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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2019

Jingran Zhang, Sevilay Onal, Rohit Das, Amanda Helminsky and Sanchoy Das

Fast fulfilment is a key performance measure in online retail, and some retailers have achieved faster times by adopting new designs in their order fulfilment

Abstract

Purpose

Fast fulfilment is a key performance measure in online retail, and some retailers have achieved faster times by adopting new designs in their order fulfilment infrastructure. This research empirically confirms and quantifies the fulfilment time advantage that Amazon has achieved, relative to other online retailers. The purpose of this paper is to investigate three research questions: what is the overall mean fulfilment time difference between the new logistics designs of Amazon and the alternative designs of other retailers? For each order what is the distribution of the fulfilment time difference? What is the difference in fulfilment time by product category, price and size?

Design/methodology/approach

This research uses an empirical method to evaluate the fulfilment time performance of consumer orders made through the Amazon website and one or more competing online retailers. For 1,000 different products two fulfilment times, one at Amazon and another at a competing omnichannel retailer, are recorded. The analysis is then focused on the comparison between this paired data.

Findings

The research confirms that the new logistics methods, including physical facilities, distribution networks and intelligent order processing methods, have resulted in faster order fulfilment times. The performance, though, is not universally dominant and for 33 per cent of orders, the difference is 1 day or less. The fulfilment time difference varied by product, category, price or size.

Practical implications

The ongoing transformation of fulfilment and logistics operations at online retailers has generated several new research questions. This includes the need to confirm the fulfilment efficiency of the new designs and specify time targets. This paper identifies the fulfilment time gap between new and traditional operations. The results suggest that store-based or distribution centre-based fulfilment strategies may not match the new designs.

Originality/value

The study provides a quantitative analysis of the fulfilment time differentials in online retailing. The critical role of fulfilment logistics in the rapidly growing online retail industry can now be better modelled and studied. The survey method representing a single buyer allows for order pair equivalency and eliminates order bias. The results suggest that new warehousing and logistics designs can lead to significantly faster fulfilment times.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 47 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

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Article
Publication date: 5 May 2020

Beth Davis-Sramek, Rafay Ishfaq, Brian J. Gibson and Cliff Defee

The purpose of this research is to provide a theoretical explanation of the strategic and structural changes occurring in US omnichannel retail supply chains. Using…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to provide a theoretical explanation of the strategic and structural changes occurring in US omnichannel retail supply chains. Using longitudinal data, the research documents transitions in retailers' supply chain strategies, specifically related to the order fulfillment process. It further offers explanation for how and why these transitions occurred.

Design/methodology/approach

This research uses a process theory lens to explain the business model transformation of the omnichannel order fulfillment process. Using a case study approach, a longitudinal multicase study was conducted with six large US retailers over a span of 10 years. Within-case and cross-case analysis identifies the sequence and rationale of different strategic and structural shifts in retailers' omnichannel order fulfillment strategy.

Findings

The within- and cross-case analyses offer insight into how the transitions occur, at what rate they occur across several different retailers, and why the rate can differ across the stages of omnichannel transition among retailers. The research documents that retailers took varied approaches to strategically develop and structurally change their order fulfillment processes in their transition to omnichannel retail. The findings reveal that these approaches are dependent on retailers' store-based logistics capabilities and specific supply chain arrangements within their retail segment.

Research limitations/implications

The longitudinal and theoretically driven approach provides researchers a better understanding of the business model transformation in US retail omnichannel operations. This approach builds theoretical context around why and how strategic and structural changes in omnichannel fulfillment occurred over time. It also explains the underlying omnichannel phenomenon more accurately than research focused on discrete changes at a single point in time.

Practical implications

The findings and managerial insights can assist practitioners in understanding how environmental changes have led to strategic and structural shifts across different stages of omnichannel fulfillment evolution. These insights also provide guidance to retailers that are currently in early stages of developing their omnichannel fulfillment strategy.

Originality/value

Logistics and fulfillment operations of retailers have changed dramatically over the last 10–15 years. The authors apply a process theory lens to explain how and why retailers have integrated their channels to achieve omnichannel success at the store level.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 50 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2003

J. Michael Tarn, Muhammad A. Razi, H. Joseph Wen and Angel A. Perez

An e‐fulfillment system is designed to meet the high order volume and stringent customer service requirements of global business‐to‐consumer e‐commerce. The system…

Abstract

An e‐fulfillment system is designed to meet the high order volume and stringent customer service requirements of global business‐to‐consumer e‐commerce. The system converts the traditional warehouse into a multi‐channel e‐fulfillment center. In the e‐commerce environment, some of the toughest decisions must be made on little or no hard information. In this study, the nature of e‐business and the typical fulfillment process are discussed. The authors further examine the strategy and operational requirements for e‐fulfillment. This article is concluded with the implication of a successful e‐fulfillment system, a suggested design of an e‐fulfillment center, and the future research focuses.

Details

Logistics Information Management, vol. 16 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-6053

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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2016

Rafay Ishfaq, C. Clifford Defee, Brian J Gibson and Uzma Raja

The purpose of this paper is to identify the realignment of the physical distribution process for store-based retailers in their efforts to integrate the online channel…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the realignment of the physical distribution process for store-based retailers in their efforts to integrate the online channel into their business model. Multiple attributes of the physical distribution process are evaluated to identify associations with order fulfillment methods adopted by omni-channel retailers.

Design/methodology/approach

A multi-method approach is used which includes qualitative evaluation of 50 interviews of supply chain executives from large retailers. Additionally, secondary data about firm size, store and distribution networks, online sales, distribution configuration, and order delivery options are used. The findings of qualitative analysis are incorporated into a quantitative classification-tree analysis to identify associations among distribution attributes, order fulfillment methods and order delivery services.

Findings

Retailers are developing a consistent omni-channel physical distribution process in which stores undertake a bigger role in order fulfillment and delivery. Level of online sales, size of distribution network, number of sales associates at a store, and number of years engaged in the online channel are identified as having strong associations with the type of order fulfillment method used by omni-channel retailers. The study finds that retailers are focussed on integrating their store and DC inventories and have the benefit of scale with a large store network.

Practical implications

Retailers are reconfiguring their physical distribution processes in the complex omni-channel environment can use the findings of this study to evaluate their strategy and identify the level of realignment effort that is needed. A better understanding of the requirements of physical distribution in an omni-channel setting will guide retailers in developing requisite operational capabilities.

Originality/value

This paper provides a first in-depth look at order fulfillment choices in omni-channel retail and identifies efforts that are underway to realign key elements of the physical distribution process.

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: 15 June 2021

Yugowati Praharsi, Mohammad Abu Jami'in, Gaguk Suhardjito, Samuel Reong and Hui Ming Wee

Study in supply chain performance research on the shipbuilding industry is lacking. The purpose of this research is to study and provide guidelines to improve the…

Abstract

Purpose

Study in supply chain performance research on the shipbuilding industry is lacking. The purpose of this research is to study and provide guidelines to improve the performance of traditional shipbuilding supply chains in Indonesia.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper develops an empirical study gathered from a traditional shipbuilding industry, its suppliers, and customers. This study consists of three sections: the traditional shipbuilding industry, the suppliers, and the individual supplier scores. The internal and external performances in this study are measured using Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) metrics. The SCOR model identifies five performance measurement attributes, including reliability, flexibility, responsiveness, cost and assets. Instead of using “responsiveness,” this study applies the schedule performance index, and supplements “cost” with the cost performance index in order to accurately reflect the traditional shipbuilding supply chains processes.

Findings

By analyzing SCOR metrics in the traditional shipbuilding industry, it has been found that the ideal shipbuilding supply chain metrics are order fulfillment, flexibility, asset turnover and total supply chain costs. The lowest performance metric value in the traditional shipbuilding industry is the cost of goods. Some improvements are proposed to lower the high cost of ship building. An integrated economic ordering system in collaboration with all the suppliers is one of the most effective ways to reduce the cost of the traditional shipbuilding supply chains. The implementation of SCOR metrics enables management to identify the critical issues to improve.

Research limitations/implications

The study applies SCOR metrics to improve the traditional shipbuilding supply chains performance. The study is limited because the data collected are based on one shipbuilding industry only.

Originality/value

To the author's knowledge, this is the first empirical analysis on the implementation of SCOR metrics to the traditional shipbuilding industry. The analysis to improve the traditional shipbuilding supply chains performance can provide managerial insights to other industries.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 10 May 2019

Pradeep Kautish and Rajesh Sharma

The purpose of this paper is to bridge together seemingly disparate yet interconnected paradigmatic antecedents of e-tailing and servicescape, i.e., product assortment…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to bridge together seemingly disparate yet interconnected paradigmatic antecedents of e-tailing and servicescape, i.e., product assortment, order fulfillment, shopping assistance and its consequences for shopping efficiency.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed conceptual model is well grounded in the extensive literature from e-tailing as well as retailing domain and to assess the plausibility of the model. Total 246 female online apparel shoppers were surveyed from an Indian university and the data were analyzed using structural equation modeling through SmartPLS.

Findings

The outcomes of the study indicate that the e-customer may derive a substantial share of shopping assistance and service interface through product assortment offered by e-tailing sites. Customer-perceived performance of this e-shopping process – a crucial element of e-tail servicescape – directly affects the shopping assistance, along with order fulfillment capability of retail scope.

Research limitations/implications

The study used a sample of graduate students at a north-west university in India, which limits the generalizability of the research to other consumer groups. The paper links a significant body of literature within a conceptually developed framework and identifies key research areas in the e-tailing realm.

Practical implications

By better understanding the role of product assortment as a value-added feature in online value co-creation process, the e-tail managers can leverage the proposed integrated capability to improve e-tailing performance and customer outcomes in the form of business.

Social implications

With rapid advancements in internet-led communication, we are witnessing the dawn of a new era of e-tail innovations around us which is expected to change the way people experience shopping.

Originality/value

This research is an attempt to enrich the level of understanding about online shopping environment in light of relationships among virtual and physical facets of e-tail, i.e., product assortment, order fulfillment, shopping assistance and shopping efficiency. The authors investigate customer-perceived product assortment performance in e-tailing and its significances on shopping outcomes.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Nikunj Kumar Jain, Hasmukh Gajjar, Bhavin J. Shah and Ashish Sadh

The purpose of this paper is to understand the dimensions of the e-fulfillment process and its influence on customers in pure e-tailing; to classify the pertinent…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the dimensions of the e-fulfillment process and its influence on customers in pure e-tailing; to classify the pertinent literature that has evolved over time addressing relevant managerial issues; and to identify the gaps between the practices prevalent in the e-fulfillment and those suggested by academicians to develop insights for future research.

Design/methodology/approach

A critical systemic literature review approach was used for the study with quantitative and qualitative analysis.

Findings

The authors identified seven dimensions of e-fulfillment in the literature on pure e-tailing: e-business quality, product quality, pricing, availability, timeliness, condition and ease of return and explored its linkages with shopping satisfaction and repurchase intention of customers in e-tailing.

Research limitations/implications

The study was skewed toward an empirical approach. The study does not include many of the analytical models in this space.

Practical implications

This study helps e-tailers, academicians and practitioners understand critical dimensions of e-fulfillment and its influence on customers in the pure e-tailing setting in order to design customer-centric e-fulfillment architecture.

Originality/value

The study identified seven dimensions of e-fulfillment in the literature and explored its influence on shopping satisfaction and repurchase intention of customers in pure e-tailing. This is the first compilation of standalone/isolated studies available in the literature to provide e-tailers and academicians meaningful insights into e-fulfillment in the pure e-tailing setting.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1999

Duangpun Kritchanchai and B.L. MacCarthy

This paper discusses evidence from field studies undertaken to investigate the responsiveness of the order fulfilment process in a number of companies. The evidence is…

Abstract

This paper discusses evidence from field studies undertaken to investigate the responsiveness of the order fulfilment process in a number of companies. The evidence is analysed in the context of the literature on responsiveness and related areas such as time‐based competition. Similarities and differences are analysed across a number of industrial sectors with respect to order fulfilment processes and the interpretation and significance of responsiveness. Generic factors that influence different types of companies are identified. Four components of responsiveness – stimuli, awareness, capabilities and goals – emerge from an analysis of the literature. The field and case study evidence allows the development of more precise definitions and descriptions of each of these components. The study also allows a generic responsiveness framework to be developed that incorporates both strategic and operational viewpoints. The need for more field studies on responsiveness is noted. More work is advocated on the assessment and measurement of responsiveness and on developing appropriate responsiveness interventions, particularly with respect to the order fulfilment process.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 19 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 25 September 2019

Gregory Bressolles and Gerald Lang

The purpose of this paper is to expand existing research on fulfillment systems for multi-channel retailers by combining analysis of customer expectation (CE) with…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to expand existing research on fulfillment systems for multi-channel retailers by combining analysis of customer expectation (CE) with economic performance (EP) aspects.

Design/methodology/approach

This exploratory study is based on a literature review of supply chain management and marketing combined with the results of an online questionnaire submitted to French and Chinese multi-channel retailers from two sectors.

Findings

The results enable the authors to identify 13 important key performance indicators (KPIs) used by multi-channel retailers for measuring e-fulfillment system performance and also to determine under which of the EP or CE criteria these KPIs might be linked.

Research limitations/implications

Although the sample size is limited, this research is intended to be exploratory, based on the practices of supply chain and marketing managers. Moreover, the results do not address interdependencies among the different KPIs.

Practical implications

E-fulfillment is a major challenge for multi-channel retailers; it is cost intensive and critical for customer satisfaction. The identified set of KPIs enables retailers to choose those relevant to their particular infrastructure.

Originality/value

A limited number of scholarly works have explored the operational implications of online retailing in terms of e-fulfillment in a multi-channel context. In order to manage such supply chains efficiently and effectively, traditional measures of supply chain performance need to be adapted. This study expands existing knowledge by developing measurement systems and metrics for the evaluation of supply chain performance in this context.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 48 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

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Article
Publication date: 2 August 2019

Daniel Taylor, Sebastian Brockhaus, A. Michael Knemeyer and Paul Murphy

Since the emergence of e-commerce uprooted traditional brick-and-mortar retail in the early 2000s, many retailers have reacted by first independently servicing both the…

Abstract

Purpose

Since the emergence of e-commerce uprooted traditional brick-and-mortar retail in the early 2000s, many retailers have reacted by first independently servicing both the online and in-store channels (multichannel retailing) and subsequently integrating both channels to provide a seamless front-end customer interface (omnichannel retailing). Accordingly, firms had to adjust their logistics and supply chain management (SCM) processes from fulfilling orders for each channel separately to integrating channels on the back-end (omnichannel fulfillment). This development is mirrored by an emerging stream of academic publications. The purpose of this paper is to provide a snapshot of the current state of omnichannel fulfillment research via a systematic literature review (SLR) in order to identify omnichannel fulfillment strategies and to establish an agenda for future inquiry.

Design/methodology/approach

This SLR is based on 104 papers published in peer-reviewed journals through December 2018. It employs a six-step process, from research question to the presentation of the insights.

Findings

All selected manuscripts are categorized based on demographics such as publication date, outlet, methodology, etc. Analysis of the manuscripts suggests that the integration of fulfillment channel inventory and resources is becoming an important objective of fulfillment management. Appropriate omnichannel strategies based on retailer attributes are not well understood. Industry specific research has been conducted necessitating generalized extension for retailers. These findings provide a clear opportunity for the academic community to take more of the lead in terms of knowledge creation by proposing paths for industry pursuit of channel integration to successfully implement omnichannel fulfillment. Opportunities for future inquiry are highlighted.

Originality/value

This manuscript proposes a definition of omnichannel fulfillment strategies and identifies fulfillment links that are used interchangeably across channels as the key delimiter between omnichannel fulfillment strategies and related concepts. Six omnichannel fulfillment strategies from the extant literature are identified and conceptualized. Future research opportunities around omnichannel fulfillment, potential interdependencies between the established strategies and their impact on related SCM issues such as distribution and reverse logistics are detailed.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

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