Computerised Vehicle Routing and Scheduling in Brewery Distribution

  • Peter Eibl

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Over the past twenty years academics, industry commentators and practitioners in the field of physical distribution have been pre-occupied with the computational and technical side of computerised vehicle routing and scheduling (CVRS). Comparatively little research activity has been carried out on the user or management aspects of the technology.

    The current study aims to make up for this research deficit by investigating the adoption of CVRS technology in the British road freight industry. Moreover, the study evaluates the success of the software used in a strategic, tactical and operational role. The subject of the empirical analyses is the British brewing industry.

    The findings highlight the fact that CVRS technology is used by only a relatively small number of organisations despite being an effective means to improve the efficiency of transport operations and to provide substantial intangible benefits.

    The research also develops and empirically validates a model of CVRS in the organisational context. "Organisational context" means that the focus is on the organisational aspects rather than on the technical aspects of the technology. The model investigates relationships between variables and addresses two major research questions:
    What are the reasons leading to the apparent lack of CVRS system penetration - the "CVRS user-gap"?
    What are the key factors of successful implementations and subsequent use of the software?

    To overcome the "CVRS user-gap", the study suggests appropriate measures focusing on individuals' awareness of and attitudes towards the software rather than on improving the quality of the software. To ensure CVRS success, the potential users of CVRS should have a certain level of technological and organisational maturity. Emphasis needs to be placed on adequate system implementation.

    Special attention should also be given to three critical success factors:
    - the quality of the software;
    - the system operator's ability to use the software; and
    - the drivers willingness and ability to adhere to the computer-generated route
    Date of AwardJan 1995
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorDerek Smith (Supervisor)

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