This paper aims to focus on the store ordering and replenishment practices which appear to be the major cause behind the problem of out‐of‐stock situations. A collaborative store replenishment practice, enabled by an internet‐based platform is examined. By enabling information and knowledge sharing between retail store managers and suppliers' salesmen, this practice leads to increased order accuracy and, as a result, to fewer out‐of‐stock situations.
The research presented in this paper has been empirical in nature, involving a field experiment with a major retailer and several suppliers in Greece. Pre‐ and post‐experiment measurements were conducted and the quantitative results were statistically analyzed in order to assess the impact of collaborative store ordering on shelf availability. The quantitative measurements were repeated over several years, offering a longitudinal view on the experiment. Qualitative findings from the field experiment are also discussed.
The empirical results from the field experiment show a reduction in out‐of‐stock situations by more than 50 percent combined with no significant statistical variation in total observed inventory levels. Qualitative findings regarding the practical aspects of the process as well as organizational issues are also acquired.
Low shelf availability and the respective sales loss is one of the major issues retailers and suppliers face today. This paper examines a new replenishment process, involving supplier‐retailer collaboration supported by daily information sharing of POS data and other information over an internet platform, which leads to increased shelf availability by addressing one of its major causes. Thus, the empirical results presented in the paper have important implications for practitioners. In addition, the paper contributes from a methodological perspective to the academic community, by describing the way the field experiment was conducted and the quantitative results were analyzed as a means to evaluate a new business practice and Internet‐based collaboration platform.
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