Michiel Steeman

Research Questions

Three central research questions form the core of SCF 2.0

The first question deals with the supply chain of large buyers that consists of an extensive network of suppliers. These suppliers can have very different characteristics, from for example very small to very large, or from located close by to located far away. There is large body of publications stating that the strategic importance of suppliers affects the level of collaboration between the buyer and supplier. But is this also true for collaborative finance models? This results in the following first research question:

1. Do buyers consider the strategic relevance of suppliers in the decision to facilitate supply chain finance?
This central question can be divided in the following subquestions:
• When are suppliers considered strategically relevant to the buyer? What segmentation models are commonly used?
• What is supply chain finance? What supply chain finance models are known and being used?
• What disciplines are involved in the decisions to facilitate supply chain finance? Do they apply supplier segmentation models?

The second central research question deals with the potential value of supply chain finance models. There are many types of costs and risks that buyers face when dealing with suppliers. There are many tools that buyers use to mitigate these risks and lower costs. But what role can Supply Chain Finance models have? This leads to our second central research question:

2. What type of costs and risks need to be analyzed and quantified to determine the value of collaborative finance models for the buyer?
The second central question can be divided in the following subquestions
• What type of cost and risk factors manifest in the relationship between buyers and sellers?
• How do you analyze and quantify these cost and risk factors?
• How do you determine the value of a collaborative finance model?
The third central research question is about the tactical decision by large buyers to facilitate supply chain finance models for their suppliers. The value of a supply chain finance model might be positive but is that the only factor that drives the decision for the buyer to facilitate this towards its suppliers? Other dimensions might play role such as the various functional departments that are involved, the relative value of the SCF program, the level of understanding, or other environmental factors. This results in our final central research question:

3. What factors apart from value can influence the tactical decision to facilitate collaborative finance models to suppliers ?
The following subquestions can be defined:
• What are tactical decisions and what are their characteristics?
• What are the most important factors that influence tactical decisions in large organizations?
• What factors can positively influence the decision to facilitate collaborative finance models in the case of a negative value?
• What factors can negatively influence the decision to facilitate collaborative finance models in the case of a positive value?

Answering these three central research questions will lead not only to a better understanding of the cost and risk factors that determine the need and value of supply chain finance models but will also provide inside in the (organizational and environmental) factors that influence decision making.