A case study on how an e-tailer can use a multiple criteria ABC analysis to identify risk in the selection of suppliers
Purpose– The purpose of this master thesis is to explore how an e-tailer selling bulky items can use a multiple criteria ABC analysis to make its purchasing process more effective, while balancing richness and reach, with the performance measurements of profitability, total asset turnover and inventory turnover. The purpose will be accomplished through a single case study on an e-tailer active on the Swedish furniture and home furnishing market.
Methodology– This thesis applies a multiple criteria ABC-analysis to a single case study. The approach is semi-deductive as theory is combined with interviews on how to match and adapt theory about inventory control and purchasing with the specific requirements of an e-tailer selling bulky items.
Findings– This thesis has resulted in a set of recommendations that aim to make the purchasing process of an e-tailer more effective. That is, capital and inventory space will be better allocated to the e-tailer’s more profitable items. Among other things, this thesis shows how dead articles can be identified and how a purchaser can prioritize more profitable articles over less profitable ones when making procurement decisions. The other recommendations are for the e-tailer to investigate the possibilities of decoupling the supply chain by keeping stock at the suppliers’ premises, to match the supplier reliability with their importance in the supply chain, and lastly to explore possibilities of drop shipment. Further, the main finding is that a comparison between the A-, B-, and C-classes and the reliability of the suppliers, highlights a gap and a possible risk. Put differently, the importance of a specific item for the business should be reflected in the choice of supplier and the multiple criteria ABC analysis is the tool to illustrate the importance.
Keywords– E-commerce, E-tailer, richness, reach, transaction cost, ABC analysis, multiple criteria ABC, MCABC, inventory turnover ratio, supplier selection, purchasing
Paper type– Masters thesis
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