Platform Service Supply Chain Management: Challenges and Solutions
• 大类 : 工程技术 - 2区
• 小类 : 工程：工业 - 1区
• 小类 : 工程：制造 - 2区
• 小类 : 运筹学与管理科学 - 1区
With the continuous improvement of Internet technology, service platform has developed rapidly as a new business model, which greatly affects firms' operations and interactions. Service platforms take advantage of Internet technology to connect and match supply and demand and provide matchmaker service. They can reduce the number of intermediaries and transform the operations of traditional service supply chains. For example, typical service platforms such as Uber, Didi, Lyft, Postmates, Instacart, T-mall, JD.com and Airbnb operate with the 'online-to-offline' (O2O) business model. Under such a model, both supply and demand ends can make full use of the network infrastructure, payment technology and services provided by the platform to operate online more efficiently. We call this platform service supply chain (PSSC). Apart from matching supply and demand, PSSC also emphasizes on the transactions and transfers of ownerships of goods.
At present, although PSSC is evolving rapidly, it also faces many economic, social and environmental challenges. From the economic perspective, many platform-based enterprises have shut down after investing a large amount of funds due to insufficient understanding of the service platform operating model. Examples include the car service platform Bopai and home service platform Homejoy (Zhang and Chen, 2016). In terms of social responsibility, PSSC scandals occur frequently. For example, the suspension of Didi, China's largest O2O online car-hailing service platform, because of the murder of a passenger (CNN, 2018). Airbnb has also faced resistance in some regions due to the repeated exposure of illegal acts of homeowners to the tourists (Daily Mail, 2018). Environmentally, platforms can generate a huge amount of pollution with unreasonable disposal of resources. For example, the â€œcycling cemeteriesâ€ left by OFO, the world's largest shared bicycle platform. This phenomenon is not only in China, but also in other countries such as the United States (Ye, 2018). Such challenges make the sustainable development of the PSSC a topic of interest.
The challenges are closely related to the relationship management in PSSC. Recall the examples mentioned above, both Didi and Airbnb are at risk due to insufficient control of the upstream service provider. The buyer-supplier relationship and sustainability issues are well investigated in manufacturing supply chains (Kelle et al., 2009; Chen et al., 2014). However, most of the existing literature about PSSC focuses on aspects such as platform pricing, promotion methods, and service models (He et al., 2016; Jiang and Tian, 2016; Jiang et al., 2017; Li et al., 2017; Radhi and Zhang, 2018). The challenges and solutions of PSSC's sustainable development are rarely considered.
The main objective of this Special Issue is to invite academics and practitioners to contribute to a better understanding of PSSC's sustainable development from the economic, social and environmental perspectives with the assistance of advanced operations management methods. As a new business model, the PSSC operating mode is significantly different from the traditional SSC due to its unique operational characteristics such as platform threshold, platform connectivity, platform serviceability and supply and demand matching capabilities. These characteristics of the platforms and their supply chains make their sustainable operations more complex. We believe that advanced operations management methods, such as optimization models and algorithms, can provide better guidance for platforms to implement sustainable supply chain management. With concerns discussed above, contributors are encouraged to heed the focus of this Special Issue by addressing the topics below. This following list is not exhaustive:
Sustainable management of PSSC
Security and risk management of PSSC
Multi-platform competition and cooperation in PSSC
Policy research of sustainable development for PSSC