In this paper, the relation between the constructs operational complexity, Web‐based orientation of the company and the company’s distribution structure used for the fulfilment of Internet customer orders is investigated in the food home shopping branch. A model is proposed with relations between these constructs, which is researched through a survey among food e‐tailers. A positive association between operational complexity and the distribution structure used could be established, meaning that more complex operations (with a full‐line assortment and a large number of orders) tend to have special (Internet orders only) distribution centres for the fulfilment of Internet customer orders. Companies with a store infrastructure tend to keep using this existing infrastructure (unless the number of orders becomes large) and new Internet‐only companies tend to use special Internet‐orders only warehouses, unless the number of orders is small, in which case co‐operation with existing stores is preferred.
Warehousing is becoming more and more a critical activity in the supply chain to outperform competitors on customer service, lead times, and costs. However, if warehousing…
Warehousing is becoming more and more a critical activity in the supply chain to outperform competitors on customer service, lead times, and costs. However, if warehousing is to be a source of competitive advantage, then the implementation of a warehouse management information system (WMS) is a necessary condition to achieve efficiently the high performance of warehousing operations required in today’s marketplace. A major practical question is then whether a given warehouse should implement a standard or a tailor‐made WMS. A standard WMS offers many advantages; it is a proven solution, it is less costly, the implementation lead time is shorter, and the after‐sales service is better. On the other hand, a standard WMS remains largely making compromises between the way a warehouse wants to work and the way the system allows the warehouse to work. In certain environments, such compromises might seriously degrade warehouse performance, in which case it then seems better to implement a tailor‐made WMS. To answer the above question, we conducted an exploratory field study of warehouses with recently implemented WMSs to first understand the empirical reality and then build up a theory linking the constructs warehouse complexity and warehouse planning and control structure. Warehouse complexity refers to the number and variety of items to be handled, the degree of their interaction, and the number, nature, i.e. technologies used, and variety of processes, determined among others by the warehouse’s position in the logistic chain and the nature of its market. Warehouse planning and control structure refers to the management functions that plan, direct, coordinate and control the flow of goods through the warehouse, from the time of receiving to the time of shipping. It is strongly related to the WMS in use. We found that the number of orderlines to be processed per day and the number of stock‐keeping units are the two main observable aspects of warehouse complexity; that the more complex the warehouse is, the more tailor‐made the planning and control structure should be; that for simple warehouses a standardized planning and control structure suffices; and that the design of a new‐to‐build warehouse should be carried out in close concert with the design of the warehouse planning and control structure.
To examine the state of logistics and supply chain management (SCM) research in the last five years from the standpoint of existing methodologies. The state of research is…
To examine the state of logistics and supply chain management (SCM) research in the last five years from the standpoint of existing methodologies. The state of research is assessed by examining the research design, number of hypothesis testing, research methods, data analysis techniques, data sources, level of analysis and country of authors.
The review of SCM and logistics research is based on 442 papers published from 1999 to 2003 in the following three academic journals Journal of Business Logistics, International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, and Supply Chain Management: An International Journal.
Major findings show that there is an increase in the direct observation methods like case studies. In general, the research is more interpretive in nature. Survey method is still holding the highest position. More advanced techniques are being used for data analysis in empirical studies and there has been an increase in hypothesis testing. The trend in survey research is moving from exploratory to model building and testing.
The gaps identified in the review were: there are very few inter disciplinary studies; innovative application of secondary data is lacking, (c) research at inter organisation level is scanty; and the current state of research has failed to integrate all the firms in the value chain and treat them as a single entity.
The methodological review will provide increased understanding of the current state of research in the discipline.