Fourth party logistics in shipping company : the e-documentation centre

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Fourth party logistics in shipping company : the e-documentation centre


Author: Wong, Yat-chor Stanley
Title: Fourth party logistics in shipping company : the e-documentation centre
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2003
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Business logistics
Business logistics -- Contracting out
Business networks
Department: Dept. of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Pages: viii, 84, v leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: The emergence of 4PL concept in 1996 proved that the market was simply not ready to embrace it. Now, with enhanced e-commerce capabilities, the change in attitude from arm-length personal relationship to collaboration among competitors and business process outsourcing, the time is right. Understanding the environmental change and recognizing the opportunities and traps embedded in this new environment, an enhanced business model with process re-invention is required to create value and improve competency, otherwise the unchanged business operations or model will be trapped in difficulties. The E-Documentation centre is specialized in document production and intended to serve a whole shipping line's business network. The centre is the single user for documentation in the liner's computer system, as all the documentation production work is transferred to this centre to process. It is responsible for all the documentation work issues to the shipping line and its agencies hired in different countries, which are the 3PL in the shipping business network and have outsourced the documentation work to the E-Documentation centre. The centre has made use of the concept of 4PL to maximize the benefit obtained from both outsourcing and insourcing the documentation work within the shipping line's business network to trigger effective re-distribution of resources to create value and improve competency of the whole network to win in the marketplace. It involves a series of action to successfully transform a business operation of an organization and a business network with business continuity. Firstly it is essential to obtain the support from top management who understands and visualizes the change in industrial mindset for collaboration to create and allow opportunities and chances. Secondly, business operation has to be re-designed to capture comparative advantages available, it is necessary to re-configure the new roles, new responsibilities and new relationship of parties involved in the new business operation. Thirdly, it is necessary to deploy enhanced technology to bridge the workflow among different parties and boundaries, and to integrate and simplify processes to work out a more optimal business operation. Business organization is eager to get someone to share its business risks but at the same time its business integrity needs to be retained, ie. will not lose/transfer to business partner via business co-operation or contact. So, the best business partner needs to be in a neutral position or an independent business unit to act as a long-termed service provider and as well as a consultant. This is the direction for the centre to grow, a 4PL organization.

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