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Article
Publication date: 14 October 2019

Riccardo Mangiaracina, Alessandro Perego, Arianna Seghezzi and Angela Tumino

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to review and classify scientific publications dealing with those innovative solutions aimed at increasing the efficiency of…

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6087

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to review and classify scientific publications dealing with those innovative solutions aimed at increasing the efficiency of last-mile delivery in business to consumer (B2C) e-commerce; and, second, to outline directions for future research in this field.

Design/methodology/approach

The review is based on 75 papers published between 2001 and 2019 in international peer-reviewed journals or proceedings of conferences, retrieved from bibliographic databases and science search engines.

Findings

Due to its importance in affecting the overall logistics costs and, as a consequence, the economic sustainability of a B2C e-commerce initiative, last-mile delivery process deserves particular attention in order to be optimised. The review highlights that, among the main factors affecting its cost, there are the probability to have failed deliveries, the customer density in the delivery areas and the degree of automation of the process. Innovative and viable last-mile delivery solutions – which may impact the mentioned drivers – include parcel lockers, crowdsourcing logistics, mapping the consumer presence at home and dynamic pricing policies. Eventually, some gaps and areas for further research activities have been identified (e.g. mapping customer behaviour, crowdsourcing logistics).

Originality/value

This review offers interesting insights to both academics and practitioners. On the academic side, it analyses and classifies relevant literature about innovative and efficiency-oriented last-mile delivery solutions, proposing directions for future research efforts. On the managerial side, it presents a holistic framework of the main factors affecting last-mile delivery cost and of viable innovative solutions that may be implemented to increase efficiency.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 49 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2017

Maria Giuffrida, Riccardo Mangiaracina, Alessandro Perego and Angela Tumino

This paper reviews scientific publications in the field of logistics underlying cross-border e-commerce (CBEC) to China. A focus on the role played in this complex process…

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7754

Abstract

Purpose

This paper reviews scientific publications in the field of logistics underlying cross-border e-commerce (CBEC) to China. A focus on the role played in this complex process by other countries of the Greater China is carried out. The purpose of this paper is to outline directions for future research to encourage CBEC development.

Design/methodology/approach

The review is based on 32 papers published from 2002 to 2016 in international peer-reviewed journals or proceedings of international conferences, retrieved from bibliographic databases and science search engines.

Findings

CBEC to China is gaining increasing interest, as shown by the rising amount of publications from 2013 onwards. Within these contributions, however, studies specifically investigating the relation between logistics and e-commerce, commonly acknowledged as critical, seem to lack. Many contributions are descriptive and do not provide specific insights on how to manage the complexities of CBEC logistics in this region. Stemming from the review, a set of possible development areas are identified, including distribution network design, i.e. deciding how to shape the CBEC distribution structure, and logistics outsourcing, i.e. determining whether to manage logistics activities in-house or through third parties.

Originality/value

To the extent of the authors’ knowledge, this paper is the first one to classify the existing body of knowledge on logistics supporting CBEC. Its main contribution is the critical identification of current research gaps and the proposal of key themes for future research. From a managerial perspective, it helps export and logistics managers identify the key challenges of managing CBEC logistics to Greater China.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 47 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 December 2019

Maria Giuffrida, Riccardo Mangiaracina, Alessandro Perego and Angela Tumino

The purpose of this paper is to support companies’ risk-informed selection of a logistics solution to operate in China via cross-border e-commerce (CBEC).

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1283

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to support companies’ risk-informed selection of a logistics solution to operate in China via cross-border e-commerce (CBEC).

Design/methodology/approach

Decision theory is applied to the recent field of CBEC. This theoretic setup involves a decision maker who must choose among a set of alternatives, whose consequences depend on uncertain factors (Savage, 1954). The study develops an activity-based model to calculate logistics costs in a deterministic setting. Simulations and probabilistic sensitivity analyses are later performed to evaluate the impact of uncertainty.

Findings

There are four main solutions to enter China, determined by the adopted international transport mean and the presence of a local warehouse. The most important risk factors affecting the choice of the logistics solution are change of CBEC regulation, product value, expected service level and demand level.

Originality/value

From a theoretical perspective, this study improves CBEC literature, so far characterised by descriptive papers, often lacking industry focus or empirical exploration. It also provides new application opportunities for decision theory, whereas previous contributions have proposed different theoretical approaches, such as transaction cost or institutional theory. From a practical viewpoint, the paper is the first to compare the costs of the main logistics solutions to sell online to China, by taking uncertainty into account. The results can be used to better understand the differences among solutions and identify the most critical parameters. Finally, this research provides some observations for policy implementation.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 50 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2016

Luca Mattia Gelsomino, Riccardo Mangiaracina, Alessandro Perego and Angela Tumino

The purpose of this paper is twofold: to classify the research to-date on Supply Chain Finance (SCF) according to the main themes and methods, and to propose directions…

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11678

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold: to classify the research to-date on Supply Chain Finance (SCF) according to the main themes and methods, and to propose directions for future research.

Design/methodology/approach

The review is based on 119 papers mainly published from 2000 to 2014 in international peer-reviewed journals and in the proceedings of international conferences.

Findings

The articles that provide a definition of SCF reflect two major perspectives: the ‘finance oriented’ perspective - focused on short-term solutions provided by financial institutions, addressing accounts payable and receivable - and the ‘supply chain oriented’ perspective - which might not involve a financial institution, and is focused on working capital optimisation in terms of accounts payable, receivable, inventories, and sometimes even on fixed asset financing.

Research limitations/implications

While efforts were made to be all-inclusive, significant research efforts may have been inadvertently omitted. However, the authors believe that this review is an accurate representation of the body of research on SCF published during the specified timeframe, and feel that confidence may be placed on the resulting assessments.

Originality/value

The paper presents a comprehensive summary of previous research on this topic and identifies the most important issues that need to be addressed in future research. On the basis of the identified gaps in the literature, four key issues have been highlighted which should be addressed in future research.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 46 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2010

Maria Caridi, Luca Crippa, Alessandro Perego, Andrea Sianesi and Angela Tumino

The purpose of this paper is to describe a quantitative approach to assess the degree of visibility that a focal company has of its supply chain, addressing specifically…

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4344

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe a quantitative approach to assess the degree of visibility that a focal company has of its supply chain, addressing specifically complex networks and ecosystems.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on an in‐depth literature review concerning the measurement of supply chain visibility and the assessment of its value. An extensive, six‐month discussion and refinement process with the supply chain managers of nine leading companies was conducted to validate the proposed approach and to conduct real case studies.

Findings

The main outcome of this paper is a model to measure the visibility level in complex supply networks. Such a measure can be used for benchmarking and as a diagnostic tool for practitioners to find more easily the areas where a visibility improvement is more urgent.

Research limitations/implications

The model provides a measure of the visibility across the inbound supply chain. Further research will extend the approach to the internal and outbound supply chains. Moreover, limited empirical evidence is presented in this paper, which mainly aims to validate the proposed approach. A wider application of the model could offer interesting opportunities in terms of managerial practice and provide a more extensive basis for benchmarking.

Originality/value

Various authors have attempted to quantify visibility across a supply chain, but they either calculate it only for simplistic, two‐tier or linear supply chains, or they fail to provide a comprehensive visibility metric.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 22 February 2013

Maria Caridi, Alessandro Perego and Angela Tumino

The aim of this paper is to propose an innovative quantitative approach to measure visibility in outbound supply chains and to implement it in order to evaluate the…

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3545

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to propose an innovative quantitative approach to measure visibility in outbound supply chains and to implement it in order to evaluate the current degree of visibility that focal companies operating in the apparel industry have on their supply chains.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on an in‐depth literature review on supply chain visibility and on 11 case studies in the apparel industry.

Findings

The outcome of the paper is twofold. First, it proposes a metric for measuring visibility in complex outbound supply chains. Second, it analyses the quantity and quality of visible information in eleven companies belonging to the apparel industry, comparing visibility on outbound supply chains vs inbound supply chains.

Research limitations/implications

Although the paper shows the usefulness of the proposed metrics in supporting value assessment, a structured tool is still to be developed. Moreover, the visibility metric is suitable for benchmarking analyses, but the sample presented in the study is still limited and should be enlarged by further studies, also considering other industries.

Originality/value

The metrics so far proposed by researchers to assess the level of visibility in complex supply networks are mainly focused on the upstream supply chain; this paper fills the gap by proposing a quantitative metric for assessing the degree of visibility on the outbound supply chain. Moreover, some interesting insights about visibility in the apparel industry have been found on the basis of 11 case studies.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2011

Raffaello Balocco, Giovanni Miragliotta, Alessandro Perego and Angela Tumino

In 2003, Walmart issued a sensational RFId mandate for its top 100 suppliers, including a detailed deployment plan under compelling deadlines. After seven years, very…

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5630

Abstract

Purpose

In 2003, Walmart issued a sensational RFId mandate for its top 100 suppliers, including a detailed deployment plan under compelling deadlines. After seven years, very little of that mandate has become a consolidated industry practice. This paper aims to try to offer a complete and thorough explanation of the reasons behind this fact, providing a sound strategic view of what is happening and could happen in the future.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on a twofold methodological approach: first, it relies on an in‐depth literature review covering the assessment of RFId applications in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry; second, it leverages on a five‐year research program carried out by the RFId Solution Center of Politecnico di Milano in cooperation with GS1 Italy, which provided both quantitative data (used to develop and feed an analytical profitability assessment model) and qualitative knowledge to understand the “soft” implications of RFId adoption in the industry.

Findings

Despite the great potential of RFId technology, there are still some significant barriers preventing its diffusion. Case‐level tagging is required to enable a substantial redesign of the supply chain, but profit‐sharing and reading reliability should be carefully considered to ensure economic and technological feasibility. The comparison with the fashion industry evidences some key success factors of RFId; while some of them are industry‐specific, others can be replicated in the FMCG as well, but further efforts are still needed.

Originality/value

This is one of the first attempts to provide a comprehensive analysis of RFId potential in the FMCG supply chain, taking into account all the major factors involved. Moreover, the quantitative results illustrated in the paper could be a valuable support to companies in defining their RFId strategies.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 February 2015

Luca Gastaldi, Riccardo Mangiaracina, Giovanni Miragliotta, Alessandro Perego and Angela Tumino

Radio frequency identification (RFId) technology has a great potential to improve process efficiency and effectiveness. However, because of the variety of application…

Abstract

Purpose

Radio frequency identification (RFId) technology has a great potential to improve process efficiency and effectiveness. However, because of the variety of application areas and achievable benefits, structured assessment models are needed to support managers in the adoption decision. The purpose of this paper is to describe a structured method to support the evaluation of the benefits enabled by RFId technology in medical treatment support in the healthcare industry. The method, and its application to an Italian case study, are deeply illustrated so as to increase the knowledge available to decision makers.

Design/methodology/approach

The research underlying this paper has modelled the relationship between the technology and the performance driver of the target process, and then between the performance driver and the measurable key performance indicators of that process. This knowledge, focused on the healthcare industry but still quite general, has been formalised into 12 causal maps. Starting from these maps, a six-step procedure to prioritise the analysis, tailor the maps and adapt (or develop) analytical models to estimate the benefits is presented. The overall method and its application to an Italian case study are deeply illustrated so as to increase the open available knowledge to decision makers.

Findings

The findings are twofold: first, the knowledge represented by the causal maps; and second, the findings of the case study, which shows that efficiency benefits can cover the operative expenses of RFId adoption, but need to be integrated with effectiveness benefits in order to fully justify the investment costs.

Originality/value

The paper provides a contribution for both researchers and practitioners. As the former are concerned, the paper is a first attempt to fill the existing lack of structured approaches concerning the evaluation of potential benefits of RFId for product traceability within a healthcare facility. As for the latter, the presented method has been developed to practically support all those managers who are evaluating whether to adopt RFId technology in their organisation or not. This contribution has a relevant practicality, as it helps decision makers to address their decisions relying on a sound conceptual baseline, and on objective evaluations.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 64 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2015

Riccardo Mangiaracina, Gino Marchet, Sara Perotti and Angela Tumino

Given the importance of logistics operations in business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce and growing interest in the related environmental effects, the purpose of this paper…

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11108

Abstract

Purpose

Given the importance of logistics operations in business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce and growing interest in the related environmental effects, the purpose of this paper is to offer an up-to-date literature review on the topic of B2C e-commerce environmental sustainability, specifically from a logistics perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis focussed on a set of 56 papers published from 2001 to 2014 in 38 peer-reviewed international journals. The papers were analyzed and categorized according to the main features of the paper, the research method(s) adopted and the themes tackled.

Findings

There is a growing interest in sustainability issues. In the last 14 years, the focus has progressively shifted from the mere identification of the wide-ranging environmental effects of e-commerce to the need for a quantitative evaluation of their impact, although much remains to be done in this regard. Some industries, such as books and grocery, have largely been addressed, however, promising sectors in the e-commerce field, such as clothing and consumer electronics, have only been considered to a certain degree. Moreover, despite the emerging role of multichannel strategies, the environmental implications of the related logistics activities have not yet been studied in detail.

Originality/value

B2C e-commerce has grown in popularity, and its environmental implications are currently of key interest. This paper contributes to the understanding of the existing body of knowledge on this topic, presenting an up-to-date classification of articles and highlighting themes for further research activities. From a managerial perspective, this paper helps supply chain managers develop a clear understanding of both the logistics areas with the most impact on environmental sustainability and the KPIs used to quantify the environmental implications of e-commerce logistics operations comprehensively and effectively.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 45 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2009

Giovanni Miragliotta, Alessandro Perego and Angela Tumino

The purpose of this paper is to describe an analytical model to assess the costs and benefits of radio frequency identification (RFId) applications in the fast moving…

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4228

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe an analytical model to assess the costs and benefits of radio frequency identification (RFId) applications in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) supply chain.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on an in‐depth literature review and a classification of the main contributions regarding the assessment of RFId applications. The impact of RFId technology on supply chain processes has been modelled using an activity‐based approach. An extensive, six‐month discussion and refinement process with the logistics and supply chain managers of 30 FMCG companies is conducted to validate the model and to collect the required inputs.

Findings

Pallet‐ and case‐level taggings have been explored. The former scenario shows limited benefits, whereas the actual potential of RFId becomes clear in the latter. The profitability of these projects is significantly affected by the costs of RFId tags and by the characteristics of the base‐line supply chain in terms of efficiency, quality requirements and, of course, product features. The model provides a clear assessment of how and when a positive return on investment can be achieved, even with today's technology (in terms of costs and performances).

Originality/value

This is one of the first attempts to provide a comprehensive analysis of the costs and benefits of an RFId application, taking into account all the major factors involved. The model can be a valuable support to manufacturers and retailers in evaluating their investments.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 29 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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