University of Tasmania
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Developing maintenance supply chains to improve ship maintenance performance : an empirical study in Indonesia

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posted on 2023-05-27, 14:37 authored by Dindin, I
The shipping industry holds an important role as a service provider that underpins global trade. The emergence of maritime logistics concepts has served to reinforce this phenomenon. An expectation is made of the shipping industry that it will provide services that add value to supply chains in terms of timely, reliable and cost-efficient services. In turn, this expectation requires shipping companies to maintain the availability of their ships to undertake the scheduled voyages. Maintaining the availability of ships inevitably involves maintenance tasks that incur on-going expenses that affect the goals of shipping companies in maximising the return on their investment. However, the benefits resulting from undertaking ship maintenance do not appear to be fully understood. This research investigates the implementation of a strategic approach to ship maintenance via supply chain management. A review of the existing literature on ship maintenance management and supply chain management indicates a paucity of conceptual and empirical research focusing on the strategic management of ship maintenance supply chains. Thus, the objective of the research is to investigate how ship maintenance is managed within its supply chains. To address the research objective, this study (i) assesses whether a supply chain management approach is applicable to ship maintenance; (ii) examines how ship maintenance management is currently undertaken; and (iii) examines the potential benefits that can be attained by undertaking a supply chain management approach to ship maintenance. Shipping companies in Indonesia provide the context for this research because they represent the complexity of both ship maintenance management and supply chain management, in developing countries in particular. Most shipping companies in Indonesia operate aging ships that theoretically incur higher maintenance costs. As in many developing countries, there is a lack of logistics, infrastructure and access to information technology in managing supply chains in Indonesia. A questionnaire for a postal survey was utilised to access relevant shipping companies. The questionnaire consisted of items covering internal readiness, the condition of external relationships, the service processes of ship maintenance supply chains, and the overall performance of both ship maintenance and the shipping companies. A total of 230 shipping companies received the questionnaire which resulted in 48 useable responses, the equivalent of a 20.87 per cent response rate. Data analysis of the results of the data collection reveals that a supply chain management approach is applicable to ship maintenance with some suggested recommendations. The data analysis reveals that the top management level of the shipping companies provide commitment and support for adopting a supply chain management approach for ship maintenance. However, Indonesian shipping companies still lack internal readiness to implement supply chain management as a strategic approach to ship maintenance, with one major reason being a silo mentality influencing the maintenance activities. To address the lack of internal readiness, maintenance managers should be involved in the management activities at the corporate level, and develop integrated communication processes within a computerised maintenance management system. This thesis contributes to both academia and managerial practices in ship maintenance supply chain management. As there are limited studies on ship maintenance management and the supply chain management of service-oriented supply chains, this thesis has added empirical results to both sets of literature. From a conceptual context, this study proposes supply chain management as being a strategic approach to ship maintenance, which recognise the need for a seamless flow of materials and services, information and finances across the supply chains. This approach introduces a higher level of maintenance for shipping in particular. This thesis suggests that ship maintenance should no longer be recognised as an internal business of shipping companies that incurs ad-hoc expenses, but instead be a collaborative process of investment to improve competitive advantage. As with all research, limitations exist, these are addressed in the final chapter as are future research directions.


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