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Shpend Imeri, Tauno Kekäle, Josu Takala and Yang Liu

Abstract

The study emphasizes on the understanding of the impact of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ elements of TQM in South-Eastern European (SEE) firms in Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Greece, Macedonia, Montenegr, Serbia and Romania. Thus, 350 questionnaires were collected out of 1000. From different industry sectors in order to have reliable statistical measurements of the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ side of TQM. Hence, this study adopts an exploratory rather than a confirmatory research approach. This approach seeks not only to investigate firms’ awareness and perception to TQM but also explores to what extent are firms’ familiar with TQM tools techniques, and systems as well as TQM philosophies and principles. Therefore, it can be noted TQM is this SEE firms is neither resisted nor directly accepted, rather they tend to see it from a technical aspect, being familiar and understanding only the essential of its ‘hard’ elements and less the ‘soft’ elements.

Open access

Shpend Imeri, Khuram Shahzad, Josu Takala, Yang Liu, Ilkka Sillanpää and Tahir Ali

Abstract

The supplier selection process is very important to companies as selecting the right suppliers that fit companies strategy needs brings drastic savings. Therefore, this paper seeks to address the key area of supplies evaluation from the supplier review perspective. The purpose was to identify the most important criteria for suppliers’ evaluation and develop evaluation tool based on surveyed criteria. The research was conducted through structured questionnaire and the sample focused on small to medium sized companies (SMEs) in Greece. In total eighty companies participated in the survey answering the full questionnaire which consisted of questions whether these companies utilize some suppliers’ evaluation criteria and what criteria if any is applied. The main statistical instrument used in the study is Principal Component Analysis (PCA). Thus, the research has shown that the main criteria are: the attitude of the vendor towards the customer, supplier delivery time, product quality and price. Conclusions are made on the suitability and usefulness of suppliers’ evaluation criteria and in way they are applied in enterprises.

Open access

Khuram Shahzad, Ilkka Sillanpää, Elina Sillanpää and Shpend Imeri

Abstract

In today’s dynamic business environment, firms are required to utilize efficiently and effectively all the useful resources to gain competitive advantage. Supplier development has evolved as an important strategic instrument to improve buyer supplier relationships. For that reason, this study focuses on providing the strategic significance of supplier development approaches to improve business relationships. By using qualitative research method, an integrated framework of supplier development and buyer-supplier relationship development has been tested and validated in a Finnish case company to provide empirical evidence. It particularly investigates how supplier development approaches can develop buyer-supplier relationships. The study present a set of propositions that identify significant supplier development approaches critical for the development of buyer-supplier relationships and develop a theoretical framework that specifies how these different supplier development approaches support in order to strengthen the relationships. The results are produced from an in-depth case study by implementing the proposed research framework. The findings reveal that supplier development strategies i.e., supplier incentives and direct involvements strongly effect in developing buyer-supplier relationships. Further research may focus on considering in-depth investigation of trust and communication factors along with propositions developed in the study to find out general applicability in dynamic business environment. Proposed integrated framework along with propositions is a unique combination of useful solutions for tactical and strategic management’s decision making and also valid for academic researchers to develop supplier development theories.