Most work on supply chain design begins with cost, delivery time, quality and efficiency and frequently ignores the human factor interacting with that decision. In this study we explore the relative importance of various supply chain product components to reveal the decision-making trade-off that occurs when buyers select an outsourced service provider. Our research approach overcomes many of the limitations seen in prior studies that rely on simple rankings by survey respondents by identifying directly the customer’s utility for different service provider attributes. The results confirm the importance of various performance-level attributes and point us towards a new set of higher order capabilities based on professionalism and proactive innovation.
Coltman, T., Hughes, K. A., Devinney, T. M. & Whiting, S. M. (2006). Buyer preferences for outsourced logistics services (3PL). In J. Kennedy & L. Di Milia (Eds.), Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference (pp. 1-16). Rockhampton, Australia: Central Queensland University.