Information quality in transport operations

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A study exploring changes in transport operations due to use of the quality information, co-authored with A. Habjan, was published in September 2012 issue of Industrial Management & Data Systems. The work titled Exploring the effects of information quality change in road transport operations sheds light – through an exploratory comparative case study of three transport firms – how information quality improvements stimulate organizational benefits in road transport operations. Abstract:

The information system (IS) literature has previously emphasized the positive contribution of IT-enabled quality information on decision making and firm performance, particularly when firms operate in highly competitive and uncertain settings. Yet, our understanding of how such information potentially transforms transport operations and generates improvements in organizational performance is limited. In response, the authors conduct an exploratory comparative case study of three transport firms that have introduced the global positioning system (GPS) in their operations. The purpose of this paper is to focus on assessing changes in transport operations due to the use of the quality information GPS provides and the link between these changes and organizational benefits. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews, direct observations and archival documentation in the three transport firms. Applying methods of a comparative case study, the data were analyzed by employing iterative and inductive analyses. The results identify transport operations as the missing element in a more comprehensive explanation of previously hypothesized relationships between information quality improvements and organizational benefits in road transportation. Notably, it was found that different information quality affects transport operations in various ways. In addition, improved transport operations, namely transport service planning, vehicle routing and transport control, result in improved customer service, enhanced transport asset utilization, reduced transport costs and time, and in increased satisfaction of employees working within the transport process. The paper offers a series of propositions that aims to stimulate empirical research and theoretical thinking on this topical subject. The findings offer valuable insights to transport firms, while providing and improving information quality for transport service planning, vehicle routing and transport control that results in organizational benefits linked to customer service, transport asset utilization, costs, and employee satisfaction. For information to have practical value, firms must use it in those transport operations identified as adding value to the firms’ performance.

Aleš Popovič

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