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Academic Background to the research question

Discuss about the Research Proposal for Inventory Management.

Inventory management is referred as the process for ordering, storing and using of the raw materials and various types of the finished products. The inventory of the company is identified as one of the most valued asset. In terms of the retail, manufacturing and food industry and other intensive sectors the core of the business products is considered with the various types of the needs which are based as per requirement of the customer. The main question of the research has been established with the various types of the consideration which is seen to be responsible for the present problems of the inventory in Mainfreight, Hong Kong (Cheng and Kumar 2015).

In general, the efficient inventory management is maintained with the size of the business. To ensure smooth functioning of the inventory, companies in general are depicted to restock certain items and consider the price which is to be paid for selling. Several types of the small business are depicted to track the stock manually and assess the stock on manual basis and at the same time determine the reorder points and quantities by using an ERP software. The large corporations are further seen to manage the inventory as per the methods which are seen to be considered with the aspects related to using customizable software as a service like (SaaS) applications. In addition to this, the management of the inventory is also determined with the level of the inventory which is maintained as per the types of the organization. In case the inventory is seen to be maintained in a 3PL organization then the level of inventory can be considered with factors which are based on the application of the maintenance of the inventory as per the ABC analysis (Guillaume, Thierry and Zieli?ski 2017). Therefore, these types of the inventory management have a key role with the associated research question selected for the research topic. It needs to be also identified that the main consideration for the management of the inventory is seen to be based on the identification of the root cause of the problem in inventory management. Typically, the causes of the issues related to the inventory management is seen to be based on inbound logistics, outbound logistics or the material management monitoring through ERP. The companies which are seen to comprise of a complex supply chain and manufacturing process is seen to be involved with the different types of the problems of the inventory management which is considered with the two major inventory management problems namely “just-in-time and materials requirement planning” (Ptak and Schragenheim 2016).

What is main problem associated to the inventory management in Mainfreight, Hong Kong which causes delay in shipment?

The main form of the objectives of the research are listed as follows:

  • Identification of the present techniques of the invetory management adopted by Mainfreight, Hong Kong
  • Recognizing the present problems in the inventory management in Mainfreight, Hong Kong which causes delay in shipment
  • Application of the just-in-time and materials requirement planning for the identified issues
  • Suggestion for future development of the inventory management

The main form of the problems related to the logistics and inventory management is determined with the study conducted related to Just in Time and Material Requirement Planning. The JIT is a concept associated to manufacturing originating in Japan in 1960s and 1970s by Toyota MotoCorp which contributed to the development of the organization.  This method has been depicted to be ideal in terms of the various types of the factors which are seen to be contributing to the inventory management of the organizations. This method is conducive for the companies to save significant amount of money and at the same time reduce waste by keeping only the required inventory for selling. This approach is also beneficial in   reducing the storage and insurance costs and include the cost of liquidation or the surplus inventory (Rajapakshe et al. 2017). The JIT inventory management has been able to significantly allow the companies in managing inventory during risky ventures. In case the demand increases unexpectedly, the manufacturer may not be able to source the inventory to meet the various types of the demands of the customer which may be damaging the reputation of the customers and driving the business towards competitors. A small delay in the shipment may also lead to big problem in the consignment, in case the JIT concept is not adopted by the company (Segerstedt 2017).

Research Question

Material requirement planning is considered as a “production planning, scheduling, and inventory control system” which is used for managing of manufacturing process. Majority of the MRP systems are seen to be software based which can be conducted with the conduction of MRP hand. The main intention of the MRP planning is seen to be intended to meet three major objectives which are depicted in terms of ensuring the availability of the materials for production and products available for the delivery of the services to the customers (Jacobs, Chase and Lummus 2014). In addition to this, the various aspects of the material management have been further seen to be depicted with different type of the considerations which are seen with maintaining the lowest possible product level and in terms of the level maintained in the store. Some of the various types of the other considerations in the plan for the manufacturing is based on the activities related to the delivery schedules and purchasing of the activities. The scope of the MRP is further depicted with the no. of items required, total number of quantity and the time consideration (Stadtler 2015).

The material requirement planning is identified with the sale forecast dependency, which means manufacturers needs to have an accurate record for sales for accurate planning of the inventory and supply the materials in a timely manner. To ensure appropriate strategy for material management needs to be considered with the MRP inventory system which may be able to ensure procurement of the raw materials in an appropriate manner (Vanpoucke, Vereecke and Wetzels 2014).

The employer has guided me in various aspects of knowing about the present inventory management in the company and the issues which Mainfreight, Hong Kong is facing at present. Some of the different types of the operational issues at present is seen to be discerned with the various type of the problems which are based delay caused in the shipment of the items. It needs to be also considered that the issues of the Mainfreight is seen to be based on delay in the shipment due to the congestion in the port and increasing demand of the freight transportation. The proposal given by the employer is based on the suggestions as per the solutions which needs to be considered with the various perspectives of the present issues of the inventory management and the delay for the shipment (Paopongchuang and Yenradee 2014).

The employer allowed to get acquainted to the process of managing of the inventory which is based on the flow of the stock. I was able to know about the placing of the purchasing order for the material. The next process was explained with the preparation of the purchasing invoice, settlement of the payment and account payable. In addition to this, I was able to learn about the purchasing invoice process, settlement of the payment amount and total amount payable. The employer also guided me with the process followed for the stock request and stock out. In addition to this, I was also able to know about the stock enquiry made for the production and do a quality inspection (Economic Planning Unit 2017). The overall process of the stock options was followed with the consideration of the quality inspection and providing various types of the provisions for stock in options. In addition to this, the guidance of the employer was conducive in knowing about the shipping process of the materials and settlement of the deal with the inclusion of the various types of the factors which are based on the Inventory Management Process. The different concepts of the inventory management were further gathered with the inclusion of the identification of the inventory management workflow and creating the flowchart for easy understanding of the inventory management process (Matthijsse, De Leeuw and Hox 2015).

Research Objectives

Some of the various types of the guide provided to me were seen to be considered with the various types of the aspects of the study which are seen to be based on delay in the preparation of bill of lading which in many cases led to the problems associated to the inventory management. In several types of the other aspects the problems associated to the inventory management was also considered with the non-compliance or the legal formalities of the importer’s country. This has led to several concerns directly related to the procurement of the raw materials, warehousing, quality check and shipping process (Systems and Management 2015).

The important nature of the limitation of the obtaining of the data from the specified source is seen to be taken into consideration as per the various types of the concerns which are based on the problems associated to the 3PL concerns. However, there may be numerous issues related to the inventory management in manufacturing organizations which are not taken into consideration as per the scope of the project. These problems are further seen to be taken into regard as per the different types of the concerns which are based on the aspects of the collection of the information as per only sea freight. A major portion of the operation at Hong Kong at Mainfreight is performed using extensive agent network with sea transport. This is depicted with the transhipment operations done with shipping containers and freight needs. However, there may be several types of the operations which could has been seen to be included in the scope of road, rail and air transportation (Slack 2015). These are the limitation of the present study. Some of the different types of the other depictions of the study needs to be evaluated with the various types of the other aspects of the study which are seen to be based on the evaluation of the only JIT and material management (Diaz-Madroflero, Mula and Jiménez 2015).

There may be several types of the other methods which can be applied for the inventory management other than the use if the JIT method and material requirement planning, however these are not included in the present discourse of the study. Some of the different types of the other consideration of the study are further depicted in terms of the various types of the consideration which are taken into account the only with the Asian perspectives. The legal legislation of the freight movement and the techniques for the inventory management are seen to be based on the only consideration of the information as per the regulations followed in Asia. However, in general there may several types of the other regulations which may be applicable in the different types of the other countries which are not taken into consideration (Slack, Brandon-Jones and Johnston 2016). Some of the different types of the other perspectives of the limitation of the present study is based on the evaluation of the study which is considered as per the only proposing the solution for short-term and medium-term operations. The forecasting tools used for the long-term planning such as the application of the moving average, exponential smoothening is not taken into account. This is identified as the main problems of the organization in the long-term (Akinien? and Mankut&edot 2014). Moreover, the scope of the study has only considered the inventory items which are graded under the normal items. There may different nature of the hazardous cargo which may be facing the different types of the problems in terms of the reordering and stocking process which are excluded in the present discourse of the study. It needs to be also seen that the various types of the other problems of the organisation needs to be determined as per consideration of the issues which are based on the geographical locations of the ports. However, this has been excluded from the present perspective of the study (Journal, Operations and Management 2016).

Analysis of the published data

The quantitative data collection process will be based on the present employees of the Mainfreight. This data will be included with the various types of the responses collected from the employers and the mangers of the Mainfreight. It needs to be further seen that the different types of the inclusion of the information of the quantitative data needs to be also based on the various types of the information which are available in the annual report published by the company. The various nature of the quantitative data needs to be taken into account with the managers and the employees of Mainfreight. Quantitative data collected from the personnel of the organization will be considered with the survey conducted from the employers and the managers. The research on the inventory problems from the quantitative data will be proceeded with taking 50 employees and 10 managers of Mainfreight, Hong Kong.

The quantitative method for the data analysis is seen to be based on the application of the survey method. This method is conducive in getting to know about the data for doing regression analysis and descriptive statics. It needs to be also discerned that the various types of the factors for data analysis will be distributed as per the NOIR scale. The application of this will be seen in the preparation of the questionnaire for the study. Therefore, the overall distribution of the data will be based on the nominal scale questions, ordinal scale questions, Inderal scale questions and ratio scale questions. Some of the various types of the other aspects of the data analysis method needs to be discerned with the various type of reliability test. This is ensured in terms of appropriate sampling technique chosen for the study. To ensure that the response is relevant to the research questions the study will considered the responses from the employees of the Mainfreight Group based in Hong Kong.

The collection of the quantitative data will be based on the analysis of the questions focusing on the present problems in the inventory management. In addition to this, the different types of the other methods of analysis will be considered with the questions such as current inventory control measures in Mainfreight Group. The other questions which will be considered with the response of the present staff due to the changes pertaining to the implementation of the inventory control techniques such as JIT and Material Requirement Planning. The research questions will be also seen to be involved with the different types of the questions which needs to be based on the depiction of the perception of the reasons for the delay on the shipment. The main reasons for the delay in the bill of lading preparation process will be also considered with the quantitative data collection.

The main sources of the data collection for the qualitative research will be considered with the secondary research analysis. The various sources of the secondary research will be considered with the inclusion of the online journals, eBooks and previous research conducted on the relevant topic of the inventory management in the 3PL companies. The collection of the qualitative research analysis will be taken into assessment with the different types of the subjective judgement made on the research questions. The qualitative analysis will be conducive in assessing the data as per the various sources such as annual report published by the company. The important aspect of the qualitative analysis will be further based on the different nature of the empirical investigations for the observable phenomenon with observed data from computational techniques of the statistical data (Research Methodology 2017).

Employer assistance in undertaking the proposed research

The main analysis process for the assessment of the qualitative analysis will be based on the deep enquiry of the specific experiences with the main intention of exploring the narrative or the visual based data. The qualitative data analysis will be also based on the application of the thematic analysis of the research. This consideration will be able to focus on the inclusion of the different types of the research data which are seen to be based on Thematic analysis. This analysis is one of the most common qualitative research analysis techniques for addressing the research questions. The important nature of the emphasis with the data analysis as per this method will be seen to be based on the several types of the techniques which will analyse the patterns across the data set which important for answering specific research question. In addition to this, this method will be most appropriate for the qualitative approach as it is thought with the umbrella term for the various types of the alternative to the singular approach. The various nature of the analysis from the thematic approach will apply different concept of philosophical and conceptual assumptions. These are considered with the divergent procedure terms (Matthijsse, De Leeuw and Hox 2015).

The six phases of the thematic data analysis approach will be included with the evaluation of the data which are seen to be segregated into six processes. These phases will be applied with, firstly getting familiar with the various sources of the information from both primary and secondary sources. Secondly, the initial codes will be generated for performing the thematic analysis and addressing the research questions. Thirdly, the study will find the specific themes within the study which will be conducive in terms of addressing the various scope of the research related to the problem of the inventory management in Mainfreight Group, Hong Kong. Fourthly, the identified themes will be reviewed as per research question. In the fifth stage the themes will be defined as per the various types of the guidelines which will be related to the defining and naming of the themes. The last stage will be discerned with the preparation of the final report based on the consideration of the various stages of the data related to the thematic analysis (Vosloo 2014).

The main approach of the research will not comprise of any formulation of hypothesis. Therefore, we have selected inductive research approach for this study. The inductive research approach will start with the various types of observations/Tests. In addition to this, the next approach in the inductive process will be based on the inclusion of the pattern of the inductive research and final approach of the inductive research process will be considered with the inclusion of the problem statement of the report. The main consideration of the inductive research will be further based on the inclusion of the information will be beneficial for the interpretation of the various types of the results of the report which are based on the consideration of qualitative research aspects. In addition to this, there will be strong link of the inductive research process which will be present with the application of the information as per the evaluation of the previous conducted research phenomena. Therefore, the most identified benefit of the inductive research process will be based on the evaluation of the information as per thematic analysis of the report (Neuman 2014).

The important aspects of the research strategy are based on the consideration of the step by step plan of the of the research is considered with the systematic scheduling of producing quality results of the report. In addition to this, the research strategy will be focused on the fulfilment of the aims of the research.

In the first stage of the research strategy we will include the relevant analysis of the data as per the defined research strategy and the appropriate benchmark selected for the study. The specific research target will be based on the customer segment and feedback criteria. The research strategy will be able to act as the reference point for the evaluation of the various types of desired outcomes of the research. The second phase of the research will be considered with the identification of the gaps in the research in the exiting data. This will be considered with depicting the gaps in the existing datasets and making clear communication about the various type of the factors appropriate for the research question. The third phase of the strategy will be consisting of the departmental data for maximizing the resources. The last stage of the strategy will be considered with mapping of the customer’s life cycle (Kothari, Kumar and Uusitalo 2014).

The main strategy for the sampling of the data will be considered with the inclusion of simple random sampling. In addition to this, the different types of the nature of concepts of the simple random sampling will be conducive in terms of generating an unbiased opinion on the collected data for the research. The main consideration for this type of the sampling techniques will be able to allow the research to determine that the observed data by considering all the aspects encompassing the research. The total sample size for the study will be consisting of 60 respondents. The research on the inventory problems from the quantitative data will be proceeded with taking 50 employees and 10 managers of Mainfreight, Hong Kong. Moreover, questionnaire for the study will be different for the manager and employees.

The validity of the information obtained will be ensured with the consideration of the information from the various perspective of the data collected from the relevant secondary resources. To ensure that the various types of the secondary sources of information are valid in nature the research will ensure that the online journal and the eBooks are relevant to the problem of inventory management. Moreover, the secondary sources of the information published in the annual report will be ensured with the taking the latest annual report. Some of the other sources of the information will be taken into account with the company website. This source of the information is also depicted with the validity of the research. In addition to this, the research will be able to include with the various type other consideration of the data as per the appropriate previous studies conducted on the topic. The studies incorporated into the research paper were depicted with the different types of the issues considered with the problem of inventory management. In addition to this, the source of the information will be taken into account with the research which had been conducted between 2014 and 2018.

Some of the various types of the other aspects of the data analysis method needs to be discerned with the various type of reliability test. This is ensured in terms of appropriate sampling technique chosen for the study. To ensure that the response is relevant to the research questions the study will considered the responses from the employees of the Mainfreight Group based in Hong Kong.

The ethical perspectives of the research in terms of the collection of the primary data will be taken into account with only those individuals who are seen to be willing to participate in the survey. In addition to this, research participants have been included with the prior consent of the individuals. Some of the other ethical perspective of the research will be also considered with the   protection of the dignity of the subject and publication of information in the research study.  Some of the main from of the other ethical considerations of the research will be further included with the respect for anonymity and confidentially, respect for privacy of the information and beneficence do not harm. The increasing nature of the ethical consideration of the research will be regarded with the defending the rights of the subjects following an effective framework which will safeguard the problem related to human rights.

Conclusion

As per the identified issues in the proposal the important issues of the inventory management in the company is depicted in the context of application of concepts like JIT and MRP. In addition to this, the quantitative data collection methodology will be grounded on the present employees of the Mainfreight. The different nature of the responses (As per the NOIR scale) collected from the employers and the mangers of the Mainfreight will compose of the quantitative data. Furthermore, the data collected as per the quantitative process from the personnel of the organization will be considered with the survey directed from the employers and the managers. It is also seen that the study on the inventory problems from the quantitative data will be progressed by taking 50 employees and 10 managers associated to Mainfreight, Hong Kong. The qualitative research data collection will be followed with the secondary research analysis. It needs to also discerned that the different sources of the secondary study will be taken into account with the inclusion of the online journals, eBooks and previous research conducted on the relevant subject of inventory management in the 3PL companies. The qualitative research analysis will be also put into implementation with the different types of the subjective judgement made on the research questions. The research will be further followed with an inductive research approach. The inductive research will begin with the various types of observations/Tests. In the inductive process final approach of the research process will be considered with the presence of the main theory in the report. This research approach will be conducive for the qualitative research aspects.

References

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Cheng, J. C. P. and Kumar, S. (2015) ‘A BIM-based framework for material logistics planning’, 23rd Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction, pp. 33–42. Available at: https://www.iglc.net/papers/details/1158.

Diaz-Madroflero, M., Mula, J. and Jiménez, M. (2015) ‘Material requirement planning under fuzzy lead times’, in IFAC-PapersOnLine, pp. 242–247. doi: 10.1016/j.ifacol.2015.06.088.

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