Changing to third party logistics by Magnus Lindskog.

By Magnus Lindskog.

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At the outset I assumed that the change would be a much more complex and dramatic process from the shipper’s perspective, than it is from the provider’s. After all, acquiring new clients and incorporating them in operations ought to be part of the everyday life of third party logistics providers. For shippers, it is more likely to be a one-off event, of which they have no prior experience. A pragmatic delimitation also had to be made regarding how much would be encompassed within this thesis, and how much would have to wait for future publications.

Whilst previous TPL literature has focused on decision-making, this thesis focuses on the process dimension, by applying a theoretical foundation and research design adapted to studies of process. These issues are described in more detail in the following chapter. 41 42 5 Blueprint of the study So far it has been concluded through a literature study that there is a difference between the research that has been done regarding TPL establishment process, and that which is concerned with logistics change processes, in terms of theoretical underpinnings and intimately associated with that, research approach.

I have however found a few examples of recent works that differ slightly from the dominating, what-oriented, linear view, mainly by pointing at the importance of “human issues” in general. Skjoett-Larsen (2000a) points out that: “In the end, it is the employees and not the systems and processes that will ensure solutions to the logistics tasks…”, making it necessary “…not to underestimate the human and cultural aspects in the implementation of projects of change in the company” (p. 386). Similarly, van Hoek et al (2002) argue that supply chain managers need not only technical capabilities, but also emotional, whilst Gammelgaard & Larson (2001) stress communication skills.

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