Research background and gap
Logistic and supply chain management is critical in monitoring the efficiency in line with the objective, goals, and mission of an organization. Efficiency improvement facilitates the sustainable and optimal functioning of different aspects of the supply chain. In most cases, many organizations such as the Abu Dhabi Ports Company have a dysfunctional supply chain system due to a lack of a proper balance in the factors such as efficiency, automation, costs, and communication. In the ideal, their factors should run concurrently despite being independent to complete the logistic and supply chain function at the Abu Dhabi Ports Company.
Therefore, there is a need to incorporate the single window system to guarantee a solution to the current supply chain problem. The single window system proposed for the Abu Dhabi Ports Company is an advanced ports communication system (APC) which fastens different functions within the supply chain management. Despite the existence of the APC for the last ten years, its implementation has not been very effective since there is little evidence to suggest the most appropriate strategy for integration within the current supply chain management strategy (Bowman 14). Therefore, this research proposal will attempt to address this gap by presenting the most appropriate strategy for integration and implementation of the APC at the Abu Dhabi Ports Company to address all the shortfalls in different logistic and supply chain management functions.
Research question and thesis statement
The research question will be;
- What is the role of the single window system or APC in addressing the current logistic and supply chain management shortfalls such as efficiency, automation, costs, and communication at the Abu Dhabi Ports Company?
The research thesis is formulated as;
- This research proposal will attempt to establish how the single window system (in this case the APC) applied by the Abu Dhabi Ports Company is key in solving supply chain management setbacks on efficiency, automation, costs, and communication in functionality.
Research proposal justification
The significance of the study is the re-evaluation of approaches to effective supply chain management, including devices and system platforms for information transmission, the structure of supply chain function, and the sequence of settled tasks. By creating an understanding of the efficiency associated with the single window system such as the APC platform, the results of the study will create the need to adopt and implement the system to seal shortfalls in the supply chain management at the Abu Dhabi Ports Company and any other company in the same sector.
Preliminary literature review
Basically, “supply chain analysis is the examination of the management of the flow of information, inventory, processes, and cash flows from the earliest supplier to the ultimate consumer, including the final disposal process through value chain analysis” (Andrea 25). Value chain analysis is the essence of a corporation’s strategy determining how it chooses to compete in its markets (United Nations Economic Forum for Europe 3).
To achieve the functional value chain balance, there is a need to use tools that support strategic cost management to minimize the economic risks of sourcing raw materials such as the single window system. Once processes have been mapped, keeping the value proposition in mind, the organization can determine which tools to use to better understand the cost through applying cost analysis, price analysis, the total cost of ownership, and targeting cost (United Nations Economic Forum for Europe 3). Under cost analysis, an organization should analyze zero-based pricing, as well as analysis of service provider cost elements. Price analysis involves understanding the prices available in the marketplace (Bustin 32). The total cost of ownership involves analyzing the true cost of acquisition, use, maintenance, and disposal of a good, services, capital equipment, or process (Bowman 12).
Inadequate analytical dimensions of the supply chain such as business responsibility, customer service quality, and cost may compromise the functionality of a supply chain, especially when it operates in a multi-window platform. The core competency of the single window system lies in its capacity to reduce operational costs while at the same time reducing delivery times. This process constitutes a core competency since “improvements in delivery time, price, and product line-ups can add a significant value to a business’ offering and can help it to find a true niche in even the most crowded markets” (Smithson 162).
To determine its performance of the supply chain management, it is necessary to measure operations, logistics processes, and customer contentment to derive strategies for reducing operating costs together with increasing revenue growth (Worthen par. 9). The measurement of operational costs indicates the healthiness of the logistics and supply chain performance. It also aids in the discovery of the necessary areas of improvement.
In the effort to attract and retain its customers, Abu Dhabi Ports Company emphasizes the increasing-price value of the services that it offers (Worthen par. 12). This kind of communication is achieved through IT tools such as aramex.com, ePOD, and PACK for its single window system called the APC to measure the aspects of professionalism, speed, flexibility, competitive pricing, friendliness, and the provision of a variety of services within the supply chain system (United Nations Economic Forum for Europe 4).
From a theoretical perspective, the value creation model cannot align cost-effectiveness when logistics of operation are aligned to a single-window system. For instance, lack of strong control systems and poor benchmarking approach (Smithson 161) will compromise the organizational strategy of cost reduction, customer satisfaction, and reduction of risks when the supply chain management function is managed from different units. The most notable trend in the current business environment is automating supply chain management through a single-window system. This trend is becoming very common in many businesses since it has benefits such as strong distribution and retribution process, efficiency, and reduced inventory costs (Worthen par. 8).
Supply chain management from a single-window system relieves a company of fixed costs irrespective of seasonal trends and market demand. Through a competitive process, the single window unit will develop a balanced control system for a sustainable level of efficiency, costing, dependability, speed, quality, and flexibility through value delivery, value addition, and creativity (Smithson 168).
However, what makes this strategy effective is the constant formulation and implementation of strategic policies based on its knowledge of the customer needs in the supply chain management (Worthen par. 12). For the implementation of the strategy, the management is to balance both the short term and long term consideration towards decisions making (Bowman 13).
Statement of the contribution of the research to the general area
Implementation of the single window supply chain management functionality is a systematic measure that is instituted by an organization to maintain an efficient and cost effective operation matrix. Further, the implementation of the single window system aid in safeguarding assets and resources of an entity, deterring inefficiencies, and sustaining completeness in management strategies. Therefore, the results of this research may be used by the Abu Dhabi Ports Company to improve the total quality supply chain management system and implement desirable business decisions that would influence the efficiency and reliability of its supply chain function.
Proposed research methodology
This research will be conducted using a secondary approach. Data, which will be collected from journals and books, will be scrutinized. The researcher chose the second approach because the scope of the research is focused, subjective, dynamic, and discovery-oriented. Moreover, this approach will create room for further analysis using different and divergent tools for checking the degree of error and assumption limits. The collected qualitative data will be coded and passed through an appropriate analysis tool. In the process, cross-tabulation will be used to compare and contrast different findings. To quantify the relationship between the independent and dependent variables, the researcher will carry out an analysis based on findings from the academic journals. The researcher will scrutinize each source to minimize biases and maintain high ethical standards for carrying out research.
Research plan and outline
Week 1: Research Commencement
This stage of the research study involves a proactive analysis of different research topics from which the researcher has to pick one topic and define the rationale for the choice. This stage took approximately one week to accomplish.
Week 2 & 3: Choosing the case study
The researcher will have to decide on the most appropriate research approach. Besides, the researcher will have to choose relevant research variables to ensure that the scope of the study is well addressed. It is estimated that this part of the research will take atlas two weeks to accomplish.
Week 4 & 5: Background research
Since the topic has several past literature materials, the researcher will not have many challenges in creating the research background. The role of the researcher at this stage will be to merge different literature materials to the research topic to determine the direction to follow during the actual research. It is estimated that it will take at most two weeks to accomplish this part.
Week 6, 7, & 8: Conducting the literature review
This stage will be the most demanding because the researcher will have to carry out empirical and theoretical literature. The researcher will then relate the existing literature to the case study topic. Among the sources of information that the researcher will explore are academic journals, course notes, and books.
Week 9, 10, & 11: Collecting data and analyzing data
This stage will also be very demanding since the researcher will have to balance different tools for carrying out a survey to present sensible findings of the topic. The research will have to scrutinize data collected to ensure that the analysis makes scientific sense by adhering to ethical principles of carrying out social research. This stage will take the longest time, probably three weeks since secondary research and data analysis are time-consuming.
Week 12 & 13: Research conclusion
After the analysis stage, the researcher will identify the themes that have emerged to offer an appropriate interpretation of the findings. This stage will be completed within two weeks. The above research timeline is summarized in the Gantt chart below.
A timetable of the proposed research
Andrea, Arnold. “Understanding how Formal and Informal Communication Affect Purchasing, Manufacturing and Logistics Integration.” Advances in Management 4.7 (2011): 22-32. Print.
Bowman, Singh. “Corporate Restructuring: Reconfiguring the Firm.” Strategic Management Journal 1.4 (2003): 5–14. Print.
Bustin, Gerald. Take Charge: How Leaders Profit From Change, Irving, Texas: Tapestry Press, 2004. Print.
Smithson, Samuel. “Analysing Information Systems Evaluation: Another Look at an Old Problem.” European Journal of Information Systems, 7.3 (2008): 158-174. Print.
United Nations Economic Forum for Europe. The Single Window Concept. DAM no. 324. Geneva: United Nations Publication, 2003. Print.
Worthen, Ben. Companies More Prone to Go Vertical. 2009. Web.