Sustainable food supply Chains: the impact of automatic replenishment in grocery stores
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionProduction planning & control (Print). 2018, 29 (2), 106-116. 10.1080/09537287.2017.1384077
The aim of this study is to empirically investigate the impact of automatic replenishment on food waste metrics in grocery stores. The work has been designed as a case study focusing on the replenishment process among various stores and a single warehouse. Food waste metrics of products ordered through an automatic replenishment program are compared against products ordered manually. Specifically we contrast food waste, remaining shelf life and availability at the stores for a variety of products with different shelf life. The study suggests that by utilising an automatic replenishment program the stores can reduce their level of food waste by up to 20% and their products have a longer remaining shelf life without compromising on-shelf availability. The study also indicates that the impact of the automatic replenishment program is dependent on the product’s shelf life. Those products with a shelf life of between 51 and 110 days experience the highest impact, while products with a shelf life below 30 days experience a low or even negative impact. The study extends the current understanding of automatic replenishment programs. The key point for practitioners is to apply appropriate replenishment programs according to the product characteristics and especially the shelf life.