Title: Improved customer service using new information technology as an enabling tool: the case of Electronic Data Interchange in the transportation industry
Authors: Marco Kerkhof
Addresses: University of Twente, School of Management Studies, Department of Technology & Organisation, PO Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to discuss the strategic potentiality of new information technology in service industries. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) in the transportation is used as an exemplary case. Recent research has shown that higher efficiency is the main reason for service organisations to implement EDI. But EDI can also be used as an enabling tool to develop new or improved customer services - e.g. tracking and tracing, real door-to-door concepts, etc. But in most organisations it takes time to discover the strategic potentials of EDI. In the first part of the paper the field of customer service and new information technology are described. Subsequently, the two subjects are linked in a theory on innovation in services, termed the reverse product cycle theory posed by Barras. Finally some first results are presented.
Keywords: customer service; electronic data interchange; EDI; information technology; innovation; reverse product cycle; service organisations; transport industry.
International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology, 1994 Vol.7 No.1/2, pp.47 - 52
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