Outlining benefits and barriers for employing four types of information system in fourth-party logistics
Abstract: This paper examines the process of employing four kinds of information systems in fourth-party logistics. The paper mainly tries to answer research questions: what is fourth-party logistics and information systems; what are benefits and barriers for using four kinds of information systems (RFID, WMS, EDI, Electronic marketplace) with the help of fourth-party logistics; what are unique benefits and barriers for fourth-party logistics to employ the four kinds of information systems and how to overcome the difficulties. To answer the research question, qualitative case study approach was employed and two case companies were chosen. Information in literature review was collected from secondary data for example scientific paper. Information in findings was collected from interviews of people in charge of the project and internal reports. Definitions of fourth-party logistics and information system were reviewed in literature review. The differences between fourth-party logistics and third-party logistics were presented as well. In addition, categorization of various kinds of advanced information systems was also listed. Benefits and barriers organized from literature and case studies were gathered and compared in discussion. Two significant benefits were identified: opportunities to do businesses with leading companies and improved efficiency. Two main barriers are confusion of the concept of fourth-party logistics and terminology of information system and financial justification. There are different opinions between the two case companies, literature review and empirical data, and between different literature. The paper concluded that there are many benefits and barriers for employing the four kinds of information systems in fourth-party logistics, and the future development of it is promising.
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