Investigating Quick Response Code Application in Third-Party Logistics Companies

Investigating Quick Response Code Application in Third-Party Logistics Companies

Siti Norida Wahab (UCSI University, Malaysia), Yew Meng Chee (UCSI University, Malaysia) and Dazmin Daud (UCSI University, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4772-4.ch015
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This research aims to ascertain the application of the quick response (QR) code technology as the marketing tools among third-party logistics (3PLs) companies in Malaysia. This study adopted a qualitative research approach by conducting an in-depth interview with five respondents who are experienced in 3PLs services. The supply chain management with the 7Ps marketing mix act was applied as the guiding principle. The findings revealed that the interaction between consumers and 3PLs companies made easy and swift by the enabling application of mobile technology related to QR code. QR code enables to support both 3PLs and logistics industry towards competitive advantage. Growth of the market share, profit-revenue, and sales by utilizing the application of QR code with the linkage of social media is imperative to establish the company brand and reputation. This study has a significant implication for both 3PLs companies and academicians to further explore the practices and its application in a different organization setting.
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Supply chain management (SCM) is one of the industries that has been advanced and developed in recent years along with the marketing channels of logistics, purchasing and distribution sectors. Numerous advancements have been put into this industry (Lu et al., 2015; Weele & Raaij, 2014). It works as an interdisciplinary concept and continuously involved a network covering several companies from the process of suppliers to end-users. There are numerous activities involved in the entire SCM process flow. Each activity has different roles, responsibilities and executes a different process. Third-party logistics (3PLs) is one of the most important activities in the SCM process flow as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1.

SCM process flow

Source: Min & Zhou (2002)

Figure 1 explained the whole SCM eco-system that comprises of 3PLs as one of the key activities in the logistics. 3PLs coexist from suppliers to end customers which shows the importance of its role through the SCM. SCM involved various logistics activities and it is vital because it integrates various channels that eventually create a competitive spirit among the 3PLs (Gaurav & Dhananjay, 2015). An effective SCM significantly depends on the logistics activities and the responsibilities of the 3PLs providers. Thus, IT support systems are important and act as a substantial benchmark in any logistics companies particularly 3PLs. Presently, there are many Information Technology (IT) systems adopted by the logistics companies which act as the main driver in the current era of a business transaction. Among them is the Auto-Identification (Auto-ID) which consists of QR code. Auto-ID is common and extensively being used in the logistics sector particularly 3PLs (Gönül et al., 2016). The application of the QR code for the marketing activities which include advertising activities that bring tremendous advantages to the logistics companies. For instance, in the logistics industry related to the 3PLs companies, marketing activities and strategies are getting low compared to other industry (Musa et al., 2014). This will affect sales volume decline, sluggish growth and high turnover of employees. The situation is getting serious with the appearance of the e-commerce trend. Traditional marketing activities and strategies no longer work well with the technology advancement to cater to a booming sector which includes e-commerce.

The adoption of QR code for marketing activities for the other industry is well developed which includes textile-apparel, retailing, and food and beverages industry (Gönül et al., 2016; Ling & Wahab, 2020) Thus, this study is carried out among the 3PLs companies to view the possibilities, effectiveness and growth of the marketing activities through the application of the QR code technology. Preceding study on this area is focusing on the marketing activities among the western logistics companies. Thus, this study is further carried out to focus on Malaysia 3PLs companies. The primary goal for this study is to create a conceptual framework to future understand the integration of technology incorporates in the marketing activities among the 3PLs. Secondly, this research intents to study how 3PLs can make use of the QR code technology for marketing activities which act as an interactive communication tool between the company and the customer.

The following section consists of a literature review followed by the methodology. Finding and discussions were further explained in the next section to evaluate the results gathered from the respective respondents in the 3PLs companies. The research implication of this paper is enlightened and the limitation of the study is discussed in the subsequent section. Future research was highlighted follow by the conclusions section in the final section.

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