In recent years, the market globalization process has deeply changed the international competitive background, leading, inevitably, to a revision of the strategies and the organization structures of the companies. It is now widely accepted that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and supply chain logistics management, have an important role in the increasing of the competitive potential of each company and in the development of entire economic sectors. The importance of these factors in the business strategies of the firms, has generated an increasing attention by the research world to the study of the economic and social impact, both about the spread of modern information and communication technologies and logistics. This paper, proposes mainly, through a direct survey conducted on a group of firms (production and commercial companies), working in the Sicilian fruit and vegetable sector - a strategic sector for the economic and social field for most of the region - to provide an empirical evidence on the degree of diffusion of ICT and their employment, and on business relationships with the regional distribution logistics system, being themselves, two of the determinants that can influence the competitive potential of companies. Through the Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA) was possible to synthesize the information from the available data and to identify two factors that describe and summarize how the surveyed firms behave. In particular, the analysis has highlighted the close connection between the diffusion and employment of ICT and the organization for the logistics distribution and the physical and economic firms size. Specifically, the large-size companies, in this case represented by producer organizations and societies, are characterized by medium-high degree of computerization and an efficient logistics organization, that allows them to interface with competitors, both in the national and international market. Agricultural cooperatives and the individual companies, instead, though having a good diffusion of infrastructure hardware and software, limit their use to basic functions, but above all have greater needs in terms of logistics structures, scantly distributed in the region, and that influence negatively the efficiency of the distribution of fruit and vegetable production. In this context, the competitive potential of the fruits and vegetable sector, for matters under investigation, is connected, on the one hand, to the recognition by companies of the potential offered by ICT and an efficient logistics, and, secondly, to government intervention aimed at overtake the regional infrastructure limits, that are the basis of inefficiencies in the distribution system.
Schimmenti, E., Vassiliadis, E., Galati, A. (2012). Il ruolo delle Tecnologie Informatiche e di Comunicazione e della logistica distributiva sulla competitività del comparto ortofrutticolo siciliano. ECONOMIA AGRO-ALIMENTARE, 14(2), 11-40 [10.3280/ECAG2012-002002].