Trade-offs in managing commercial consumer returns for online apparel retail

De Leeuw, S. ORCID: 0000-0003-3056-8775, Minguela Rata, B., Sabet, E. ORCID: 0000-0001-8083-6155, Boter, J. and Sigurardottir, R., 2016. Trade-offs in managing commercial consumer returns for online apparel retail. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 36 (6), pp. 710-731. ISSN 0144-3577

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Purpose: This paper analyses the application of Lean Six Sigma framework for supporting continuous improvement in logistics services. Both the lean philosophy and the Six Sigma methodology have become two of the most important initiatives for continuous improvement in organizations. The combination of both alternatives - Lean Six Sigma (LSS) - brings significant benefits for companies applying this method and its influence in logistics services can be relevant. Design/methodology/approach: A case study on the logistics services of a large consumer electronics company is performed. In this sector, high quality in logistics services is crucial. Using within-case and cross-case analyses, the paper discusses the implementation of LSS in two internal logistics processes. Findings: The paper identifies important implementation aspects when applying LSS to logistics services, such as continuous improvement structure, strategic analysis, cross-functional teams, and process management. Furthermore, the paper discusses the potential in logistics services of the DMAIC approach and tools like VSM, SIPOC and Process Mapping. Practical implications: The paper analyses two logistics processes where LSS has been applied – a payment process and a request-to-ship process. The analysis of both processes offers relevant information about organizational implementation in a logistics services environment, about process improvement and about the use of LSS tools. Originality/value: Firstly, this paper addresses the gap in literature about LSS and logistics’ activities. Furthermore, the case company, with more than 9.000 employees and distributing its products to more than 100 countries, constitutes a valuable source of information to obtain insights in the implications of implementing LSS in logistics services.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: International Journal of Operations & Production Management
Creators: De Leeuw, S., Minguela Rata, B., Sabet, E., Boter, J. and Sigurardottir, R.
Publisher: Emerald
Date: 2016
Volume: 36
Number: 6
ISSN: 0144-3577
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 21 Jan 2016 12:23
Last Modified: 16 May 2022 14:16

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