Full Project – Impact of fleet operations and management in the supply chain of goods with short shelf life
This research work empirically explored into the impact of fleet operations and management in the supply chain of goods with short shelf life. The objectives of this study were to examine how vehicles repair and maintenance influences delivery of goods with short shelf life, to establish the influence of vehicles fuel management on delivery of goods with short shelf life, to assess how vehicles tracking influences delivery of goods with short shelf life, to determine the influence of driver management and training on delivery of goods with short shelf life.. The scope of the study is suppliers of goods with short shelf life with particular emphasis on tomatoes suppliers in Nigeria, replacement theory was used as a framework. The research design used is survey, the population size for this study consists of suppliers of goods with short shelf life in Nigeria, and sample size consist of 20 organizations from the study population. 96 workers were used as sample size and cluster sampling technique was applied. Questionnaire was used as instrument of data collection. Data were collected from primary sources. From the analysis of the data, the findings revealed that vehicles repair and maintenance influences delivery of goods with short shelf life, vehicles fuel management influence delivery of goods with short shelf life, vehicles tracking influence delivery of goods with short shelf life, driver management and training influence delivery of goods with short shelf life. Following the findings, it was recommended that vehicle repairs and maintenance should be done regularly and properly to prevent loss of goods, fuel should be adequately managed to prevent unnecessary delay of transportation, vehicle tracking should be pursued by the organizations involved and route checked, drivers should be properly trained for the job. The study concludes that fleet operations has a significant impact on delivery of goods with short shelf life.
Keyword: fleet operations, supply chain management, Nigeria.
1.1. Background to the Study
Distribution is one of the four elements of the marketing mix. It involves making a product or service available for the consumer who needs it. Distribution is fundamentally concerned with ensuring that products reach target customers in the most direct and cost efficient manner. Although distribution as a concept is relatively simple, in practice distribution management involve direct range of activities (Armstrong; Adam; Denise and Kotler, 2014). Transport planning requires software support with the use of transportation management systems. The aim is to determine routes that will provide the highest overall utilization of vehicle capacity, with as many customers served and the largest amount of goods delivered, at the same time as the delivery times are minimized. Transportation has evolved with mankind and its importance to human life has necessitated the need to improve the means of travelling.
Effective transport management is an important activity in every successful organization in the logistics industry and for fleet management. Businesses that have the intention of excelling in their fleet management operations in today’s competitive market have to adopt effective and robust managerial strategies to coordinate resources that will facilitate their success and enable them to gain competitive advantage. The pressure to deliver faster and cheaper has made vehicle utilization an important aspect of fleet management (Jonsson 2008; Waters, 2009). Better vehicle utilization lowers operating cost through better planning.
Bask et al. (2010) observed that logistics and transportation services in developing countries have been changing and diverging into several service segments. The multiple services provided earlier by transport and trucking companies have been broken down into several specialized services to attain lower costs (cut-rate trucking) or to offer value-added services (warehousing, packaging, price ticketing and final assembly) through third-party and fourth-party arrangements and alliances (Bask et al., 2010). For any organization to be effective, there must be effective distribution management process to convey finished products from the manufacturer to the final consumers.
A sustainable fleet management strategy is one that aims to reduce environmental impacts through a combination of cleaner vehicles and fuels, fuel-efficient operation and driving; and by reducing the amount of road traffic it generates (Besiou, Martinez, and van Wassenhove 2012). In doing so the fleet minimizes fuel and vehicle costs and improves the safety and the welfare of employees especially in developing countries while reducing its exposure to the problems of congestion. According to Besiou et al., (2012) fleet management should not solely aim at fulfilling companies’ objective but should largely consider the environmental impact as well.
Fleet management has become necessary for transport service delivery systems whether in the public or private sector. Gitahi and Ogollah (2014) however assert that, the higher expectation of customers and their intolerance for unsatisfactory services have resulted into a competitive atmosphere for fleet operation to provide reliable and cost-efficient services.
This study evaluates the impact of fleet operations and management in the supply chain of goods with short shelf life. This is because a proper understanding of fleet operations will make managers of organizations plan properly on its distribution channels.
- Statement of the problem
The importance of effective distribution has no doubt been recognized in many organizations as the key factor for improved productivity. A systematic approach to distribution is needed to ensure that the organization maintain a good customer service.
Despite the various methods firms have researched and applied to minimize cost and maximize distribution of goods, fleet operation challenges still persist. Many local and global supply chains are not performing well and the inefficiency is emanating from the fleet management function whereby the delivery trucks are unreliable, low ICT application by the Third party logistics providers, ineffective vehicle routing and poor customer service. Olaguju (2015) argues that maintenance culture of vehicles in Nigeria is poor and the situation is worsened by the near illiterate mechanics and fake spare part vendors. Sankaran (2005) argues that poor vehicle routing is a key cause of delays while Niaz et al (2014) argue that many people are unaware of some newer Vehicle Routing Problems (VRP) topics.
Aside the numerous benefits of transportation, it still faces varied obstacles that hinders efficient service delivery and the achievement of overall competitive advantage. Inefficient fleet management results in customer compliant and bad image of the organization hence the study assessed the impact of fleet operations and management in the supply chain of goods with short shelf life.
- Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of the study is to evaluate the impact of fleet operations and management in the supply chain of goods with short shelf life. The specific objectives are as follows:
- To examine how vehicles repair and maintenance influences delivery of goods with short shelf life.
- To establish the influence of vehicles fuel management on delivery of goods with short shelf life.
- To assess how vehicles tracking influences delivery of goods with short shelf life.
- To determine the influence of driver management and training on delivery of goods with short shelf life.
1.4. Research Questions
The study seeks to answer the following questions:
- What is the effect of vehicles repair and maintenance on delivery of goods with short shelf life?
- What is the effect of vehicles fuel management on delivery of goods with short shelf life?
- How does vehicles tracking influences delivery of goods with short shelf life?
- What is the impact of driver management and training on delivery of goods with short shelf life?
- Research Hypothesis
The study is guided by the following hypotheses:
H0: Vehicles repair and maintenance does not influences delivery of goods with short shelf life.
H0: Vehicles fuel management does not influence delivery of goods with short shelf life.
H0: Vehicles tracking does not influence delivery of goods with short shelf life.
H0: Driver management and training does not influence delivery of goods with short shelf life.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study is essential in discovering the relevance and impact of fleet operations and management in the supply of goods with short shelf life. The knowledge on fleet operations revealed in this study will be useful to other scholars and practitioners who may wish to carry out studies on fleet operations in Nigeria. The study will unveil the challenges associated with fleet operations and supply chain management and proffer solutions to the challenges.
This study will be of benefit to;
The Academia: members of the academia will find the study relevant as it will also form basis for further research and a reference tool for academic works.
Government: this study will reveal to the government happenings in the industry. Formulation and implementation of policies based on this findings would ensure development in the industry.
Investors: investors especially those who may have research interest as it shall guide their private investment decisions.
- Scope of the Study
The study is focused on impact of fleet operations and management in the supply chain of goods with short shelf life using suppliers of tomatoes in Nigeria.
1.8. Operational Definition of Terms
The following terms have been defined operationally.
- Distribution: it entails making a product available for purchase by dispersing it through the market
- Fleet Management: is a function which allows companies relying on transportation for business to remove or minimize the risk associated with vehicle investment, improving efficiency, productivity and reducing their overall transportation and staff costs, providing 100% compliance with government legislation.
- Supply chain management: is the management of the flow of goods and services as well as end to end order fulfilment from point of origin to point of consumption.
1.9 Organisation of the Study
The study is divided into five chapters: chapter one embodies the introduction, background to the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions, research hypothesis, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study. The chapter two includes: the literature review, physical distribution: a conceptual clarification, distribution channels, structure of distribution channels, physical distribution management, theoretical framework and application of the theory to the study. Chapter three deals with the study area and method of study which includes: introduction, research design, population of the study, sample size and sampling technique, sources of data collection, instrument of data collection, validity and reliability of instrument and method of data analysis. Chapter four deals with the presentation of data, analyses and discussion of findings while the chapter five provides the summary, recommendations, conclusion, and recommendation for additional research on the topic.
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Full Project – Impact of fleet operations and management in the supply chain of goods with short shelf life