H6: Intermediaries (distributors and retailers) perceive greater customer satisfaction improvement from the use of BSIT than do manufacturers.
The dependent variables for the model measure aspects of a firm's perceived performance benefits from the implementation of BSIT. Chwelos, Benbasat and Dexter (2001) outlined several benefits that may be associated with the use of BSIT, including reduced communication and administration cost, and the enabling of supply chain initiatives, such as JIT inventory management.
In order to measure perceived performance benefits, data were collected on a firm's perceptions of (1) reduction in order processing costs with its suppliers, (2) reduction in processing costs of customer orders and (3) inventory reductions due to the implementation of BSIT initiatives.
The hypothesized independent variable in the model is the use of BSIT by a firm.
These dummy variables are employed to determine the association of a firm's position in the supply chain with perceived performance benefits from BSIT use.
As well, retailers may be driven from business unless they are to respond to heightened competition, possibly by increasing efficiency through investments in BSIT.
In the first column, the coefficient for BSIT with suppliers is positive and significant (p < 0.05).
Although the intermediaries perceive greater benefits from the use BSIT, further analyses show that the intermediaries do not use BSIT to a greater extent than do the manufacturers, suggesting that the intermediaries' actions in adopting BSIT may lag their perception of the benefits of this technology.
TABLE IV T-Tests for Boundary-Spanning Information Technologies (BSIT) Use Between Manufacturers, Distributors and Retailers Number of BSIT with BSIT with Observations Suppliers Customers Manufacturers 56 0.94 0.70 Distributors and retailers 180 0.96 0.68 T statistics (HO: diff = 0) -0.19 0.17 T-statistics are not significant at p < 0.10.
The control variable in the model for size is positive and significant in the estimation of order processing cost reduction with suppliers and customers, suggesting that larger firms perceive greater benefits from the use of BSIT than do their smaller competitors.
Using data collected from the food industry through a mail survey, we estimated a series of multiple regressions, and found the use of BSIT results in improved perceived operational performance, measured by order processing cost reduction, decreased inventory levels and improved customer satisfaction.
(1999) detailed the importance of BSIT to firms operating in the food industry.