1st Edition

Internet Retail Operations
Integrating Theory and Practice for Managers

ISBN 9781439800911
Published July 19, 2011 by CRC Press
268 Pages 92 B/W Illustrations

USD $90.95

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Book Description

The increasing popularity of online shopping makes Internet retailing a megatrend that cannot be ignored. The collaboration of two co-authors bringing academic rigor and broad consulting experience into the mix, Internet Retail Operations: Integrating Theory and Practice for Managers offers enduring insights on operational issues and principles for the management of internet supply chains.

Covering a range of emerging issues supported by a variety of case studies, the book details the evolution of information technology’s role in retail supply chain networks, its impact on supply chain networks, and how this has changed service operations. It addresses information technology in relation to service and retail industries, then explores how supply chain dynamics impact traditional service and retail delivery, the costs involved, and customer satisfaction and loyalty. It includes tables, vignettes, and graphs that make the content practical and relevant.

As you will learn, many attempts at internet retail do not succeed, some because they fail to appreciate the fundamentals, others may have simply been ahead of their time. Many years of experimentation and growth lie ahead. Drawing equally on theory, research results, and real-world experience, the book provides strategies for overcoming the challenges of building operations capability in the evolving world of Internet retailing.

Table of Contents

Internet Retailing: From Experimentation to Execution
Lessons of the Last Bubble
The Unfolding Story

The World Wide Web and Information Technology
What Do We Mean by the Internet?
Technological Advances in the World Wide Web That Enabled the Commercial Adoption of the Internet
Internet Business Models: A Framework
Characterizing Internet Retailing Models
The Role of Merchandise, Services, Promotions, Navigation, and User Interfaces in the Success of Internet Retailing Ventures
Internet Commerce Functionality and Its Potential to Generate Value in the Supply Chain
Web-Enabled Cost Efficiency and Customer Benefits
Web-Enabled Collaboration among Individuals

Scale Economies and the Network Effect in Internet Retailing
Scale Economies
Network Effects
Economies of Scope
Defense versus Offense

Operations Strategy for the Internet
Operations Strategy
From Manufacturing to Operations Strategy
Structural Decisions
Operations Capabilities
From Theory to Practice?

Supply Chain Management for a Virtual World
Long Tails and Unlimited Shelf Space in Internet Retailing
Demand Management
Multichannel Retailing: Combining Internet and Brick-and-Mortar Channels

Defining the Value
What Are the Main Internet Services That Exist in a Supply Chain Context?
How Can the Internet Be Used to Offer Services That Contribute to the Development of Competitive Advantages?

Outsourcing Internet Retail Operations
Internet Retailing Decisions to Outsource Their Distribution Facilities’ Footprint
Logistics Outsourcing Decisions in the Broader Internet Retailing Context
Conclusions and Implications

Understanding the Drivers of Cost-to-Serve
The eBags Story
Trial and Error
Future Growth
Accounting for Intangibles

The Last-Mile Challenge
First-Mover Delivery Models
Limited Online Sales
The Role of Delivery Economics
High Last-Mile Costs
New Trade-Off: Speed versus Variety
Entrenched Competitors
The New Intermediaries
Store and Office Solutions
Labor-Saving Models
Continued Experimentation

Managing Product Returns
The Magnitude of Product Returns in Internet Retailing
Tackling Product Returns
The Role of Third-Party Specialists
Key Principles for Internet Retailers to Follow
Managing Internet Product Returns: A Focus on Effective Service Operations
Challenges and Opportunities in Remarketing Product Returns

Amazon: Supply Chain Strategy and Innovation
Amazon’s Structural Decisions
Amazon’s Operational Decisions
Keeping the Virtuous Cycle Moving Forward

The Last Mile
The Deutsche Post Pilot
The Packstation 24 Trial Run
Entering the U.S. Market
Partnering with E-Tailers

FreshDirect: Expansion Strategy
FreshDirect: Home Grocery Delivery
Beef Industry Background
Cattle Farmers
Feedlots and Slaughterhouses
Grocery Stores
Direct Retail: Omaha Steaks
Direct Retail: Online Grocer
Farm to Fork: Supply Chain Coordination
A Question of Priorities

Musictoday, LLC: Managing Inventory for Night Train
From One Band to Many
The Problems of Success
Getting the Train Back on Track
Train at the Crossing

Better World Books
Company Background
Company Culture
Used-Books Industry
The Internet as Vehicle for Books Sales
Supply Chain of Internet Book Retailing
Value Proposition
The South Bend Facility
Expansion Options

Company History
Overview of Kitchenware Industry
Cost-to-Serve Drivers

RelayFoods.com, Inc
RelayFoods.com’s History
U.S. Grocery Stores and Supermarkets
Alternative Online Grocery Retailing Models
Operations Strategy for RelayFoods.com

eBags: Managing Growth
eBags History
The Luggage Industry
eBags Business Model
eBags Operations Model
The Footwear Industry
The European Market
Where Do We Go from Here?


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Elliot Rabinovich serves on the faculty at the W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University and brings deep expertise in academic research with a focus on e-commerce and supply chain management. His award-winning research has generated over 20 articles to date in leading academic journals including California Management Review, Decision Sciences, Journal of Business Logistics, Journal of Operations Management, and the MIT-Sloan Management Review. In 2005, he designed and started an annual MBA course on e-commerce and supply chain and service operations management at the W.P. Carey School of Business. He earned a BS in Civil Engineering from the School of Engineering of Antioquia, and a Ph.D. in Logistics-Supply Chain Management from the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland.

Tim Laseter brings twenty years of industry experience in operations strategy and supply chain management as both an industry practitioner and consultant to leading companies. In 2002 he transitioned to academia by leaving his partnership position at Booz Allen Hamilton to complete his doctorate and join the Darden Graduate Business School at the University of Virginia. He now works as an independent consultant while serving as a visiting professor at Darden, the London Business School, IESE Business School in Barcelona, the Stern School at NYU, and Emory’s Goizueta School in Atlanta. A prolific writer for practitioners, he has authored two previous books and currently serves as a contributing editor for Strategy+Business which features his column "Operating Strategies" in every other issue.