Electronic inventory control systems as a competitive tool for e-retailers
Despite technological advances, some e-retail organisations are still struggling to improve their inventory control performance due to a limited application of such technology, a lack of relevant skills and inadequate supply chain management policies. This article explored how EICS can enhance the competitiveness of an online retailer. Adopting the qualitative paradigm, data was collected through semi-structured interviews. Consequently, data analysis entailed identifying common patterns within the responses and critically analysing them to achieve the research objectives. The findings revealed that with the implementation of EICS, the organisation could oversee inventory stock cycle transactions, perform a transparent inter-branch transfer and security control. Also, the vital competitive advantages, achieved through EICS implementation, include high customer satisfaction due to faster system services rendered than previously. Likewise, a rise in customer service efficiency and higher customer loyalty rates. In sum, this research supports the idea that EICS technology is an essential ingredient for e-retailers to thrive and compete. A major recommendation is for e-retailers to clearly define the attributes and metrics of their inventory control performance in line with inventory control objectives as the EICS competitiveness framework.
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