POMS is another one of this incredibly huge conferences where you need to be lucky – or plan it well – to actually meet people outside of the main track you are attending. The quality overall is impressive, pity that most presentations are based on abstracts only.
Different from many other conferences is all the career advice – there are lots of teaching-related tracks, actual career advice tracks, and probably best, there was even a one for women in operations management on how to manage life and career together. More of these, please! (Luckily, also INFORMS has a similar community already, though I am not too convinced of the name “WORMS“.)
If there is anything to complain about, it’s the scam with the mini-conferences that everyone thinks they paid for but are then asked to pay for even more. Apparently even the organisers of these were ripped off! It’s not as if the conference hadn’t been pricy already without that… and the catering is, well:
Posted in Conferences, Humanitarian supply chains, Innovation, Operations management, Research & Methodology, Reverse Logistics, Service management, Supply Chain Management, Sustainability
Tagged career advice, conference, operations, Operations management, poms
Buying a car? Another way to look at the reverse logistics question is to include potential failure rates in the purchasing decision, e.g. via including maintenance and repair operations during the product life cycle. As a practical example, “autojen vikasarja” tests for flaws and failures of different models, new and used cars alike. The principle behind it? Total cost of ownership applied to cars…
“Reverse logistics” or “product returns” and “returns management”? “Disposal” or “waste management”? We are talking about the same issues, just use different terms whether we are at a marketing conference (hence product returns) or a logistics one (where we go as far as to talk about closed loop supply chains). In any case, marketers have now also opened their channels for more research on disposal, from it’s cultural and lifestyle elements to products and processes. So the Journal of Consumer Behaviour now calls for papers for a special issue “Unpacking disposal“. Deadline Mar 31, 2009.
Here is a brief piece on Reverse Logistics I wrote for Supply Management, published in their issue from 31st January 2008.
Is Reverse the Top Gear in logistics?
Manufacturing ‘strategies’ and -approaches such as flexible specialisation, lean and agile are very often explained relative to the good old mass-production and Henry Ford’s model T.
In essence, from push to pull.
At the same time, we may ask whether today’s products are inteded to bye easy and cheap to repair, which was one of the cornerstones in Ford’s ideas?
It happens that things go break down, sometimes of reasons that are beyond the control of the user/consumer.
What do you do when a 14 month old mobile phone breaks down? Or when a service light starts blinking in your car? Or when a wheel falls of your kids toy car? Do you safe old stuff for spare parts?
What happened to products that are easy and cheap to repair?
It can sometimes be difficult to leave the research topics behind us.
Today, I was buying a digital camera, and the search was down to two similar models of different brands. The price was identical. The first salesperson we asked recommended brand A. Another salesperson came by, and he got the same question. The firm answer was: B.
After a long day of shopping, you either trust your own instinct, or rely upon the personal opinion of the salesperson that was the last one to give you an advice.
Or…you ask the reverse logistics question: About the return rate of the product, and in particular, the reason(s) why customers would be returning the product.
The salesperson started shaking his head, saying “Ohh no….no no no….you don’t want to buy this one” pointing at camera B and looking us straight into our eyes.
The decision was made.
I wonder what the reaction will be if the reverse logistics question is the first thing you ask when a friendly salesperson approaches you?
In many textbooks and almost every major (and minor) student assignment, I read about the ever fierce competition in many industries, fueled by globalisation and IT, and of course, this does put logistics & supply chain management into the centre of the Universe.
I had one of these crazy moments of thougth at the LRN 2007 conference last week during one of the sessions. During the last 20 or 30 years, many business models in logistics call for integration and substantial reduction of redundancies (cut down inventories, etc). Well, so far so good.
Recent vocabualry in the SCM literature includes resiliance, risk, robustness, sustainability, product recalls, reverse logistics.
Is this due to the fact that the business environment is changing fast? Or can it be the case, that many ‘business models’ do not allow realistic (e.g. in terms of time and cost) reaction to changes? Further, has this new vocabulary developed as a consequence of the incompletness of the ‘old business models’, that have left businesses with a vulnerable design of their supply chain?`
In other word, and as stated in a previous blog: Is supply chain management the solution to a particular problem, or maybe the problem itself?
Yes, not recycling, but freecycling.
Consumers are now involving themselves into reverse logistics via an Internet based platform: uk.freecycle.org
“Freecycle groups match people who have things they want to get rid of with people who can use them” and the objective is to
“keep usable items out of landfill”.
Here is an interesting blog on recycling that also contains some practical information, especially for those who live and work in the UK.