Posted: August 12th, 2013
A virtual organization for the purpose of reverse logistics would provide an appropriate platform for staff to work from their respective locations. Reverse logistics essentially is termed as the use of already used material with an aim of recapturing the value of products or for proper disposal. Hence, a virtual organization would provide the development of approaches in a network for the collection of already used products for recapturing value or proper disposal. Because of the presence of numerous functions involved in reverse logistics such as movement of goods from their final destinations, refurbishing process and remanufacturing, sales and management of the surplus products, a virtual organization would provide the much-needed platform for coordination and control of such activities for maximum economic profits.
As part of supply chain management, the necessity of a virtual organization is due to the need to ensure coordination of activities as well as the movement of goods and services within the chain of supply (Bloomberg, LeMay, & Hanna, 2002). A virtual organization would provide customers to an organization with a platform for return of defective products or inadequate services rendered. Therefore, it provides a clear line of communication to ensure precision in terms of the service delivery. This also ensures achievement of customer satisfaction and addressing of consumer complaints. Reverse logistics could be termed as a means of ensuring address for consumer complaints to attain higher levels of customer satisfaction. A virtual organization may enable coordination of similar activities in different regions in which the real organization engages in operations.
Reverse logistics also provides for the movement of goods from one position to another (Bloomberg, LeMay, & Hanna, 2002). Hence, a virtual organization should provide for communication and subsequent coordination of activities between points of transit of commodities. A virtual organization would also provide for the organization with an opportunity to remarket products for eventual disposal of products, which have been refurbished or returned by customers because of defects of insufficiency in satisfying their needs and wants. A virtual organization is considered as a collection of independent partners within a network of the organization. Hence, the virtual aspect of an organization provides for communication and coordination of activities between these partners (Gudehus, & Kotzab, 2009). This is the most crucial aspect, which ensures maximization of benefits from the coordinated activities of the partners.
Main functions of reverse logistics entail web-based enquiries by customers, suppliers and producers, repackaging, refurbishing, lease returns, remarketing as part of disposal programs and warranty returns by the customers. Thus, given the diversity of such functions there is a dire need for coordination between them to ensure that all partners are satisfied and able to maximize benefits. Hence, development of a virtual organization is initiated by the initial identification of the various partners, dependent or independent to the organization. Hence, this provides the need for the provision of infrastructure for communication and coordination of activities between the partners (Gudehus, & Kotzab, 2009).
The second aspect in the establishment of clear lines of communication and establishment of channels, which would also provide partners an opportunity to have their needs fulfilled in time. Hence, a good line of communication inculcates the presence of trust in such relationships, which are conducted by virtual means such as through the internet and telephone calls (Camarinha-Matos, Afsarmanesh, & Ollus, 2005). A high level of trust is paramount to ensure that all the partners fulfill their respective roles for overall achievement of the reverse functions in an organization. In addition, the delegation of roles, responsibilities and tasks provides the partners with the drive to ensure achievement of such goals for the respective benefits. Contractual agreements with partners are also a means of ensuring that the virtual organization relies on such contracts for achievement of goals and objectives.
Additionally, there is also the development of virtual teams, which are essentially structures used in the virtual organization. Virtual teams are driven by the need to achieve specific common goals. However, achievement of such common goals identified usually results in dissolution of the virtual team. A team may be tasked with the collection of products form various regions that an organization engages in operations. Hence the collection of products from various points for delivery to the organization
Support of the virtual organization should be driven by the presence of adequate finances for support of the organization. Additionally, precision in terms of the roles and duties is essential (Camarinha-Matos, Afsarmanesh, & Ollus, 2005). This is provided through the development of clear channels of communication with the management as well as between the partners. Such ensures that all the partners are able to gain from the interdependence on each other. Communication stands out as an important element in operations of a virtual organization. Hence, the establishment of a virtual organization should be coupled by the presence of elaborate channels and communication infrastructure.
Conclusively, operating a virtual organization is achieved through the establishment of partners. This is aimed at ensuring that all the availed tasks and repsonsb8ilities are distributed or delegated in an equal manner. In addition, this is also a means of ensuring specialization of labor in that partners receive roles based on their capabilities and expertise. A virtual organization in relation to reverse logistics ensures that all the various aspects of logistics are achievable through the presence of a clear line of communication.
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