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Title: A study on barriers of innovation in warehouses and distribution centers in Singapore
Authors: Pu, Shuyi.
Keywords: DRNTU::Business::Operations management::Supply chain management
Issue Date: 2013
Abstract: Within a conventional supply chain, a warehouse is always a critical node serving as a connection and buffer station. However, due to the rapid changes of international markets, the fierce competition in the global world and the demanding call for non-stop supply chain, warehousing industry is facing tremendous critics of being redundant and non-value-added and has been pushed to the edge of survival. The need for them to innovate emerges as the situation calls for. However, things do not go smoothly for companies who wish to innovate or who have employed innovation. Various barriers exist on their way to innovation. Even though the critical factors of innovation have been widely discussed among industrial and academic professionals, few studies have specifically touched on the subject within the scope of warehousing industry, let alone in the context of Singapore. Thus, our study aims to investigate the barriers of innovation in Singapore’s warehouses and distribution centers, together with possible solutions to overcome the barriers. The results were obtained through a two-pronged approach which constituted questionnaires and interviews. Both quantitative analysis and qualitative assessment were employed to obtain convincing and comprehensive results. The research shows that for non-innovators the obstacle to fail companies’ attempts to innovate comes from the “lack of financial resources”. For innovators, the hindrances to prevent companies from achieving desired outcomes through innovation are the joint effects of five factors, namely “lack of innovation culture”, “lack of financial resource”, “lack of highly educated or qualified staff”, “lack of cooperation with SC partners”, and “lack of technology knowledge”. In order to conquer those barriers, it is suggested that companies should enhance professional training for employees in the form of seminars, industrial sharing and overseas trips with a view to equipping themselves as a qualified executor and facilitator of innovation. Meanwhile, governments should play an active role in supporting innovation through providing more funds to warehouses, especially to SMEs, and relaxing regulatory requirements. Industry representatives also pointed out the strategic importance of combined efforts from the companies and the government to amplify the education for the industry as well as changing the populace’s misunderstanding of warehousing. For the sake of maintaining the coherence of the results, it is recommended that the definition of innovation should be clarified to respondents before they answer questions in future researches. Great endeavor also needs to be taken to enlarge the sample base of questionnaires and interviews so as to attain reliable statistics. With the identified barriers of innovation and the suggested solutions, companies and policy makers could use our study as a reference for decision making to ensure a sustainable development of innovation.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:CEE Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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