Title: A strategic alliance model with a regional monopoly of service centres in express courier services

Authors: Ki Ho Chung, Jae Jeung Rho, Chang Seong Ko

Addresses: Department of Management Information Systems, Kyungsung University, Daeyeon-dong, Nam-gu, Busan 608-736, Korea. ' Department of IT Business, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Munji-dong, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-732, Korea. ' Department of Industrial & Management Engineering, Kyungsung University, Daeyeon-dong, Nam-gu, Busan 608-736, Korea

Abstract: Since the 1990s, the demand for the direct shipment of purchased goods by express couriers has increased as the result of an explosive growth in the e-tailing, telemarketing and TV home-shopping industries, which has caused the emergence of an excessive number of express courier companies over the last several years. This increasing number of companies leads to severe competition among small- and medium-sized companies and a greater number of facilities and delivery vehicles for faster service, which may result in the waste of national resources. Furthermore, it is often the case that the facilities and delivery vehicles owned by individual companies are operated with a low utilisation rate. It has been suggested that cooperative strategic alliances in the operation of facilities and delivery vehicles may be beneficial especially for small- and medium-sized companies to overcome financial problems and improve declining profitability by reducing or eliminating overlapping investments. This study proposes a network design model for strategic alliances that share service centres. An integer programming model and its solution procedure based on maxmin and maxsum criteria are also developed respectively. The applicability and efficiency of the proposed model are demonstrated through an illustrative numerical example.

Keywords: strategic alliances; express courier delivery services; service centres; regional monopoly; SMEs; small and medium-sized enterprises; network design models; integer programming.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSOM.2009.026774

International Journal of Services and Operations Management, 2009 Vol.5 No.6, pp.774 - 786

Published online: 26 Jun 2009 *

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