The effect of asset visibility on managing returnable transport items

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to propose a framework of the potential benefits of asset visibility in the context of returnable transport items (RTI), and uses the framework to examine the effect of asset visibility on the management of RTI systems.
Design/methodology/approach – A combined case study and simulation approach was used. A case study was performed to identify and understand how an existing RTI system is managed, while discrete-event simulation was the method chosen to explore the potential effect of asset visibility.
Findings – The paper identifies cost aspects of implementing and operating RTI systems which may be influenced by asset visibility. The study implies that significant cost savings can be achieved through increased asset visibility, and highlights the importance of shrinkage and its impact on the operating cost of an RTI system. However, asset visibility alone is not enough; it requires proper actions and continuous management attention in order to attain the savings.
Research limitations/implications – The results are derived from a single, combined case and simulation study.
Practical implications – The combined methods proved to be an efficient way of assessing and quantifying the potential effect of asset visibility along with the associated uncertainty in the results.
Originality/value – The paper provides an improved understanding of the effect of asset visibility on the management of RTI systems and complements existing visibility literature.


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Sidor (från-till)799-815
TidskriftInternational Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management
StatusPublished - 2007
Peer review utfördJa