Essays on Logistics Management at Online Retailing Company Case Study

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The paper "Logistics Management at Online Retailing Company " is a great example of a management case study.   The new online retailing company featured in the case study will no doubt need to engage in logistics management in order to ensure that its supply chain is managed in a manner that will ensure that all consumer demands are met effectively and efficiently. Traditionally, logistics is defined as “ the process of planning, implementing, and controlling the efficient flow and storage of goods, services, and related information as they travel from point of origin to point of consumption” (Arshinder, Kanda & Deshmukh, 2011, p.

48). As would be expected from such a process, there are complexities and uncertainties in the decision-making processes affecting the logistics operations. The complexities and uncertainties arise from the different requirements posed by diverse customers, thus requiring input from diverse resources. Additionally, Arshinder et al. (2011, p. 48) note that dealing with diverse customers and supply partners often results in a high rate of unexpected changes, thus posing even more challenges to logistics management. In the case study, it is evident that the featured online retail company is set to acquire products from overseas locations in Asia, and this too will probably increase its level of complexities.

As Arshinder et al (2011, p. 48 ) observes, geographically scattered networks of manufacturers, retailers, and consumers lead to more complex coordination processes especially for the retailer who shoulders most of the burden related to creating value for the customer. As an advisory report to members of the consortium that will invest in the online retailing company, this report will address how the investors can design the ‘ order management and customer service’ functions in the new business; ‘ distribution center packaging and materials handling’ ; and ‘ physical distribution within Australia’ .

The report argues that like other retail businesses operating in Australia, the online retail business featured in the case study needs to present its potential customers with the right products, in the right quantities, and at the right time, place, and price for it to succeed. ‘ Demand management and customer service’ The report recognizes that demand management is vital for the online retail business since it will enable it to forecast and regulate product acquisitions, while customer service will serve to relate well with buyers while gauging their satisfaction with the products or services provided by the company. For the new online retail company (hereunder ORC) to successfully manage its demand, it will first need to understand the needs of its target customers.

Specifically, ORC must be willing to identify what the customers’ needs are, and put in place measures that will ensure that such needs are met. Before delving into the intricate details of demand management and customer service, it must be noted that demand management specifically refers to “ the creation across the supply chain and its markets of a coordinated flow of demand” (Mentzer, Moon, Estampe & Margolis 2007, p.

68). From this seemingly simple definition by Mentzer et al. (2007), it is evident that the traditional marketing functions create demands in a market, but business organizations usually have the prerogative to assess the profitability of demands presented in different product or service categories. As would be expected, business organizations then increase their marketing efforts in products or services that have greater profit potential.

Similarly, ORC will need to engage in demand management in order to establish just which of the many retail products it will concentrate its marketing efforts on. Having identified ‘ car accessories and tools’ , ‘ leisure products for boating, camping and fishing, and ‘ electrical household appliances’ as the main product lines where Australia’ s online retailing is growing, ORC can use demand management to forecast the profitability of each of the identified product lines.

References

Arshinder, K, Kanda, A & Deshmukh, S G 2011, ‘A review on supply chain coordination: coordination mechanisms, managing uncertainty and research directions’, pp. 39-84, viewed September 16, 2012,

Ballou, R H 1987, basic business logistics: Transportation, materials management, physical distribution, Prentice Hall, New Jersey.

Choomrit, N 2005, ‘Location decision in distribution centres’, 232-242, viewed September 17, 2012,

Coyle, J J, Langley, J & Gibson B 2008, Supply chain management: A logistics perspective, 8th edition, Cengage Learning, London.

Gupta, T & Dutta, S 1994, ‘Analysing materials handling needs in concurrent/simultaneous engineering’, International Journal of Operations & productions Management, Vol. 14, no. 9, pp. 68-82.

Held, JR 2003, ‘Distribution centre site selection’, Economic Development Journal, Summer, pp. 31-36.

Jahre, M & Hatteland, C J 2004, ‘Packages and physical distribution: implications for integration and standardisation’, International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 123-139.

McLaren, T, Head, M, & Yuan, Y 2002, ‘Supply chain collaboration alternatives: Understanding the expected costs and benefits’, Internet Research: Electronic Networking Applications and Policy, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 348-364.

Mentzer, J T, Moon, M A, Estampe, D & Margolis, G 2007, ‘Demand management’, In JT Mentzer, MB Mathews, & TP Stank (eds.), Handbook of global supply chain management, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA .

Pereira, J V 2009, ‘The new supply chain’s frontier: Information management’, International Journal of Information Management, vol. 29, pp. 372-379.

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