The paper "Australian Online Retail Store" is a perfect example of a management case study. The retail industry is a very important industry to the economy of any country. It is a service that introduces consumers to innovative products and helps them make choices through assessing and comparing products and their prices. Consumers are thus enabled to make purchases at their opportune tie in their convenient locations in quantities that are suitable to their needs (Commonwealth, 2011). Retailers do not only sell goods and services, but they also arrange for auxiliary services such as after-sales warranty and financial services issues.
According to the Productivity Commission Report of 11th August 2011, the online retailing represents 6% of total Australian retail sales. Broken down, this translates to 4% domestic online ($4.2 billion) and 2% from overseas ($4.2 billion). These figures are expected to escalate higher in the next few years as imported goods have become attractive to the Australian consumer. “ Change is inevitable, but growth and improvement are optional” , (Coyle, 6). Organizations the world over have had to adjust and transform their business models in order to fit in in a competitive global economy.
As a result, traditional organizational boundaries in business management are quickly fading with the changing nature of the market place, (Coyle, 8). Consumers have greatly affected the operations of the retail supply chain while at the same time demanding for fast delivery service that is flexible and convenient. They are more aware than ever of the meaning of ‘ value’ . This has led to a well-informed consumer who can now compare and contrast prices with ease through the internet as well as compare delivery schedules and track shipments.
Today’ s consumer is able to shop for any merchandise and make orders online from the comfort of their homes. But with this ease in filling in the orders comes the challenge of making quick deliveries by on-line retailers. This has given rise to the re-assessment of the running of logistical systems in many retail stores in order to satisfy consumer needs, (Gordin, 15). Thus logistics plays a vital role in the success of any online business venture as it is a powerful management approach that ensures that the needs of the customer are met, (Gordin, 16). Logistics refers to the systematic management of various entities required to move tangible and intangible benefits from point of production (Manufacture or service) to the final consumer, (Gordin, 2).
Thus logistics can be said to be a continuous process of ensuring that customers’ needs are met by availing the right goods and services to the right consumer in the condition and quality desired at the convenient time and place to the customer at the right price. Components of a logistics system include functional activities such as customer service, inventory management, transport storage, and material handling, packaging information or data processing, demand forecasting among others, (Godin, 5). Online retail store logistics activities such as Chinese sourcing operations, supplier selection, evaluation, and procurement International transportation from China to Australia and Australian customs Quarantine and Inspection clearance can contribute to low production costs and add value to the place and time utility. This paper will address logistics management for a case study of an Australian online retail store that will source car accessories and tools, boating leisure products and electrical household appliances from collection centers in Hong Kong and Shanghai, China.
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Commonwealth 2007, Australian Manufacturing: Today and Tomorrow, House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics Finance and Public Administration, Commonwealth of Australia, viewed on 5th December 2011 from: http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/efpa/manufacturing/
Commonwealth 2011, Economic Structure and performance of the Australian Retail Industry July 2011, Australian Government Productivity Commission, Commonwealth of Australia, viewed on 5th December: 2011from: http://www.pc.gov.au/projects/inquiry/retail-industry/draft
Coyle J et al, 2008, Supply Chain Management, a Logistics Perspective, Cengage Learning Inc., USA, viewed on 13th December 2011 from: http//www.google/books.com, PP6-36
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