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A case study assessment of the operational performance of a multiple fresh produce distribution centre in the UK

A case study assessment of the operational performance of a multiple fresh produce distribution centre in the UK

Manikas, Ioannis and Terry, Leon A. (2009) A case study assessment of the operational performance of a multiple fresh produce distribution centre in the UK. British Food Journal, 111 (5). pp. 421-435. ISSN 0007-070X (doi:10.1108/00070700910957276)

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Abstract

Purpose – The aim of this research is to evaluate the current operational status of fresh produce
distribution centres in the UK and identify the nature and magnitude of the main logistical problems
within them.
Design/methodology/approach – A critical evaluation of space and time utilization efficiency
has been achieved by studying on-site operations in a multiple produce handling and short-term
storage facility in Kent, UK. The objective of this research was to measure operational
performance of distribution centres for agricultural perishables in terms of through-put and space
utilization.
Findings – The inefficient utilization of storage space within cold rooms has been identified and
quantified accurately, whilst the quality control task has been recognized as the most time-consuming
task and a critical cause for hindering product flow.
Practical implications – Despite their importance, distribution centres for fresh fruit and
vegetables have received little attention in the distribution and performance management literature.
Given the lack of robust performance measurement systems reported, the measurement of operational
performance in distribution centres for agricultural products was a challenge.
Originality/value – The measurement and improvement of the operational performance in each
linkage of the fresh produce supply chain – such as a distribution centre – can lead in achieving
higher levels of service at substantially reduced costs. A small number of publications are found in the
literature providing information on physical distribution of agricultural perishables, and how the key
features of perishability and voluminosity of the produce affect the distribution efficiency. In this
research, a step towards the improvement of the fresh produce distribution industry operational
performance has been attempted, by evaluating the current operational status of a leading multiple
produce distribution centre in the UK.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: fresh foods, distribution management, cold storage, operations management, supply chain management, United Kingdom
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Department of Systems Management & Strategy
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:11
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/4529

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