PART A: STATE-OF-THE-ART REVIEW (750 words, 35% weighting)
Reverse logistics refers to the processes initiated after sale which includes the transportation
of products from the typical final destination towards the manufacturer or distributor for the
purpose of servicing, recycling and capturing value. There are a few steps included in the
process of reverse logistics which are referred to as the 5 R’s of RL which includes Returns,
Recalls, Repairs, Repackaging and Recycling. In the past few decades the development of
technology and economy has provided the people with the choice of using electronic products
with more diversity and at more affordable prices. As the consumption of these products has
increased the amount of electronic waste generated has also increased by an enormous
percentage (Prajapati, R., 2019). In developing countries there is no regulation for the
collection of these products while in developed countries there are certain regulations but still
they are limited to informal initiatives. This process of waste management highlights the
difference between the developing and developed countries. The need for reverse logistics is
essential because improper handling of waste material causes environmental pollution which
in turn becomes the reason of Ozone Layer Depletion. Henceforth, reverse logistics is
essential because it reduces waste and improves environmental performance of industries.
According to 6th International Conference on Industrial, Mechanical, Electrical and
Chemical Engineering the trend of publication upon reverse logistics from the year 2013 to
year 2020 is as follows.
In total there are 102 Publications on Reverse Logistics from which the majority is written
during the year 2017-2018. In these 102 publications, 72 relate to the Journals and remaining
30 relates to the conference paper (Pishvaee, W., 2010).
The publications on Reverse Logistics can also be disaggregated on the basis of the
Academic Journals and Proceedings. A number of Journals have publication upon reverse
logistics but the most publications have been established by the Journal of Cleaner
The above table shows the different publication titles and the number of publication on
reverse logistics. Throughout the world reverse logistics has been an important part of
research for different academic subjects. If this data is disaggregated on the basis of research
area, it can be known that Economics, Econometrics and Finance are the area where reverse
logistics is least researched with a percentage of 3%.
However, Engineering is the academic field with most researches on the topic of reverse
logistics with a percentage of 28% as compared to the total population. Historically, the most
number of publications on the topic of Reverse Logistics has been published by India (Rubio,
and Miranda., 2008). The reason behind this is that India has a vast population with no waste
management plan. Recently, India is working to design reverse logistics system for the
purpose of waste management.
Reverse logistics is a design of waste management for different countries. It has different
opportunities in different types of countries. In developing countries the concept of reverse
logistics is emerging and there are a number of opportunities for the research upon this topic.
It is because of the reason that the collection and utilization of waste has economic, social
and environmental benefits. However, in developed countries the research on reverse
logistics is dominated because they already know that the collected waste can be potential if
value is added and a new product is made. They know the environmental benefits of
recycling and understand that this procedure can the country. The opportunities for this topic
is present because upon network analysis the keywords such as remanufacturing, recycling
and utilizing waste did not appear even when the chance of cooccurrence was reduced to 1.
Currently, researchers are working upon to merge the keywords of network design and
reverse logistics because the relationship between the keywords of these networks has a long
distance. As the number of researches is dominated by the developed countries, this means
that there is enough potential for developing countries to carry out study on reverse logistics.
As it has been shown that India is the country with most publications and still researchers
from India are attached to perform research on this topic and add their contribution. There is
an opportunity to study the differences in waste management in developing and developed
countries, especially with regard to regulation so that developing countries can determine
appropriate management channels.
There are certain prominent reasons that are paving the way for companies to become more
involved with the concept of reverse logistics in their organization. The most obvious reason
is that they are bound to apply reverse logistics in their setup because of the prevailing
regulations established in their realm. Some companies also fancy the economic benefits that
this concept provides to them along with that, they also feel moved to, seeing this as a part of
their corporate citizenship. When it comes to the challenges in the research work relating to
reverse logistics, the most evident is that the concept is complex and disjointed furthermore,
the design is not well established by any country as this area is still growing and more
research is needed to be done (Sarkis, and Hervani, A.A., 2010). There is yet a need to further
follow a line of investigation and look forward to the expansion of this field towards the
models of Integrated Reverse Logistics as well as the concept of Extended Reverse Logistics.
In this regard, this would demand co-appointment with other explorative fields, (for instance,
advertising and marketing fields) and along these lines there is also a need to have alliance
with the researchers and specialists that have their core expertise in fields other than reverse
logistics. This is a fundamental perspective to remember while composing research
proposition, or choosing research techniques. There are certain other challenges like the
concept of biasness while conducting the research. The ideas are sometimes biased by the
personal preferences of the researcher which leads to dispassionate and impartial research
work. In addition to that the concept of reverse logistics involves several components which
still have ambiguous studies including Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Sustainable
Supply Chain Management (SSCM).
PART B: COMPANY ANALYSIS (1250 words, 55% weighting)
Wincanton Plc is a British company which provides transport and logistics services.
Wincanton is a subsidiary of West Surrey Central Dairy Company and was founded in 1925,
under the title Wincanton Transport & Engineering Ltd. Formerly the company used to
provide transport and logistics services but now it has established enough to provide
specialist services including container logistics, tankers for all kinds of liquids and powder
products, specialist transport to construction sites and storage and warehousing solutions. The
company has developed fleet management as well as vehicle maintenance services by
forming its subsidiary known as Pullman fleet services. Currently, the company is working
through a network of 200 sites deployed in the United Kingdom and Ireland (Vieira et al.,
2017). The fleet of company as of results of 2016 comprises of 3400 vehicles which includes
trailers, conventional trucks, tankers, construction vehicles and skeletal trailers along with
conventional trucks. The operations of company are not limited to transport and logistics but
also includes warehousing and other services which comprises of automation, co-packing, off
quay solutions, integrated IT services, change management and people, eFulfilment and
returns management including recycling and packaging.
Where there is company rather private of public or an organization, no matter for-profit or
not-for-profit, operations exists. Operations management is series of activities which are used
to manage the resources through which services and products are delivered. Operation
management involves various steps which starts from understanding, designing, planning,
controlling, communicating and follows through improving.
Principles of Operation Management:
There are several principles of operation management which are required to be followed by
the managers for the successful execution of tasks (Yusof et al., 2018). These principles are
discussed briefly in the following headings:
• Reality: This is the principles which guides upon the extent of thinking and predictability of
an operation manager. According to this principle there is no tool that provides universal
solutions so a manager is required to think upon the problem rather that thinking upon the
• Organization: All the operations are interconnected with other operations and needs to be
organized, for this reason, it is necessary to predict all the elements and remain consistent
with them for the purpose of gaining profits.
• Accountability: Operations management involves accountability because one person set the
rules and policies along with the responsibilities of the subordinates. These responsibilities
and rules are required to be checked regularly for effective operation management.
Humility: Everyone in this world requires maintenance of self esteem and recognition. No
one wants to work with a person who cannot respect the other subordinates. This principle is
the most important principle among all the principles because it guides that the operation
manager must position himself as an ordinary person and does not humiliate other team
members and subordinates for effective operations management.
• Change: Operations management requires openness to changes and ability to adapt change
because the pace of changes that takes place in this world is quite high. If operations are
designed in such a way that they are not volatile to change then the operation management
OPERATION TRANSFORMATION PROCESS:
Operation transformation is a process of converting input into output. Input is the resources
that are put into the operations while out is the final product or service that are provided to
end consumer. In case of the company selected it has many operations but for the purpose of
looking into the transformation process we will only focus on the operations of export
logistics (Heizer, Render and Munson, 2008). In this operation the input is comprised of;
team receiving orders, inspection team, and team sorting data for delivery of products,
integrated IT system, delivery vehicles, weight station and packaging machines. After these
input resources the process of operation transformation takes place which makes the output
possible. The output in this case would be the delivery of products to the consumer. In
Wincanton Plc the operation transformation process comprises of inspection and quality
checks of goods. After inspection the package received is labeled and the goods included are
marked. The integrated IT system and the IT team assign the package a consignment number
and a tracking number. The team sorting routes and making estimations prepares the delivery
order mentioning the details and condition of the package received and the estimated time of
delivery of products to the recipient.
Tracking ID of the product is also mentioned so that the consumer is able to track his/her
consignment. After that the company transfers the goods to the container and the container is
sealed so that there are no chances of theft or loss of material. Now the container is
transferred to the loading point where it is loaded on the vehicle of Wincanton fleet. This
vehicle carries the material to the port where the documentation and government levies are
paid to obtain the bill of lading. Once the bill of lading is obtained the original bill of lading
is sent to the buyer and the goods are departed for export through sea vessels. In the
meanwhile, the IT team of Wincanton Plc keeps on updating the status of the consignment in
real time so that whenever customer checks the status of his/her consignment through the
given tracking ID, he is able to get to know the place of its consignment. In addition to that,
the IT team sends message notification upon receiving goods, transferring goods to port and
upon receiving bill of lading.
Trade-off among operations performance objectives means that while increasing performance
of one aspect of operations the performance in other aspects decreases. It is due to the reason
that operations are a combination of various sub-operations which are linked with each other.
Encouraging one sub-operation discourages the other (Kleindorfer, et al, 2005). Checking and
inspection of goods upon receiving from supplier, although already checked by supplier,
increases quality of services but on the other hand increases cost of deploying a fully
dedicated team. Similarly, providing the customer with time to time update through tracking
ID increases the cost while on the other hand achieves customer satisfaction too. To meet the
customer deadlines sometimes the process is speed up, this provides the customer
appreciation but also increases the chances of error and thus reduces the quality of service.
Speeding up the process often omits the tracking ID update. However, if the process is speed
up then Wincanton can process more orders in a day thus maintaining profits and cash flow
consistent. Wincanton is flexible and offers a wide range of transport and logistics services.
This flexibility of Wincanton increases cost of procedures. However, this flexibility helps to
speed up the process in case of any unexpected situation because of availability of spare
resources and other means of logistics.
Performance of operations can be measured through key performance indicators (Jacobs,
Chase and Aquilano, 2004). In case of Wincanton Plc the performance can be measured
through its key performance indicators which are the number of complaints regarding late
delivery and the number of complaints in defect in the products delivered. It was noticed that
there were complaints regarding the delivery time mentioned and the actual delivery time of
the products. The company has responded thoroughly that it merely happens due to the delay
in the processing of government levies and custom clearance agents. While a number of
complaints regarding the defects of products were noted for which the company responded
that it happens when the suppliers do not mentions “handle with care” on the products (Neely
et al, 2017). However, this is the flaw of the company’s internal management because the
company had deployed inspection and labeling team. It becomes the duty of this team to
mention that certain products shall be handled with care.
Due to a large number of orders on daily basis the company in some instances does not check
the material thoroughly due to which customer has to face defected item when received. The
estimated delivery time and the actual delivery time shows large variation because the
delivery team often omits to take into consideration the delays that could be faced due to
delays in customs clearance. Company has outsourced the custom clearance procedure due to
which sometimes the bill of lading is generated at a delayed time causing delay in delivery
(Rees et al, 2016). The company shall design a control that not even a single consignment is
gone unchecked to ensure the defect free delivery. The company shall design a control that
the delivery team shall correspond with the custom clearance agent and anticipate the delays
that could arise for any reason so that delivery time mentioned on receipt is consistent. Rather
than outsourcing the clearance procedures the company shall develop a department of
professional who shall be responsible for clearance procedures and at the same time
accountable for any casual delays.
OPERATIONAL CHALLENGES AND RECOMMENDATIONS:
In logistics sector companies are currently working upon the field of emergency logistics.
This includes the delivery of products to remote areas in case of an emergency situation being
faced by the country (Havenga, J.H., 2018). Many companies are now establishing ways to
prolong its operations in a flood situation for the well being of the community. Similarly,
currently many companies are working on the dimension of Global Sustainability. They are
striving hard to maintain a sustainable environment along with maintaining pace of the
operations. Wincanton shall extend its operations with regard to emergency logistics. The
company shall also focus of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to maintain a sustainable
environment (Combes, F., 2019). Wincanton Plc shall upgrade its Customer Relationship
Management (CRM) software to store the details of corporate clients and shall also work on
the cloud computing.
PART C: Reflection on Simulation Game SodaPop (500 words, 10% weighting)
The main parameters and variables of the game
Your team’s strategy during the course of the game
Comparing your team’s performance versus others and reflect on what could be done better