Applications Decision Models Supply Chain Management How Essay

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  • Subject: Engineering
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Applications Decision Models Supply Chain Management

How will emerging web-based technologies and decision models change supply chains in the future? The response to this question has incredible stakes. It is projected that the Internet has the prospect to capture more than $1 trillion from the $7 trillion spent every year on mechanisms, supplies, and services globally (USA Today, 2008, p. BI). How this will occur is a high-priority subject in many industries and companies at the moment. In this paper, I endeavor to develop our indulgent of this serious issue by developing a conceptual framework for how supply-chain companies may react to emerging technologies in order to make competitive leeway's. The model suggests that one method by which buyers and suppliers can together perk up their competitive position is to study how to intelligently incorporate the new technologies into their day by day activities and methods. This can be done through watchful deliberation of the Relationship-Technology line.

In this paper we sketch upon a generic information exchange/execution plan chart for interrelated product development (PD) decision models, already existing a market-determined information exchange structure, and characterize the idea of Information Technology powered product development IT-PD. We then argue that information exchange patterns linked with the IT-PD use decision models bestow the PD processes with distinctive capabilities.

There is a symbiosis between the continuing exchange relationship and up-and-coming technologies that can and ought to be methodically understood and administered. To a certain extent, this may make clear why we see starkly diverse outcomes among companies who try to fit in new technologies in their supply-chain actions. Think about the situation of a firm exploiting the Web as an inexpensive channel for getting new customers. On one side, there are instances such as Herman Miller (HM) and its dealers (Garner 1999). HM, recognized for its high-end, ergonomic office furnishings, usually sells its best booth partition systems to most important corporations under big deals at capacity discounts. In 2008, the company started to contact via the Web to individual clients for instance telecommuters, freelancers, and SME's. After a communication and instruction drive, HM fruitfully persuaded all of its network dealers (its most tactical dealers) that the Internet decision model reaches new clientele without wearing away the dealers' present customer base. The dealers understood that the management and promotion costs for these clients did not validate the edge on the acquisition, so dealers did not mind that the online store took these customers, because their actual focus was helping the major deals. As a consequence, HM was able to productively make use of the Internet as a way of reaching new clients and increasing sales.

Applications Of Decision Models In Supply Chain Management

The acceptance of internet and web browsing technologies in mainstream business processes has altered the execution of product development (PD) processes. This chapter explores the notion of Information Technology driven product development (IT-PD) from a process management perspective.' The Internet has become a virtual sandbox in which designers play with a host of development and information resources. Over 99% of design engineers and engineering managers have access to the Internet and they spend 15 to 25% of their productive time using it. The Internet is being used to touch every aspect of the product development process ranging from product evaluation, establishment of specifications, seeking design tips, and problem solving support, to selecting a supplier and purchasing piece parts.

In a study conducted in the aerospace and the automotive industry we have learned that design automation tools including conventional Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing (CAx), in conjunction with Web technologies, are fundamentally changing the structure of the development process (Joglekar and Whitney 1999). For instance, the use of these technologies speeds up the existing design processes in only 30% of the cases on average. The users tend to restructure the tasks in another 32% of instances, and these technologies result in improved designs rather than a speeded up process in 18% of the cases.

Most interestingly nearly 20% of the productive effort is expended in what we have defined to be infrastructure development. Infrastructure is defined as supporting information technologies and allied artifacts such as design objects, methods, and know- how needed for product realization. These dramatic changes raise many interesting questions: Who makes these large IT infrastructure investments? Have the omnipresent software applications changed the way PD tasks get done? How have managers adapted to these changes while managing PD processes? And has the co-evolution of B2B E-commerce and supply-chain management technologies brought about new forms of market mediation within PD processes?

We have taken a closer look at the aggregate data by conducting interviews with design managers and by reviewing several graduate theses in the electronics, automotive, and aerospace industries. We draw upon these data and cases in the body of the text when discussing specific models. The overall trend is clear: there is a new breed of IT driven product development process being put in place. This paper is aimed at synthesizing the state of our knowledge within the IT-PD space rather than introducing new analytical results. Our argument is rather straightforward: . A large body of engineering and management science literature has been built around the information exchange view of product development (Clark and Fujimoto 2001; Whitney 1999; Eppinger et al. 2006). IT-PD is characterized by information exchange that allows for new types of market mediation. Market-mediated processes ought to be modeled by introducing intermediate agents within existing models. We identify research issues related to design process management decisions for both conventional PD and IT-PD environments. PD process efficiency is measured by the speed of the over- all development process. Stability is described by the ability of the process to converge (that is, finish) over time. Learning is measured in terms of the improvement in development productivity and quality over time. Collaborative environments refer to set- tings where all agents (principal and supplier) have congruent incentives to share information. Market-mediated environments describe settings where the agents form a market facing supply chain, such that the incentives for information sharing cannot be taken for granted. Local tasks refer to work conducted within a small group, whereas system tasks have a global mandate. System tasks may involve market mediation. Infra- structure is defined as supporting information technologies, design object, and methodologies needed for product realization.

Interconnected PD Tasks

Figure 1 demonstrates the mapping between the information structure and the execution strategy of interconnected PD tasks (Yassine, Chelst, and Falkenburg 2009; Joglekar et al. 2010). The information dependencies between development tasks constitute the structure of the development process. In this domain, development activities are classified into three types: dependent, interdependent, and coupled (Eppinger et al. 2006). Two tasks are said to be dependent if one task depends on the other for input information. On the other hand, if both tasks depend on each other for input information, then the two tasks are coupled. Finally if there is no information dependency between both tasks, then they are independent. The execution strategies employed in the development process determine the development process schedule. The information structure could be mapped to three different execution strategies via different rework (that is, development iteration) risk levels.

FIGURE 1. I Mapping between information structure and execution strategies for interconnected PD tasks.

The sequential execution of development tasks requires that upstream tasks completely finish before downstream tasks can be started. In the overlapped execution strategy upstream tasks are scheduled to start first but downstream tasks start before the completion of upstream tasks. Finally the simultaneous start and finish of tasks characterize the concurrent execution strategy. One such mapping model is due to Krishnan, Eppinger, and Whitney (2007). They construct a model for overlapping nominally sequential activities using the notion of information evolution and PD task sensitivity These mappings do not explicitly address the issue of market-mediated coordination between a principal (that is, a product development organization) and its suppliers.

Market Mediated PD Tasks

Figure 2 shows a map of information exchange linkages between various agents involved in a market-mediated product development process (Joglekar 2000). This figure classifies these agents into in-house, contract design, and contract manufacturing categories. Coordination between these agents takes place through IT driven market mediation. Within this context, we define the information technology driven product development (IT-PD) as productive processes aimed at developing products by exploiting the information exchanges either within or across organizational boundaries. We emphasize that the essential impact of the Internet has been in the facilitation of both communication and provisioning of market clearance mechanisms through disintermediation and reintermediation across organizational boundaries.

FIGURE 2. Market-mediated coordination.

Inter-organizational nature of product development processes is explored in some recent management science literature (Fleischer and Liker 2009). A new dimension is being added into this space by Web- driven market-mediation decisions. Web-driven market-mediation technologies have affected PD communication processes in terms of increased speed and frequency of usage, ease of release and access, and the standardized format of the content. Interestingly these speed-ups have been accompanied by…

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