Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1971500
 
 

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Execution Quality: An Analysis of Fulfillment Errors in a Retail Distribution Center


Nathan Craig


Ohio State University (OSU) - Fisher College of Business

Nicole DeHoratius


University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Yan Jiang


Northwestern University - Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences

Diego Klabjan


Northwestern University

December 15, 2014

Chicago Booth Research Paper No. 12-58

Abstract:     
Purchase orders specify many aspects of the fulfillment process, including item quantity, delivery time, carton labeling, bar coding, electronic data interchange, retail ticketing, and others. These fulfillment terms are instrumental for highly optimized supply chains employing automation and techniques such as pack-by-store. When fulfilling a purchase order, a supplier may commit a fulfillment error, i.e., the supplier may fail to adhere to the terms specified by the relevant contract. We present a study of the fulfillment errors that occur in practice using data collected from a major retailer's distribution center. While fulfillment errors involving incorrect product quantities and delivery times have received the most attention in the literature, we find that the majority of fulfillment errors in the context we study involve documentation, bar coding, and retail ticketing. We refer to these as correctable fulfillment errors, since they are amended at the retailer's distribution center through rework without coordination with the supplier. Using the retailer's data, we develop a simulation to assess the cost of these correctable fulfillment errors to the retailer's inventory system. Our research provides guidance to managers in identifying products and suppliers that impose large fulfillment error costs as well as in setting appropriate chargebacks for fulfillment errors.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 41

Keywords: retail, inventory accuracy, vendor compliance

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Date posted: December 14, 2011 ; Last revised: December 17, 2014

Suggested Citation

Craig, Nathan and DeHoratius, Nicole and Jiang, Yan and Klabjan, Diego, Execution Quality: An Analysis of Fulfillment Errors in a Retail Distribution Center (December 15, 2014). Chicago Booth Research Paper No. 12-58. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1971500 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1971500

Contact Information

Nathan Craig
Ohio State University (OSU) - Fisher College of Business ( email )
2100 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210-1144
United States
Nicole DeHoratius (Contact Author)
University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )
5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Chicago Booth School of Business Logo

Yan Jiang
Northwestern University - Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences ( email )
Evanston, IL 60208-3119
United States
Diego Klabjan
Northwestern University ( email )
2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States
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