Authors: Wyn Morris; Nishikant Mishra
Addresses: School of Management and Business, Aberystwyth University SY23 3DD, UK ' School of Management and Business, Aberystwyth University SY23 3DD, UK
Abstract: This paper describes the design and application of a decision support system to assist sheep farmers, allowing them to assess the impact of lambing date, feeding system and the price of concentrate feed on their enterprise efficiency. Industry partners Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) and farmers have been used as sources of expert data. To validate the system three informed examples are used to measure how minor changes in a farm's production system can make relatively large changes in enterprise profitability. The result is a decision support system for sheep farmers that is user friendly and provides data and visual feedback; it also allows the service provider to update market prices on an annual basis. Limitations of the current decision support system are its inability to consider scenarios which involve the diverse weather patterns which have implications for production systems and long term market trends.
Keywords: lamb supply chains; online DSS; decision support systems; web-based tools; technology adaptation; evidence-based; lamb production systems; farm management; enterprise efficiency; expert data; sheep farmers; lambing dates; concentrate feed price.
International Journal of Services, Economics and Management, 2014 Vol.6 No.3, pp.209 - 221
Received: 15 Apr 2013
Accepted: 02 Nov 2013
Published online: 30 Aug 2014 *