The paper "How ORC Can Attain Low Costs, Place Utility, and Time Utility " is a perfect example of a business case study. As Internet usage for business activities increases, so too are the potential business opportunities therein. Notably, for any company that has a product or service to sell, the distribution method is crucial since it determines whether the consumers will get their preferred products or services to the right location at the right time in a manner that serves customer demand effectively. The newly created online retailing company (hereunder ORC) featured in the case study, just like the traditional retail companies has to move products and materials from the manufacturer to the consumers.
As such, logistics will be an important function in the movement of goods and services, just as is the case in the brick-and-mortar retail companies. It has been argued that compared to the traditional distribution channel, the Internet will provide “ wider coverage with lower operating costs” (Rao, Goldsby & Iyengar 2008, p. 107). However, the lower operating costs can only be realized by retailers if they strategically choose their suppliers, and if they strategically manage the supply chain.
Similarly, retailers that want to attain place and time utility must also engage in strategic management practices that will enhance their chances of realizing their objectives. This essay offers details about how ORC, which is the subject of the case study, can attain low costs, place utility and time utility through supplier selection; international transport; and Australian customs, quarantine, and inspection clearance. Supplier selection According to Beil (2009, p. 1), supplier selection “ is the process by which the buyer identifies, evaluates, and contracts with the suppliers” .
Some of the information sources from which ORC can obtain information regarding potential suppliers include Internet research, trade fares, service providers, business networks, and existing databases such a trade directories. In order to ensure that the Singaporean suppliers have the desired expertise and knowledge to deliver on ORC’ s objectives to attain low costs and add value to the place and time utility, the company must identify qualified potential suppliers, evaluate them, and choose the supplier that is most capable of attaining the company’ s objectives. Low cost For starters, being an online retailing company, ORC will need to ensure that the Singaporean supplier has technologies that can meet the demands of online retailing.
The demand for online retailing capacity will be the most basic requirement for the suppliers; however, ORC will also need to screen Singaporean suppliers to ensure that they have the capacity to deliver the desired (identified) goods at the right time, in the right condition, and at an agreed price. In other words, and as aptly stated by Beil (2009, p. 4), the supplier will need to be screened in order to reduce the “ likelihood of supplier non-performance, such as late delivery, non-delivery, or delivery of non-conforming (faulty) goods” .
As indicated by Hedderich, Giesecke, and Ohmsen (2006, p. 2) in reference to supplier selection in China, supplier selection is “ ... the art of filtering out the suitable suppliers” . Singapore is no different, and ORC will undoubtedly engage in the art of filtering out different suppliers in search of the right one. Notably, in order to determine the best-suited supplier, ORC will need to engage in a typical search process which includes product analysis (in which case the identified Singaporean supplier will be needed to supply car accessories, leisure products, and electrical household items as identified in the case study); supplier identification; supplier evaluation; and supplier selection.
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