Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 15 credits / 22,5 HE credits
The following thesis counteracts the relationship of Supply Chain Design (SCD) and web-sales, and concentrates on the overall aim of “How to re-design Supply Chains more effective when a web sales portal is applied?”. In order to clarify this aim, following four research objectives are set:
- How does e-commerce connect to Supply Chain Design in general?
- What is required for a successful implementation of e-commerce?
- What are the costs and benefits by implementing e-commerce?
- Which potential risk factors in correspondence of the implementation of e-commerce may influence the whole SCD and e-commerce interaction process?
Previous studies have not discussed the interaction of e-commerce and supply chain design on operational level at all, which accounts for a large portion of interests these days. When looking at the research objectives they have been solved in three process steps.
First of all the general connection of e-commerce and Supply Chain Design had been analysed through an extensive literature review in form of i.e. suitable books and research papers. Results demonstrated that e-commerce helps to support and manage supply chain activities by offering relevant information. The connection between e-commerce and SCD insists of a close gearing. E-commerce helps to support and manage supply chain activities by offering relevant information about what kind of product is demanded, what is available in warehouses, which products are in the manufacturing processes, and which products will enter the physical facilities and customer sites.
Following, research objectives two to four had been identified for which a literature review has created a firm basis on the status quo of current research studies. Combined with findings of developing a web-sales implementation plan for a leading group in power and automation technologies this work-out has been used as empirical research on how a real life company is carrying out these objectives. This plan had been worked out on-side the company, data has been obtained through interviews, observations, and internal system data. Requirements for a successful implementation of e-commerce are seen in strategic and organisational planning activities, as well as specific platform conditions. Concerning costs and benefits, monitoring and evaluating improvements, increasing customer satisfaction, and reducing order-cycle times stay in contrast to incidental fixed and variable costs which had been demonstrated through a detailed break-even analysis. Potential risk factors which had been identified can be countervailed through an appropriate risk management.
Thirdly, the overall research question of “How to re-design Supply Chains more effective when a web sales portal is applied?” had been solved based on intermediate results of step one and two, combined with the project work-out, providing informative and sufficient data. The result is that in a first step a clear picture of which products and spare parts will be sold has to be defined. Secondly a precisely inventory management - discussing which parts to hold in stock, where to stock them, and how much to hold in stock - needs to be worked out. And thirdly, after analysing the possible and most plausible inventory strategy, possible distribution varieties need to be analysed. The most appropriate solution for the case company is represented in an Inventory-Distribution-Matrix.
This research study has created a basis for the business unit of Power Electronics to improve possible efficiency. The knowledge and implementation steps operated for this implementation plan can be used for other business units in Switzerland and can be seen as a decision maker. Therefore this work-out has generated an enormous benefit for the case company. Instead of acting instinctively, decisions are based on qualitative and quantitative methodologies, data collection methods and data analysis techniques, and therefore follow a process strategy.
“Web-sales” in this context is associated with selling and buying information, products, or services via computer networks (Strader & Shaw, 1997), in this research study it is identical to “E-commerce”.
2011. , 104 p.
Web-sales portal; Electronic-commerce (e-commerce); Supply Chain Design (SCD); Spare-parts management
Management of logistics and innovation – master’s programme (one year) (swe or eng)