Understanding logistics capabilities in a transition towards supply chain agility in charity retailing : A Minor Field Study on a recovery program for post-consumer goods in Argentina

University essay from KTH/Industriell ekonomi och organisation (Inst.)

Abstract: Problem: The interest for sustainable business models is continuously increasing. In recent years closed-loop supply chain management and reverse logistics have gained ground in literature and in practice. One way of giving a product a new life is through charity shops. Charity organizations constantly struggle to stay efficient and reach their social commitment, often in an environment characterized by high uncertainty and with scarce resources. Literature has identified supply chain agility as one of the main sustainable success factors for organizations, especially when acting in an uncertain environment. However, previous studies have mainly focused on large enterprises and have largely neglected the context of charity shop logistics. Purpose: The purpose of this study is bring further understanding of logistic capabilities for supply chain agility in the context of charity shop logistics. Method: The study is conducted as a case study in a charity organization. The data gathering method is primarily qualitative data from semi-structured interviews, however some data was obtained from the ERP-system and from observations. The approach was mainly exploratory,and data analyzed from the interpretivistic paradigm. Data was triangulated and analyzed in relation to literature. Conclusion: Charity shop logistics faces a special context with high uncertainty from both supply and demand side. The study in contrast with previous studies indicated greater importance from integrated logistics capabilities for supply chain agility. This might be due to the special context the organization operates in where it is crucial to satisfy the need of the suppliers (donors) and the customers, while matching donations with sales.

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