5. Chapter 5 – SURVEY RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
This section presents the questionnaire results. A respondent profile is analysed, followed by descriptive results that sum up respondents' answers to the questions used in the analysis. It also represent some trends like the extent of usage of 3PL services, the reasons of outsourcing or not outsourcing, the most recurrent outsourced logistics functions plus the potential and the impact of the usage of 3PL services. Then a number of statistical results from independent-test, ANOVA and Chi-square are presented to provide in-depth study of the relationships between different variables. This chapter presented empirical findings received from the conducted survey.
5.2 Respondent profile
As this questionnaire is anonymous, there is no company-specific information on which companies responded and which companies did not. However the questionnaire did gather some general statistics about the size and the industry of the respondents. This research has achieved replies from 92 companies and out of these companies, there are 52 companies currently using 3PL services.
5.2.1 Company employee numbers
The first question of the questionnaire deals with the number of employees in each responding company. This was used to decide respondent size. The results are showing below in table 5.1. It reflects the different categories provided as well as the responses received, with regard to the number of 3PL users and non-users of the respondent companies. Of the respondents to this question, 61% of the respondents indicated that their employee numbers were more than 20 while the remaining of the respondents had the employment characteristics ranging between 0-20 employees. The details of employee numbers of each group are available in table 5.1. As the respondents were small in group between 6-10, 11-15, and 16-20, these groups were re categorized into small (0-20) and large (20+) companies.
Table5.1: Details of company and number of 3PL users and non-users in each
Use of 3PL Not use of 3PL
Categories No. Percentage
No. Percentage No. Percentage
Number of Employee
0-5 16 17% 5 10% 10 25%
6-10 9 10% 8 15% 2 6%
11-15 6 7% 2 4% 5 11%
16-20 5 5% 3 6% 1 3%
21+ 56 61% 34 65% 22 55%
Turnover in 2015 ($millions)
0-5 27 29% 12 23% 14 36%
6-10 7 8% 4 8% 3 8%
11-15 3 3% 2 4% 0 0%
15-25 6 7% 4 8% 2 6%
26-100 13 14% 8 15% 6 14%
100+ 36 39% 22 42% 15 36%
Automotive 10 11% 8 15% 2 5%
Retail 9 10% 6% 5 13%
Chemicals/Healthcare 2 2% 0 0% 2 6%
Hi-tech/Electronics 3 3% 3 6% 0 0%
Fashion/Textiles 5 5% 3 6% 2 6%
Food & Beverage 18 19% 15 29% 2 6%
FMCG 5 6% 4 8% 2 6%
Industrial 11 12% 10 19% 1 3%
Others 29 32% 6 11% 24 61%
5.2.2 Company turnover
The company size of the respondents was also considered by asking respondents to point out the level of annual turnover of the company. Turnovers of the respondent companies ranged from $0 million to more than $100 million, representing from very small to very large firms in the sample. Thirty nine percent of respondents were in excess of $1 billion. The results also indicated an increasing relationship between the number of employees and level of turnover. Further results are revealed above in table 5.1.
5.2.3 Business category
The responding companies were in a broad cross-section of the industry. The following categories were provided and responses were received. Of the respondents to this question, 19 percent were from food and beverage industry, 12 percent were involved in industrial, 11 percent in the automotive industry, 10 percent in retail, 6 percent in FMCG, and 5 percent in fashion/textiles. The respondents from hi-tech/electronics industry and healthcare were 3 percent and 2 percent respectively. Respondents that had indicated ‘Others' were mainly from industrial (construction / building,), wholesaler, and landscape industries. From this research, it was not possible to connection trends and practices specifically to the different industry sectors as some of the responses were too small. This can be seen from table 5.1: the small number of 3PL users and non-users in each industry.
5.3 Reasons for not outsourcing logistics activities
The main reasons why companies are not presently outsourcing logistics activities was ascertained by asking respondents to select the reason(s) leading them not to outsource logistics activities from a list. The results in figure 5.1 showed that up to seventy two percent of the companies that did not outsource logistics had considered themselves to have enough skills and resources instead. Some other concerns were the loss of control over the logistics function (42%), losing touch with important information (25%), uncertainty in service levels provided (17%), lost of customer feedback, hidden true cost of outsourcing (11%) and lack of shared goal (6%). Interestingly, difficulty in obtaining organization support was not selected by any respondent. With respect to the 25 percent of respondents that indicated that there were reasons in addition to the list as followings: Company has capital investment in terms of warehousing and this is quite similar to company has adequate skills and resources; company concerns about transport damage; specialized product services not available; and a few of respondents were not aware of 3PL services
.Figure 5.1: Reasons for not outsourcing logistics activities
Notes: N=40 for each reason.
Therefore, companies seem to be disinterested in logistics outsourcing mainly because they are satisfied with their own logistics competence and apparently do not want to give up the control of logistics function in this survey. This may be due to a lack of the advantages of outsourcing and/or marketing by providers; and/or a lack of good experience of logistics function outsourcing. In addition, the majority of respondents did not see difficulty in obtaining organization support and lack of shared goal as important reasons not to undertake the outsourcing of their logistics activities.
Then an investigation on whether the size of a company has an impact on whether they choose a particular reason for not using 3PL services was conducted. This yielded meaningful information for 3PL providers to improve awareness by targeting specific groups of customers. Companies with less than 20 employees are categorized as small companies, whereas the rest are formed as large companies. Table 5.2 exhibits the results of the cross tabulation and Chi-square test for the size of companies and whether they have selected a particular reason of not using a 3PLs services.
Table 5.2 Reasons for not outsourcing logistics activities; Small companies vs. large companies:
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