Systems View

Management Science/Operations Research Consulting

 

Process
Improvement

 

Project Description

Bookstores, especially independents, face increasing economic pressures including reduced margins, competition from large chains and the internet, and shorter product life cycles. We analyzed the "back room" processes of book stores belonging to the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) to find ways to improve ordering, receiving, and returns. Store interviews and surveys provided the data to develop simulation models of the "as-is" processes. A second set of simulations investigated different "to-be" scenarios that could result from application of new technologies or processes generated from the interviews and a best practices survey. Finally, a cost-benefit analysis determined the most viable options. The analysis showed that implementation of an industry-wide Collaborative, Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment system for improved inventory control and planning would provide the greatest benefits.

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