University of Twente Student Theses


Staying ahead of trends : processing commercial returns on time, all the time

Wennemers, Lodewijk (2016) Staying ahead of trends : processing commercial returns on time, all the time.

[img] PDF
Abstract:Wehkamp is a large player in the Dutch ecommerce market and must deal with large amounts of returned products in the Logistic Service Centre Zwolle-Hessenpoort. These returned products are mostly fashion items and are commercial returns i.e., products that are returned within 14 days without the necessity of an explicit reason for returning the product. Most processes in the logistic service centre are automated, except for the sorting and checking of returned products. The processing of returned products is subject to a lot of variability. Examples are different amounts of products coming in each day, different productivity levels per employee and different arrival times of trucks that transport these returned products. Wehkamp tries to buffer for this variability by having variability buffers. These buffers are:  Work to be done: buffering an amount of roll cages with returned products, waiting to be processed so that not fully utilising workforce is prevented.  Capacity: having enough stations to process more returns than can come in on one day, when all stations are occupied the entire day.  Time: the window of time in which the products that are returned should be processed. Officially this window is 14 days, but this period is incidentally exceeded.  Workforce flexibility: planning different number of employees to avoid underutilization or not meeting the Service Level Agreement (SLA from now). Determine and inform required workforce only a few days in advance and sometimes sending some employees home. To reduce cost, increase customer satisfaction, improve product availability and make full use of all product’s value, Wehkamp wants to improve the processing of returned products. Main research question and methods This research is constructed around the main research question which is the following: How to process product returns efficiently, now and in the future, by balancing variability buffers and through planning aided by forecasting? From this main research question follow several different other research questions
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Industrial Engineering and Management MSc (60029)
Link to this item:
Export this item as:BibTeX
HTML Citation
Reference Manager


Repository Staff Only: item control page