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Operationalising IoT for reverse supply: the development of Use-Visibility Measures

Parry, G, Brax, S, Maull, RS and Ng, I (2016) Operationalising IoT for reverse supply: the development of Use-Visibility Measures Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 21 (2). pp. 228-244.

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Purpose – Improvement of Reverse Supply Chains requires accurate and timely information about the patterns of consumption. In the consumer context the ways to generate and access such Use-Visibility data are in their infancy. This study demonstrates how the Internet of Things [IoT] may be operationalised in the domestic setting to capture data on a consumer’s use of products and the implications for Reverse Supply Chains. Design/methodology/approach - This paper uses an explorative case approach drawing on data from studies of six UK households. ‘Horizontal’ data, which reveals patterns in consumers’ use processes, is generated by combining ‘vertical’ data from multiple sources. Use processes in the homes are mapped using IDEF0 and illustrated with the data. The quantitative data is generated using wireless sensors in the home and qualitative data is drawn from online calendars, social media, interviews and ethnography. Findings – The study proposes four generic measurement categories for operationalising the concept of use-visibility: experience; consumption; interaction and depletion, which together address the use of different household resources. The explorative case demonstrates how these measures can be operationalised to achieve visibility of the context of use in the home. The potential of such use-visibility for reverse supply chains is discussed. Research limitations/implications -The explorative case study is based on an in-depth study of the bathroom which illustrates the application of Use-Visibility Measures (UVM) but provides a limited use context. Further research is needed from a wider set of homes and a wider set of use processes and contexts. Practical implications – The case demonstrates the operationalisation of the combination of data from different sources and helps answer questions of ‘why?’, ‘how?’, ‘when?’ and ‘how much?’, which can inform reverse supply chains. The four UVMs can be operationalised in a way that can contribute to supply chain visibility, providing accurate and timely information of consumption, optimizing resource use and eliminating waste. Originality/value – IDEF0 framework and case analysis is used to identify and validate four UVMs available through IoT data – that of experience, consumption, interaction and depletion. The UVMs characterise IoT data generated from a given process and inform the primary reverse flow in the future supply chain. They provide the basis for future data collection and development of theory around their effect on reverse supply chain efficiency.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
Parry, G
Brax, S
Maull, RS
Ng, I
Date : 2016
DOI : 10.1108/SCM-10-2015-0386
Copyright Disclaimer : © Parry, Brax, Maull, Ng. Published by Emerald Group Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 3.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial & non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at 3.0/legalcode
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 08 Apr 2016 16:35
Last Modified : 03 Oct 2017 11:33

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