Supply chain tracking: Aligning buyer and supplier incentives

Ville Hinkka, Kary Främling, Jaakko Tätilä

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – This paper aims to present how the success of inter-organizational systems (IOS) implementation projects can be increased by aligning the different incentives of buyers and suppliers. Design/methodology/approach – The research method employed is case study and its unit of analysis is a network of supplier and wholesaler (buyer) companies acting in the Finnish technical trade industry, which are implementing inter-organizational tracking. The implementation project followed an implementation process model developed to execute the case study. Findings – For a buyer, the challenge in IOS implementation is that suppliers feel the adoption more difficult and have less identifiable benefits. However, in the case study, suppliers were ready to implement tracking solution because they understand that improvements in IOS help to apply common industry data exchange standards and will lead to better supply chain collaboration, which also increases their operational performance in the long run. Research limitations/implications – This paper concentrates on supplier and buyer incentives but also the role of other supply chain members such as logistics providers could be analyzed to examine different factors for IOS implementation. Practical implications – If the buyer takes a cooperative approach to IOS integration, suppliers can be motivated to integrate tracking as a part of their own operations. This high-level integration offers more options to improve the management and hence the performance of the whole supply chain than low-level integration. Originality/value – IOS implementation projects are seldom studied from the perspectives of buyers and suppliers in the supply chain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1133-1148
JournalIndustrial Management and Data Systems
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Information and communication technology
  • Inter-organizational systems
  • Purchasing
  • Radio frequency identification
  • Supply chain management
  • Tracking


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