University of Twente Student Theses


Business intelligence for horizontal cooperation: measuring the performance of a transportation network sharing cooperation between logistics companies

Iankoulova, Iliana (2012) Business intelligence for horizontal cooperation: measuring the performance of a transportation network sharing cooperation between logistics companies.

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Abstract:The focus of this research is on identifying how the operational performance of a horizontal cooperation can be measured with the help of Business Intelligence solutions. The type of horizontal cooperation that is researched in this thesis is the one where two or more logistics service providers share their transportation network and vehicles in order to reduce the empty kilometres, optimize the vehicles’ utilization and improve the on-time performance of the shipments. In this situation, the partners are also direct competitors; this imposes restrictions on the information the partners will share with each other. The aim of this research is to identify a possible solution that complies with the information sharing restrictions, but at the same time can use operational data from the planning and the execution of shipments to measure the performance of the transportation cooperation. Such a study is important in two ways. First, it has high practical relevance. The number of logistics service providers that are already part of a horizontal cooperation or consider the opportunity is predicted to rise significantly in the next few years. This trend emerges due to the rising pressure on road transportation companies to cut cost and improve the efficiency and the effectiveness of their operations. The availability of a tool that can measure the performance of horizontal cooperation in transportation will be very useful in identifying improvement gaps; also, it will enable the partners to set targets. Second, this study can be beneficial to the theory building in the emerging research field of horizontal cooperation and especially in the area of implementing and managing on a day-to-day basis the working of such initiative, an area in which almost no research is available. The research approach adopted in this thesis includes the design science methodology as an overall research method. Also, a case study is used for the requirements gathering and the empirical validation which further improves the theoretical relevance of the thesis since there is a high need of case studies in the field of logistics. An appropriate measurement framework is proposed based on the findings from the literature review about Business Intelligence solutions, logistics performance measurement, and cooperation performance measurement; and an insight from a case study in which three logistics companies were preparing for horizontal cooperation. The proposed Overall Transport Effectiveness (OTE) framework concentrates on the measurement of transportation effectiveness, which combined with measures for the extent of the cooperation (harmonization measures) and the efficiency of the planning, can be a reliable source for information in cooperation setting that requires minimal amount of data sharing. In addition to the OTE framework, a BI dashboard is designed and implanted to illustrate the application and the capabilities of the framework. The main conclusions, drawn from the validation of the OTE framework and dashboard, are that they can have, in fact, high utility with logistics service providers. The framework consists of relevant, understandable, and comparable measures; where the dashboard effectively realizes the features of the framework and is an efficient and useful BI tool with which users are well satisfied. A recommendation for the practitioners is to use the OTE framework to identify losses and gaps in transportation effectiveness. If the OTE is to be implemented in a dashboard, the provided prototype could be used to identify the features that will have the highest added value in the particular case. The construct validity and the internal validity of the study do not suffer from any strong limitations. However, more can be desired in terms of external validity. The experts that participated in the design and the validation are representatives from one logistics service provider, and most of them were strategic and tactical decision makers. This might have injected some bias into the results. Therefore, more future research in that area is suggested that includes experts making decisions at different levels, for example operational. Including more decision-making perspectives would strengthen the external validity of the results and, in turn, would improve the theoretical relevance of this study. Keywords: horizontal cooperation, Business Intelligence (BI), performance measurement, Overall Transport Effectiveness (OTE), logistics, road transportation, cooperation harmonization indicators
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Information Technology MSc (60025)
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