This order products to be delivered at home

This
paper seeks to introduce a variant of the vehicle touting problem which consist
in a group of retail stores that are served from a distribution center using a
fleet of vehicles. There is great potential in transportation since it has been
a key element of the competition between organizations due to the fact that it
can represent 10%–20% of the cost of any product. The VRP is part of the many
operational decisions within the supply chain, it consists on the distributions
of goods to fulfill the demand of customers to and from depots and customers,
such goods are transported using a fleet of vehicles where the main objective
is to minimize the total travelling cost of all vehicles. The main motivation
of the paper is the distribution system found in most retail stores that have
an omnichannel business model which recently with e-commerce has been a global
trend and an important tool for every business worldwide. It is shown that the
retail industry has come from multi-channel towards omni-channel, where
customers can choose to order products to be delivered at home or to physically
come to the store and shop. Normally stores are being supplied by one fleet of
vehicles and then fulfilling the demand of the customers with another one which
comes with increasing transportation costs, more inventories and delays
inventory turnover. The proposition is to use the same vehicle fleet to fulfill
both demands. The authors expressed the main contribution of the paper as: “A
new variant of the VRP emerging in omni-channel distribution systems. This
problem has practical applications in most retail distribution systems. The
mathematical formulation of the described problem is presented with two
solution approaches to solve the problem (two-phase heuristic and multi-ant
colony (MAC) algorithm)”.

1.       Literature review

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The central
conclusions from the reviewed literature include: that the main difference between
the multi-channel and the omni-channel retailing remains on the focus on the
distribution of the products, for multi-channel whereas the omni-channel
retailing targets on the integration of the channels and unification of the
information and the customer experience through all channels. The proposed
problem is a combination between the structures of the capacitated vehicle
routing problem and de pickup-delivery problem and this paper was the first
proposition for such combination.

The authors choose to
solve the problem in two phases utilizing the MAC algorithm approach

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