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A Quality Assessment of Motor Carrier Maintenance Strategies: An Application of Data Envelopment Analysis

Patricia M. Poli and Carl A. Scheraga
Quarterly Journal of Business and Economics
Vol. 40, No. 1 (Winter, 2001), pp. 25-43
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40473314
Page Count: 19
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
A Quality Assessment of Motor Carrier Maintenance Strategies: An Application of Data Envelopment Analysis
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Abstract

This study seeks to extend the literature examining the relative importance of service and cost as determinants of the transportation choice decision in the motor carrier industry by investigating the quality of maintenance operations. The high replacement cost of equipment and its increasing age contribute to the need for efficient, high quality maintenance operations. Of particular importance in this study is the perception of the safety of the carriers' service measured by the Quest for Quality's equipment quality rating. Data envelopment analysis is used to identify the causes of inefficiencies in maintenance strategies and their impact on firms' quality rating performance. A sample of 160 observations is examined over the period 1990-1997. We find that only 8 percent of the observations are classified as efficient with respect to the maintenance operation as it affects the quality of service. We determine that significant reductions and changes in the maintenance cost mix are needed to attain the quality level demanded by shippers.

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