Supply chain management of convenience stores in Japan
Tutor / director / evaluatorOhsato, Ario
Document typeMaster thesis (pre-Bologna period)
Rights accessRestricted access - author's decision
The aim of this project has been to study Convenience Stores (CVS) in Japan, more concretely, their Supply Chain Management. A complex and detailed structure exists behind these famous stores that allow them to achieve all the objectives. As the name suggests, Convenience Stores revolve around “convenience” and all efforts and strategies go in the direction to bring this concept to the consumers, in other words, to offer to the buyers what they need, when they need it, where they need it. In this Master‟s Thesis, firstly the meaning of konbini (as the Japanese call CVS) has been defined and the most important characteristics have been described. This kind of business has a big influence in Japanese society and all the products, services, layouts, shops, prices have been designed accurately to show an specific identity to the consumers. The “convenience” also is applied on their Supply Chain Management and it follows different philosophies/theories to achieve quick distribution, freshness, quality, deliveries on time and reduced costs. To satisfy these objectives, Convenience Stores need to rely in Just in Time, Continuous Replenishment (including Efficient Consumer and Direct Store Deliveries) and the properties and benefits that they include. Supply Chain Strategy of CVS is an example of effectiveness and efficiency. Even so it does not have sense without the tool that coordinates all the information and stages of the companies: the Information System. Due to EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) and POS (Point of Sales) the communication throughout the chain and the future demand may be precise. However not everything are advantages. Change is the only permanent in the life and CVS cannot fall asleep because in today‟s competitive society technologies become obsolete in few time. Moreover, CVS has a lot of risk points in their activities and are difficult to manage and control. Therefore, in this project CVS Strategy has been analyzed with SWOT and some proposals for improvement have been suggested. Examples are new measures in HRD (Human Resources Development), new markets, new kind of distribution centres and POS and EDI development.
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