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An in-depth case study of a modular service delivery system in a logistics context

Ponsignon, F., Davies, P., Smart, A. and Maull, R. (2021) An in-depth case study of a modular service delivery system in a logistics context. International Journal of Logistics Management. ISSN 0957-4093

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1108/IJLM-07-2020-0295

Abstract/Summary

Purpose: The objective of this work is to empirically investigate the design of a service delivery system that supports the provision of modular service logistics offerings. Methodology: An in-depth single case study relying on interview data and extensive documentary evidence is carried out in the B2B logistics sector. Three main analytical techniques are used to make sense of the qualitative data: thematic analysis, process mapping and the application of modular operators. Findings: A modular service delivery system comprises three types of processes that collectively deliver modular offerings. First, the platform consists of core processes that enable the collection, transport, and delivery of physical items for all offerings (modular and non-modular). Second, dedicated modular processes are mandatory and exclusive to individual modular offerings. Third, optional modular processes are shared across several modular offerings. Moreover, interfaces regulate physical (e.g., parcels or parts) and information (e.g., booking data) inputs provided by the customer in order to control the interdependencies within these different process types. Practical implications: The identification of three process types and their interdependencies provides detailed insights into how managers can design modular logistics services that benefit from economies of scale and meet increasingly variable customer requirements. The importance of well-designed interfaces among the customer, the service offering, and the service delivery system is highlighted. Originality/value: This study exends previous modularity studies in service logistics. It applies modular operators to determine the presence of modularity in the service delivery system and to establish the role of different process types in enabling modularity in the service delivery system.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Henley Business School > Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting
ID Code:97495
Publisher:Emerald

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