The a customer and the 3PL as service provider.

The aim of thisstudy is to identify the importance of the role played by the 3PL andinvestigate on the main KPIs that should be taken in the consideration to builda long term trust relationship between the company as a customer and the 3PL asservice provider.By the sametoken, I will also define the evolution of the status of the third partylogistics (3PL) in France, and particularly in the luxury sector. The findingof this research are based on previous similar studies and relevant papers.However, this study is limited as described as follow.  1.

    Background  1.1  The high importance of supply chainmanagement and logistics nowadays  Over the Lasttwo decades, the role and the importance of the logistics and supply chain hasincreased significantly where the general conditions of doing business overthat period have also changed drastically. The main considerable reasons ofthat change that belongs to the increasing demanding market and consumers, theincrease of the competitiveness of the market, the introduction of the newtechnologies and the globalisation.

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(Rushton & walker, 2007). In order to copeup with the changing market, the companies seek new ways to adapt where themain affected area is the logistics and the supply chain department.These twoservices (either done internally or outsourced) are the pillar of the processimprovement, increase of the competitiveness by the cost reduction and theamelioration the customer value. 2.2The increasing role of thethird-party logistics  The significantgrowth of the business dynamics nowadays has made the outsourcing of thelogistics functions very common and widespread all over the world. Numerous arethe logistics services and functions that can be outsourced in order tofacilitate the process efficiently and effectively internally and many are thereasons behind this process of subcontracting.

 (Sahay & Mohan, 2006)The overall activitiesthat can be considered in outsourcing can be resumed as follow:·     Servicing the in-house transformations /Acquisitions: for example: trucks, warehouses and other premises owned by theoutsourcing company.·     Managing all the processes related to the purchasingof the raw materials, till the delivery to the final customer and the aftersales services·     Setting up a new logistics firm or acquiring alogistics subsidiary  Nowadays, the perceptionof the outsourcing concept has become enormous and the main outsourcedactivities are warehousing, transportation, purchasing. (Rushton & walker, 2007) As reported inthe survey of Lieb and Bentx (2005), approximately about 80 percent of theFortune 500 companies work with a 3PL while their internal operating budget,allocated to the 3PL providers, is significantly increasing. There are multiplefactors for companies that influence their internal strategy and lead them tooutsourcing their logistics functions and these factors can be summarized asfollow (Göl & Bülent , 2007) (Aktas & Ulengin, 2005) (Semchi-Levi, Kaminsky, & Simchi-Levi, 2008):·     Building a significantly bigger competitiveadvantage·     Decreasing the costs and the in-houseinvestments ·     Focus on the core activities of the company ·     Increasing the service level and the customersatisfaction ·     Moving ahead with the globalization ·     Rising the speed to market ·     Promote the innovation ·     Increasing the revenues and the profitability ofthe company ·     Decreasing the personnel ·     Ameliorating the Supply Chain Management of thecompany Furthermore, the3PL services have meaningful contributed in the development of the MacroEconomy. After the second half 1990s, (Gordon, 2008)the 3PL concept has grown by more than20 percent per year.

However, the 3PL sector has an immense potential evolutionin the US in particular (with 10% of the total annual logistics costs allocatedto the 3PL) and worldwide in general. 2.    Definition of the problem  The logisticsservices in the luxury field play a huge and important role in the process ofmaintaining a good image of the brand, the quality of the product delivery(with the appropriate delivery) and mainly maintain the competitive advantageamong the other competitors. Therefore, the expectations from the 3PL industryare mainly based on the role it plays in development of the company as thecountry’s global economy.

Nonetheless,there has been some studies conducted about 3PL and its importance in Europe butin the world as a whole. Notwithstanding, no study has mainly focused on thenature and importance of the logistics services deployed by luxury sector inFrance. Inthe last decennary, many questionnaires and survey-based studies have beenpublished as academic sources in order to evaluate the importance and degree ofcollaboration with 3PL across different countries. These analyses have beenconducted first in North America (LIEB & RANDALL, 1996), Europe (C. Lieb, A. Millen, & Van Wassenhove, 1993) (Wilding & Juriado, 2004),Australia (Dapiran, Lieb, Millen, & Sohal, 1996) (Sohal, Millen, & Moss, 2002), Malaysia (Sohail & Sohal, 2003),India (Sahay & Mohan, 2006), Saudi Arabia (Sohail & Al-Abdali, 2005).