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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2011

Cuneyt Eroglu, Brent D. Williams and Matthew A. Waller

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the direct and interaction effects of shelf space, case pack quantity, and consumer demand on shelf stockouts, i.e. stockouts…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the direct and interaction effects of shelf space, case pack quantity, and consumer demand on shelf stockouts, i.e. stockouts at the shelf level when inventory is available in the backroom of a retail store.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses discrete‐event simulation based on data collected from the ready‐to‐eat breakfast cereal category with multiple stockkeeping units (SKUs) to model a retail supply chain consisting of a supplier, a retailer, and consumers.

Findings

The results indicate that shelf space and case pack quantity have direct effects on shelf stockouts. Furthermore, evidence is found for interactions among shelf space, case pack quantity and consumer demand. Though many retailers adopt simple heuristics for shelf space allocation, such as a multiple of case pack quantity, this study suggests that such heuristics tend to over‐ or underestimate shelf space requirements when consumer demand is ignored.

Originality/value

This study suggests that managers should allocate shelf space for SKUs on the basis of not only case pack quantity but also consumer demand.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 41 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

Issam Moussaoui, Brent D. Williams, Christian Hofer, John A. Aloysius and Matthew A. Waller

The purpose of this paper is to: first, provide a systematic review of the drivers of retail on-shelf availability (OSA) that have been scrutinized in the literature;…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to: first, provide a systematic review of the drivers of retail on-shelf availability (OSA) that have been scrutinized in the literature; second, identify areas where further scrutiny is needed; and third, critically reflect on current conceptualizations of OSA and suggest alternative perspectives that may help guide future investigations.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic approach is adopted wherein nine leading journals in logistics, supply chain management, operations management, and retailing are systematically scanned for articles discussing OSA drivers. The respective journals’ websites are used as the primary platform for scanning, with Google Scholar serving as a secondary platform for completeness. Journal articles are carefully read and their respective relevance assessed. A final set of 73 articles is retained and thoroughly reviewed for the purpose of this research. The systematic nature of the review minimizes researcher bias, ensures reasonable completeness, maximizes reliability, and enables replicability.

Findings

Five categories of drivers of OSA are identified. The first four – i.e., operational, behavioral, managerial, and coordination drivers – stem from failures at the planning or execution stages of retail operations. The fifth category – systemic drivers – encompasses contingency factors that amplify the effect of supply chain failures on OSA. The review also indicates that most non-systemic OOS could be traced back to incentive misalignments within and across supply chain partners.

Originality/value

This research consolidates past findings on the drivers of OSA and provides valuable insights as to areas where further research may be needed. It also offers forward-looking perspectives that could help advance research on the drivers of OSA. For example, the authors invite the research community to revisit the pervasive underlying assumption that OSA is an absolute imperative and question the unidirectional relationship that higher OSA is necessarily better. The authors initiate an open dialogue to approach OSA as a service-level parameter, rather than a maximizable outcome, as indicated by inventory theory.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 46 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 August 2010

C. Clifford Defee, Brent Williams, Wesley S. Randall and Rodney Thomas

Theory is needed for a discipline to mature. This research aims to provide a summary analysis of the theories being used in contemporary logistics and supply chain…

Abstract

Purpose

Theory is needed for a discipline to mature. This research aims to provide a summary analysis of the theories being used in contemporary logistics and supply chain management (SCM) studies.

Design/methodology/approach

A comprehensive literature review of articles appearing in five top tier logistics and SCM journals is conducted in order to identify how often theory is used and to classify the specific theories used. An analysis of the theoretical categories is presented to explain the type and frequency of theory usage.

Findings

Over 180 specific theories were found within the sampled articles. Theories grouped under the competitive and microeconomics categories made up over 40 per cent of the theoretical incidences. This does not imply all articles utilize theory. The research found that theory was explicitly used in approximately 53 per cent of the sampled articles.

Practical implications

Two implications are central. First, in the minds of editors, reviewers and authors is approximately 53 per cent theory use enough? Literature suggests there continues to be a need for theory‐based research in the discipline. A first step may be to increase our theory use, and to clearly describe the theory being used. Second, the vast majority of theories used in recent logistics and SCM research originated in other disciplines. Growth in the discipline dictates the need for greater internal theory development.

Originality/value

Despite multiple calls for the use of theory in logistics and SCM, little formal research has been produced examining the actual theories being used. This research provides an in‐depth review and analysis of the use of theory in logistics and SCM research during the period 2004‐2009.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2008

Brent D. Williams and Travis Tokar

The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of inventory management articles published in major logistics outlets, identify themes from the literature and provide…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of inventory management articles published in major logistics outlets, identify themes from the literature and provide future direction for inventory management research to be published in logistics journals.

Design/methodology/approach

Articles published in major logistics articles, beginning in 1976, which contribute to the inventory management literature are reviewed and cataloged. The articles are segmented based on major themes extracted from the literature as well as key assumptions made by the particular inventory management model.

Findings

Two major themes are found to emerge from logistics research focused on inventory management. First, logistics researchers have focused considerable attention on integrating traditional logistics decisions, such as transportation and warehousing, with inventory management decisions, using traditional inventory control models. Second, logistics researchers have more recently focused on examining inventory management through collaborative models.

Originality/value

This paper catalogs the inventory management articles published in the major logistics journals, facilitates the awareness and appreciation of such work, and stands to guide future inventory management research by highlighting gaps and unexplored topics in the extant literature.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 April 2008

Matthew A. Waller, Brent D. Williams and Cuneyt Eroglu

Whereas inventory theory traditionally assumes the periodic review inventory model (R, T), with an order‐up‐to level R, has a random demand and lead time coupled with a…

Abstract

Purpose

Whereas inventory theory traditionally assumes the periodic review inventory model (R, T), with an order‐up‐to level R, has a random demand and lead time coupled with a deterministic review interval T, firms often deviate from a strict adherence to a fixed review interval when they attempt to capture transportation scale efficiencies. Employing this policy introduces additional supply chain variability. This paper aims to provide an expression for the standard deviation of demand during the protection period, important in setting safety stock, as well as an expression for the amount of order variance amplification induced by a stochastic review interval.

Design/methodology/approach

Analytical modeling is used to develop the expression for the standard deviation of demand during the protection period as well as the calculation for the amount of order variance amplification induced by a stochastic review interval.

Findings

In terms of the variance of demand over the protection period, a stochastic review interval has a similar effect to that of a stochastic lead time, but its impact on demand variance amplification within the supply chain differs fundamentally. Specifically, a stochastic review interval creates an order batching bullwhip effect not identified in existing literature.

Research limitations/implications

This study offers an expression for the standard deviation of demand during the protection period when stochastic review intervals are employed. The expression can be used to more effectively set safety stock. The paper also offers an expression for the order variance amplification induced by a stochastic review interval.

Practical implications

The study offers suggestions for retailers and suppliers regarding when the use of a stochastic review interval is effective in terms of cost efficiencies.

Originality/value

While the existence and effect of lead time variability is well‐established in the literature, traditional approaches the periodic review inventory model ignore the stochastic nature of review interval. This paper highlights the use of stochastic review intervals as a contributing factor to the bullwhip effect.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 38 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2011

Wesley S. Randall, Brian J. Gibson, C. Clifford Defee and Brent D. Williams

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the unique supply chain strategies employed by retailers.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the unique supply chain strategies employed by retailers.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed methods approach was employed involving analysis of depth interviews with 27 retail supply chain executives combined with a follow‐up survey capturing over 200 responses.

Findings

In light of uncertain economic conditions, retailers appear to be developing more agile/responsive supply chain management (SCM) strategies. Additionally, retailers are putting greater emphasis on maintaining a balance of cost versus service than the cost‐centered focus found in a prior study.

Research limitations/implications

This study focused on US retailers and therefore results should be cautiously extended to the retailing environment in other countries.

Practical implications

Retailing is not a “one size fits all” business, and study results suggest the SCM strategies used by retailers depend greatly on the nature of each retailer's model. However, the need to create agile SCM processes while controlling costs was an overarching theme described by retailers.

Originality/value

Retailers operate some of the largest and most complex supply chains, yet SCM research has generally overlooked the retail sector. This study targets this gap, and in addition introduces a novel data collection approach using clicker devices that researchers may find useful in future projects.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2008

Matthew A. Waller, Andrea Heintz Tangari and Brent D. Williams

The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of a key logistics and distribution variable, case pack quantity, on a consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturing…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of a key logistics and distribution variable, case pack quantity, on a consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturing firm's performance. The paper builds theory with respect to case pack quantity's dichotomous impact on the retail shelf replenishment process and subsequent impact on market share depending on product rate‐of‐sale (ROS).

Design/methodology/approach

The study empirically tests the case pack quantity phenomenon using monthly in‐store data collected over a two year time period, market share data and data provided by a leading US CPG manufacturer in the ready‐to‐eat cereal category. Regression analysis is used to determine if case pack quantity significantly impacts firm market share.

Findings

According to compelling theoretical and empirical evidence, the number of units per retail shipping container (case pack quantity) has a significant impact on retail market share. The evidence indicates that the effect of case pack quantity on market share depends upon the ROS of a given stock‐keeping unit (SKU). For faster selling SKUs, larger case packs should increase market share. For slower selling SKUs, larger case pack quantities reduce market share because of additional stockouts at the retail level, resulting from execution problems caused by the larger case pack quantities.

Practical implications

Given the study's findings, CPG manufacturing firms must align case pack quantities with SKU ROS to positively affect the shelf replenishment process.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates that case pack quality has a significant impact on retail market share.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 38 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2015

Yao 'Henry' Jin, Brent D. Williams, Matthew A. Waller and Adriana Rossiter Hofer

The accurate measurement of demand variability amplification across different nodes in the supply chain, or “bullwhip effect,” is critical for firms to achieve more…

Abstract

Purpose

The accurate measurement of demand variability amplification across different nodes in the supply chain, or “bullwhip effect,” is critical for firms to achieve more efficient inventory, production, and ordering planning processes. Building on recent analytical research that suggests that data aggregation tends to mask the bullwhip effect in the retail industry, the purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate whether different patterns of data aggregation influence its measurement.

Design/methodology/approach

Utilizing weekly, product-level order and sales data from three product categories of a consumer packaged goods manufacturer, the study uses hierarchical linear modeling to empirically test the effects of data aggregation on different measures of bullwhip.

Findings

The authors findings lend strong support to the masking effect of aggregating sales and order data along product-location and temporal dimensions, as well as the dampening effect of seasonality on the measurement of the bullwhip effect.

Research limitations/implications

These findings indicate that inconsistencies found in the literature may be due to measurement aggregation and statistical techniques, both of which should be applied with care by academics and practitioners in order to preserve the fidelity of their analyses.

Originality/value

Using product-weekly level data that cover both seasonal and non-seasonal demand, this study is the first, to the author’s knowledge, to systematically aggregate data up to category and monthly levels to empirically examine the impact of data aggregation and seasonality on bullwhip measurement.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 45 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 24 May 2011

Travis Tokar, John A. Aloysius, Matthew A. Waller and Brent D. Williams

Communication between supply chain partners is critical for replenishment decision making. Decision support systems still require significant human decision making with…

Abstract

Purpose

Communication between supply chain partners is critical for replenishment decision making. Decision support systems still require significant human decision making with regard to replenishment when promotions are involved. The purpose of this paper is to study the impact of the sharing of information about the magnitude and timing of retail promotions on cost efficiency in the supply chain. The authors compare performance against theoretical benchmarks and draw conclusions significant to managers.

Design/methodology/approach

The subjects in Study 1, 30 undergraduate students at a large, US university, completed the experiment in a single session lasting approximately 60 minutes. The experiment involved a simple, multi‐period replenishment task, played as individuals, that was somewhat like the newsvendor game. Subjects in the experiment employed in Study 2 were senior‐level members of multiple departments from a large consumer products manufacturer in the USA. Participating departments included sales, operations, and supply chain. Self‐reported questionnaires revealed that the average subject had 15 years of experience with supply chain issues and seven years of experience with replenishment. The study was conducted in a single session, lasting approximately two hours, at the corporate headquarters of the participating company. In this experiment, 76 unique subjects participated.

Findings

Results from the single‐echelon study reveal the cost‐reducing effect of knowing the magnitude and timing of demand generated by a promotion. However, the poor performance, compared with the theoretical benchmarks, by respondents in the multi‐echelon study, even when the lead time per node is half that of the single‐echelon case and the subjects were experienced managers, highlights the complexity of the task that results from a lack of coordination.

Practical implications

Billions of dollars are spent on retail promotions each year. The management of the forecasting and replenishment of inventory for such promotions is difficult to automate and requires significant human decision making. The paper explores some key issues that are important in the replenishment decision‐making scenario when a promotion is involved.

Originality/value

Although the most obvious managerial recommendation for reducing the coordination and planning problems associated with promotions is simply to communicate more, the authors' research also suggests it may not be enough to alter performance. The results suggest that while communication is helpful, coordination may represent a more serious challenge.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2011

Rodney W. Thomas, C. Clifford Defee, Wesley S. Randall and Brent Williams

Discussions about the managerial relevance of scholarly research have been taking place for decades and the topic continues to be a source of debate in a number of…

Abstract

Purpose

Discussions about the managerial relevance of scholarly research have been taking place for decades and the topic continues to be a source of debate in a number of business disciplines. The purpose of this paper is to make an initial attempt to empirically assess the relevance of supply chain management research.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative methods were utilized to provide some initial evidence that can help validate or refute assumptions about perceived relevance in contemporary supply chain management research.

Findings

Findings of this research indicate that the most impactful supply chain management issues for managers are internal supply chain organizational structure, communication and information exchange, information technology, forecasting and sales and operations planning, and strategic leadership. Some of these managerial issues appear to be well aligned with recent research trends, but other issues are not frequently researched.

Research limitations/implications

Future research opportunities are identified based on managerial feedback. Results of this study also suggest that a broader view of supply chain management may be appropriate if researchers want to be managerially relevant.

Practical implications

This research potentially highlights opportunities for firms to gain a competitive advantage via their approach to supply chain management.

Originality/value

This research utilizes a unique approach to assess managerially relevant topics through a “magic wand” interviewing technique (i.e. “If we gave you a magic wand and granted you just one wish, what would you wish for to improve your supply chain?”).

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 41 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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