International Journal of Management and Decision Making (13 papers in press)
A Multi-Criteria Decision Making approach for prioritising Product-Service systems implementation in smart cities
by Alice Rondini, Alexandra Lagorio, Roberto Pinto, Giuditta Pezzotta
Abstract: The latest economic and environmental changes together with the development of technology, fostered interest in "smart cities" and Smart City Product-Service System (SCPSS): bundle of products and services aimed at fueling sustainable economic growth with a wise management of resources. Since budget constraint prevents a massive implementation of all the possible SCPSS, this paper expands the Engineering Value Assessment (EVA) method and adopt it to assess and prioritize SCPSS from three perspectives: i) the municipality, ii) the citizens, and iii) other stakeholders. EVA method is based on two steps, and for each of them proposes a MCDM method. The contribution of this study is twofold: first, it complements the EVA method with the definition of specific evaluation criteria for external stakeholder that play a crucial role into the Smart City paradigm; second, it describes the application of the method for the selection and prioritisation of SCPSS in Bergamo.
Keywords: Product Service System; Multi Criteria Decision Making; Smart City; Sustainability; TOPSIS; IPA; EVA Method; Pugh Matrix.
Supply Chain Risk Management: Models and Methods
by C.R. Vishnu, Rajagopalan Sridharan, P.N. Ram Kumar
Abstract: This paper consolidates various research outputs in supply chain risk management (SCRM). It presents the techniques employed for managing and modelling supply chain risk drivers in an encapsulated form to aid the risk related decision making in industries. This review paper proposes a hybrid of systematic and descriptive review approach. Initially, the authors apply a systematic literature review approach to study the current research directions and subthemes in SCRM. The information thus obtained is also utilised to shortlist the research papers for the descriptive review that identifies the various models and methods applied in SCRM research. A software tool known as BibExcel is employed for data mining and analysing. Another software tool called Pajek is used to visualise the BibExcel outputs. Furthermore, this review paper identifies and discusses the significant gaps in SCRM research studies and proposes some unique and promising areas for future research.
Keywords: supply chain management; SCM; supply chain risk management; SCRM; literature review; meta-analysis; risk modeling; risk mitigation.
Modeling approach of hospital supply chain: The Case of the surgery and oncology departments,State of the art
by Kenza Sahaf, Said Rifai, Otmane Bouksour, Ahmed Adri
Abstract: Nowadays, hospital logistics has become an essential component of healthcare institutions. It allows the synchronisation of all the flows inside a hospital to ensure the efficiency of the healthcare system, and particularly in the case of cancerous diseases. This paper presents a synthesis of the research carried out since 1992 on hospital logistics chain. The first part of this article is dedicated to modelling and these different approaches. In the second part, we discuss research work on the hospital logistics chain, the third part is devoted to logistics optimisation in the surgery department, the fourth part is devoted to chemotherapy problems, and we conclude by presenting our perspective that links these four areas of research namely: modelling approaches of hospital logistics chains, the case of surgical oncology division.
Keywords: Modelling approach; Hospital supply chain; Supply chain optimization; Surgery; Oncology.
Improving efficiency of farming products through benchmarking and data envelopment analysis
by Alireza Khoshroo, Mohammad Izadikhah
Abstract: Efficient use of energy is an important pathway in reducing the carbon footprint of crop production as well as improving agricultural sustainability. This study is concerned with the performance assessment of watermelon farms, on both aspects of productive efficiency and energy efficiency to recognise the efficient/inefficient watermelon farms and find the sources of inefficiency. In this regard, the range adjusted measure, a non-radial DEA-based efficiency model, is applied to investigate the efficiency of watermelon production in 18 provinces of Iran during 2013-2014. Energy inputs consist of human labour, machinery, fertilisers and biocides. The model output is the total production value of watermelon. Average scores of overall technical efficiency and energy efficiency are 0.83 and 0.85, respectively. The target inputs and outputs for each province are calculated, and the benchmark farm for each DMU is determined. Finally, the returns to scale status and scale economies score for each province are evaluated.
Keywords: Range adjusted measure; Returns to scale; Scale economies; Benchmarking; Watermelon; Energy efficiency.
Technology readiness and satisfaction in Vietnam
by Le Van Huy, Pham Thi Hoan Nguyen, Long Pham, Ronald Berry
Abstract: The objective of this study was to examine the relationships among customer's technology readiness, technology acceptance, and satisfaction with technologies commonly available in luxury hotels. The data for this study was collected from 828 international tourists who stayed in luxury hotels in Vietnam. The results showed that optimism and innovativeness positively influenced perceived ease of use, while four dimensions of technology readiness positively influenced perceived usefulness. In addition, optimism, discomfort, and insecurity had impacts on customer satisfaction with technologies. Moreover, perceived ease of use had impacts on perceived usefulness and on customer satisfaction with technologies. Finally, theoretical contributions, managerial implications, and future research directions are discussed.
Keywords: Technology acceptance; technology readiness; satisfaction; luxury hotels; Vietnam.
Managing complexity through business relationships: the case of the Swedish electricity market
by Cecilia Lindh, Lennart Haglund, Tommy Kovala
Abstract: In the industrial market, electricity is an essential resource for production, as a stop in its flow may cause expensive production loss and thus tremendous cost. This strong resource dependence and the inevitable competition that comes with deregulation of the market, makes the electricity business complex and relationships of long-term orientation to form. To study such relationships, a mixed method is applied to provide contextual knowledge:by four interviews and a descriptive model and a structural model with three hypotheses developed (n = 122). Managers of products that may seem simple and traded in a market where low cost prevails should think again - stable relationships are a necessity for rational decisions also in this case, particularly since interdependence is influential.
Keywords: business relationship; buyer-seller relationships; commitment; complexity; deregulation; electricity intensive industry; electricity retailers; interdependence; mixed method; trust.
A framework for managing spreadsheet based end user applications
by Lazar Rakovic
Abstract: As spreadsheets are a ubiquitous tool used in most organisations, often for management support as well, managing them is more than indispensable but very often inadequate. The aim of the study is therefore to improve the management of spreadsheet-based end user applications. Starting from the existing frameworks for building and managing spreadsheets developed by end users, and guidelines of good practices, an initial version of spreadsheet framework for managing spreadsheet-based end user applications was developed (consisting of three parts: steps, skill categories and user categories). Fifteen spreadsheet experts were subsequently identified, who overviewed the framework, and the latter was modified and improved based on their suggestions. The final version of the framework was evaluated positively by four (additional) experts, based on which it can be concluded that the set framework can be applied in organisations using spreadsheet programs and, at the same time, reduce the possibility of occurrence of errors and other spreadsheet risks.
Keywords: spreadsheet; framework; end user development; spreadsheet knowledge; spreadsheet users.
An Integrated Core Competence Evaluation Framework for Portfolio Management in the Oil Industry
by Bang Nguyen, Khalid Hafeez, Pantea Foroudi
Abstract: Drawing upon resource-based theory, this paper presents a core competence evaluation framework for managing the competence portfolio of an oil company. It introduces a network typology to illustrate how to form different types of strategic alliance relations with partnering firms to manage and grow the competence portfolio. A framework is tested using a case study approach involving face-to-face structured interviews. We identified purchasing, refining and sales and marketing as strong candidates to be the core competencies. However, despite the company's core business of refining oil, the core competencies were identified to be their research and development and performance management (PM) capabilities. We further provide a procedure to determine different kinds of physical, intellectual and cultural resources making a dominant impact on company's competence portfolio. In addition, we provide a comprehensive set of guidelines on how to develop core competence further by forging a partnership alliance choosing an appropriate network topology.
Keywords: competence portfolio; resource-based view; resource-asset-capability; core competence; network topology; collective learning.
An advanced platform for power system security assessment accounting for forecast uncertainties
by Andrea Pitto, Emanuele Ciapessoni, Diego Cirio, Nicolas Omont, Helena Vasconcelos, Leonel Carvalho
Abstract: Accounting for the increasing uncertainties related to forecast of renewables is becoming an essential requirement while assessing the security of future power system scenarios. Project iTesla in the seventh framework program (FP7) of the European Union (EU) tackles these needs and reaches several major objectives, including the development of a security platform architecture. In particular, the platform implements a stochastic dependence model to simulate a reasonable cloud of plausible 'future' states - due to renewable forecast - around the expected state, and evaluates the security on relevant states after sampling the cloud of uncertainty. The paper focuses on the proposed model for the uncertainty and its exploitation in power system security assessment process and it reports the relevant validation results.
Keywords: Nataf transformation; pair copula decomposition; power systems; principal component analysis; renewables; security assessment; uncertainties.
Special Issue on: Contemporary Management Issues and Decision Making Models in Systems Engineering
Food safety risk analysis from the producers perspective: prioritization of production process stages by HACCP and TOPSIS
by A. Certa, M. Enea, G.M. Galante, J. Izquierdo, C.M. La Fata
Abstract: From the manufacturers perspective, the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system nowadays represents the mainly way to implement the food safety risk management in food industries. Nevertheless, the identification and prioritization of hazards as the outcome of the first principle of HACCP is not sufficient to identify production process stages that more significantly and critically contribute to the consumers risks. With this recognition, the present paper proposes a Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) approach based on HACCP and Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) to individuate production process phases on which implementing corrective actions to improve the consumers safety. The designed methodological approach is implemented on the smoked salmon manufacturing process of a real Sicilian industry.
Keywords: Analysis of production process stages; Food safety risk analysis; HACCP; TOPSIS.
The influence of cultural dimensions on lean projects success and barriers
by Sara Antomarioni, Filippo Emanuele Ciarapica, Ilaria De Sanctis
Abstract: Implementing lean projects harbors relevant difficulties, hence it is interesting to evaluate whether companies that operate in different cultural context experience the same kind of barriers. Few studies analyzed the influence of cultural dimensions on lean projects failure. In this context, this work aims at addressing the existing research gap, trying to answer the following research questions: -Do the cultural dimensions influence the perception lean projects' success and lean practices implementation level? -Does the type and level of barriers to lean practices implementation depend on the cultural dimensions? Therefore, the experiences of 171 companies were collected through a questionnaire and clustered on the basis of the cultural dimensions, through a k-means procedure. Two clusters were defined and were compared through Mann-Whitney test, proving a statistically significant difference for lean practices implementation and for the majority of lean barriers, both during the start-up and the sustaining phases.
Keywords: Lean projects; Lean success; Lean barriers; Lean implementation; national cultural dimensions; cluster analysis; k-means; Mann-Whitney test.
Product quality and energy consumption optimisation of dyeing fixing process by steaming through DOE analysis: a cotton case study.
by Aurelio Tronci, Pier Francesco Orrù, Pasquale Buonadonna
Abstract: Simultaneous improvement of product's quality and process' energy performances of dyeing fixing on cotton fabrics is studied in this work. A full factorial design, starting from factor's ranges currently in use by textile industrial operators, was settled following design of experiments guidelines, resulting in a two factors (team flow rate and steaming time) and three levels experimental plan, including three repetitions of the central point. Both analysis of variance and best subset analysis were carried in order to establish the real effectiveness of each independent variable. Analyses point out the high influence of steaming time, while the one of the steam rate is negligible, which leads to the opportunity of producing the best quality fabrics at the lowest level of steam rate, maintaining the time under the traditionally employed one. These results if properly applied to an industrial size equipment, can be translated in consistent energy and, consequently, economical savings.
Keywords: DOE; product quality; energy savings; cotton; steaming.
Development and testing of a software tool for warehouse design and picking optimization
by Eleonora Bottani, Roberto Montanari, Marta Rinaldi
Abstract: TThe picking process is a manual, labour-intensive process, whose efficiency is affected by a number of different factors, which contribute to determine the travel distance covered by pickers. This paper describes the development of an original software tool programmed with Microsoft ExcelTM to help design picker-to-parts order picking systems and simultaneously evaluate the effect and interactions of various design and operating factors on the process performance. The software allows the geometry of any rectangular warehouse to be reproduced as a function of its main parameters, i.e. the number of aisles and cross-aisles, shape factor and total storage capacity, and the application of four routing policies to be simulated. The software was applied to derive the travel distance as a function of the routing policy, shape factor, number of cross-aisles and length of the order picking list, in a warehouse of fixed storage capacity.
Keywords: warehouse design; software tool; travel distance; routing.