Volume 5 - 2014

An AHP-MOLP Approach on Prioritizing Competitive Strategies Toward Sustainable Business (pp. 95-106)

Lanndon A. Ocampo, Eppie E. Clark
Incorporating sustainability in business processes has extended its scope from a supply chain or life cycle perspectives to highly, technical engineering designs of products and processes. Streamlining of opportunities for possible integration of sustainability and business process has shown an overwhelming increase of research interests in current literature. At the conceptual level, decision-making on areas that concern strategy or long term goals is a crucial task as it directs future status of the firm, at least in the area of sustainability. Thus, long term decisions must be critically designed to address future conditions of the firm. This paper explores how competitive dimensions influence the triple-bottom line. A hybrid approach using analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and multi-objective linear programming (MOLP) is shown in this paper to provide insights on such influences. A case study of a group of experts is shown in this work. Results show that businesses which maintain quality as their competitive advantage are likely sustainable as it impacts both economic and social performances. It is also shown that economic and social performances can be traded-off to increase environmental performance. The significance of this paper lies in presenting a range of alternative Pareto optimal solutions which are relevant in providing decision-makers a trade-off in sustainable business performance.

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Lean Information Management in Industrial Context: an Experience Based on a Practical Case (pp. 107-114)

Sofia Soares, Leonor Teixeira
The interest in the application of the Lean methodology to the administrative processes has been abruptly catching the attention of multiple managers. The need to reduce (direct or indirect) costs through the processes’ improvement, not only productively but also administratively, is gaining even more weight for organizations. Thus, there are many companies which are starting to reflect on their processes and on a way of becoming more competitive and more efficient. Through the improvement of the management information mechanisms, it is possible to make processes more efficient so that they can release resources for other activities. This is the context in which this project emerges, which aims to improve a Logistics process (customer service), using a simple, objective and functional solution with an immediate response to the elimination of waste in a decision making process. Behind this implementation, there is a whole study based on Lean methodologies that help to understand the project, to identify the improvements and to structure its conception.

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Quality Management of Special Purpose Buildings: A Case of National Forensic Laboratory in Ljubljana (pp. 115-122)

Rok Cajzek, Uros Klansek
Quality management represents an important and complex task in construction business. Difficulty of quality management in construction projects is often increased on account of different factors, such as short deadlines, limited resources, high level of market development and strict requirements for contractual quality achievement among many others. In this way, advantages of systematic quality management may particularly come to the fore in cases of construction of special purpose buildings. The aim of this paper is to present the quality management for such buildings based on specific implementation of ISO international standards for quality assurance. A case of National Forensic Laboratory in Ljubljana is addressed in the paper to show suitability of proposed quality management approach.

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Lean Six Sigma in Slovenian and Serbian manufacturing companies (pp. 123-130)

Dusan Gosnik, Ivan Beker, Klemen Kavcic
This paper deals with the Lean Six Sigma methodology used in Slovenian and Serbian manufacturing companies. The first part of the paper presents the Six Sigma, lean, supply chain and manufacturing environments. This is followed by a presentation of the results of the comparison study performed in Slovenian manufacturing companies in 2008 and Serbia in 2010. Experiences and trends from the Slovenia study in 2012 are also presented. The research presents the use of Lean Six Sigma in Slovenian and Serbian manufacturing companies, barriers and the key success factors of its implementation in the periods 2008-2010-2012. The results show many similarities. The main challenges in Slovenian and Serbian manufacturing companies are increased competition and customer product individualisation and focus on product quality. Managers in Serbia are often satisfied with the existing quality system and the results show that management in Serbia do not find Six Sigma a customer requirement. The third most common reason for not using Lean Six Sigma was a lack of human resources in the company to support its implementation.

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Selection of Supply Chain Performance Measurement Frameworks in Electrical Supply Chains (pp. 131-137)

Masoud Rahiminezhad Galankashi, Ashkan Memari, Ali Anjomshoae, Azanizawati Ma'aram, Syed Ahmad Helmi
Performance measurement plays an important role in today’s competitive market due to its direct effect on supply chain's profitability. Many approaches have been applied for evaluating performance of firms, including financial, operational and balanced frameworks. Companies peruse to find the best fit performance measurement framework due to a variety of existing approaches. The main significance of performance framework selection is its important role in strategic decisions where many factors related to the companies’ performance may be neglected. Due to the nature of electrical companies such as high uncertainty in demand, short life cycle of products and competitive market, they have to frequently assess their performance. A fit framework should be determined based on the characteristics of this competitive market. In this study, a multi criteria decision making (MCDM) approach is used to find a proper framework for performance evaluation in electrical companies. Analytical hierarchical process (AHP) has been applied to select the best performance measurement framework based on supply chain macro processes. Finally, performance metrics for the selected framework are determined.

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Training Based on Sequential Need Analysis Process in a Public Sector Organization (pp. 139-150)

Dr.C.Vijayabanu, C.Therasa
Training is very vital for any organization that aims at succeeding. Training assists in eliminating weaknesses and strengthening the skill and knowledge level. A well trained employee becomes more informed about the job and gets higher level of satisfaction. Training facilitate to hone the competency level of employees and training need analysis helps to identify the performance gap and assure the relevance of training. The success of any organization depends on appropriate use of human assets available in the organization. All the other assets could only be supplementary human to assets. The current study analyzes the importance of sequential process of pre training arrangements, need identification methods and its operational utility in public sector organization. The Sampling technique followed is ‘programme based’ and not on ‘individual based’. The primary data have been collected from employees. supervisors and executives were analyzed using various statistical tools like Chi square ,regression analysis and weighted averages. It is concluded from study that, proper need identification is the base for selecting right participants to training. The training coordinators are the link between the planning and execution part of training and receive the feedback information across the organization. Even though the training methods differ, its efficiency depends on the technique of training and trainers. The adoption of right training techniques makes the participants to attain their individual, group and organizational needs.

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A Backward Approach for Maximizing Net Present Value of Multi-mode Pre-emptive Resource-Constrained Project Scheduling Problem with Discounted Cash Flows Using Simulated Annealing Algorithm (pp. 151-158)

Aidin Delgoshaei, Mohd Khairol Ariffin, B. T. Hang Tuah Bin Baharudin, Zulkiflle Leman
In this article, a backward approach for maximizing net present value (NPV) in multi-mode resource constrained project scheduling problem while assuming discounted positive cash flows (MRCPSP-DC) is proposed. The progress payment method is used and all resources are considered as pre-emptible. The proposed approach maximizes NPV using unscheduled resources through resource calendar in backward mode. A simulated annealing algorithm is developed for solving experimental cases with 50 variables and results are compared with forward serial programming method. The remarkable results demonstrate that the proposed method can effectively improve NPV in MRCPSP-DC while activity splitting is allowed.

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Organizing for Mass Customization: Literature Review and Research Agenda (pp. 159-167)

Enrico Sandrin, Alessio Trentin, Cipriano Forza
Due to the increase in sophisticated customer needs and intense competition, mass customisation has increasingly drawn the attention of companies and scholars. The importance of transforming organisations by building mass customisation capability has long been acknowledged. However, the discussion is generally scattered and disorganised in the literature. This paper reviews the mass customisation literature with the twofold purpose of providing a comprehensive and structured overview of prior research on mass customisation organisational antecedents and highlighting future opportunities to research this topic. By using an established framework in the organisation design theory, the paper provides comprehensive coverage of organisation-related issues and a reference for future research opportunities.

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A Contribution toward a Research Agenda: Identifying Impact Factors of Mass Customization on Environmental Sustainability (pp. 169-178)

Golboo Pourabdollahian, Frank Steiner, Ole Horn Rasmussen, Stephan Hankammer
Mass customization (MC) has been broadly discussed as a potential business model for heterogeneous markets in the management literature. In market settings that are characterized by high levels of customer need heterogeneity, MC has to be considered as an economically viable strategy. However, it might not be sufficient to assess business models solely on the basis of economic indicators. Environmental problems and the exacerbating climate change have sparked a global debate about ecological thinking and sustainability. In this context, existing literature describes the need for strategies that are sustainable in terms of economic, social and environmental aspects. In accordance with this aspect, more and more authors claim that MC – besides being an economically attractive business approach – also carries the potential to be an environmentally and socially beneficial business model. This paper aims to identify potential impact factors of MC

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Flow Customizer: An algorithm to Design Lean-Flow Production Systems for Mass Customization (pp. 179-194)

Christos Chatzopoulos
The design of a production system in Mass Customization contexts is difficult due to product variability. This variability creates a complicated situation to engineers and Mass Customizers. This situation needs to be decoded, analysed and simplified. The present paper proposes an algorithmic procedure for designing a Lean-Flow Production System in Mass Customization contexts, named as Flow Customizer. The Flow Customizer adopts Continuous Flow Manufacturing and Demand Flow Technology approaches. They provide the fundamentals for designing demand driven continuous and mixed-model production flow. The outcome of the Flow Customizer is to create Production Modules that are connected to each other through Kanban system. The application of the algorithmic procedure is illustrated by an example that simplifies data taken from an actual context.

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