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Abstract

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 48 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2016

Michael Bernon, John Cullen and Jonathan Gorst

With the rapid growth of consumer sales being fulfilled through omni-channel retailing, the purpose of this paper is to explore the subsequent impact on the levels of…

Abstract

Purpose

With the rapid growth of consumer sales being fulfilled through omni-channel retailing, the purpose of this paper is to explore the subsequent impact on the levels of consumer retail returns experienced through online sales and the emergent returns management strategies being affected by retailers in relation to network configuration and returns management processes.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors uses a mixed methods approach from an interpretive perspective. It is appropriate to describe the approach in terms of convergent design, since the authors have collected both qualitative and quantitative data.

Findings

Return rates for online retailing can be double those for stores, while return levels for “considered purchases” remain similar. The findings suggest that omni-channel returns management has yet to fully mature and the authors find challenges for network design and returns processes in offering a seamless solution.

Research limitations/implications

For practitioners the authors identify a number of challenges and offer insights to improve performance in returns management process, while for academic colleagues the authors propose a number of avenues for further research both in the qualitative and quantitative fields.

Originality/value

While a significant body of extant literature exists, in researching the generalized retail returns management process this paper make a contribution by addressing the emergent managerial implications of omni-channel retail returns.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 46 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 2 August 2013

Michael Bernon, John Upperton, Marko Bastl and John Cullen

– 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.

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Research limitations/implications

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.

Practical implications

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 43 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2011

Michael Bernon, Silvia Rossi and John Cullen

From a synthesis of empirical findings and literature, the aim of this paper is to present a conceptual framework for managing retail reverse logistics operations. The…

Abstract

Purpose

From a synthesis of empirical findings and literature, the aim of this paper is to present a conceptual framework for managing retail reverse logistics operations. The framework is designed to assist both practitioners and academics in better understanding the key management aspects involved. The paper also identifies some future research directions that are derived from this conceptual framework.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was exploratory and motivated by a grounded theory approach aimed at providing a conceptual framework for managing retail reverse logistics.

Findings

Retail reverse logistics operations are multi‐faceted and need to be managed as an integrated supply chain activity. Three overarching management dimensions are proposed; operational performance, organisational integration and management reporting and control.

Research limitations/implications

This is an inductive piece of research and it is important to recognise that only analytical generalisation is claimed rather than any statistical generalisation. Also, the study was undertaken in the context of the UK retail sector and therefore further comparative work could be undertaken in different international contexts.

Practical implications

The adoption of the framework will have impact on practitioners by assisting them in reducing the volumes of products being returned, lower their reverse logistics operational costs and increase their product asset recovery values.

Originality/value

Although there is a growing body of literature relating to retail reverse logistics it is fragmented by multiple perspectives. There is little in terms of frameworks that embody the management aspects involved. Having reviewed the literature the authors' empirical results show that, in some areas, practice leads theory and therefore the findings will add to academic discourse.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 11 October 2011

Paul Chapman, Michael Bernon and Paul Haggett

This research seeks to identify and apply techniques that can be used in a supply chain context to diagnose the causes of variability in delivery lead time.

Abstract

Purpose

This research seeks to identify and apply techniques that can be used in a supply chain context to diagnose the causes of variability in delivery lead time.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review was conducted and a number of quality management (QM), techniques were selected as candidates for diagnosing delivery time variability. A case study of the application of these techniques is provided on the UK‐based defence supply chain that supported UK operations in the Iraq war of 2003.

Findings

Candidate QM techniques for diagnosing delivery time variability were identified, namely: Process Chart; Histogram; Failure Mode and Effect Analysis; and Cause and Effect Analysis. These techniques were successful in enabling the diagnosis of the causes of delivery time variability in the context of the case study investigated.

Practical implications

The work illustrates how QM techniques can be employed to address issues with supply chains, not least with regard to the important problem of variability in delivery leadtime. In practice, this highlights benefits that result to practitioners in order to improve the performance of operations in a dynamic setting, such as the defence supply chain studied here.

Originality/value

This work has value in presenting the findings of an in‐depth case study on the application of QM techniques in a multi‐echelon supply chain setting. It is also original in employing the FMEA technique together with an end‐customer perspective to assess the effect of failure modes in operations across a supply chain. FMEA also provided the means to examine supply chain risk, thus providing a research instrument for deploying risk as a lens. The application of QM techniques in this novel setting provides support for their application beyond the conventional setting of internal operations.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 28 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2018

Erdem Galipoglu, Herbert Kotzab, Christoph Teller, Isik Özge Yumurtaci Hüseyinoglu and Jens Pöppelbuß

The purpose of this paper is twofold: to identify, evaluate and structure the research that focusses on omni-channel retailing from the perspective of logistics and supply…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold: to identify, evaluate and structure the research that focusses on omni-channel retailing from the perspective of logistics and supply chain management; and to reveal the intellectual foundation of omni-channel retailing research.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper applies a multi-method approach by conducting a content-analysis-based literature review of 70 academic papers. Based on the reference lists of these papers, the authors performed a citation and co-citation analysis based on the 34 most frequently cited papers. This analysis included multidimensional scaling, a cluster analysis and factor analysis.

Findings

The study reveals the limited consideration of logistics and supply chain management literature in the foundation of the omni-channel retailing research. Further, the authors see a dominance of empirical research as compared to conceptual and analytical research. Overall, there is a focus on the Western retail context in this research field. The intellectual foundation is embedded in the marketing discipline and can be characterised as lacking a robust theoretical foundation.

Originality/value

The contribution of this research is identifying, evaluating and structuring the literature of omni-channel research and providing an overview of the state of the art of this research area considering its interdisciplinary nature. This paper thus supports researchers looking to holistically comprehend, prioritise and use the underpinning literature central to the phenomena of omni-channel retailing. For practitioners and academics alike, the findings can trigger and support future research and an evolving understanding of omni-channel retailing.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 48 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 October 2020

Jorge Luiz Gayotto de Borba, Mauricio Rodrigues de Magalhães, Raquel Stefan Filgueiras and Marina Bouzon

Performing retailing in a complete omnichannel manner is not a simple task, and it considerably increases the complexity of supply chain management operations. This paper…

Abstract

Purpose

Performing retailing in a complete omnichannel manner is not a simple task, and it considerably increases the complexity of supply chain management operations. This paper aimed at identifying the barriers hindering efficient management of a return channel in this type of retail.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic literature review procedure was used, including descriptive and content analysis of results. The review was performed using four academic databases. Applicable barriers were categorized thematically, a conceptual framework was proposed and future research avenues were drawn.

Findings

The contribution of this paper comprises a theoretical description of reverse logistics applied to omnichannel retail, the identification of the return barriers in omnichannel and a conceptual framework for a holistic view of the problem. In all, 43 barriers were identified including high investments, product restocking, additional transportation costs and poor communication.

Research limitations/implications

The link between reverse logistics and omnichannel area is recent and publications are still scarce, so the newness of this study limits the opportunity for further deepening or more robust validation of the results.

Practical implications

The results offered may be used by managers in the areas of retail and supply chain management in general in order to reduce the natural complexity in omnichannel environment.

Originality/value

Regarding previous literature on omnichannel retail, only a few works consider the after-sales stage. This work intended to pave the way in this poorly explored intersection (reverse logistics and omnichannel) by presenting a conceptual framework to classify various barriers in omnichannel retail return.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 49 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2016

Jyotirmoyee Bhattacharjya, Adrian Ellison and Sonali Tripathi

The success of e-retailers is intrinsically linked to the effectiveness of their logistics processes which, inevitably, involve third party service providers. As the most…

Abstract

Purpose

The success of e-retailers is intrinsically linked to the effectiveness of their logistics processes which, inevitably, involve third party service providers. As the most tangible representative of the e-retailers it is inevitable that customers expect the e-retailer to resolve delivery queries, including on social media platforms. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effectiveness of e-retailers’ logistics-related customer service interactions on Twitter with a view towards identifying effective and ineffective social media customer service strategies.

Design/methodology/approach

The design and public nature of Twitter encourages organic conversations between e-retailers and customers as well as between customers and other customers. The methodology applied here accounts for this by collecting and analysing interactions within and as part of conversations, not as independent observations. In total, 203,349 tweets were collected from 22 of the most popular e-retailers. A random sample of 5,000 logistics-related conversations (16,998 tweets) is used for the analysis presented here and forms a foundation for future research.

Findings

Conversations are initiated by customers on the basis of 24 event triggers which can be categorised as occurring either before or after an order is delivered. These can be general queries or related to a specific order or delivery issue. The paper identifies a number of significant findings such as the extent to which e-retailers and logistics providers redirect customers to other channels to resolve queries, ignoring the implicit preference by customers to use Twitter to resolve their problem. Similarly, the lack of interactions between e-retailers and their logistics providers within the Twitter platform to help resolve customer queries results in ineffective customer service.

Practical implications

The study identifies the way in which e-retailers can substantially improve the effectiveness of the customer service they provide on Twitter by ensuring that customer queries can be resolved within the platform and by working with their logistics partners to do the same. This is critical since problems may be directed to the e-retailer or the logistics provider but both companies jointly suffer the consequences of poor customer service.

Originality/value

The study examines a hitherto underexplored aspect of retail logistics – the social media-based customer service activities of e-retailers. Methodologically, the study is rooted in the acknowledgement that interactions on Twitter form conversations and analyses should take this into account. This is a distinctly different approach from existing Twitter-related studies which conduct an automated sentiment analysis of tweets. This approach reveals a rich picture of interactions and, importantly, identifies where conversations between e-retailers begin, how they develop and how they conclude.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 46 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2016

Kamrul Ahsan and Shams Rahman

In spite of regular occurrence of product returns, research into determinants of returns services in retail businesses is still limited. To fill the gap, the purpose of…

Abstract

Purpose

In spite of regular occurrence of product returns, research into determinants of returns services in retail businesses is still limited. To fill the gap, the purpose of this paper is to investigate critical determinants of customer to business type product returns services in the retail industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors develop a framework of product returns services that consists of three major service categories and 16 returns service determinants. The criticality of the determinants of product returns management are assessed employing the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) based multi-criteria decision-making approach. Under AHP set up the authors interview retail operations managers of major retail firms in Australia to identify critical determinants of product returns services.

Findings

Results indicate that the most important returns services dimensions are the way in which returns services are handled through interaction, and the outcome of service delivery. The top five critical service determinants of product returns are related to: communication support service for customer, money back for any type of returns, customer support access, user-friendly interaction, and product replacement.

Originality/value

The findings of the study can be considered by senior managers of retail firms as a reference guide for designing efficient and effective returns service systems and developing strategies for competitive advantage through product returns, namely, customer retention.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 46 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 4 July 2016

Carlos Mena and Michael Bourlakis

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 46 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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