Operations management in multi-channel retailing: an exploratory study

Details zur Publikation
Abkürzung der Fachzeitschrift: OMR
Autorenliste: Hübner A., Holzapfel A., Kuhn H.
Jahr der Veröffentlichung: 2015
Quelle: Operations Management Research
Bandnummer: 8
Heftnummer: 3
Erste Seite: 84
Letzte Seite: 100
Verlag: Springer Verlag (Germany)
ISSN: 1936-9735
eISSN: 1936-9743
DOI: 10.1007/s12063-015-0101-9
Sprachen: Englisch


Multi-channel (MC) shopping is revolutionizing retail operations. For
traditional retailers, the growing importance of online sales means
creating new supply chain models. This requires a solid understanding of
the operations processes. Current literature on MC management focuses
on customer perspectives, but only touches on the operational aspects.
The primary goal of this study is therefore to give a comprehensive
overview of the operations structures of MC retailing, identify the
operations systems in use and analyze their planning interdependencies.
We identify network design, inventory management, warehouse operations
and capacity management as the areas of MC operations planning. Their
planning interdependencies are investigated. We analyze the different MC
networks and the associated inventory management approaches as well as
the various design concepts in warehouse operations. The efficiency of
integrating warehouse operations is the core lever for integrated MC
operations. While inventory pooling favors integrated networks,
channel-specific operational challenges are a reason to simplify
structures and operate separate networks. Specific operational design
options (e.g., in picking and scheduling) are identified to optimally
complement the network design selected. Company examples also give an
idea of how to efficiently design the coordination of on- and offline
logistics. Retailers can gain important insights into how to further
develop their systems. We used an explorative approach to identify
structures and processes in a relatively new research area. We
questioned 43 executives from 33 different European-based leading
companies in MC retailing in semi-structured, face-to-face interviews.
This paper describes the results of what is currently the largest study
on MC operations.