PART A: STATE-OF-THE-ART REVIEW
The reverse logistics refers to the procedures initiated after sale that encompasses of
the transportation of products from the typical final destination to the manufacturer of the
distributor for the purpose of servicing, capturing value, and recycling. There are certain
stages included in the process of reverse logistics, which are essentially the 5R’s of the RL
that consists of the Return, Repairs, Repackaging, and Recycling. Within the past few
decades, the advancement in technology and economy has offered the individuals with the
choices of applying the electronic products with more diversity and more affordable prices.
As the consumption of such products have uncreased the amount of electronic waste created,
which has also increased by a huge percentage (Prajapati, Kant & Shankar, 2019). In the
developing nations, there is no regulation for the collection of such products whereas the
developed countries have successfully implemented certain regulations, though these
regulations are still limited to informal initiatives. The waste management process highlights
the difference between the development and developed nations. The requirement for reverse
logistics is significant since improper handling of the waste material leads to environmental
pollution that, in turn, becomes the primary reason of ozone layer depletion. Therefore,
reverse logistics is considered as important as it reduced the level of waste and enhances
environmental performance of industries.
As aligned to the 6th international conference on industrial, mechanical, electronic,
and chemical engineering, the trend of publication regarding the reverse logistic form the
year 2013 to 2020 (Radionov & Gasiyarov, 2021) is as showed in the table below:
Figure1: number of RL publications
Averagely, there are about 102 publications on the topic of reverse logistics, in which,
most is written between the year of 2017 and 2018. Out of the 102 publications, 72 relates to
the journals and the rest relates to the conference papers (Voigt et al., 2019). Also, the
publication of reverse logistics can be disaggregated on the basis of the academic journal and
proceedings. The number of journals published on reverse logistics, though most of them are
considered as the journal of cleaner production.
Figure 2: number of RL publication regarding academic journals and proceedings
Throughout the evolution, reverse logistics has been an essential segment of research
for different academic subjects. When this information is disaggregated on the basis od
research area, the least reached areas for the reverse logistics includes economics, finance,
and econometrics, which account for about 3%.
Figure 3: Proportions fir RL topic based on research area
Nevertheless, the engineering is the academic field with the most researches on the
topic of RL with the percentage of 28% in relation to the total population. Further, the highest
number of publications on the topic of RL has been published by India (Prajapati, Kant &
Shankar, 2019). This is mainly attributed to the Indian vast population with no waste
management strategy. Currently, the country is working on designing reverse logistic system
for the purpose of waste management.
The reverse logistics is a design of waste management implemented by various
nations, hence present different opportunities for different nations. In the developing nations,
the ideology of RL is emerging and there are numerous opportunities for the research of this
topic. Hence, the collection and use of waste has economic, environmental, and social
benefits. Nonetheless, in the developed nations, the research on RL is dominated since they
already aware that the collected waste can be potential if the value is added and new products
are created. Further, they are aware of the environmental advantages of recycling and
comprehend that this procedure can positively impact the economy of the country. The
opportunities presented by RL can be assessed with the network analysis and the keywords
like recycling, remanufacturing, and utilization of waste was not encountered, even when the
cooccurrence chance was reduced to one. Presently, researchers are working on merging the
keywords of the network design and reverse logistics since the studies have showed that there
is no correlation between the keywords of these networks. As the number of studies is
dominated by the developed nations, this implies that there is enough potential for the
developing countries to conduct research on the topic, RL. As established, India is the nation
with most publications and still the researchers from India are attached to perform studies on
RL to add to their contribution. Also, there is a chance to study the difference in the waste
management ion the emerging and developed nations, particularly regarding the regulations
to ensure that the developing countries can determine suitable management strategies.
There are certain prevailing reasons that are paving the way for organizations to
become more involved with the concept of reverse logistics in their operations. the notable
reason is that they are bound to apply the RL due to the prevailing regulations established in
their realm. Some firms opt for economic advantaged that the RL concept offers to them and
being part of the corporate citizenship. However, the most evident challenge is that the RL
concept is perceived as complex and disjointed, also, the RL designs are not well established
by any nation as this area is still developing and more research should be executed (Agrawal,
Singh & Murtaza, 2016). Further, there is a requirement to follow the research and assess the
expansion of this field towards the models of integrated reverse logistics and the concepts of
extended reverse logistics. Thus, this would demand co-appointment with other explorative
fields, like marketing and advertising fields, with the need to have alliance with the
specialists and researchers that have their core expertise within the fields other than RL.
There are other certain challenges like the concept of biasness while conducting the study.
These concepts are sometimes biased by the individual preferences of the researchers that
results in dispassionate and impartial research work. Besides the concept of reverse logistics
involves numerous components that still have ambiguous researches consisting of the supply
chain management and sustainable supply chain management.
PART B: COMPANY ANALYSIS
Wincanton Plc is a British organization that offers transport and logistics services. It
is essentially a subsidiary of the West Surrey Central Firm and was established within 1925,
under the title Wincanton Transport & Engineering Ltd. Initially, the firm used to offer
transport and logistics services, however, currently it is well-established to offer specialist
services consisting of container logistics, specialist transport to construction sites, tankers for
all forms of liquids and powder products, and warehouse and storage solutions. Further, the
organization has developed fleet management and vehicle maintenance services by forming
its subsidiary, Pullman fleet services. Presently, the firm us working through a network of
about 200 sites deployed in the UK and Ireland (Vieira et al., 2017). Moreover, the fleet of
the firm due to 2016 comprises of 3400 vehicles including the trailers, tankers, conventional
trucks, construction vehicles, and skeletal trailers.
The operations management is the series of activities that are utilized in managing the
resources through which the products and services are delivered. Further, it involves various
phases that begins with understanding, designing, planning, controlling, communicating, and
follows through enhancement. Wincanton Plc applies several operation management
principles that are implemented by the management to ensure effective execution of tasks
(Yusof et al., 2018). The principles include reality, accountability, organization, humility and
change. The company offers transportation services in line with unprecedented array of
modes to move the payload using the ideal model or combination of modes, including the
full-truck load due to reduced contract and truck and trailer ownership limits and the last-mile
transportation, collection, and assembly of heavy goods using the contractually agreed limits.
The logistic services, on the other hand, has made the company to comprehend the complex
branch network requirements for different categorized of products using a contract range,
coordination, and drafted agreements, which includes high appreciation, exclusive testing,
and other Wincanton Plc innovations, returns the executives, web-based business and
omnichannel specialization, the main contract coordination provider globally and the largest
re-rated e-satisfaction provider in both UK and Ireland, and the global provider of supervised
Operation Transformation Process
The operation transformation is the process of converting the input into products. The
company selects its numerous operations though this section will mainly be focused on the
operations of export logistics. In this operation, the input is encompassed of the team
receiving orders, inspection team, and the team sorting data for the product delivery,
integrated IT system, weight station and packaging machines. after these input resources, the
conversion is conducted to ensure the provision of the required output. The output, in this
case, would be the delivery of products to the clients. in Wincanton Plc, the operation
transformation procedure consists of inspection and quality checks of the goods. After the
inspection, the received package is labelled and the products marked. Further, the integrated
IT system and IT personnel assigned for the package a consignment number and a tracking
number. Also, the team sorting routes and making estimations prepare the delivery order
entailing the details and conditions of the received package and the estimated period of
product delivery to the end-users.
Additionally, the product’s tracking ID is detailed to allow the clients track the
consignment. Thereafter, the firm transfers the products to the container, which is sealed to
ensure that there is no opportunity of product loss or theft. The next step is the transfer of the
containers to the loading points where it is loaded on the Wincanton fleet vehicle. The vehicle
transports the consignment to the port, where the documentation and government levies are
issued to attain the bill of lading. After the lading bill is acquired, the original bill is sent to
the client and the products are departed for export via sea vessels. Besides, Wincanton Plc IT
team continuously update the status of the consignment in real time for the clients to
effectively track their products through the issued tracking ID. Overall, the IT team sends
notifications upon receiving the products, transferring them to the port, and when they
receive the lading bill.
The trade-offs among the operations performance objectives implies that while
increasing the performance of one attribute of operations, the performance in other sectors
reduces. This is attributed to the fact that operations are a combination of various suboperations that are connected. Thus, facilitating the development in one discourages the
other. Checking and inspection of the received products from the suppliers, though previously
checked by the supplier, increases quality of the services, however, it increases the cost of
deploying a fully dedicated team. Moreover, offering the clients tome-to-time update via
tracking ID increases the product cost though it enhances the client’s satisfaction. Also, to
meet the set deadlines, sometimes requires speeding up the process, this offers clients
appreciation, but increases the opportunities for error, hence reduces the service quality.
Speeding up the process always omits the tracking ID updates, though this would allow the
company to process more orders daily, hence maintaining the profits and cash flow
consistent. Wincanton Plc is flexible and provides a vast array of transport and logistic
services, which increases the cost of procedures. Nonetheless, the flexibility attribute aids the
company in speeding up the process, in case of any unprecedented situations due to
availability of spare resources and other forms of logistics.
The operation performance cane be measured by using the KPI, which Wincanton Plc
uses in the assessment of the number of complaints concerning late delivery and defects in
the delivered products (Graham et al., 2015). It was established that there are complaints
concerning the delivery time mentioned and the actual time of product delivery. The firm
established that such delays are caused by the delays in the processing of government levies
and custom clearances agents. However, the complaints on the defects of products were
associated to the lack of adequate information from the suppliers on the handling of products
when they are imported. Nevertheless, the firm acknowledged that it is a flaw on the firm’s
internal management since the organization had deployed inspection and labeling team. Thus,
it is the responsibility of the team to assess the received products and ensure they are properly
handled during delivery process.
Due to the large number of orders daily, the firm, sometimes, does not check the
products thoroughly hence the clients often receive defected products. Also, the estimated
and actual delivery time shows a large variation since the delivery team often do not consider
the delays due to custom clearance. Moreover, Wincanton Plc has outsourced the custom
clearance process, thus, in some cases, the lading bill is generated at a delayed time, thus
leading to delays in delivery (Rees et al, 2016). Thus, the company should design a control
system to ensure that all the consignment are properly checked to guarantee quality of the
delivered products. Also, Wincanton Plc must design the system to coordinate the delivery
team and the custom clearance agents and forecast the delays that might be encountered to
ensure consistency in the delivery time. Overall, in stead of outsourcing the clearance
procedures, Wincanton Plc should develop a sector of professionals to be accountable for the
clearance procedures and any casual delays.
Operational Challenges and Recommendations
In logistic sector, organizations are presently working on the field of emergency
logistics, which includes the product delivery to remote areas in case of emergency situations
(Havenga, 2018). Most of these organizations are establishing strategies of prolonging their
operation during floods for the well-being of the community. Also, the firms are working on
the dimension of global sustainability, in which, they strive to maintain a sustainable
environment alongside maintaining pace of the operations. Wincanton Plc is anticipating to
extend its operations regarding the emergency logistics. It will mainly focus on corporate
social responsibility to maintain a suitable environment (Combes, 2019). Also, the firm will
upgrade its customer relationship management software to store the details of the corporate
clients to track their buying behavior and preferences to increase its profit margin.
PART C: Reflection on Simulation Game SodaPop
The main parameters and variables of the game
The SodaPop simulation game mainly simulates a bottle plant with three different
procedures, which includes mixing the new materials, filling the bottles with the soda, and
packaging the bottles for purchase. Therefore, the participants require to ensure that there are
enough bottles to serve the clients demands. Further, decision concerning order quantity and
reorder points and accepting or rejecting certain clints contracts require to be made. The main
objective of the game is to end up with the highest revenue. Overall, the learning objectives
of the game are basic operation management concepts, such as production and inventory
management, service level, make-to-stock production, economic order quantity, and demand
Your team’s strategy during the course of the game
We used two strategies in the game to increase out possibility of winning. Our first
strategy was based on what we had observed from the trail simulation. We had noticed that
the daily demand remains fairly the same, approximately 216 per day. Hence, we intended to
ensure that at least we had a capacity of meeting the daily demand of 2016 per day. To
achieve this, we required to ‘line-balance’ the production by purchasing enough machines,
and once the balance was attained, we needed to simultaneously guarantee the maximum
utilization of the machines. also, we periodically changed the Q and R to optimal values.
Another strategy was to use the data-driven approach, that is calculating the values that are
needed by the game to optimize the operations and anticipated profits. Hence, we had to
generate an excel tool that considers the parameters issued by the simulation to deliver the
optimal values. The tool applies the basic optimization formulas in the calculation of the
highest anticipated values due to the nature of the process. We utilized formulars like
bottleneck analysis, EOD, and newsvendor model among others.
Comparing your team’s performance versus others and reflect on what could be done
better in yours
The strategies used enabled a100% satisfaction of the daily demands from the 86th day
until the 365th day, the game’s last day. Further we were able to take up all the three contracts
and had a 100% fill rate. Also, we did not get any penalties via the contracts and got the
maximum profit utilizing the contracts. Lastly, when the simulation ended, we had
approximately $895 000 cash, which is 4.5x growth and we had merely 473 stocks, which is
two days inventory. However, comparing our results with other, there are certain
discrepancies that was established and various aspects of the game that we could have done
better. To attain the 100% fill rate, we overproduced and had an average inventory of around
4686v per day, which required that we stop the production in the 350th day and still had 473
stocks left on the final day of the game. We had also maintained the Qat 4000 and the R at
1800 that was extremely high for the daily demand of about 200 a day. Therefore, we should
have implemented a better line balancing for the production. Overall, we learned that
overpopulation would result in extremely high inventory overhead and the Q and R require to
be optimized to attain the low inventory costs needed.
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