Sustainability In Inventory Management Assignment
Critically review one academic journal article from a list of carefully selected four papers on the
Moodle site. Each article focuses on different Operations Management perspectives. The review,
about 1000 words, should cover research questions, methodology, main findings and limitations of
the research. You need to demonstrate clear understanding of the chosen paper and its research
In the second part of the coursework, also about 1000 words, you need to show application of the
reviewed topic area, to an organisation of your own choice. Your application does not have to use
the same theory from the reviewed paper. For example, the reviewed paper may propose a new
theory in supply chain management, you can apply any related theories in supply chain
management, not necessarily the one proposed from the reviewed paper.
It is advisable to avoid very small independent companies, because you may not be able to find
enough information on their operations. Annual reports can provide very useful information and
insights into an organisation’s operations. Remember to use good quality resources and provide a
reference list (in the APA style).
Review of the Article
The article reviewed to prepare this inventory management assignment has been written by Ismail Civelek. The managers of the organisations are highly responsible for the reduction of the business operation cost. It has been written in the assignment that the profit-centric approach of majority of the organisations in this contemporary era is hampering the actual growth and sustainability in business. Sustainability and efficiency in the supply chain and inventory management activities help the organisations to receive valuable support from the important stakeholders.
The research work performed in the present inventory management assignment has tried to address the following research question:
• How sustainability in inventory management helps a firm in ensuring competitive advantages, flexibility, growth, and profitability in business?
Qualitative methodology has been considered by the author in this research work and the author only has focused on secondary data collection activities.
The findings obtained in this inventory management assignment signifies that it is evident in this article that each and every manager wants to reduce the business operation cost in business to maximise the profitability of overall business. Lack of sustainability in business generally causes different challenges like natural disasters, environmental pollution, and higher level of emission of carbon as well as greenhouse gases. This is also discussed in this assignment that several organisations in the South-East Asia overlook the poor working conditions of the manufacturing units. The management professionals and decision makers of the organisations of the South-east Asian countries always focus on reduction of the business operation cost. Therefore, some of those organisations actually do not care about the poor working conditions of the manufacturing units. It is evident in the article explored in this report of inventory management assignment that one of the workshops of H&M, Zara, and Gap in Bangladesh was destroyed by horrific fire due to the poor workplace conditions. Therefore, such organisations are signing a deal with the manufacturing units of Bangladesh and other South-east Asian countries to improve the workplace conditions (Civelek, 2016). From this evidence and argument of the author, it has been identified that profit centric approaches of the organisations are affecting the sustainability of the business.
Supply chain activities effectively integrate manufacturers, vendors, suppliers, customers, and warehouses to maximise the profitability of the overall business. It is discussed in this article by the author that the majority of the leading contemporary firms like Walmart are trying to maintain sustainability in the inventory management and distribution activities in order to ensure a positive support from stakeholders. Hence, scholars and authors in this present era suggests that the organisations in this competitive global environment needs to maintain sustainability in the supply chain and inventory management activities in order t improve the degree of competitive advantages. It is discussed in the research article examined in the segments of inventory management assignment that sustainability in the supply chain activities actually adds value to the business. It also has become an important myth that sustainability in supply chain management approaches can actually help the organisations to ensure a significant cost-reduction approach for a long-term. It is also an important business objective of several contemporary firms to reduce the overall business operation cost. The author of this article has significantly discussed that how maintaining sustainability in the supply chain management activities can help an organisation to reduce the overall business operation cost and meet long-term objectives.
The author also has discussed in the article that the concept of green supply chain activities can actually help the organisations to maintain sustainability in the supply chain and inventory management approaches. Green supply chain activities are nothing but the consideration of the environmental consciousness in the supply chain management activities. According to the author, green supply chain approach in the business can be initiated through the combination green manufacturing, green distribution, green transportation, green warehousing, and green inventory management. It is also discussed in the research article presented in this inventory management assignment that the companies in this modern era are trying to maintain sustainability in the distribution system as green distribution approach can ensure a sustainable supply chain network. It is evaluated in this article by the author that the sustainability in overall distribution process can be enhanced through a strong control over the utilisation of conventional form of fossil fuel. Fossil fuel is necessary for majority of the modern organisations in transportation of the raw materials, goods, and final products. The modern organisations are trying to become sustainable in terms of operation management activities through the consideration of green distribution activities. The example of FedEx and Walmart has been evaluated in the research article as the author has discussed that both the organisations use hybrid diesel vans in order to transport the raw materials, resources, and final products. Uses of hybrid diesel cars are important for the organisations to reduce the degree of emission level of carbon.
As per the research carried on the inventory management assignment, Ismail Civelek also has mentioned in this article that inventory management approach is an important operation management approach for the companies to reduce the operation management cost of a business. It has been advised by the author that the modern day firms need to prefer the environmental sustainability management aspect in the environment management activities. This can help an organisation in both ways. First of all, efficient inventory management approach definitely helps an organisation to reduce the business operation cost and improve the business operation efficiency. Secondly, sustainability in inventory management activities definitely helps an organisation to improve the degree of environmental sustainability. However, frequent delivery of products in small batches is a major challenge for the organisations to maintain sustainability in inventory management approach.
Several organisations in this contemporary era are also suffering from different challenges, which are creating problems for maintaining sustainability in the inventory management activities. Different companies across the globe are trying to introduce reverse logistics approach in operation management activities to improve the degree of environmental sustainability. Despite the initial benefits, organisations with reverse logistics approach are suffering from high business operation cost related challenges as the higher recycling, reusing, and remanufacturing costs are hampering the financial health as well as profitability of the business. In order to ensure sustainable inventory management, the managers of the modern day firms need to develop carbon emission reduction goals. The managers also need to monitor the progress of the companies towards the developed goals.
What are the limitations noted in the inventory management assignment?
The research on inventory management assignment observed several limitations of the study examined herein. Lack of collection of primary data and survey works can affect the degree of authenticity of this work as collection of live and field data would have helped people in understanding the importance of sustainability in inventory management more effectively. Lack of authentic data in research work can raise the ethical issues in research work as there is a possibility that collected secondary information may not be relevant and appropriate. Therefore, the author of this article would have preferred primary data collection and analysis to overcome the possibilities of ethical issues in the research.
Application of the Concept on an Organisation
The company selected to prepare this inventory management assignment is Walmart Inc which is renowned as the largest and most profitable hypermarket chain, which was established in the year 1969. Walmart Inc. is headquartered in Bentonville. The company is not only leading the American retain chain industry, but also dominating the global retail chain industry. Walmart has a strong presence in the international countries. Walmart is operating across the globe with almost 11,500 stores. Walmart is a popular organisation within the global retail chain industry due to the adoption of different innovative and sustainable strategic approaches. Effective product differentiation, efficient online product delivery, and everyday low price strategy are considered as three important competitive approaches. These competitive approaches have helped Walmart to improve profitability. Now, major point of discussion is maintaining sustainability in business and operation management activities (Khan, Hussain & Saber, 2016). The operation management professionals of Walmart believe in maintaining sustainability in the overall business operation activities. The decision makers of Walmart perceive that maintaining sustainability in supply chain management can help in enhancing competitive advantages and improving profitability. Especially, the management of Walmart has focused on maintaining sustainability in the inventory management system to meet the long-term business objectives. Efficiency and sustainability in the inventory management activities of Walmart has helped the company to reduce business operation cost and satisfy the manufacturing as well as efficient distribution related needs of the target customers. Integration of the advanced technological applications in the inventory management system somehow has helped in maintaining sustainability and inventory management system (Gouda & Saranga, 2018).
The readings used to prepare this inventory management assignment signifies that the operation management professionals and decision makers of Walmart is successfully focusing on the maintenance of sustainability of the inventory management; process through the application of the Vendor-Managed Inventory Model. According to this inventory management model, the suppliers and distributors have the access to the information of the information system of Walmart. Sustainability in data handling in inventory management systems helps the suppliers to properly decide the quantity of the products for the purpose of supply. Several organisations use differentiated approaches in inventory management system to maintain sustainability. The operation management professionals of Walmart usually use technologically advanced data management tools to maintain sustainability in the inventory management system. Considering the analysis done in this segment of inventory management assignment it can be stated that Big Data can be considered as an important and valuable data management tool (Shen, Deng, Wang & Li, 2018). This particular data management tool has the ability to handle multiple data and information about the stocks and inventories of the organisation in limited time period. Effective inventory management due to the integration of technologically advanced data management applications has helped the company to improve sustainability in inventory management. The major goal of this technology enabled inventory management tool is to reduce the business operation cost. Walmart has become successful in reducing the overall business operation cost through the integration of technology advanced data management tool. Vendor-Managed Inventory Model also has allowed the organisation to engage vendors as well as suppliers in the inventory management activities. This particular decentralisation illustrated in the contexr of inventory management assignment in the inventory management approach has somehow helped the company to gain the supports of the important stakeholders (Shafiq Johnson, Klassen & Awaysheh, 2017). Here, suppliers are the important stakeholders and engagement of these stakeholders in data management oriented inventory activities has helped in maintaining governance and sustainability in the overall supply chain as well as inventory management process.
It is also important to discuss herein the inventory management assignment that some companies use operation management models in inventory maintenance activities to improve sustainability. The sustainability of inventory management approach also can be improved through the implication of just-in-time approach. The operation management professionals of Walmart have applied just-in-time approach in the inventory management activities to improve sustainability in business. Cross-docking inventory management approach is considered as just-in-time approach, which has assisted the company to reduce the distribution, transportation, and warehousing activities. Major advantage of this cross-docking inventory management approach is the minimisation of the overall inventory size. It is beneficial because of its time and cost efficiency. This reduces business operation cost. It also helps in improving the business resilience and operational efficiency. It is helping the operation management professionals of Walmart to overcome the possibilities of any kind of error in business. Apart from these, the organisation also uses different types of sustainable inventory management approaches to improve time and cost efficiency of the overall business. Inventory turnover is considered to be an important approach, which decides whether an organisation is capable enough to clear the inventory within a targeted cycle (Smith & Offodile, 2016). Walmart is one of those organisations, which has been able to management a fast inventory turnaround. Effective turnaround timing between two inventories has helped Walmart to maintain efficiency in business. Overall, effective inventory turnaround timing has helped the management of Walmart to reduce the overall inventory management cost. This improved business operation cost due to effective inventory turnaround timing has created a positive impact on the business profitability (Goodarzi, Fahimnia & Sarkis, 2019).
Bullwhip effect examined in the inventory management assignment can be considered as a serious threat for the sustainability of inventory management approaches of any organisation. Bullwhip effect is nothing but the propagation of errors in overall operation management activities due to lack of sustainability (Jakhar, Rathor & Mangla, 2018). It is already mentioned that the operation management professionals of Walmart is following cross-docking just-in-time approach, and vendor-managed inventory management approach in business operations. These two approaches discussed in this section of inventory management assignment are assisting to maintain time and cost efficiency of overall business (Wisner, 2016). In addition, these advanced inventory management approaches are also helping the organisations to reduce the possibilities of bullwhip effect or other kinds of errors in business. This can help the organisations to ensure the resource sustainability in business operation activities. Most importantly, the organisation is also focusing on the investment of capital from profits to ensure financial sustainability of overall inventory management activities. Apart from these systematic and technological sustainable approaches, the operation management professionals of Walmart are also focusing on the use of different environmental sustainability approaches in environment management activities (Russell, Swanson & Blinge, 2018). Use of fuel efficient trucks in supply chain and distribution, and adequate training for the supply chain staffs on reduced carbon emissions are considered as some important initiatives of the organisation to maintain sustainability in the inventory management system.
Civelek, I. (2016). Sustainability in Inventory Management. Inventory management assignment Current Topics in Management, 18(1), 43-55.
Goodarzi, S., Fahimnia, B. & Sarkis, J. (2019). Sustainable supply chain management and carbon emissions. In Handbook on the Sustainable Supply Chain. Edward Elgar Publishing.
Gouda, S.K. & Saranga, H. (2018). Sustainable supply chains for supply chain sustainability: impact of sustainability efforts on supply chain risk. International Journal of Production Research, 56(17), pp.5820-5835.
Jakhar, S.K., Rathore, H. & Mangla, S.K. (2018). Is lean synergistic with sustainable supply chain? An empirical investigation from emerging economy. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 139, 262-269.
Khan, M., Hussain, M. & Saber, H.M. (2016). Information sharing in a sustainable supply chain. Inventory management assignment International Journal of Production Economics, 181, 208-214.
Russell, D.M., Swanson, D. & Blinge, M. (2018). Sustainable logistics and supply chain management: a holistic view through the lens of the wicked problem. World Review of Intermodal Transportation Research, 7(1), 36-56.
Shafiq, A., Johnson, P.F., Klassen, R.D. & Awaysheh, A. (2017). Exploring the implications of supply risk on sustainability performance. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 37(10), 1386-1407.
Shen, B., Deng, Y., Wang, X. & Li, Q. (2018). Overstated product sustainability: real cases and a game-theoretical analysis. Annals of Operations Research, 1-19.
Smith, A.D. & Offodile, O.F. (2016). Green and sustainability corporate initiatives: a case study of goods and services design. International Journal of Process Management and Benchmarking, 6(3), 273-299.
Wisner, J.D. (2016). Operations management: A supply chain process approach. Inventory management assignment SAGE Publications.