The Operations Management Retailing Information Technology Essay

Retailing is the procedure of selling goods and services to the concluding user for personal and non-business usage. The most of import illustration of retail concerns are departmental shops, price reduction shops, convenience shops and it even includes computing machine booths and catalog selling. Retailers usually buy in majority measures from jobbers and so sell it in smaller measures to consumers for personal and non-business usage. Retailing industry is really of import from economic point of position and a state holding a strong retailing industry may besides has a sustainable competitory advantage in the international markets. It is of import to observe that retail merchants are an of import portion of supply concatenation of a product/service and are at the terminal of the supply concatenation. This is an epoch of development and invention. Retailing is non much simple now as it was in the yesteryear. Today, Retailing has gained an development and there are illustrations of Retail giants and ironss bearing the most advanced engineering alternatively of old conventional little stores with traditional manner of purchasing and merchandising. ( London Economics, 1997 )

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It is of import to observe that there are chief two sorts of concern minutess: Business to Business ( B2B ) and Business to Consumer ( B2C ) . Merely B2C minutess come under retailing. Furthermore, if a company is selling straight to its clients instead than affecting an intermediary so it is once more making retailing. ( Mazur, No Date )

Information engineering has played a dramatic function in developing the retail industry and supply ironss of retail shops in all the developed states. Competitions and atomization in the market increases as the market grows towards adulthood. Due to competitory turbulency, it becomes imperative for an organisation to come up with a scheme and invention to last in the market and to derive a sustainable competitory advantage. Information engineering has played a really of import function in turn toing this competition in the retailing industry of the universe by invention, easiness and cost decrease to supply an border over competition with effectual and efficient supply concatenation direction systems. ( London Economics, 1997 )

Wal-Mart ‘s success narrative is the most outstanding illustration in which it has to the full utilized the potency of information engineering in its supply concatenation direction. Supply Chain Management is the most strategic nucleus competence to derive a sustainable competitory advantage in the retail industry. Wal-Mart has realized and to the full capitalized this chance to present a low cost and great quality client services construction to the retailing universe. Their information engineering systems like Electronic Data interchange ( EDI ) , Radio Frequency designation ( RFID ) and knowledge Bankss are great illustrations of how the true potency of information engineering could be utilized in the retailing industry. Due to the efficient integrating of engineering with the retailing activities, Wal-Mart is now the market leader in the retail industry of US. This sustainable competitory advantage of Wal-Mart is still non imitable by the rivals in retail industry even after wide-spread promotion of engineering. ( Adam Heying, 2009 )

In this paper, the function of engineerings and their possible to guarantee the effectual and efficient supply concatenation direction systems in the retail industry is analyzed. The paper is divided in four chief parts. The first portion addresses the scope of engineerings being used in modern retail industry. The 2nd portion analyzes the operations direction deductions of implementing the engineerings in footings of better managed stock lists, supplier integrating, line uping theory and capacity planning. The 3rd portion describes the broader concern challenges to successfully implementing engineerings to better retail supply ironss. The concluding portion analyzes what challenges do quickly germinating shopper and consumer outlooks place on retail operations that is followed by a decision.

Range of Technologies in the modern retail industry

Today, information engineering has brought a revolution in the concern universe. All the developed states have to the full adopted engineering in all of their sectors and this is the chief secret for their success in the current dynamic universe. All the fast development states are conveying an invention in their concern universe with engineering and promotion.

Important technological developments in retailing industry are related to the Internet and Electronic Market Channels, entering gross revenues and supervising stock list ( Bar Code Scanners ) , EDI ( Electronic Data Interchange ) , computer-based gross revenues support and proficient problem-solving systems, and Teleshopping, Computershopping, and Homeshopping.

Most of these technological developments involve cybernation on a maker, jobber, retail merchant or consumer degree. Although the Internet was conceived chiefly as an information exchange mechanism, it can and already has been used as a sort of “ Electronic Selling Channel ” in the retail industry on which consumers and organisations can “ travel shopping ” . Presently, Electronic Shopping on the Internet histories for merely a bantam fraction of entire retail gross revenues ( $ 1-2 billion out of $ 2.1 trillion ) .

However, in the hereafter for both consumer and concern markets, the Internet might play a much larger function. Virtual Stores and Virtual Malls are already rather prevailing on the Internet. Different engineerings which are used in the modern retail industry are:

Electronic Scanners

Electronic Scanners are laser devices that read monetary values and other information from merchandise labels and enter them much more rapidly and accurately than worlds can manually. Electronic Scanners coupled with the ‘Universal Product Code ‘ ( UPC ) , now looking on virtually all packaged goods, the velocity and efficiency of electronic scanners in treating consumer minutess are formidable. Electronic Scanners are now acquiring good beyond simple reading of merchandise labels. They can be used to refill stock list electronically without holding to trust on manually produced purchase orders. Using the check-out procedure gross revenues informations from scanners, the computing machine can tally points sold and so automatically deduct those points from stock list records. To be more efficient with their information systems, many retail merchants now rely on the ‘Universal Product Code ( UPC ) ‘ and ‘Electronic Data Interchange ( EDI ) ‘ .

Universal Product Code

With the Universal Product Code ( UPC ) , merchandises or tickets attached to them are marked with a series of thick and thin perpendicular lines, stand foring each point ‘s designation codification. The preferable UPS includes both Numberss and lines. The lines are read by scanners at check-out procedure counters. Tellers do non come in minutess manually-although they can if needed.

By utilizing UPC-based engineering, retail merchants can enter informations immediately on an point ‘s theoretical account figure, size, colour, and other factors when it is sold, we good as send the information to a computing machine that proctors unit gross revenues, stock list degrees, and so forth. The ends are to bring forth better selling informations, better stock list direction, rush dealing clip, raise productiveness, cut down mistakes, and coordinate information. Since its origin, UPC engineering has improved well. Today, it is the recognized criterion in retailing.


With Electronic Data Interchange ( EDI ) , retail merchants and providers on a regular basis exchange information through their computing machines with respect to stock list degrees, bringing times, unit gross revenues, and so on of peculiar points. As a consequence both parties enhance their decision-making capablenesss, better control stock list, and are more antiphonal to demand. UPC scanning is frequently the footing for product-related EDI information. Today, more retail merchants are spread outing their EDI attempts to integrate cyberspace communications with providers.


One of import emerging engineering that may greatly progress the ware trailing and managing procedure for retail merchants involves RFID ( Radio Frequency Identification ) systems. RFID is a method of remotely hive awaying and recovering informations utilizing devices called RFID tickets or transponders. An RFID ticket is a little object, such as an adhesive spine, that can be attached to or incorporated into a merchandise or its transportation bundle. RFID tags contain bantam aerials to enable them to have and react to radio frequence questions from an RFID receiving system. At present, RFID use is rather limited, so it is excessively early to foretell among its credence. The cost per provider is besides rather high ( several million dollars ) . RFID is manner beyond the barcodes found on merchandises from confect to computing machines. Barcodes fundamentally count merchandises for retail merchants. RFID, with its most sophisticated ticket and readers, can state retail merchants and providers what is in a instance, what is on a palette, and where merchandises are at any point along the supply concatenation.

Computerized stock list direction systems

Closely related to Electronic Scanning is the usage of Computerized Inventory Management. Computerized Inventory Systems based on informations received from point-of-sale terminuss have created a revolution in Inventory Management and Control at the retail and sweeping degrees. An advanced stock list system is being used by McKesson Drug Company, a elephantine drug jobber. In its New Jersey Warehouse, McKesson employees called “ robo-warehousemen ” roam the aisles utilizing the portable computing machines to pull off the stock list as it moves in or out of the warehouse. Electronic Scanning and Computerized Inventory Management, enhanced by portable computing machines and cellular phone engineering, have created a new universe in retailing and wholesaling non merely by drastically cut downing the sum of labor and paperwork involved in stock list direction, but besides by doing available to directors a huge array of timely and valuable information for doing better selling determinations.


Teleshopping refers to the purchase of merchandises and services by consumers utilizing distant electronic devices in concurrence with a telecasting set. The Teleshopping device enables consumers to shop merely by tuning in to a overseas telegram Television station that offers teleshopping service. The whole scope of merchandises and services is available, they are displayed beautifully. Actual telling so takes topographic point straight through an synergistic overseas telegram linked with the shopping station. The client needs merely imperativeness a button on the teleshopping device and come in a recognition card figure to order an point.

Computer Shoping

Computershopping is done on computing machines. It operates along the same rule as Teleshopping ; nevertheless ability to see the merchandise demonstrated is non yet widely available in this instance. On the other manus, the personal computing machine can be networked via cyberspace to a broader array of Sellerss than is typically executable for teleshopping systems, so it can supply shoppers with greater scope and flexibleness.

Home Shopping

Home Shopping emerged during 1980s led by Home Shopping Network and QVC. Home Shopping consists basically of overseas telegram Television shows that offer merchandises for sale in stead of other types of amusement. The consumer, seeing something he or she likes, calls an 800 telephone figure and orders it. In Home Shopping, there is no synergistic capableness provided, and the client is limited to the peculiar array of merchandises ( featured one at a clip ) that the plan happens to be offering.

Operations Management Implications of implementing engineering

The operations direction deductions for implementing engineering in footings of better managed stock lists, supplier integrating, line uping theory and capacity planning would be analyzed by utilizing the Michael Porter ‘s Value Chain Model which is stated below:

The Primary Activities include the sequence of conveying stuffs into the concern ( inbound logistics ) , change overing them into concluding merchandises ( operations ) , transporting out concluding merchandises ( outbound logistics ) , marketing them ( selling and gross revenues ) and serving them ( service ) . The Support Activities include procurance, engineering development, human resource direction, and steadfast substructure ( covers the cost of general direction, planning, finance, accounting, legal and authorities personal businesss ) . There are three sorts of motion in Supply Chain.

The physical motion of stuff, by and large in the way of the terminal of the concatenation.

The flow of hard currency backward through the concatenation.

Exchange of information, which moves in both waies along the concatenation.

Supply Ironss are sometimes referred to as Value Chains, a term that reflects the construct that value is added as goods and services advancement through the concatenation.

Different issues related to provide concatenation direction in retail industry are

The Need to Better Operationss

Increasing Levels of Outsourcing

Increasing Transportation system Costss

Competitive Pressures

Increasing Globalization

Increasing Importance of E-Business

The Complexity of Supply Chains

The Need to Pull off Inventories

Inbound logistics

EDI provides a direct nexus between a maker ‘s database and that its sellers. It provides effectual and efficient provider integrating, stock list planning and line uping system for inward logistics. Quick response ( QR ) plans have grown quickly. Quick Response is based on bar-code scanning and EDI. Its purpose is to make a just-in-time refilling system between sellers and retail merchants. It is of import to observe that efficient and effectual inbound logistics creates value for the clients in the terminal and increases the borders for the company.


RFID is a engineering that uses wireless moving ridges to place objects, such as goods in supply ironss. This is dome through the usage of an RFID ticket that is attached to an object. The ticket has an integrated circuit and an aerial that undertaking information or other informations to network-connected RFID readers utilizing wireless moving ridges. RFID tickets can be attached to palettes, instances, or Individual points. They provide alone designation, enabling concerns to place, path, proctor, or turn up practically any object in the supply concatenation that is within scope of a tag reader. RFID eliminates the demand for manual numeration and bar-code scanning of goods at having docks, in warehouses, and on retail shelves. This eliminates mistakes and greatly speeds up the procedure. It provides better stock list direction, supplier integrating, better queuing and capacity planning.

Merely in clip ( JIT II ) , developed 1987 by the Bose Corp ( audio equipment maker & A ; retail shops ) , is a good illustration of disintermediation and is now being adopted by a turning figure of companies. The aim of JIT II is for the seller and client to work much closer together, thereby extinguishing many of the intermediate stairss that now exist. To carry through this, a seller employee is provided with physical office infinite within the buying map of the client. This attack eliminates the demand for a purchaser for the client and a sales representative for the seller. This seller representative has full entree to the client ‘s database and hence can interpret the client ‘s purchase orders straight into orders for his or her company. This person besides participates in the client ‘s new merchandise design procedure, offering suggestions for bettering merchandise public presentation and cut downing costs. Software like JIT II provides effectual and efficient stock list direction, supplier integrating, line uping and capacity planning.

Outbound Logisticss

Efficient Customer response ( ECR ) is a fluctuation of QR and EDI adopted by the supermarket industry as a concern scheme where distributers, providers, and grocers work closely together to convey merchandises to consumers. They can utilize bar-code scanning and EDI. Savings come from reduced supply-chain costs and decreased stock list.

Selling and Gross saless

Teleshopping, Computer shopping and place shopping offers direct entree to clients and effectual outbound logistics for better capacity planning, stock list direction, line uping and supplier integrating. Customers can entree and purchase different retail merchandises at their places through telecasting and computing machines. More significantly, it is an interesting fact that most of the companies which sell through Teleshopping, Computer shopping and place shopping do non keep larger stock lists or capacities but the products/services are acquired from different providers and provided to the clients on demand in a built to order format. In this manner, the above engineerings provide better capacity planning, stock list direction, supplier integrating and queuing of product/services in the retail operations.


State-of-the-art supply concatenation direction ( package ) has had a important impact on the overall direction of the supply concatenation. These package bundles, in combination with web linkages provided by the Internet, allow each of the organisations within a supply concatenation to portion information on a real-time footing. Some of the major SCM package bundles include the undermentioned.






The basic aim of the SCM package is to supply client relationship direction for effectual and efficient client services to derive a sustainable competitory advantage in the market place. In return, the SCM package provides effectual and efficient stock list direction, capacity planning, line uping and supplier integrating indirectly.


Different deductions of operations direction for execution of engineering were discussed by utilizing the Porter ‘s Value Chain Model. It was analyzed that the technological developments in the retail industry have positive effects on the effectual and efficient operations direction. It is of import to observe that information and engineering have now become competitory advantages of organisations. The efficient usage of the engineering enables the organisation to bring forth more value for its clients in inward logistics, operations, outbound logistics, marketing/sales and service. The borders and profitableness of the organisations is increased in return due to increase in client value. In short, engineering provides efficient and effectual operations direction which in return enables the organisation to derive a sustainable competitory advantage in the market place as revealed in the above deductions of operations direction for the execution of engineering harmonizing to the Porter ‘s value concatenation theoretical account.

Broader Business Challenges in implementing engineering

In the past, most organisations did small to pull off their supply ironss. Alternatively, they tended to concentrate on their ain operations and on their immediate providers. Furthermore, the planning, selling, production, and stock list direction maps in organisations in supply ironss have frequently operated independently of each other. As a consequence, supply ironss experienced a scope of jobs that were apparently beyond the control of single organisations. The jobs included big oscillations of stock lists, stock list stockouts, late bringings, and quality jobs.

Current tendencies in Supply Chain Management for execution of engineering include the undermentioned.

Reduced Number of Suppliers

Increase in Competition

Shorter Product Life Cycles

Addition in Consignment Inventories

Addition in Vendor-Managed Inventories ( VMI )

Shared or Reduced Hazard

The major concern challenges that are important for execution of engineering are:


Costss are the most important challenge in execution of engineering because technological developments incur high costs to the organisations. It is of import to observe that installing costs for engineering are high but in the hereafter the cost advantages of execution of engineering outweigh the installing capital investings. For illustration, Wal-Mart is enjoyed an effectual cost advantage comparative to rivals by implementing high terminal engineering for operations and supply concatenation direction.


One of the most of import concern challenges is the conformity of engineering for operations and supply concatenation direction. For illustration, the execution of engineering incurs high costs and a company implements engineering with high capital investings. But another rival may predate the execution of engineering and could be monetary value competitory for a short period of clip doing gross and market losingss the company that has implemented engineering.


It is besides of import to observe that if the certain engineering execution is compatible with the operations or non. For illustration, it is non possible for a little retail merchant to follow JIT II system or travel for RFID because of simple concern operations and low capital investings.


Technology has certain dependability concerns every bit good. For illustration, people are afraid of online shopping due to online frauds and cyberspace dislocations.


There are some serious privateness challenges associated with the execution of engineering. Supplier integrating and sharing of information may uncover trade secrets to a provider and it could go a rival in future.

Challenges placed by germinating shoppers and clients

Different challenges which are placed by germinating shoppers and clients are:

Lack of contact with existent merchandises and delayed ownership

Fulfillment Logisticss non at Internet velocity or efficiency

Clutter, Confusion, and Cumbersomeness of Internet

Nonpurchase motivations for shopping non addressed

Security concerns of clients

Lack of contact with existent merchandises and delayed ownership

In instance of Electronic Channels, consumers have no direct contact with merchandise, they can non see, touch, experience, smell, or seek on the existent merchandises sold on the Internet. Furthermore, the instant satisfaction of purchasing the merchandise and so possessing it instantly is non available through electronic selling channels.

Fulfillment and Logistics Lag

Internet procedures and conveyances negatrons, non physical merchandises, hence order fulfillment and logistics must still be performed. Warehouses, stock list, order processing, wadding, and transporting do non vanish merely because consumers use the Internet to purchase a merchandise. Furthermore, the processing and transportation of many little orders, frequently one unit at a clip, is expensive from both an order-processing and a transit point of view, particularly in instance of low unit value points.

Clutter and Confusion

Literally 100s of 1000s of Sellerss at all degrees of the channel from makers to retail merchants, have established web sites, doing jumble a existent job in internet. Consumers face a bewildering array of picks while Internet Sellerss face the hard undertaking of non acquiring lost in the shuffling. The job of Web Clutter became so acute that even some of the best known Internet houses paid immense gross revenues committees and advertisement fees to derive arrangement on high traffic web sites or hunt engines, and place pages of on-line service suppliers.

Ignores personal and societal shopping motivations

In his article published over three decennaries ago, titled “ Why Do Peoples Shop ” , Mr. Tauber provided some really insightful observations. He found that people do non shop merely to do purchases ; instead, the desire to do a purchase is merely one portion of a complex set of personal and societal motivations for shopping. Personal motivations for shopping include the demand to play the function of shopper, recreation from the modus operandi of day-to-day life, dissoluteness, larning about new tendencies, physical activity, and centripetal stimulation. Social motivations for shopping include deriving societal experience outside the place, communicating with others holding similar involvements, equal group attractive force, position and authorization, and for some shoppers, the pleasance of bargaining. Evidence from later surveies every bit good as a huge sum of accrued experience over the decennaries has validated Tauber ‘s findings. Online shopping fails to fulfill most of the consumer ‘s motivations for shopping.

Security Concerns

Concerns about the security of shopping on the internet return two basic signifiers. The first involves purchasing merchandises from unknown houses that exist merely in internet, nevertheless this concern has been mostly remedied as consumers have become familiar with more on-line houses and experience more capable of screening out those that they are comfy with. Other consumers may get the better of this concern by covering merely with well-known houses on the Internet.

The 2nd and more serious security concern is consumer uncomfortableness with directing recognition card Numberss over the cyberspace. Although in world such security frights may be unfounded, they are however existent to some consumers. In that sense, such frights still present a barrier to the growing of online shopping.


In this paper, different engineerings and their deductions were discussed in supply concatenation direction and operations direction. It can be concluded that engineering provides effectual operations and supply concatenation direction solutions when it is utilised expeditiously. The concern challenges and client challenges are important to analyse before execution of engineering.