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School of Business | Department of Management Studies | International Business Communication | 2015
Thesis number: 13970
Do you know your supplier? Reviewing buyer-supplier relationship through communication in the dairy industry: Case: Arla Oy.
Author: Ihainen, Sonja
Title: Do you know your supplier? Reviewing buyer-supplier relationship through communication in the dairy industry: Case: Arla Oy.
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: International Business Communication
Index terms: viestintä; communication; yritysviestintä; business communication; ostot; industrial purchasing; toimitusketju; supply chain; meijerit; dairies; elintarviketeollisuus; food industry; maine; reputation
Pages: 105
Key terms: viestinnän auditointi; communication audit; viestinnän arviointi; communication evaluation; sidosryhmien johtaminen; stakeholder management; sidosryhmäyhteistyö; stakeholder collaboration; ostaja-toimittaja –suhde; buyer-supplier relationship; ostaja-toimittaja –suhteen laatu; relationship quality; maine; reputation
Objective of the study:

The first objective of this thesis was to study how the Arla Finland -collaboration group's milk producers perceive the current communication between them and the collaboration group. The second objective was to study how the communication between these parties could be developed based on the milk producers' opinions and feedback. The study also aimed to contribute especially to the research areas of stakeholder collaboration and communication, and buyer-supplier relationship and communication.

Methodology and the Analytical framework:

The study employed a mixed-methods research approach. A preliminary semi-structured interview was conducted with the case company, and a questionnaire survey was conducted among the milk producers to collect their opinions and feedback. The analytical framework of this study was developed based on previous literature concentrating on: 1) Communications audits, 2) Stakeholder management and collaboration, 3) Buyer-supplier relationship and communication, and 4) Reputation in the eyes of the suppliers.

Findings and Conclusions:

Five main findings were identified. First, the milk producers seemed to be satisfied with the current communication with their own contact persons and dairy CEOs. Second, the milk producers seemed to suffer from information underload. Third, the milk producers seemed quite open to the idea of increasing the utilization of digital communication. Fourth, the producers wanted to develop the features and tools in the channels. Fifth, elements of inequality related to the available channel features were identified from data. Based on the findings, the case company should develop their communication with the milk producers to a more open, frequent and faster direction. Also the amount of current information and features in the channels should be increased.
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