Supply Chain Analysis of E-Tailing Versus Retailing Operation – Business Case


Operations and Supply Chain Management

Date of this version


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Electronic commerce, supply chain management, hybrid retail supply chain, customer service management, Six Sigma, DMAIC, FMEA, Monte Carlo simulation


The swift growth of e-commerce or e-tailing as a consumer retail channel has made it a serious competitor to traditional retail channels and is changing consumers’ purchasing behaviour. The purpose of this case study, based on Target and Amazon.com, is to analyse the attributes of traditional retailing, e-tailing, and hybrid supply chain models to form conclusions about the feasibility of an idealised supply chain model for the future. An integrated and generalised modelling framework is used that incorporates Six Sigma – define, measure, analyse, improve, control methodology leveraging various tools, including process flow maps, cause and effect diagram, performance efficiency metrics, failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA), and Monte Carlo simulation. Based on this analysis and research, the conclusion is that the idealised supply chain of the future may evolve into a hybrid supply chain, which includes both e-tail and retail channels. The main recommendations from this study include assessing the risks of migrating to such a hybrid supply chain and to leverage the recommended actions provided in the hybrid FMEA. To facilitate more effective and mature processes, this study can guide researchers in exhaustive empirical evaluations of hybrid supply chains, gather experiences and lessons learned for practitioners.

Published in

Enterprise Information Systems Journal

Citation/Other Information

10(6), 639-665