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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
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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