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Horizontal logistics collaboration for enhanced supply chain performance: an international retail perspective

Sanchez Rodrigues, Vasco ORCID:, Harris, Irina ORCID: and Mason, Robert ORCID: 2015. Horizontal logistics collaboration for enhanced supply chain performance: an international retail perspective. Supply Chain Management 20 (6) , pp. 631-647. 10.1108/SCM-06-2015-0218

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Purpose – The paper aims to develop a supply chain-driven model horizontal logistics collaboration (HLC). HLC initiatives can fail. To improve the chance of success, a thorough consideration of the potential issues involved, such as seeking supply chain partners’ support, ensuring access to information/data security and assessing whether an HLC model could bring improvements to a wide range of supply chain metrics rather than reductions in distribution costs only, needs to be understood before deciding to proceed with such an initiative. Design/methodology/approach – A two-stage methodology is deployed. As part of Stage 1, a series of 20 semi-structured interviews with senior managers from retailers, retailers’ suppliers and logistics service providers were undertaken. Subsequently, in Stage 2, a focus group with practitioners from retailers and logistics service providers was run to verify the findings gathered during Stage 1. Four elements of a new HLC project being considered are investigated by supply chain champions across the UK Fast-Moving Costumer Goods industry, namely, consideration factors, required synergies, enablers and anticipated output metrics. Findings – When considering whether to embark on an HLC project, the supply chain requirements need to be taken into account and potential supply chain performance benefits projected. The paper identified several consideration factors; synergies and enablers that support the development of HLC projects are identified, such as legislation, trust among partners, common suppliers and delivery bases, capable third party logistics (3PL) and an effective commercial model, including a fair sharing of benefits. Research limitations/implications – The research provides new understanding in accounting for the needs of the supply chain when considering an HLC initiative involving leading players from the retail sector. Practical implications – The importance of taking a supply chain approach when evaluating the feasibility of HLC is demonstrated. HLC arrangements among competing supply chains need to be designed and run by taking account of all supply chain partners, namely, suppliers, 3PLs and customers (in this case, retailers). Originality/value – The contribution is threefold: identification of outset consideration factors, ideal required synergies, actioning enablers and wider supply chain metrics of HLC; development of a supply chain-driven model for HLC, which includes in the decision-making whether or not to adopt a horizontal logistics collaboration model, wide supply chain metrics such as stock levels of finished products and shelf availability, inventory, working and fixed capital, and product waste in addition to distribution costs; and, the proposal of a new definition for HLC which challenges published definitions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Uncontrolled Keywords: Retailers, Horizontal collaboration, Logistics management, SCM metrics
Additional Information: PDF uploaded in accordance with publisher's policies at (accessed 15.1.16).
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 1359-8546
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 31 July 2015
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 17:27

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