The purpose of this paper is to empirically explore supply chain integration (SCI) enabling practices, their benefits and barriers in a retail product returns process context.
The study adopts a case study research strategy. It draws on a single case, comprised of an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and its two retailers. It utilizes an in-depth semi structured interviewing approach, combined with walk-through observations.
The study finds that management of retail product returns can significantly benefit both an OEM and its customers when appropriate SCI enabling practices are deployed. While these practices are similar to those in forward supply chain processes, barriers are driven by the characteristics of product returns processes.
The limitations of this study stem primarily from its methodological design. A single case research strategy provides a limited opportunity for external generalization of the research findings.
This study illustrates the value of SCI initiatives in product returns processes and informs managers ' decision making in the planning and execution of similar SCI implementations in product returns processes.
This research claims to be one of the first works that systematically and empirically explores SCI in reverse supply chain processes, as opposed to forward supply chain processes.
Bernon, M., Upperton, J., Bastl, M. and Cullen, J. (2013), "An exploration of supply chain integration in the retail product returns process", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 43 No. 7, pp. 586-608. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPDLM-03-2012-0060Download as .RIS
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