Creating Sustainable Value in the Dutch Food and Beverage Retail Sector with Internet of Things

MADE Student Project

The retail environment has seen significant changes as a result of the digital transformation. It provides new opportunities for individual retailers, and the potential to be extremely disruptive, leading to the redesign of the entire retail sector and the emergence of new sustainable business models and value creation. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how IoT enables sustainable value creation in the F&B retail sector and proposes a framework to analyze IoT's impact and identify opportunities for sustainable value. The study aimed to develop a framework that classified and categorized relevant concepts to analyze how IoT advances sustainability in retail business models. Sampling was done in a qualitative manner, with interviews done with respondents from major retail stores in the Netherlands. From the interviews, several best practices arise in which IoT proves to play an important role in enabling sustainable value creation. The study identifies twelve best practices, divided into five overarching categories: waste management, stock management, asset management, delivery management, and transparency management, illustrated with tangible examples. They are all described accompanied by tangible examples, to illustrate what these best practices entail in the real world. Afterwards, the results from the literature were combined with the results based on the data, whereafter a framework for analysis is presented. The framework consists of four main components: IoT, barriers and drivers, the interpretation of a sustainable business model, and an overview of sustainable value creation. This framework and best practices are the main outcomes and aim to act as a tool to systematically identify and analyze opportunities to enhance sustainable value in retail. Future research should focus on developing practical guidelines that offer step-by-step instructions for managers to successfully implement IoT technologies and foster sustainable practices within their organizations. Finally, it is anticipated that IoT will gradually be used in several areas of the retail value chain. There will be many opportunities for further collaborative and data-driven initiatives once all retailers have adapted Iot in their business model.

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