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Master Thesis Logistics Management in Retail Industry

JONKOPING INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS SCHOOL JONKOPING UNIVERSITY Master Thesis Logistics Management in Retail Industry A case study of 7-Eleven in Thailand Master Thesis within International Logistics and Supply Chain Management Authors: Latika Supasansanee Patthaveekarn Kasiphongphaisan Susanne Hertz Benedikte Borgstrom June 1, 2009 Tutors: Jonkoping: Acknowledgement ____________________________________________________________ _______________ There are many people involved in the process of our thesis and motivated us in one way or another and, as well, make our academic work more fruitful.

First, we are grateful to our kind supervisors, Professor.Susanne Hertz and Benedikte Borgstrom who have criticized and made comments through our work.As well, we are grateful for all the valuable discussions we have had.

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Thank you for the supports from our families and friends. To your pull and push, your critiques and humors, and for those valuable views and opinions during our research, we are grateful. Furthermore, we would like to express our gratitude to all our respondents who spent their valuable time answering our questions. Without their cooperation, our research would not be completed.

June 1, 2009, Jonkoping _________________ Latika Supasansanee ___________________________ Patthaveekarn Kasiphongphaisan ii Abstract Master’s thesis in International Logistics and Supply Chain Management Title: Logistics Management in Retail Industry: a case study 7-Eleven in Thailand Author: Latika Supasansanee Patthaveekarn Kasiphongphaisan Tutor: Susanne Hertz Benedikte Borgstrom Date: June 1, 2009 Keywords: 7-Eleven Thailand, Logistics, Retail Convenience, Distribution Center and Warehouse, IT-Apply in retail store, and Competitive advantage

Introduction: In today’s challenging competition in the consumer goods, the manufacturers strive for their products to reach final customers before they turn their heads to the rival’s ones. This research attempts to understand and investigate how 7-Eleven company manages its logistics activities, distribution and applying information technology to achieve competitive advantages.

Purpose: The purpose of thesis is, in retailing industry and retailing convenience store’s perspective, to identify and describe the way 7-Eleven manages and operates its retail convenience business focusing on several aspects; strategic fits, distribution and IT, which support 7-Eleven’s activities and how they contribute to competitive advantages for the firm. Frame of reference: Based on various sources of literature concerning competitive advantage and strategic fits, distribution related to marketing and retail, distribution centers and warehousing, and information system apply in retail store.

Method: The study is considered as qualitative single-case study. Data is collected from the interviews with several parties involve with retail convenience industry in Thailand. Secondary data is retrieved from the information system, research and reports, publication sources as well as internet sources. Lastly, data analysis is followed by the literature chapter. Conclusion: By applying the synchronized strategies between supply chain members to adjust and modify the capabilities of firms, leads to supply chain benefits and competitive advantage for retail firm.

The applications of IT and Distribution Centers enhance supply chain capabilities, reliability, and dependability which result in better service and market performance. They are also the keys that facilitate the operations of supply chain and retail store. iii Table of Contents 1 INTRODUCTION 1. 1 1. 2 1. 3 1. 4 1. 5 2 1 BACKGROUND …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 1 PROBLEM DEFINITION …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… PURPOSE OF STUDY ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2 FOCUS AND LIMITATION ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2 DISPOSITION ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3 5 FRAME OF REFERENCE 2. 1 2. 2 2. 3 2. 4 2. 5 2. 5. 1 2. 5. 2 2. 5. 3 2. 6

CHOICE OF THEORIES …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 5 COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE AND STRATEGIC FIT WITHIN SUPPLY CHAIN ……………………………………… 5 DISTRIBUTION RELATED TO MARKETING AND RETAILING …………………………………………………………. 8 DISTRIBUTION CHANNEL…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 11 WAREHOUSING AND DISTRIBUTION CENTER………………………………………………………………………….. 4 Warehousing ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 14 Distribution Center ………………………………………………………………….. …………………………………… 15 Warehouse/DC Operational and Facilities ………………………………………………………………………. 16 IT-APPLICATION FOR RETAIL STORE MANAGEMENT ………………………………………………………………. 18 21 3 METHODOLOGY 3. 1 3. 2 3. 3 3. 4 3. 4. 1 3. . 2 3. 5 3. 6 RESEARCH STRATEGY ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 21 QUALITATIVE RESEARCH ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 21 CASE STUDY …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 22 COLLECTION OF DATA ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2 Primary Data ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 23 Secondary Data ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 24 ANALYSIS EMPIRICAL MATERIAL ………………………………………………………………………………………… 24 VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 25 26 4 EMPIRICAL STUDY 4. 1 4. 2 4. 3 4. 4 4. 5 4. 5. 1 4. 5. 4. 6 4. 7 4. 7. 1 4. 7. 2 4. 8 4. 8. 1 4. 8. 2 4. 8. 3 4. 9 4. 9. 1 4. 9. 2 4. 9. 3 4. 9. 4 4. 9. 5 THE DEVELOPMENT OF THAILAND’S SUPPLY CHAIN IN RETAIL INDUSTRY …………………………………… 26 THE 7-ELEVEN (THAILAND) PROFILE ……………………………………………………………………………………. 29 BUSINESS PREVIEW ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 32 PRODUCT ASSORTMENT ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 5 SOURCE OF SUPPLY ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 36 Supplier ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 36 In-house Manufacturer ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 36 THE OPERATION ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 6 ORDER FULFILLMENT…………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 39 Order fulfilment process from stores to DCs …………………………………………………………………….. 39 Order fulfillment process from DC to supplier ………………………………………………………………….. 40 INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1 System at the store ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 41 System at Distribution Center and Warehouse ………………………………………………………………….. 43 Back Office System………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 44 LOGISTICS ACTIVITIES ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4 The inbound activities ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 45 The outbound activities ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 46 Distribution Center Management ……………………………………………………………………………………. 46 Distribution Center ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 6 Shipment, packaging and transportation from DC to stores ……………………………………………….. 48 51 5 ANALYSIS OF AN EMPIRICAL STUDY 5. 1 COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE AND STRATEGIC FIT WITHIN SUPPLY CHAIN ……………………………………. 51 5. 1. 1 Business Strategy ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 51 5. 1. 2 Supply Chain Strategy …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 51 5. 1. Supply Chain Capabilities and Combination…………………………………………………………………….. 53 5. 1. 4 Supply Chain Performance …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 53 iv 5. 1. 5 5. 1. 6 5. 2 5. 3 5. 4 5. 4. 1 5. 4. 2 5. 4. 3 5. 4. 4 5. 5 6 7 Collaboration within the Supply Chain ……………………………………………………………………………. 54 Sustain Competitive Advantage ………………………………………………………………………………………. 5 DISTRIBUTION RELATED TO MARKETING AND RETAILING ……………………………………………………….. 55 DISTRIBUTION CHANNEL MANAGEMENT ………………………………………………………………………………. 56 WAREHOUSING AND DISTRIBUTION CENTER …………………………………………………………………………… 56 Effective and Efficient Distribution Process ……………………………………………………………………… 57 The Ownership Dilemma ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 7 The Activities in DC ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 58 Technology Concerned within DC …………………………………………………………………………………… 58 IT-APPLICATION FOR RETAIL STORE MANAGEMENT ………………………………………………………………. 59 61 64 CONCLUSION APPENDIX APPENDIX II: INTERVIEW QUESTIONS WITH 7-ELEVEN THAILAND …………………………………………………………. 5 APPENDIX III: INTERVIEW QUESTIONS WITH TRANSPORTATION FIRM…………………………………………………….. 66 APPENDIX IV: INTERVIEW QUESTIONS WITH SUPPLIER ………………………………………………………………………… 66 APPENDIX V: INTERVIEW QUESTIONS WITH FINANCIAL ANALYST …………………………………………………………. 66 APPENDIX VI: INTERVIEW INFORMATION …………………………………………………………………………………………… 67 8 REFERENCE 68 v List of Figures Figure 1. Comparing the number of convenience stores by brand in Thailand ……………………………………………. 2 Figure 1. 2: Outline of the thesis …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3 Figure 2. 1: Model of Supply Chain Strategy, Capabilities and Performance. ……………………………………………….. 6 Figure 2. 2: Cost-Responsiveness Efficient Frontier. …………………………………………………………………………………. 7 Figure 2. : Uncertainty/ Responsiveness Map. ………………………………………………………………………………………… 7 Figure 2. 4: Distribution Flow Model ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 9 Figure 2. 5: Functional Understanding of Distribution ……………………………………………………………………………… 10 Figure 2. 6: Institutional Understanding of Retailing ……………………………………………………………………………….. 1 Figure 2. 7: Major Channels of Distribution……………………………………………………………………………………………. 12 Figure 2. 8: The intensity-of-distribution Continuum……………………………………………………………………………….. 13 Figure 2. 9: A comparison between Private and Public Warehouses. …………………………………………………………. 15 Figure 2. 10: Basic Warehouse Operations …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 6 Figure 2. 11: Essential Elements of IT-driven Retail Management …………………………………………………………….. 19 Figure 2. 12: IT-applications in the Extra Future Store Rheinberg, Germany ………………………………………………. 20 Figure 4. 1: Stage 1: Wholesaler has the most bargaining power in supply chain …………………………………………. 26 Figure 4. 2: Stage 2:Producer/Supplier have the most bargaining power. ……………………………………………………. 27 Figure 4. : Stage 3: Bargaining power shifted to Modern retailers. …………………………………………………………… 27 Figure 4. 4: Stage 4: Bargaining power rests in International retailer. ………………………………………………………… 28 Figure 4. 5: The present stage, world class has higher bargaining power…………………………………………………….. 29 Figure 4. 6: Operational Highlights of 7-Eleven Thailand as of 2008. ………………………………………………………… 0 Figure 4. 7: The number of 7-Eleven stores in Thailand by type of ownership (2008). …………………………………. 31 Figure 4. 8: 7-Eleven store number by year. ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 31 Figure 4. 9: 7-Eleven store breakdown by type of owners and geographical region. …………………………………….. 31 Figure 4. 10: The number of convenience stores in chain format in Thailand by location. …………………………….. 32 Figure 4. 1: The number of convenience stores in chain format in Thailand by the operators. ……………………… 32 Figure 4. 12: The market share in chain convenience store industry in Thailand (2008). ………………………………. 33 Figure 4. 13: The Same Store Sales Growth and Number of Customer Per store Per Day …………………………….. 33 Figure 4. 14: The number of the population served per convenience store in different countries. …………………… 34 Figure 4. 15: National income breakdown and Population breakdown in 2007. ………………………………………….. 34 Figure 4. 16: National income growth trend, and Income per capita and growth trend (Thailand, 2007) …………. 35 Figure 4. 17: 7-Eleven Thailand Business Model. ……………………………………………………………………………………. 38 Figure 4. 18: Purchasing process of the 7-Eleven store to the DCs. ……………………………………………………………. 39 Figure 4. 19: Purchasing process of 7-Eleven’s DC to its suppliers. …………………………………………………………… 41 Figure 4. 0: Warehouse Management System (WMS) ……………………………………………………………………………. 43 Figure 4. 21: Digital Picking Process …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 44 Figure 4. 22: Distribution center’s work flow of 7-Eleven Thailand. …………………………………………………………. 45 Figure 4. 23: Break case ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 48 Figure 4. 4: Digital Picking System ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 49 Figure 4. 25: Value Stream Mapping of 7-Eleven Thailand as of 2006. ……………………………………………………… 50 vi 1 Introduction In this chapter, the authors briefly present background related to the subject of this research which are retail industry and convenience stores. The problem definitions are given followed by the purpose of thesis. The chapter provides a focus and limitation in order to define the scope and to outline the study.

Lastly, the authors give the definition and description of the terms used in retailing and in this thesis. 1. 1 Background In today’s challenging competition in the consumer goods, the manufacturers strive for their products to reach final customers before they turn their heads to the rival’s ones. This challenge is influenced by for example globalization, deregulation, new business comers and convergence of the industries. Retailing is a significant part of economic activities of both developed and developing countries’ economies, with wholesaling and retailing value-added.

The major goal of the retail industry or retail merchandising system is to influence possible consumers to purchase a particular products assortment at a particular retail store (Risch, 1991). Retail activities turn out to be one of the significant themes playing the role in supply chain management and logistics. Convenience store is also one part of the store format in retailing business and the word convenience means the least amount level of the financial, physical, and mental expenditure required to conquer the friction of time, space and pecuniary loss inherent in any retail transaction (Risch, 1991).

The product assortment consists mainly of goods for daily use and it is offered to customer on a relatively small sale area. Convenience stores need a flexible system with the ability to deliver products rapidly with small volume to diverse locations in an efficient manner (Ishikawa & Nejo, 1998) In the late 1980s with the boom in the economy and at that Thailand became the fastestgrowing economy in the world as well the next major developments in Thai retailing with the arrival of both convenience stores and discount superstores (Feeny, Vongpatanasin & Soonsatham, 1996).

Feeny et al. (1996) states that the first branded convenience stores arriving in Thailand in the mid-1980s were not extremely successful since Thais’ habits and pockets had not yet been adjusted sufficiently beyond shop-houses, and disposable income levels still fell short of the critical take-off point. Nevertheless, the mixture of more investment, economic growth, greater lifestyle of Westernization and most remarkably the timely arrival of 7-Eleven in 1989 has made 24-hour convenience stores ubiquitous near bus stops, in service stations and on many street corners (Feeny, et al. 1996) The authors use a case study of chain convenience store, the company, namely 7-Eleven in Thailand as it resembles a good example of establishing logistical activities to conquer the hindrances for the success of the business as mentioned before. Compared to other convenience store brands, Family Mart and 108 shop , 7-Eleven in Thailand has ranked number one in convenience store industry where Thailand has a relatively inferior infrastructure and supply chain coordination. This has raised the authors’ interests on managing challenging business. See also figure 1. 1) Convenience Brand 108 Shop Convenience Store Family Mart Store 7-Eleven Convenience Store Year 2009 900 Branches 538 Branches 4,788 Branches Figure 1. 1 Comparing the number of convenience stores by brand in Thailand Sources: Jitpleecheep (2009), Ueno (2009), and CP All Plc. (2009) 1. 2 Problem definition This study is focusing on only retailing industry and retailing convenience stores’ perspective in Thailand. The subject was studied by using 7-Eleven as a reference.

Retailing and distribution are concerned with product availability and retailers must be concerned with the flows of product and information into and through their companies in order to make products available to consumers (Spark, 1998). According to Fernie and Sparks (1998), it had been revolutionary in the 1980s in the history of logistics support to retail stores. The first step changed in managing the logistics function; retailers moved from direct store deliveries (DSD) to centralization of stock at regional distribution centers (RDCs) (Lawrence Christensen – cited in Fernie & Sparks, 1998).

Fernie and Spark (1998) state that technologies and IT were developed to facilitate logistical efficiencies in the distribution network and those technologies were either material handling (composite distribution, unitization) or of and IT nature which can improve the flow of information through the supply chain. Gattorna and Walters (1996) also mention that communication and information management are essential if decision making is effective. Therefore technology and IT are important. The concern in retail and distribution are with the structure and management logistics channels (Cooper, 1988; Cooper et al. 1991; Boowersox and Cooper, 1992; Gattorna & Walters, 1996 – cited in Fernie & Sparks, 1998). The management task is concerned with the element of distribution mix (for example storage facilities and communication, etc), which have to be integrated fir successful retail distribution (Sparks, 1998). The authors will study and focus on the mentioned information which surely affects retail business (in this research which is retail convenience business) in one way or another. 1. 3 Purpose of study

The purpose of this research is to, from retailing industry and retailing convenience store’s perspective, identify and describe how 7-Eleven manages and operates its retail convenience business focusing on several aspects; strategic fits, distribution and IT, which support 7Eleven’s activities. It explores the competitive advantage that originates from those actions. 1. 4 Focus and limitation In order to scope the study and the research of the topic, authors need to make a clear focus and limitation to keep the study and research within the specific research structure.

The study 2 scope is limited by focusing on a single case which is 7-Eleven Convenience Stores in Thailand. Furthermore this thesis, mostly focus on the process from 7-Eleven distribution centers to its stores. Moreover, the authors specifically frame the research between Distribution Center (DC) and the store. The process between DC and stores are discussed in details. The selected case study is a convenience store chain, 7-Eleven in Thailand; therefore it may mainly reflect norms and practices considerably within the firm’s environment.

On top of that, the convenience store management policies on certain areas normally differ at each location since they are tightly tied to local customer needs. It could then give a deviated data from the retail convenience store in other firms or in other countries. The authors also come to realize the risk of linguistic problems. Most of our literatures and empirical study are written in English nevertheless there are several empirical study that the authors have translated from Thai to English.

The interviews as well were conducted by using Thai as a main language. Moreover some specific names in the thesis may sound unfamiliar. Nevertheless, the authors try to maintain the meanings as they will be understandable and traceable. However, the authors are both native Thai speakers, the ability to maintain the meanings are not hindered by the language difficulty. The interviews were conducted by telephone, email and internet communications. The authors might not be able to observe the expression during the interviews. 1. 5 Disposition

In order to present the overall of thesis’s structure, authors will present you in a form of chart from the first chapter to the last part of the conclusion in chapter 5. Please see the figure below: Figure 1. 2: Outline of the thesis 3 Chapter 1 – In this chapter, the authors briefly present background related to the subject of this research which is retail convenience stores. The problem definitions are given followed by the purpose of thesis. The chapter provides a focus and limitation in order to define the scope and to outline the study.

Lastly, the authors give the definition and description of the terms used in retailing and in this thesis. Chapter 2 – This chapter provides frame of references related to the subject studied which are used throughout this thesis. The theories derived from literature reviews frame the analysis of an empirical study are presented in the choice of theories. Then each theoretical framework concerned with each dimension is presented. Chapter 3 – In this chapter, the explanations of research strategy and research approaches used in this thesis are displayed.

The method is mentioned and reasoned as well as the strategies exploited in this research. The authors then give details in data collection. Lastly, this chapter ends with the quality of thesis. Chapter 4 – The forth chapter presents empirical study. The authors depict the issues relating to the subject studied which are the industry profile, the overviews of the business and its trend, the operation in many perspectives. The main objective of this chapter is to capture and present the case study as a whole. Chapter 5 – Within this chapter the analysis of an empirical study is given.

The analytical part will be conducted by using the framework of references in the second chapter and the method cited in the third chapter. Chapter 6 – In this chapter, the authors give summary on the entire research thesis; discussion on the analysis part the answer to the purpose of thesis is clarified. The authors also give opinions on future research. 4 2 Frame of Reference This chapter provides frame of references related to the subject studied which are used throughout this thesis. The theories derived from literature reviews frame the analysis of an empirical study are presented in the choice of theories.

Then each theoretical framework concerned with each dimension is presented. 2. 1 Choice of Theories This paper has much concentration in 7-Eleven supply chain, specifically how supply chain management plays in delivering products and services to the end customer. In addition to this, the three main parties are involved: suppliers, Distribution Center (DC), and the stores. Firstly, the competitive advantage and strategic fit within supply chain, demonstrate the linkage of market and firm strategic management within supply chain and consequently how they lead to competitiveness.

Secondly, the authors move to the importance of logistics and distribution and how these elements link marketing in retail industry. Thirdly, theories according to distribution are presented. Next, authors go through the warehouse and distribution center as they are the node of connection, how they are run, and lastly, theoretical frameworks on the Information Technology that connects chain members are explained. 2. 2 Competitive Advantage and Strategic Fit within Supply Chain Competitive advantages are the collection of superior competencies that create customer value (Morash, 2001).

Firms deliver products and/or services which exceed the customer expectation, have more possibility to sell. According to Holcomb (1994), supply chain management now has emphasis on shaping competitiveness and profitability (cited in Tracy, Lim & Vonderembse, 2005). While some strategies create competitive advantages may be easy to imitate by competitors, the competitive advantages that routed from the chain efforts are harder to copy. Effective supply chain, thus, offer the opportunities to create sustainable competitive advantages (Cooper et al. , 1997; Higginson & Alam, 1997 – cited in Tracy et al. 2005). As firms play along together in the supply chain to achieve competitive advantage and win the orders at the bottom line, all members of the chain need to synchronize their strategies toward the end customers’ direction. This means supply chain strategy and competitive advantage must fit together and the consistency between customer priorities and supply chain capabilities must exist (Chopra & Meindl, 2007). In order to achieve the strategic fit, firms should be able to understand and wisely exercise their customer needs to match their service requirements.

Chopra and Meindl (2007) add that firms are able to design supply chain in delegating tasks as to outperforming competitors from other chains by matching the competitive advantages the supply chain have with what of the customers desire. The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) defines Supply Chain Management (SCM) as “the planning and management of all activities involved in sourcing and procurement, conversion, and all logistics management activities. ” It also includes coordination and collaboration with channel partners which help to integrate supply and demand management within and across companies. (See http://cscmp. org) The activities from each point to point of the chain may be counted as the flow of value-added activities. Morash (2001) pinpoints that not only the matching value consistency between supply chain strategies and capabilities should be prevailed, but also the harmonized performance that foster member firms’ success. Figure 2. 1: Model of Supply Chain Strategy, Capabilities and Performance. Source: Morash, (2001).

Supply chain strategy is divided loosely into two categories which are ‘Operational Excellence’ and ‘Customer Closeness’. The former focuses on supply side efficiency, dependability, and reliability as they reflect the total supply chain efficient and effective in operation, the total cost reduction. The latter highlights on the agile supply chain to cope with demand on customer side and best meet the requirements (Morash, 2001). The flexibility, proactive quality, value-adding service, and dependability are the main focus, which needed the intensive communication.

Firms should consider where the strategic fit zone is for the supply chain and to the individual members by reflecting upon two dimensions; the responsiveness and the demand from customers. Here the word ‘responsiveness’ comes across on cost basis as shown in the CostResponsiveness Efficient Frontier below; 6 Figure 2. 2: Cost-Responsiveness Efficient Frontier. Source: Chopra and Meindl, 2007 Figure 2. 3: Uncertainty/ Responsiveness Map. Source: Chopra and Meindl, 2007 In Morash, Droge and Vickery (1996) paper, suggests the responsiveness to the market has a positive performance when comparing to competitors’ performance.

They also add that the logistics capabilities yield both competitive advantage and the firm success. However, as seen in the responsive and cost relation, responsiveness comes with cost. While the market channels are brought up by a set of interdependent organizations that together put product and service available for consumption, draws those organizations closer in engaging the distribution of supply to the consumption point (Coughlin, Anderson, Stern & El-Ansary, 2001, and Anderson & Coughlan, 2002). The responsiveness and the demand need to be balanced.

This can be supported by the work of Christopher and Towill (2002) on Marks and Spencer (M&A), a well-known UK retailer, and its retail strategy which suggests “designing and managing supply chain to deliver just what the customer wants once again appears to be the key to business success. ” Chopra and Meindl (2007) comment that rather than the implied demand and the responsiveness chain engaged; other elements affect strategic fit as well. These elements are the number of products and customer segments, the 7 roduct life cycle and, lastly, the changing competitive environment. All functions in the value chain must support the competitive strategy to attain strategic fit to achieve the position in a strategic fit zone. Tracy et al. , (2005) remark on SCM based on the integration across business operations, is essential to customer satisfaction, value creation, exceptional returns, and sustain competitive advantage. In order to accomplish the effective chain, firms need to work on the collaboration over the firm’s boundaries.

According to Frankel, Goldsby and Whipple (2002), the successful collaboration factors tested on grocery industry are (1) willing to innovate and change; (2) understanding the other’s business; (3) common goals and objectives; (4) appropriate measures and incentives; and (5) information sharing. They explain the understandings of other’s business can enhance the mutual value-added activities which are often lie in logistics competencies in matching or complementing the capabilities of others’ so as to jointly improve performance.

The example here is Efficient Consumer Response (ECR). Needless to say that one element facilitates the success in the collaboration is ‘Information Sharing’. Frankel et al. (2002) indicate the information sharing need not to be sophisticated, rather it should be effective in the speed and accuracy of that information. The concern about information sharing is that it is used to make better decisions especially, in the chain performance.

While the information system eases the integration, the success on building competitive advantages in chain is relied upon people and process. Whipple and Russell (2007) state the collaboration level in supply chain has positive correlation with the success of chain members or the ‘pay-off’ in a collaborative relationship. However, they point out that company must determine the collaborative level of each relationship based on characteristics to best suit the potential of positive outcome.

Put in another word, there is no ‘right formula for all’ continuum; the appropriateness depends on each relationship. The closeness and type affect have implication in information sharing. Firms can design their relationships, shape them and determine the degree of sharing information between each member, to enhance the effectiveness of the performance of the whole chain. The importance of matching strategy and the success of supply chain give authors understanding of the awareness in upply chain related to logistics activities. The implications regarding to 7-Eleven Thailand has on its supply chain members, and how it moves logistical strategies to enhance the performance of the firm. The interpretation involved within this framework enables authors to assess the importance 7-Eleven concerns with its supply chain and logistics management. On top of that, how the firm exert the fitness to accomplish the competitive advantages. 2. 3 Distribution Related to Marketing and Retailing

Distribution is the physical trail and legal title that products and services take between production and consumption (Coyle et al. , 2003). Kotzab (2005) also define distribution as the total sum of all activities and related organizations, which are necessary to assurance a successful connection between production and consumption. According to the latter definition, distribution must pay an important role in retailing industry; therefore retailing obviously plays part of distribution.

Retailing is a part of distribution and is closely connected with the concept of marketing channel (Coughlan et al. , 2001- cited in Kotzab and Bjerre, 2005). Distribution always occurs while connecting a point of consumption with a point of production by overcoming certain differences in time, quality, quantity and space (Kotzab, 8 2005). Moreover, distribution activities are typically called flow of activities and refer to the flow of products, information and so-called goods (Specht, 1998- cited Kotzab & Bjerre, 2005) (See also the figure 2. : Distribution Flow Model). This notion of flows makes distribution and marketing channels process-oriented and different combinations of these flow activities, completed by different organizations within the channel lead to different channels outcome (= performance of the channel)(Kotzab, 2005). Distribution Flows Flow of goods Discrepancies Space Time Quantity Quality Transfer of goods from point of production to point if consumption Moving from Holding Break Bulk Changes in the point of origin to inventory and/or nature of a point of consolidation roduct destination activities Transfer of legal tender from point of consumption to point if production Transferring of payment Advance Collecting and Conversion of financing by sharing of the modes of different payment payment and institutions securities loans, etc Transfer of information form point of production to point if consumption and reverse Transmission Collecting, Collecting and Condensing, form point to storing and partitioning commuting, point planning interpreting, adding Flow of nominal goods Flow of information Figure 2. : Distribution Flow Model Source: Ahlert, 1991 –cited in Kotzab & Bjerre, 2005 The management of such flows and/or marketing channels can be systematized in a range between markets (by intermediaries, so- called indirect distribution) and hierarchies (by inhouse, so-called direct distribution). Direct distribution involves company sales forces, facilities, and/or direct shipments to customer and indirect distribution involves the use of wholesalers, distributors, and/or third parties to supply the products t customers (Coyle et al. 2003) Retail occurs whenever distribution is organized over the market and can be explained from an academic point of view in two different manners (Liebmann & Zentes, 2001-cited in Kotzab and Bjerre, 2005) which are: • • Retailing is a set of function that adds value to products and services which are sold to ultimate customers. It is considered as functional understanding; Retailing is a specific institution within a marketing channel that performs retail functions. It is considered as institutional understanding. 9

According to Kotzab (2005), he explains retailing as an exchange activity with the purpose of connecting a point of production with a point of consumption, where the exchange processes refer to three different kinds: • First is marketing processes, which include all activities that provide a customized set of products and services as demanded by customers/consumers • Second is logistics processes including all activities which help to shift or transfer the specific set of products and services to the markets • The last one refers as easing processes, which includes all activities that facilitate the purchase.

From the functional point of view, the functional understanding of distribution outlined distribution processes occur in any circumstances, as well if in different members in a marketing channel are inter-connected (Kotzab, 2005). In the case of inter-connections, these relationships occur as co-productive relationships and as the interactive combinations of the three basic distribution processes create a value in a multi-directional level and the result of such as inter-connection, is called value constellation, which is understood here as distribution value constellation (Normaan & Ramirez, 1994- cited in Kotzab and Bjerre, 2005).

In this sense, retailing/wholesaling is defined as the result of distribution value constellation in a marketing channel. Figure 2. 5: Functional Understanding of Distribution Source: Kotzab & Bjerre, 2005 According to Kotzab and Bjerre (2005), the market-driven marketing channel organization, specific institutions specialize in the performance of these processes, which can explain the institutional perspective of retailing. From the institutional point of view, retailing can be defined as an exchanged activity relating to different flows but performed by specialized organizations (Anderson & Coughlan, 2002).

For this reason, retailing exists in many variations (Kotzab & Bjerre, 2005) (See also figure 2. 6: Institutional understanding of retailing) 10 Production Distribution = f (M, L, E) Wholesalers = B2B-Distribution StoreBased -Department Store -Hyper Market – Supermarket – Etc. Retail = B2C-Distribution Distancebased – Mail Order – Internet -TV-shopping – Etc. Consumption Hybrid -Street markets – Party – Etc M = Marketing, L = Logistic, E = Easing Figure 2. 6: Institutional Understanding of Retailing Source: Kotzab & Bjerre, 2005

The outcomes of these variations are called retail store format and refer to characteristics, such as the overall economic classification (retailer for end users, wholesalers for professional clients), also the way the processes are performed and which input factors are necessary for the completion (e. g. store-base, distance-base or hybrid) or the use of the marketing mix (Kotzab, 2005). Additionally to make it completion, there are factors that need to be considered such as retail mixes. 2. 4 Distribution Channel Distribution channel management is very critical for the firms when they decide to enter one or more markets.

Distribution channel structures are not difficult to change; however, primary wrong decisions might lead to dreadful results for the organizations. In accordance with Gattorna and Walters (1996), depict that distribution channel management follows a structured approach, using criteria which help to evaluate optional channel structures during which alignment (compatibility), trade-offs and channel relationships are considered. Increasingly, the roles of logistics service firms are included in the decision process for distribution channel, especially when they are a dominant element within the supply chain.

As Jobber (2001) mention, all products whether consumer products, industrial products or services require the use of distribution channel. To describe more about distribution channel, Etzel, Walker and Stanton (2004) present that a distribution channel consists of the group of people and firms involved in the transfer of title of products move from producer to final consumer or business user. According to Coelho et al. , (2003), most international firms would prefer to run a direct channel distribution however instead the firms themselves are forced to use intermediaries and most distribution channels onsider and consist of middlemen, but some do not (Etzel et al. , 2004). 11 A channel that has only producer and final customer, with no middlemen providing assistance is called “direct distribution”, whereas a channel of producer, final customer, and at least one level of middlemen represents “indirect channel” (Etzel et al. , 2004). The most common distribution channels for consumer goods can be seen from figure 2. 7 which illustrates major channels of distribution. (See figure 2. 7 – Major Channels of Distribution) Figure 2. : Major Channels of Distribution Source: Etzel, Walker and Stanton (2004) Producer Consumer: The shortest, simplest distribution channels for consumer goods involves no middlemen Producer Retailer Consumer: Goods ship directly from manufacturers and agricultural producers to large retailers. Producer Wholesaler Retailer Consumer: If there is a traditional channel for consumer goods, this is the one normal way. The small retailers and manufacturers by the thousand find this channel the only economically feasible choice.

Producer Agent Retailer Consumer: Instead of using wholesaler, many producers prefer to rely on agent middlemen to reach the retail market, especially in large-scale retailers. Producer Agent Wholesaler Retailer Consumer: To reach small retailers, producers often use agent middlemen, who in turn call on wholesalers that sell to large retail chains/or small retail store. 12 After designing a channel, next thing that firms must consider is, on the intensity of distribution which means how middlemen will be used at the wholesale and retail level in a particular territory (Etzel et al. 2004). In accordance with Etzel et al. , (2004), there are three degrees of intensity. Figure 2. 8: The intensity-of-distribution Continuum Source: Etzel, Walker and Stanton (2004) Intensive distribution: In intensive distribution producers sell their products or services through each available store in the market where consumers might reasonably look for the products or services by projecting the ultimately consumers demand satisfaction from convenience goods immediately, and they will not adjourn purchases to find a particular brand (Etzel et al. , 2004).

In the intensive distribution is commonly needed for convenience products and as well Gattorna and Walters (1996) states that it is usual to use intensive distribution with, for instance, everyday use products (such as food, newspaper, basic stationery items, etc. ), and it also obtains for consumable industrial products such as abrasives, lubricants, drill bits, etc. Moreover, they mention that the objective of the vendors are to offer convenient ,which mean local and easily obtainable, availability for the reason that the pattern of purchasing is typically short-term with end user maintaining low (or nil) inventories.

Selective distribution: In this kind of distribution, producers sell their products through multiple wholesalers and retailers (but not all possible)in a market, where consumers might reasonable look for it (Etzel et al. , 2004). It usually involves a limited number of intermediaries within a limited market area (Gattorna & Walters, 1996). Therefore, with this type of distribution, the firm does not have to dissipate its efforts over too many outlets. This means that selective distribution enables producers to gain adequate market coverage with more control and less cost than intensive one.

Examples of consumer goods which are appropriate for selective distribution are, various types of clothing and appliances, office equipments, DVDs, computers and cameras, etc (Etzel et al. , 2004, and Kotler, 2000). Selective distribution covers the broad and wide area of the market exposure between intensive and exclusive distribution and moreover in the selective distribution is selling through only those middlemen who will give the product special attention (Perreault & McCarthy, 2003). 13

Exclusive distribution: In exclusive distribution, suppliers agree to sell their products only to a single wholesaling middleman and/or retailer in a given market (Etzel et al. , 2004) and it is just an extreme case of selective distribution which is the firm is selling through only one middleman in particular geographic area (Perreault & McCarthy, 2003). Gattorna and Walters (1996) state that the partnership requires mutual support in developing sales and supporting services to the final users such as maintenance plan and emergency service requirements.

They also mention that exclusive distribution is found for the customer product groups of which large inventories are required to offer consumers a wide selection. This kind of distribution is used when producers be interested in to maintain and control over their service level and service outputs offered by the retailers (Kotler, 2000). Gattorna and Walters (1996) depict that the nature of the channel intermediaries selected will match the product type with end user or customer expectation. Moreover firms should decide on the number of intermediaries to use at each channel level (Kotler, 2000). 2. 5 Warehousing and Distribution Center

Warehouse and distribution center (DC) are very important nodes in a supply chain network; they perform valuable functions that support the movement of materials, storing goods processing products, de-aggregating vehicle loads, creating stock keeping unit assortments, and assembling shipments (Langevin & Riopel, 2005). These are the activities commonly performed in warehouses and distribution centres. The major challenge to DCs and warehouse, both today and tomorrow, is related to workforce issues, for example, staffing, training, scheduling and job design (Ackerman & Brewer, 2001-cited in Kotzab & Bjerre, 2005).

Moreover, firm must also consider facilities that help the firm to cut handling costs. Coyle at el. (2003) present the definition of warehousing and distribution center that warehousing is the storage of goods, whereas distribution center precedes a post-production warehouse for finished goods held for distribution. Therefore, warehousing and DC basically have the same function which is goods and products storage. According to Higginson and Bookbinder (2005), a distribution center is in fact, a specific type of warehouse” as well as Frazelle (2002) who refers distribution center as distribution warehouse. . 5. 1 Warehousing New cars can be stored outside on the dealer’s lot, fuel oil can be stored in a specially designed tank, coal and other raw material can be stored in open pits but most products must be stored inside protective building (Perreault & McCarthy, 2003). According to Higginson and Bookbinder (2005), “Warehouses store all products in four cycle (receive, store, pick and ship)”. Firm can decide and select among the different kinds of specialized storing facilities, and the right choice might assist the firm reducing costs and serving customer better (Perreault & McCarthy, 2003).

The use of specific type of these storing facilities is aimed to reduce/cut costs and smooth the distribution as well as operation to enhance service level to the customer. Private warehouses is a storing facility owned or leased by the company for its own use, additionally, most manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers have some storing facilities 14 whether in their main building or in different separate location (Perreault & McCarthy, 2003).

In the eyes of Perreault and McCarthy (2003) depict that firms use private warehouse when a large volume of goods and prodcuts must be stored regularly, nonetheless private warehouse can be expensive in dealing with the changes needs as It might be difficult or impossible for the extra space to rent to others. Public warehouse is an independent storing facility. Public warehouse usually provides all services that a company’s own warehouse can provide (Perreault & McCarthy, 2003). They also cite that public warehouses are functional and useful for manufacturers who are required to maintain stock in many different locations.

The first and most significant reason for using public warehouse is financial; it requires no or limited capital investment by the company (Coyle et al. , 2003) (See also figure 2. 9: A Comparison of Private Warehouses and Public Warehouses). Figure 2. 9: A comparison between Private and Public Warehouses. Source: Perreault & McCarthy, 2003 2. 5. 2 Distribution Center Perreault and McCarthy (2003) state that a distribution center is a special type of warehouse which been designed to fasten the flow of goods and avoid unnecessary storing goods.

Today the distribution center concept is widely used by firms at all channel levels and also many products buzz through a distribution center without ever tarrying on a shelf, workers and equipment immediately sort the products as they come in hand subsequently move the products to an outgoing loading dock, and then to the vehicle which will take the products to next stop (Perreault & McCarthy, 2003). Seeing the information latter distribution centre speeds up the distribution process and reduces the complication in storing goods.

According to Higginson and Bookbinder (2005), DCs handle most products in two ways, receiving and shipping rather than storage and also DCs hold minimum inventories and of predominantly, high-demand items. Nevertheless many of works cited use interchangeably the two terms, warehouse and DC. 15 Since the 1980s, three supply-chain trends have had a major impact on the distribution center (Higginson & Bookbinder, 2005): • • • Reduction in the number of warehouse; Greater emphasis on the flow of goods rather than their storage; Increases outsourcing of warehouse/distribution center activities. . 5. 3 Warehouse/DC Operational and Facilities The basic warehouse operations are movement and storage (Coyle et al. , 2003). The cost of physical handling is a major storing cost. Moreover goods must be handled once putting them into storage, and removing them again when they are to be sold (Perreault & McCarthy, 2003). Warehouse also includes highly specialized storage facilities such as bean and grain elevators and refrigeration facilities etc (Coyle et al. , 2003) as well as distribution center.

In this chapter, the authors will use warehouse and distribution center interchangeably. 2. 5. 3. 1 Warehouse /DC activities Perreault and McCarthy (2003) has mentioned that more competitive markets , improved technology, coordination among firms, and efficient new distribution centers, those bring such a huge improvement to physical distribution ,(physical distribution or PD is a common name for logistics which provides time and place utility and make possession utility possible), areas and yet biggest challenges may be more basic.

A storage/order fulfillment or warehouse/DC operation has the following activities according to Coyle et al. , 2003: (See also figure 2. 10: Basic Warehouse Operations). Figure 2. 10: Basic Warehouse Operations Adapted from Coyle et al. , 2003 16 (1) Receiving operation – This operation means receiving goods and products from the transport network into the warehouse and at the receiving operation point, the inbound carrier is scheduled to deliver the good at a specific time so as to improve warehouse labor productivity and unloading efficiency.

The items/ SKU are checked against the purchase order (P/O) in this process; (2) Put-away operation – This process involving indentifying the product, typically scanning the product’s barcode, identify location for the items and moving the products and goods to the appropriate location. urthermore in this operation, deposit and withdrawal in an inventory program of identified storage or pick positions and updating inventory file as well as inventory control(such as a SKU inventory cycle count, etc) needed (Mulcahy & Sydow , 2008); (3) Order-picking process- In order-picking process requires warehouse personnel to select the items ordered by the customer or manufacturing operation from the storage place or area; (4) Shipping process – The process concerns with loading goods for shipping to the customer or to the production line.

The final movement process occurs at the shipping operation. After outbound carrier arrives at the loading dock, the goods and products are moved to the loading dock from the staging area and into the carrier’s vehicle; Lastly the warehouse information system will update the information reflecting the removal of the goods and products from warehouse inventory, the shipment of products to the customer (Coyle et al. , 2003). It facilitates the process of shipping. 2. 5. 3. Warehouse management system (WMS) Lots of companies are implementing warehouse management system that assists the warehouse manager in controlling various warehouse operations, and track inventory or service to the customers at the lowest possible operational costs (Coyle et al. , 2003, and Mulcahy and Sydow, 2008). WMS is the computer software which tracks, plans, controls, analyses, and records the flow of goods and products through warehouse or DC. Additionally it ases the flows in many ways (Higginson and Bookbinder, 2005) Mulcahy and Sydow (2008) point out some of warehouse options which are (1) Store and hold or conventional or (2) across-the –dock warehouse operation. Besides those options, warehouse type has different SKU, customer order and information flows that are the foundations for a future warehouse with WMS program. 2. 5. 3. 3 Electronic data interchange (EDI) Another information technology that has a major role for the firm in helping the flow of information is Electronic Data Interchange.

This EDI has been used in transportation industry more than twenty years by mainly large shipping and railroad companies, freight forwarders, trucking companies, and others (Stefansson, 1999). Perreault and McCarthy (2003) state that EDI is an approach that puts information in a standardized format which is easily to share between different computer systems. Besides, the purchase orders, shipping reports, and other 17 aper documents are replaced with computerized system. Comparable to Stefansson (1999) the EDI definition is that EDI itself is a simple concept through which information is retrieved from for example purchasing application and translated in a standard format message, subsequently it is transmitted through a network to the seller. Then the seller will interpret the message back into his/her in-house format and submit the message to the sales application automatically.

According to Stefansson (1999), he also mentions that the companies using internet and companies using EDI are believed to be at least 1:10 out of the total companies and this fact is acknowledged as a huge potential for using internet as a communication method in communicating business information between firms in the future. With EDI, customers can transmit their order information directly to suppliers’ computer (Perreault & McCarthy, 2003). Therefore, EDI makes communication easier for suppliers and customers and obviously shorten order cycle time.

According to Kotzab (2005), he proposes three components of EDI which are (1) EDIEnabling Software, (2) Communications and Networks, and (3) Standard Messages. Having EDI-Enabling software in order to translate incoming/outgoing message to a specific format while two components, communications and networks, and standard messages, ensure the electronic communication between the partners, so that the involved computers can exchange information in the highly demanding structure. 2. 5. 3. Vendor Management Inventory (VMI) According to Disney and Towill (2003), different industries and market sectors have coined different terms for VMI, but most are based essentially on the same idea is that VMI is a supply chain strategy where the vendor or supplier is given the responsibility of managing the customer’s stock. For clarity the terms ‘‘distributor’’ for the customer in the VMI relationship and ‘‘manufacturer’’ for the supplier or vendor in the VMI relationship will be used. Vendormanaged inventory (VMI) is one of the most widely discussed partnering initiatives for improving multi-firm supply chain efficiency.

According to Waller, Johnson and Davis (2001) continuous replenishment or supplier-managed inventory was popularized in the late 1980’s by Wal-Mart and Procter & Gamble (P&G). VMI became one of the key programs in the grocery industry’s “Quick Response” Waller, Johnson and Davis (2001)state that various published accounts have explained VMI benefits that range from cheaper new product introductions to reduced returns at product endof-life, but the literature often fails to explain just why these benefits have resulted from VMI. 2. IT-Application for Retail Store Management Strategic management views technology as a source for creating sustainable competitive advantages (Carr, 2004). Kotzab (2005) states that technology can change the structure of an industry by setting up entry and exit barriers. According to Perrillieux (1987) –cited in Kotzab and Bjerre, (2005), there are three basic types of technology: • Cais technology has no impact on the industry structure as any player in an industry can use it without any problems. It represents simple technologies.

The example of 18 • • information technology in distribution is a fax machine which can be used for information transmission, order transmission, etc; Key technology has a huge impact especially in a specific situation in a market. Not every player can or has applied this type of technology. One example of key information technology for distribution is the EDIFACT-standards that allow paperless communication between distribution process members; Pace maker technology has potential to influence the competitive situation of an industry.

Referring to distribution, RFID or eXite are counted and used as relevant pacemaker information technology. IT-based retail management (see outline in figure 2. 11: Essential Elements of IT-driven Retail Management) is a weapon to retail business. Information The shopper The interface Information The range Physical fulfillment Figure 2. 11: Essential Elements of IT-driven Retail Management Sources: Kotzab, 2005 For instance, IT in the form of in-store media assists and helps to achieve in increasing the average time spent in the store and the number of aisles visited etc.

Even so, there are electronic price systems and information systems which been used within a retail store. In this section, the authors present several of electronic price and information systems used within a retail store which can be suited for the studied company 7-Eleven for the thesis. Electronic price tags and shelf label: Kotzab (2005) presents that most of the price tags (of all products on shelves in a store) are in paper form. Whenever prices of products are changed, the price tags have to be replaces.

The mentioned activity refers to an assortment which can take hours and hours, moreover it is not an error-free activity (Leigh, 2001). By using electronic shelf labels, retailers can avoid these inconveniences by execution from back office which can be transmitted using radio frequency to the shelves. This is not only leads to efficient use of manpower in the store, nevertheless also increasing customer satisfaction as the prices shown on the shelves are the same prices as shown at the cashier desk (Mullholand, 2002–cited in Kotzab and Bjerre, 2005).

Point-of-sale system (POS): Dai (2004) presents that within POS system, it makes possible for the store to keep records of who (what kind of customers) bought what kind of products and when. Besides the POS system, including the Electronic Order Booking (EOB) device and Terminal Controller (TC) that are introduced later, became the “General Store 19 Information System” (Dai, 2004). In the eyes of Li (2003), a point-of-sale system is cash register that monitors customer purchase. Dai (2004) explains that the EOB device represents the exact same data as in the order book.

The person who places the order can look at the portable screen and order while walking along the aisles. Each store transmits the order information online to headquarters through the TC and small computers. The technologies include scanning data, data warehousing, and data mining as well help to facilitate an understanding of customer requirements (Harrison & Van Hoek, 2005-cited in Kotzab & Bjerre, 2005). For example on the sale floor, mobile self-scanning and self checkout systems are applied in order to make the payment proce

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