Task Assignment and Scheduling is a challenging Operations Research problem when there is a limited number of resources and comparatively higher number of tasks. The Cost Management team at Cummins needs to assign tasks based on a deadline and must prioritize some of the tasks as per business requirements. Moreover, there is a constraint on the resources that assignment of tasks should be done based on an individual skill level, that may vary for different tasks. Another constraint is for scheduling the tasks that should be evenly distributed in terms of number of working hours, which adds further complexity to this problem. The proposed greedy approach to solve assignment and scheduling problem first assigns the task based on management priority and then by the closest deadline. This is followed by an iterative selection of an available resource with the least allocated total working hours for a task, i.e. finding the local optimal choice for each task with the goal of determining the global optimum. The greedy approach task allocation is compared with a variant of Hungarian Algorithm, and it is observed that the proposed approach gives an equal allocation of working hours among the resources. The comparative study of the proposed approach is also done with manual task allocation and it is noted that the visibility of the task timeline has increased from 2 months to 6 months. An interactive dashboard app is created for the greedy assignment and scheduling approach and the tasks with more than 2 months horizon that were waiting in a queue without a delivery date initially are now analyzed effectively by the business with expected timelines for completion.
In the past few decades, international research on the country of origin of products has garnered significant interest, particularly in investigating the effects of consumers’ evaluation and perception. As globalization and market competition rise, international firms are seeking ways to control their labour costs and minimise taxes. Many products are outsourced and manufactured in countries with cheap labour. Consequently, the proliferation of ‘bi-national’ products has increased, raising important questions related to consumers’ perception. Moreover, the rapid growth in emerging markets, especially in Asia, has made these countries attractive options for international brands. Therefore, studying the country of origin allows firms and researchers to understand how customers perceive such information regarding the country of manufacture and the country of the brand. This study aims to investigate the influence of the country of manufacture (COM) and country of brand (COB) on Thai consumers’ perception of the brand. In addition, it embraces a different perspective on brand experience as a moderating factor. A sample of 403 Thai respondents was collected through face-to-face survey questionnaires in central Bangkok. This research employs an experiment using a factorial design to test the hypotheses. SPSS statistics software was adopted to analyse and validate the reliability of the testing of the constructs and model hypotheses. The results of this research show that the respondents positively respond to the COB more than the COM, and brand experience plays a moderating role in this research. This research provides a significant contribution to the existing literature and managerial practicality by using multi-dimensional information on the country and analyses the relationships between these dimensions.
In recent decades, the analysis of the effects of clustering as an essential factor for the development of innovations and the competitiveness of enterprises has raised great interest in different areas. Nowadays, companies have access to almost all tangible and intangible resources located and/or developed in any country in the world. However, despite the obvious advantages that this situation entails for companies, their geographical location has shown itself, increasingly clearly, to be a fundamental factor that positively influences their innovative performance and competitiveness. Industrial clusters could represent a unique level of analysis, positioned between the individual company and the industry, which makes them an ideal unit of analysis to determine the effects derived from company membership of a cluster. Also, the absorptive capacity (hereinafter 'AC') can mediate the process of innovation development by companies located in a cluster. The transformation and exploitation of knowledge could have a mediating effect between knowledge acquisition and innovative performance. The main objective of this work is to determine the key factors that affect the degree of generation and use of knowledge from the environment by companies and, consequently, their innovative performance and competitiveness. The elements analyzed are the companies' membership of a cluster and the AC. To this end, 30 most relevant papers published on this subject in the "Web of Science" database have been reviewed. Our findings show that, within a cluster, the knowledge coming from the companies' environment can significantly influence their innovative performance and competitiveness, although in this relationship, the degree of access and exploitation of the companies to this knowledge plays a fundamental role, which depends on a series of elements both internal and external to the company.
Ghana’s Public Financial Management reforms have been going on for some two decades now (1997/98 to 2017/18). Given this long period of reforms, Ghana in 2019 is putting together both a Public Financial Management (PFM) strategy and a Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) strategy for the next 5-years (2020-2024). The primary aim of these dual strategies is assisting the country in moving beyond reforms to consolidation and sustainability. In this paper we, first, examined the evolution of Ghana’s PFM reforms. We, secondly, reviewed the legal and institutional reforms undertaken to strengthen the country’s key PFM institutions. Thirdly, we summarized the strengths and weaknesses identified by the 2018 Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) assessment of Ghana’s PFM system relating to its macro-fiscal framework, budget preparation and approval, budget execution, accounting and fiscal reporting as well as external scrutiny and audit. We, finally, considered what the country should be doing to achieve its intended goal of PFM consolidation and sustainability. Using a qualitative method of review and analysis of existing documents, we, through this paper, brought to the fore the lessons that could be learnt by other developing countries from Ghana’s PFM reforms experiences. These lessons included the need to: (a) undergird any PFM reform with a comprehensive PFM reform strategy; (b) undertake a legal and institutional reforms of the key PFM institutions; (c) assess the strengths and weaknesses of those reforms using PFM performance evaluation tools such as PEFA framework; and (d) move beyond reforms to consolidation and sustainability.
Since the discovery of the manuscript, mechanical methods for storing, transferring and using the information have evolved into digital methods over the time. In this process, libraries that are the center of the information have also become digitized and become accessible from anywhere and at any time in the world by taking on a structure that has no physical boundaries. In this context, some criteria for information obtained from digital libraries have become more important for users. This paper evaluates the user criteria from different perspectives that make a digital library more useful. The Step-Wise Weight Assessment Ratio Analysis-Weighted Aggregated Sum Product Assessment (SWARA-WASPAS) method is used with flexibility and easy calculation steps for the evaluation of digital library criteria. Three different digital libraries are evaluated by information technology experts according to five conflicting main criteria, ‘interface design’, ‘effects on users’, ‘services’, ‘user engagement’ and ‘context’. Finally, alternatives are ranked in descending order.
The present research investigates the effect of symmetry on the perception of happiness and boredom in design products. Three experiments were carried out in order to verify the degree of the visual expressive value on different models of bookcases, wall clocks, and chairs. 60 participants directly indicated the degree of happiness and boredom using 7-point rating scales. The findings show that the participants acknowledged a different value of expressive quality in the different product models. Results show also that symmetry is not a significant constraint for an emotional design project.
This research aims to design and build a wet etching system, which is suitable for anisotropic wet etching, in order to reduce etching time, to reduce hillocks on the etched surface (to reduce roughness), and to create a 45-degree wall angle (micro-mirror). This study would start by designing a wet etching system. There are four main components in this system: an ultrasonic cleaning, a condenser, a motor and a substrate holder. After that, an ultrasonic machine was modified by applying a condenser to maintain the consistency of the solution concentration during the etching process and installing a motor for improving the roughness. This effect on the etch rate and the roughness showed that the etch rate increased and the roughness was reduced.
Improving the performance of Winter Road Maintenance (WRM) can increase the traffic safety and reduce the cost as well as environmental impacts. This study evaluates the efficiency of WRM technique, named salting, in the Arctic area by using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), which is a non-parametric linear method to measure the efficiencies of decision-making units (DMUs) based on handling multiple inputs and multiple outputs at the same time that their associated weights are not known. Here, roads are considered as DMUs for which the efficiency must be determined. The three input variables considered are traffic flow, road area and WRM cost. In addition, the two output variables included are level of safety in the roads and environment impacts resulted from WRM, which is also considered as an uncontrollable factor in the second scenario. The results show the performance of DMUs from the most efficient WRM to the inefficient/least efficient one and this information provides decision makers with technical support and the required suggested improvements for inefficient WRM, in order to achieve a cost-effective WRM and a safe road transportation during wintertime in the Arctic areas.
Innovation is a key driver for companies, society, and economic growth. However, assessing and measuring innovation for individuals as well as organizations remains difficult. Our i5-Score presented in this study will help to overcome this difficulty and facilitate measuring the innovation potential. The score is based on a framework we call the 5Gs of innovation which defines specific innovation attributes. Those are 1) the drive for long-term goals 2) the audacity to generate new ideas, 3) the openness to share ideas with others, 4) the ability to grow, and 5) the ability to maintain high levels of optimism. To validate the i5-Score, we conducted a study at Florida Polytechnic University. The results show that the i5-Score is a good measure reflecting the innovative mindset of an individual or a group. Thus, the score can be utilized for evaluating, refining and enhancing innovation capabilities.
Industry 4.0 is the fourth industrial revolution that focuses on interconnectivity of machine to machine, human to machine and human to human via Internet of Things (IoT). Technologies of industry 4.0 facilitate communication between human and machine through IoT and forms Cyber-Physical Production System (CPPS). In CPPS, multiple shop floors sensor data are connected through IoT and displayed through sensor dashboard to the operator. These sensor dashboards have enormous amount of information to be presented which becomes complex for operators to perform monitoring, controlling and interpretation tasks. Designing handheld sensor dashboards for supervision task will become a challenge for the interface designers. This paper reports emerging technologies of industry 4.0, changing context of increasing information complexity in consecutive industrial revolutions and upcoming design challenges for interface designers in context of Industry 4.0. Authors conclude that information complexity of sensor dashboards design has increased with consecutive industrial revolutions and designs of sensor dashboard causes cognitive load on users. Designing such complex dashboards interfaces in Industry 4.0 context will become main challenges for the interface designers.
The impact of lean management on environmental sustainability is the research line that receives the most attention from academicians. Therefore, the social dimension of sustainable development has so far received less attention. This paper aims to evaluate the impact of intra-plant lean manufacturing practices on social sustainability indicators extracted from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) parameters. The method is two-phased, including MCDM approach to uncover the most relevant practices regarding social performance and Interpretive Structural Modeling (ISM) method to reveal the structural relationship among lean practices. Professionals from the academic and industrial fields answered the questionnaires. From the results of this paper, it is possible to verify that practices such as “Safety Improvement Programs”, “Total Quality Management” and “Cross-functional Workforce” are the ones which have the most positive influence on the set of GRI social indicators.
This paper studies the concept of intrapreneurship discovery for innovation and technology development related to the manufacturing industries set up in the center of Italy, in Marche Region. The study underlined the key drivers of the innovation process and the main factors that influence innovation. Starting from a literature study on open innovation, this paper examines the role of human capital to support company’s development. The empirical part of the study is based on a survey to 151 manufacturing companies that represent the 34% of that universe at the regional level. The survey underlined the main KPI’s that influence companies in their decision processes; then tools for these decision processes are presented.
Concept of knowledge is discovered from conducted study for successive Competition in Sri Lankan Non-State Higher Educational Institutes. The Concept discovered out of collected Knowledge Management Practices from Emerald inside likewise reputed literatures and of Non-State Higher Educational sector. A test is conducted to reveal existences and its reason behind of these collected practices in Sri Lankan Non-State Higher Education Institutes. Further, unavailability of such study and uncertain on number of participants for data collection in the Sri Lankan context contributed selection of research method as qualitative method, which used attributes of Delphi Method to manage those likewise uncertainty. Data are collected under Dramaturgical Method, which contributes efficient usage of the Delphi method. Grounded theory is selected as data analysis techniques, which is conducted in intermixed discourse to manage different perspectives of data that are collected systematically through perspective and modified snowball sampling techniques. Data are then analysed using Grounded Theory Development Techniques in Intermix discourses to manage differences in Data. Consequently, Agreement in the results of Grounded theories and of finding in the Foreign Study is discovered in the analysis whereas present study conducted as Qualitative Research and The Foreign Study conducted as Quantitative Research. As such, the Present study widens the discovery in the Foreign Study. Further, having discovered reason behind of the existences, the Present result shows Concept for Knowledge from Sri Lankan Non-State sector to manage higher educational Institutes in successful manner.
The distributed manufacturing methodology brings a new concept of decentralized manufacturing operations close to the proximity of end users. A preliminary scale, to measure distributed capacity and evaluate positioning of firms, is developed in this research. In the first part of the paper, a literature review has been performed which highlights the explorative nature of the studies conducted to present definitions and classifications due to novelty of this topic. From literature, five dimensions of distributed manufacturing development stages have been identified: localization, manufacturing technologies, customization and personalization, digitalization and democratization of design. Based on these determinants a conceptual scale is proposed to measure the status of distributed manufacturing of a generic firm. A multiple case study is then conducted in two steps to test the conceptual scale and to identify the corresponding level of distributed potential in each case study firm.
Getting the consumer marketing strategy right is a crucial and complex task for firms with a large customer base such as mobile operators in a competitive mobile market. While empirical studies have made efforts to identify key constructs, no geospatial model has been developed to comprehensively assess the viability and interdependency of ground realities regarding the customer, competition, channel and the network quality of mobile operators. With this research, a geo-analytic framework is proposed for strategy formulation and allocation for mobile operators. Firstly, a fuzzy analytic network using a self-organizing feature map clustering technique based on inputs from managers and literature, which depicts the interrelationships amongst ground realities is developed. The model is tested with a mobile operator in the Nigeria mobile market. As a result, a customer-centric geospatial and visualization solution is developed. This provides a consolidated and integrated insight that serves as a transparent, logical and practical guide for strategic, tactical and operational decision making.
Fruters model is a concept of technopreneurship-based on empowerment, in which technology research results were designed to create high value-added products and implemented as a locomotive of collaborative empowerment; thereby, the impact was widely spread. This model still needs to be inventoried and validated concerning the influenced variables in the business growth process. Model validation accompanied by mapping was required to be applicable to Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) agro-industry based on sustainable social business and existing real cases. This research explained the empowerment model of Yourgood, an SME, which emphasized on empowering the farmers/ breeders in farmers in rural areas, Cipageran, Cimahi, to housewives in urban areas, Bandung, West Java, Indonesia. This research reviewed some works of literature discussing the agro-industrial development associated with the empowerment and social business process and gained a unique business model picture with the social business platform as well. Through the mapped business model, there were several advantages such as technology acquisition, independence, capital generation, good investment growth, strengthening of collaboration, and improvement of social impacts that can be replicated on other businesses. This research used analytical-descriptive research method consisting of qualitative analysis with design thinking approach and that of quantitative with the AHP (Analytical Hierarchy Process). Based on the results, the development of the enterprise’s process was highly affected by supplying farmers with the score of 0.248 out of 1, being the most valuable for the existence of the enterprise. It was followed by university (0.178), supplying farmers (0.153), business actors (0.128), government (0.100), distributor (0.092), techno-preneurship laboratory (0.069), banking (0.033), and Non-Government Organization (NGO) (0.031).
This study has the objective of assessing the effect of kaizen (5S, Muda elimination and Quality Control Circle (QCC) on employees’ affective attitude (job satisfaction, commitment and job stress) in Kombolcha Textile Share Company. A conceptual model was developed to describe the relationship between Kaizen and Employees’ Affective Attitude (EAA) factors. The three factors of Employee Affective Attitude were measured using questionnaire derived from other validated questionnaire. In the data collection to conduct this study; questionnaire, unstructured interview, written documents and direct observations are used. To analyze the data, SPSS and Microsoft Excel were used. In addition, the internal consistency of similar items in the questionnaire instrument was measured for their equivalence by using the cronbach’s alpha test. In this study, the effect of 5S, Muda elimination and QCC on job satisfaction, commitment and job stress in Kombolcha Textile Share Company is assessed and factors that reduce employees’ job satisfaction with respect to kaizen implementation are identified. The total averages of means from the questionnaire are 3.1 for job satisfaction, 4.31 for job commitment and 4.2 for job stress. And results from interview and secondary data show that kaizen implementation have effect on EAA. In general, based on the thesis results it was concluded that kaizen (5S, muda elimination and QCC) have positive effect for improving EAA factors at KTSC. Finally, recommendations for improvement are given based on the results.
Usability testing (UT) is one of the vital steps in the User-centred design (UCD) process when designing a product. In an e-commerce ecosystem, UT becomes primary as new products, features, and services are launched very frequently. And, there are losses attached to the company if an unusable and inefficient product is put out to market and is rejected by customers. This paper tries to answer why UT is important in the product life-cycle of an E-commerce ecosystem. Secondary user research was conducted to find out work patterns, development methods, type of stakeholders, and technology constraints, etc. of a typical E-commerce company. Qualitative user interviews were conducted with product managers and designers to find out the structure, project planning, product management method and role of the design team in a mid-level company. The paper tries to address the usual apprehensions of the company to inculcate UT within the team. As well, it stresses upon factors like monetary resources, lack of usability expert, narrow timelines, and lack of understanding of higher management as some primary reasons. Outsourcing UT to vendors is also very prevalent with mid-level e-commerce companies, but it has its own severe repercussions like very little team involvement, huge cost, misinterpretation of the findings, elongated timelines, and lack of empathy towards the customer, etc. The shortfalls of the unavailability of a UT process in place within the team and conducting UT through vendors are bad user experiences for customers while interacting with the product, badly designed products which are neither useful and nor utilitarian. As a result, companies see dipping conversions rates in apps and websites, huge bounce rates and increased uninstall rates. Thus, there was a need for a more lean UT system in place which could solve all these issues for the company. This paper highlights on optimizing the UT process with a collaborative method. The degree of optimization and structure of collaborative method is the highlight of this paper. Collaborative method of UT is one in which the centralised design team of the company takes for conducting and analysing the UT. The UT is usually a formative kind where designers take findings into account and uses in the ideation process. The success of collaborative method of UT is due to its ability to sync with the product management method employed by the company or team. The collaborative methods focus on engaging various teams (design, marketing, product, administration, IT, etc.) each with its own defined roles and responsibility in conducting a smooth UT with users In-house. The paper finally highlights the positive results of collaborative UT method after conducting more than 100 In-lab interviews with users across the different lines of businesses. Some of which are the improvement of interaction between stakeholders and the design team, empathy towards users, improved design iteration, better sanity check of design solutions, optimization of time and money, effective and efficient design solution. The future scope of collaborative UT is to make this method leaner, by reducing the number of days to complete the entire project starting from planning between teams to publishing the UT report.
Resilience Engineering is a new paradigm of safety management that proposes to change the way of managing the safety to focus on the things that go well instead of the things that go wrong. Many complex and high-risk sectors such as air traffic control, health care, nuclear power plants, railways or emergencies, have applied this new vision of safety and have obtained very positive results. In the construction sector, safety management continues to be a problem as indicated by the statistics of occupational injuries worldwide. Therefore, it is important to improve safety management in this sector. For this reason, it is proposed to apply Resilience Engineering to the construction sector. The Construction Phase Health and Safety Plan emerges as a key element for the planning of safety management. One of the key tools of Resilience Engineering is the Resilience Assessment Grid that allows measuring the four essential abilities (respond, monitor, learn and anticipate) for resilient performance. The purpose of this paper is to develop a questionnaire based on the Resilience Assessment Grid, specifically on the ability to learn, to assess whether a Construction Phase Health and Safety Plans helps companies in a construction site to implement this ability. The research process was divided into four stages: (i) initial design of a questionnaire, (ii) validation of the content of the questionnaire, (iii) redesign of the questionnaire and (iii) application of the Delphi method. The questionnaire obtained could be used as a tool to help construction companies to evolve from Safety-I to Safety-II. In this way, companies could begin to develop the ability to learn, which will serve as a basis for the development of the other abilities necessary for resilient performance. The following steps in this research are intended to develop other questions that allow evaluating the rest of abilities for resilient performance such as monitoring, learning and anticipating.
The implementation of lean manufacturing initiatives has produced significant impacts in improving operational performance and reducing manufacturing wastes in the production process. However, selecting an appropriate set of lean strategies is critical to avoid misapplication of the lean manufacturing techniques and consequential increase in non-value-adding activities. To the author’s best knowledge, there is currently no methodology to select lean strategies that considers their impacts on manufacturing wastes and performance metrics simultaneously. In this research, a multi-objective methodology is proposed that suggests an appropriate set of lean initiatives based on their impacts on performance metrics and manufacturing wastes and within manufacturers’ resource limitation. The proposed methodology in this research suggests the best set of lean initiatives for implementation that have highest impacts on identified critical performance metrics and manufacturing wastes. Therefore, manufacturers can assure that implementing suggested lean tools improves their production performance and reduces manufacturing wastes at the same time. A case study was conducted to show the effectiveness and validate the proposed model and methodologies.
This paper presents a methodology for serial production planning problem in wire and cable manufacturing process that addresses the problem of input-output imbalance in different consecutive stations, hoping to minimize the halt of machines in each stage. To this end, a linear Goal Programming (GP) model is developed, in which four main categories of constraints as per the number of runs per machine, machines’ sequences, acceptable inventories of machines at the end of each period, and the necessity of fulfillment of the customers’ orders are considered. The model is formulated based upon on the real data obtained from IKO TAK Company, an important supplier of wire and cable for oil and gas and automotive industries in Iran. By solving the model in GAMS software the optimal number of runs, end-of-period inventories, and the possible minimum idle time for each machine are calculated. The application of the numerical results in the target company has shown the efficiency of the proposed model and the solution in decreasing the lead time of the end product delivery to the customers by 20%. Accordingly, the developed model could be easily applied in wire and cable companies for the aim of optimal production planning to reduce the halt of machines in manufacturing stages.
In the past, we could increase profit by increasing product prices. But in the new decade, a competitive market does not let us to increase profit with increased prices. Therefore, the only way to increase profit will be to reduce costs. A significant percentage of production costs are the maintenance costs, and analysis of these costs could achieve more profit. Most maintenance strategies such as RCM (Reliability-Center-Maintenance), TPM (Total Productivity Maintenance), PM (Preventive Maintenance) and etc., are trying to reduce maintenance costs. In this paper, decreasing the maintenance costs of Concentration Plant of Golgohar Iron Ore Mining & Industrial Company (GeG) was examined by using of MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) and MTTR (Mean Time To Repair) analyses. These analyses showed that instead of buying new machines and increasing costs in order to promote capacity, the improving of MTBF and MTTR indexes would solve capacity problems in the best way and decrease costs.
Characterizing the network flow is of fundamental importance to understand the complex dynamics of networks. And passenger flow characteristics of the subway network are very relevant for an effective transportation management in urban cities. In this study, passenger flow of Seoul metropolitan subway network is investigated and characterized through statistical analysis. Traditional betweenness centrality measure considers only topological structure of the network and ignores the transportation factors. This paper proposes a weighted betweenness centrality measure that incorporates monthly passenger flow volume. We apply the proposed measure on the Seoul metropolitan subway network involving 493 stations and 16 lines. Several interesting insights about the network are derived from the new measures. Using Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, we also find out that monthly passenger flow between any two stations follows a power-law distribution and other traffic characteristics such as congestion level and throughflow traffic follow exponential distribution.