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The development and testing of the research model provides answers to the research questions. Based on these empirical results, the effectiveness of the electronic SC is in question given the type of replenishment. The research model suggests that the effectiveness of a replenishment method depends on a number of factors. The model tests these differences with regard to inventory level (on-hand quantity), order cycle (on-order quantity), and availability (total units sold). More specifically, one would hope to see lower inventory levels, which would affect the on-order quantity, for the website replenishment of the organization versus outside vendor replenishment. It is also hoped that total units sold using the organization's replenishment option will continually increase as the website becomes more widely known.
In testing the research model, some of the above stated differences are supported. First, in the organization's electronic (SC) retailing via a website, inventory level and on-order quantity are not currently lower for the organization's replenishment. This denotes that initially the organization may be holding more of its items on-hand because of unclear demand (forecasting). However, by holding more items and placing orders, the organization's replenishment procedure does produce more total units sold. These total units sold have increased gradually over the seven-month period of study (starting at the initial website launching). Also, it has been stated that the total units sold depends on the product category. Electronic items seem to be less risky to consumers and therefore are moving more quickly on the website. However, this is not a reflection of the company holding more of these items in inventory or placing more orders for the high moving products. It appears that the organization still has a learning curve when it comes to forecasting for website (SC) replenishment.
Future research should seek to expand this study in other organizations at various stages of implementing website retailing (electronic SC replenishment), including comparisons with benchmarks. This organization, as well as others, can be further analyzed over time as they settle into the e-commerce arena.
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