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Outcome-oriented contracts in logistics outsourcing relationships

last modified Sep 30, 2017 09:26 PM
September Paper by Torsten Steinbach, Carl Marcus Wallenburg and Florian Urmetzer, on using outcome-oriented contracts to foster performance improvements in logistics outsourcing relationships.

Using Outcome-oriented Contracts to Foster Performance Improvements in Logistics Outsourcing Relationships

Torsten Steinbach, Carl Marcus Wallenburg and Florian Urmetzer

Outcome-oriented contracts are used for an increasing range of private and public services. In view of the importance to involve service providers in continuous improvement efforts, this paper helps managers to better understand how outcome-oriented contracts should be designed and managed to instigate proactive improvement. Following a quantitative research approach, empirical data was collected on logistics outsourcing relationships in Germany. Results reveal the potential of outcome-oriented contracts to improve the provider’s performance. Specifically, bonus payments foster the efforts of the service provider to achieve above-standard performance levels while penalties do not instigate proactive improvement efforts. Furthermore, practitioners should be aware that linking the compensation of the service provider management to the achievement of customer goals (i.e., the remuneration obtained by the customer) fosters proactive improvements. Lastly, customers and service providers are advised to allow frequent adjustments of the performance metric system (i.e., changing the target values and/or introducing new KPIs), for example, to reflect lessons learned during the contract management phase, in order to maximize the contract’s potential to stipulate proactive improvement efforts. In sum, outcome-oriented contracts can increase proactive improvement behavior by the service providers when they are designed and implemented effectively for which this paper provides a guideline.

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