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2012.9.3.pdf1.12 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
Title: Product Return Process - Developing a Web-Based Return Form to Improve the Information Flow between an Apparel Company and Its Retailers
Authors: Nilsson, Malin
Lantz, Louise
Department: Högskolan i Borås/Textilhögskolan (THS)
Issue Date: 2-Oct-2012
Series/Report no.: Magisteruppsats
Programme: Master programme in Applied Textile Management
Publisher: University of Borås/Swedish School of Textiles
Media type: text
Keywords: product return process
information flow
return form
apparel industry
reverse logistics
Abstract: Handling product returns has become a critical activity for organizations as the volume of gods flowing back through the supply chain rapidly increases. Few research studies have published specific empirical data concerning the reverse logistics practices of companies. Information technology and information support has long been recognized as a competitive weapon – capable of enhancing company performance and achieving efficient reverse logistics. Reverse logistics is very unlike the forward, as it is more reactive and also has less visibility. Unlike forward logistics, incoming products from reverse logistics are not tracked broadly because of the lack of information systems resources necessary. The investigated apparel company in this study is operating on the global market and expands their sales twenty per cent each year, resulting in increased pressure in the return flow. To meet this future demands, the return process has to be more efficient and not so time consuming. This study emerged from a case study made at the return department of this apparel company based on a research question. An improvement area was discovered through interviews, internal documents and observations. This area was investigated in existing theories through books and scientific research papers. From the theories and the case study, a hypothesis was created in order to be tested. To strengthen the hypothesis, an experiment was developed and performed at selected retailers and at the apparel company. Research Question Where in the product return process can improvements be made in order to make the information flow more efficient between retailers and an apparel company? Hypothesis By creating a web-based return form, the information flow between retailers and an apparel company will be more efficient, resulting in a more effective and structured product return process. Through the experiment, various factors that strengthen the hypothesis were discovered. For instance, the information flow becomes more effective when retailers have clear guidelines how to send back products and when inserting the information into the computer system before returning. As the apparel company knows what is coming back, the disposition of returned products can be predetermined which will speed up the return process. Shared and available information across various parties facilitate the daily work with better communication. Furthermore, activities that are existing today within the return process can be eliminated which result in more effective product return process. Refund for retailers can be made quicker which result in more satisfied retailers and creates stronger relationships.
Appears in Collections:Magisteruppsatser / Master theses (THS)

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