The development of information technology has caused the nature of logistics and supply chain management changing dramatically. Furthermore, the relationship between retailer and supplier changed as well due to the changing of retail exchanges. As retailers are going to gain much more business opportunities and reduce cost on supply chain, it has affected the supplier in somehow. According to the change, there are some issues cannot be ignored because of the importance of the relationship between retailers and suppliers. This study aim to state what is the retail exchange: maintaining relationship and what should retailer and supplier do to remain the collaborative relationships.
With the development of information technology, the way in which retailers manage their supply chains has been altered fundamentally (Sparks, 1998; Fernie and Sparks, 1998). Logistics and other activities have to be managed over greater distances than ever before due to information technology (Sparks & Wagner, 2003). Which means retailer activity is trend to be global. It is reasonable as retailers are going to maximize profits by enhancing their appropriate activities and reducing costs. Monczka and Trent (2003) also state that no matter in which business environment, searching for the most appropriate management methods, tools and activities of competitive advantage is demand. Thus, retailers could utilize the contribution of information technology to strategic supply chain activities such as efficient consumer response. The advantages of using the internet for exchange and communication purposes, such as the ability to source for suppliers on a global scale, would need to be considered in light of the potential to automate supply chain processes (Eng, 2004). Furthermore, the relationships between retailers and suppliers cannot be ignored. Based on Sparks and Wagner (2003), closer relationships among a network of suppliers have become essential. It is clear that suppliers plan a significant role in successful supply chain management.
This study is aim to evaluate logistics and supply chain management for analysing retail exchanges influenced by information technology and the relationship with supplier. Firstly, retailers maintain collaborative relationships with suppliers, upon retailers move to reduce costs and outsource activities, will be examined. The importance of the relationships between retailers and suppliers will be clarified within the literature as well. Then, it will demonstrate how information technology is impacting on relational exchanges between retailers and suppliers. At the same time, some relatively issues caused by information technology will be analysed. At the end of this study, some recommendations will be given to help Australian retail firms adopt to improve their performance.
2.0 Literature Review
2.1 Collaborative relationships between retailers and suppliers Traditional relationships between suppliers and retailers are often described as “arm’s-length” market relationships, characterized by nonspecific asset investments, minimal information exchange, and separable technological and functional systems within each firm (Dyer & Singh, 1998). It is obviously that traditional relationships between retailers and suppliers are really weak, it does not pay much attention on relational exchanges between retailers and suppliers. However, the original relationships need be shifted, which the view of interorganizational relationships from arm’s-length to long-term, collaborative relationships (Handfield and Bechtel 2002). The new relationship statement means collaborative relationships are essential to supply chain management. Moreover, Jap (1999) indicates that the collaboration process is worthwhile, with coordination efforts and investments leading to enhance profit performance and the realization of competitive advantages over time. “Collaboration...
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