, Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management, Finland;
Jan Elfving, Skanska Ltd, Finland; and
Ulla Talvitie, Skanska Ltd, Finland.
The third article is co-authored by:
Helena Forslund, School of Management and Economics, Växjö University, Växjö, Sweden;
Patrik Jonsson, Chalmers University of Technology, Division of Logistics and Transportation, Gothenburg, Sweden; and
Stig-Arne Mattsson, Chalmers University of Technology, Division of Logistics and Transportation, Gothenburg, Sweden.
The fourth article is co-authored by:
Gunnar Stefansson, University of Iceland, Department of Industrial and Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science, Reykjavik, Iceland and Chalmers University of Technology, Division of Logistics and Transportation, Gothenburg, Sweden; and
Kenth Lumsden, Chalmers University of Technology, Division of Logistics and Transportation, Gothenburg Sweden.
The fifth article is co-authored by:
Nathalie Fabbe-Costes, CRET-LOG, Université de la Méditerranée – Aix-Marseille II, France;
Marianne Jahre, Lund University, Department of Industrial Management and Logistics, Sweden and BI Norwegian School of Management, Department of Strategy and Logistics, Norway; and
Christine Roussat, Université Blaise Pascal Clermont-Ferrand II and CRET-LOG, Université de la Méditerranée – Aix-Marseille II, France.
The sixth and the final article in this issue is co-authored by:
Sari Uusipaavalniemi, University of Oulu, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Finland; and
Jari Juga, University of Oulu, Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, Finland.
As indicated, one of the strengths of the Nordic research networks is the strong focus on cooperation, not only within the Nordic community, but also internationally.
The articles in this special issue
All of the articles included in this special issue aim to increase efficiency and effectiveness in the supply chain context. Supply chain issues have become increasingly important and the papers indicate this shift from the focus on companies’ internal operations to the examination of external relations between different actors in supply chain networks. Important topics addressed in supply chain management are distribution strategy, information integration, process improvement, inventory management and the usage of information and other technologies. This special issue includes a variety of topics, from distribution of tissue engineering products and therapies, vendor managed inventory, to integration in the supply chain, and thereby address the key topics in this field. Methodologically several traits are represented, from quantitative modeling to one-case study research. In fact, this special issue is a representative of the Nordic research carried out at the moment, with a focus on using case study methodology, nevertheless, with still a strong footing in quantitative modeling and methods.
Nordström, Närhi and Vepsäläinen in “Services for distribution of tissue engineering products and therapies” investigate the future needs for services and extended supply chains for safe delivery of health care, procurement, distribution and long-term follow-up of tissue engineering (TE) products and therapies. TE offers treatments for chronic, life threatening, degenerative illnesses and possibilities for restoring cellular or organ functions that have been lost due to injuries or hereditary conditions. However, a prerequisite for the use of TE products as part of future therapies is the development of strategies for safe and efficient supply chain management and versatile services spanning from product development to a follow-up period of possibly decades. Studies in operational disciplines and coordination systems for different types of supply chains and service networks are used to formulate a framework for developing services throughout product lifecycle. Case examples of TE products are presented to demonstrate complexity, microbial risks, services and long-term follow-up. The role of logistics and the necessary services are identified for products classified into experimental, therapy and standard products. Through the stages, the importance of logistics increases from an enabler to becoming a strategic tool, emphasizing logistics requirements in establishing a viable TE supply chain. New dimensions to existing service operations frameworks are needed where proactive tissue sourcing, long follow-up periods, short shelf life and biological risks call for enforcing flexible services with tissue banks, detailed tracing, authorization and regulation. Discovery of the logistics services and service institutions will become imperatives for the future success of TE products and therapies.
Tanskanen, Holmström, Elfving and Talvitie in “Vendor-managed-inventory (VMI) in construction” describe the challenge of managing logistics at corporate level in construction industry; and to present and evaluate VMI as a potential solution for small item logistics. The study has a design science approach and it describes and tests a possible solution design for small item logistics in construction. VMI is an efficient solution for small item logistics at construction sites, provided that it is well designed and movable. When the construction company owns the solution, it can more potentially be a corporate-wide solution. The proposed solution is potentially a major step in moving from site-by-site logistics towards corporate level logistics management in construction industry. The VMI solution presented in this paper is unique for construction industry. The study indicates that it improves significantly the effectiveness of small item logistics in construction. The findings from this case indicate that making VMI work at corporate level requires that the construction company owns the solution. It enables integrating VMI to the other IT systems, which brings a big share of the benefits of the system. More generally, the value of the paper is in combining horizontal integration (across sites) and vertical integration (supply chain) views in designing logistics solutions for construction industry.
Forslund, Jonsson and Mattsson in “Order-to-delivery process performance in delivery scheduling environments” generate a performance model for an order-to-delivery (OTD) process in delivery scheduling environments. This is done with a triadic approach, encompassing a customer, a supplier and a logistics service provider. Two OTD process performance models, one for the supplier’s delivery sub-process and one for the customer’s delivery scheduling, the logistics service provider’s transportation and the customer’s good receipt sub-process, in delivery scheduling environments are generated. The generated performance models include definitions of four sub-processes and outline ten performance dimensions that should be of relevance for several companies to apply. This is the first approach that generates performance models for a triadic OTD process for use in delivery scheduling environments.
Stefansson and Lumsden in their article “Performance issues of Smart Transportation Management systems” use the conceptual model of Smart Transportation Management (STM) system and analyze how the included factors change the performance of distribution activities and what management issues are at stake. The main finding of the study is a model that includes three major components of smart transportation management, namely smart goods, smart vehicles and smart infrastructure. Smart goods are characterized by a higher level of sophistication than traditional goods identification. Smart vehicles in this case are distribution vehicles or trucks where the truck cabin is equipped with a vehicle computer system and identification of goods is done as freight is loaded or unloaded off the vehicle. The Smart infrastructure consists of three interconnected parts, a digital part, a physical part, and services given for the different clients: shippers, receivers, transport operators, and more. These components embrace some factors that have effects on supply chain performance, however to different extents. The practical implications are mainly based on the structure of the smart transportation system that is used and the identified factors that affect the performance of the supply chain as these factors can be influenced by logistics management. The framework used in this research is a new development that collects advanced functions of goods identification, vehicle information systems and infrastructure systems into one conceptual model for smart transportation management that include some factors that are affecting supply chain performance.
Fabbe-Costes, Jahre and Roussat in “Supply chain integration: the role of logistics service providers” investigate the role of logistics service providers (LSPs) in supporting supply chain integration (SCI) and clients’ performance. In the first step in this paper SCI-performance papers are analysed and it is found that among the analysed articles very few take LSPs into consideration. In the second step, the topic is approaches by a web site analysis and it shows LSPs varying in their communication. Some do not consider SCI as part of their job, whereas others balance between being pure “resource providers” and taking the riskier role of “supply chain designers”. The analysis of the roles LSPs can play in SCs enriches the understanding of the SCI phenomenon. The website analysis concerns LSPs communication. Results suggest different dimensions to structure LSPs’ strategies vis-à-vis clients’ SCI and performance. The main contributions of this study are to question and analyse what role LSPs play in SCI and performance, and to expand the framework for SCI studies.
Uusipaavalniemi and Juga in their article “Information integration in maintenance services” provide a theoretical set of elements to analyse information integration in supply chains. The aim is to, through a practical example to highlight the importance, to describe the practices and identify some development areas of information integration in service supply chains. The study presents six theoretical elements contributing to the level of information integration in supply chains. These elements are then used to analyse a case supply chain where after a conceptual framework and criteria for analysing the level of supply chain information integration are developed. The study describes which information, in which form, how and when information is shared chain and whether information technology is deployed. It also determines the level of information integration in the case supply chain and provides service supply chains with information on how to analyse and rationalise their information sharing. The study hereby contributes to the limited research on service supply chains and business services.
In summary, this special issue provides an interesting overview of the current research carried out in the Nordic countries with regards to performance and productivity improvement. We therefore hope that the readers from the key journal audiences find this special issue interesting and that the articles provided within it provide further inspiration for carrying out studies in their respective fields.
Anu Bask and Karen Spens