Business Logistics Management

SCMT 322 – Business Logistics Management – Case Assignment Growing Pains: A Case Study for Large-Scale Vehicle Routing

Objectives: • Experience an authentic logistics analysis that requires ingenuity and effort. • Practice using technical tools (for mapping and routing.) • Deeper learning about logistics terminology, issues, trade-offs, practices, etc… • Further development of report-writing skills.

Resources: • The Case will be posted on Blackboard; the original source is here (I will post everything you

need on Blackboard, though). • Excel tool posted on Blackboard (there will also be demonstrations provided by the

Instructor in class, and instructional videos posted on Blackboard.) • Google Maps (or other mapping software. Other useful sites will be suggested during the

assignment.) • Use your course Instructor for help.

Due: Monday Oct 29th, 11 p.m. (hand in hard copy in our drop box). Your report should stand alone (i.e. the reader does not need to consult your Excel or any other files to get the information that they need). Please also submit an Excel file on Blackboard (one per group) that has your routes in the requested format (see ‘Notes’ section, on next page). The Instructor will use these to check that all constraints were met, but otherwise will not grade the Excel workbook.

Group work: Group work is encouraged (please let me know your group membership at least a week before the due date), but must be fully collaborative. Working individually is permitted, as well.

This assignment would probably work best if done by three students with different skills – a creative graphics/visuals leader, an organizer/report writer and steward, and an analytical/technical leader. The Instructor can help facilitate group formation and give suggestions for how to approach the assignment.

Requirements (as described in the case): • Create a baseline routing plan [we will do Wednesday deliveries only] that delivers to all

Wednesday locations and meets all constraints (including max driver work and drive hours before returning to the DC, vehicle capacity, delivery hours and first delivery timed for 8:00 a.m.). If any constraints are violated, a case must be made for why (some may be easier to justify than others); as well, balance between routes is desirable, but may not always be practical – judgement is required here. Your baseline plan will include the total miles

http://pubsonline.informs.org/doi/abs/10.1287/ited.2016.0167cs

required, total drivers/vehicles required, and individual route schedules. “Ball park” targets for the number of vehicles and miles will be given in class.

• Discuss the “nature” of the problem, so that NHG management is informed and can effectively evaluate the proposal that MAD provides. You should discuss what you think is important information for the management team, but this should at least include considerations like how you would characterize the routes and what the work would be like for the driver(s), which constraints seem to be more prominent, any data issues or other assumptions you think are important, etc.

• Discuss the possibility of using a regional LTL (“less-than-truckload”) carrier to make deliveries to any geographical outliers, in terms of benefits and drawbacks.

Format: • Approximately 1,500-2,000 words; 1.25” margins, 1.5 spacing 12 pt font • Title page, headings and subheadings, etc. Make it easy to navigate. • The main body of the report will have your discussion and summary table(s). This should be

thorough enough to instill confidence in the client that you understood what they needed and gave them such, but don’t overwhelm them with excessively detailed tables and/or descriptions, save that for the…

• …Appendix, which will have the detailed tables and diagrams. It is crucial that these be clear/concise. (More information is provided in the ‘Notes’ section).

• Include an introduction (“tell them what you’re going to tell them”, and a closing (“tell them what you told them”) paragraph.

Notes: • All constraints and assumptions are as per the case. For example, all distances are in miles

and we assume 40 miles/hour when calculating drive times. (There are many more assumptions in the case, be sure that you understand them all.)

• Your report should include any additional assumptions or recommendations. • The Appendix will include your individual routes (as per the required format) and any

diagrams or other tables that you see fit. • Keep in mind the context – a 3PL (third party) is going to be providing a proposal to NHG,

and NHG wants to be informed/prepared so that they can evaluate it properly. This requires that we do some routing ourselves to understand the nature of the problem – can it be done in the minimum number of trucks the volume requires, is there much difference between different routing alternatives, etc…

Grading: The assignment will be graded out of 10, and will be based on the following general criteria: 1) Meets the needs of the client (as per the “Requirements” and “Notes” described above, and

guidance provided in class and posted on Blackboard). 2) Presentation – easy to read and understand. 3) Original thinking and creativity.

  • Objectives:
  • Resources:
  • Due:
  • Group work:
  • Requirements (as described in the case):
  • Format:
  • Notes:
  • Grading:

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