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ItemAn application of the savings method to a vehicle routing problem(Assumption University Press, 2017)This paper presents the authors’ research study of the vehicle routing practices of a transport company. This firm provides the delivery of Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCBA) and electronics components to customers in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region and neighboring provinces in the Central and East regions of Thailand. Currently, traditional truck management is being practiced: this lacks a systematic approach by using only personal experience information.The inefficient truck management problem in this case study was identified as a Capacitated Vehicle Routing Problem (CVRP). Therefore, the ‘Savings Method’ designed by Clarke and Wright (1964) was applied to solve the CVRP, using Excel worksheets. The method consists of four procedures. Firstly, identify the distance matrix from the depot to all customers. Secondly, identify the savings matrix. Thirdly, assign customers to the vehicles or routes, in which the highest value is the criteria for selection. Lastly, sequence the customers within these routes. The research results show that the Savings method reduces the total number of vehicles usage and total distribution distances by 16.46% and 15.70% respectively, and increases truck utilization of truck capacity by 19.70%. These results create significant cost saving for the company.
ItemBusiness process improvement of customer service for an eBay jewelry company(Assumption University Press, 2017)Increasingly buyers shun retail shops in favor of online sellers. The focus firm in this research is a gemstone wholesale company which sells its jewelry on eBay. It had an inefficient operation process that was causing the company’s late delivery rate to exceed 4.00%, which was the new standard eBay requirement. The research objective of this project is to identify the root cause of this major problem, find solutions and implement improvement action. The Business Process Improvement model (BPI) was chosen to improve the internal process to align with the dispatch time agreement with eBay. Primary data was collected through interviews of relevant workers and secondary date from the investigation of company documents. Process Mapping, Fishbone Diagram, and Pareto Analysis were used to analyze and improve the process. The research identified two major causes of the late delivery rate, namely poor invoice management and insufficient shipment dates, so that the operation process lead time took over 7 days against the eBay requirement of only 2 days. The research methodology then developed a to-be business process for improving the delivery rate. This led to a significantly reduced rate, which although not achieving the eBay requirement would soon achieve this.