Annotated Bibliography on Operations and Supply Chain Management

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Bolander, S. and Taylor, S.G. (2000). Scheduling Techniques: A Comparison of Logic. Production and Inventory Management Journal. Quarter 1:1-5

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Bolander and Taylor compare the scheduling logic that informs various production techniques. After examining different production techniques, it emerges that JIT, which has a demand orientation, is appropriate in manufacturing contexts with a stable flow of raw material inputs as it cuts down the costs of developing production schedules. However, with JIT, it is not possible to obtain forward projections of the materials and capacity needed for production. MRP, on the other hand, has a material orientation, which makes it appropriate for production contexts modeled on a job-shop design. Theory of Constraints (TOC) seems integrative of JIT and MRP systems as it is best for both stable-flow and job-shop production contexts with a single constraint. Overall, the authors argue that, there is no best production system because scheduling decisions depend on the manufacturing context. The differences in various manufacturing contexts make the scheduling logic apparent, which helps firms match production systems with the appropriate environmental context.

Buxey, G. (2003). Strategy not tactics drives aggregate planning. International Journal of Production Economics, 85(3), 331-346.

In the aggregate planning model, there are insights on the mechanisms manufacturers use to deal with seasonal sales fluctuation. However, in practice, manufacturing firms have not implemented the complex algorithms that emerged in response to resource allocation difficulties caused by demand fluctuation. Buxey makes a case for why the aggregate planning model does not appeal to manufacturing firms. Practically, production planners develop a master production schedule that conforms to a selected operations strategy this is what industry practitioners consider a chase strategy. Following the chase strategy implies contending with the significant losses in productivity and capacity that result from production plans that use non-stable labor inputs. Some prime considerations help firms to minimize the adverse effects of using a chase strategy. The considerations include the appropriate overarching strategy in the intermediate term, which assists in containing productivity decline and cost increase. Besides, the uncertainty of future sales forces firms to ensure robustness, reliability and flexibility of production schedules.

Cayirli, T. and Veral, E. (2003). Outpatient Scheduling in Health Care: A Review of Literature. Production and Operations Management, 12(4), 519-549

Cayrli and Veral note the need for improvement in how researchers represent outpatient clinics. Systems with a single server and phase are dominant in the queuing models literature. In most cases, assuming a single server yields valid results considering doctors posses personal patient lists, and the relationship between doctors and patients would suffer if several patients were to share the same doctor. Models with multiple phases that attempt to show how clinics interact with the supporting infrastructure also seem realistic in representing service scheduling in outpatient clinics. In most analytical experiments, researchers employ the exponential duration of a service to depict scheduling problems in healthcare settings, but empirical evidence finds the assumption of exponential distribution of service time unrealistic. The literature is not clear on arrival patterns that consider emergencies, patients who fail to observe time, and walk-ins, which makes it difficult to evaluate the sensitivity of performance measures used in healthcare operations management.

De Snoo, C., Van Wezel, W., & Jorna, R. J. (2011). An empirical investigation of scheduling performance criteria. Journal of Operations Management, 29(3), 181-193.

While planning and scheduling operations have a significant impact on firm performance, researchers have not explored how firms can organize their planning activities to yield optimum outcomes. Researchers have not investigated the methods firms can employ to evaluate their planning processes either. This paper extends the theoretical premises of planning and scheduling by categorizing the performance bases of scheduling; the extension uses insights from a survey undertaken in three steps. Important criteria for the performance of scheduling activities include, among others, schedule quality, communication, and flexibility. Recent developments have seen software programs and advanced models become ubiquitous tools for scheduling; however, these tools cannot address the scheduling issues resulting from the behavior of planners and organizational antecedents. For high levels of performance outcomes in the scheduling process, there is need for firms to use a simultaneous method of facilitating high-quality schedules and scheduling processes, which will ensure planning yields concrete benefits.

Klefsjo, B., Wiklund, H., & Edgeman, R. L. (2001). Six sigma seen as a methodology for total quality management. Measuring Business Excellence, 5(1), 31-35.

Klefsjo, Wilkund and Edgeman note that Six Sigma programs have become popular across business enterprises worldwide. In some firms, implementing Six Sigma programs has yielded billions in savings that the firms have invested in other areas of their operating processes. However, there is all but unanimity about value of Six Sigma to contemporary organizations. To some people, Six Sigma does not represent a new paradigm in quality management, whereas to others, Six Sigma programs are a revolutionary invention that will result in a radical transformation of the business landscape. This paper presents Six Sigma as an aspect of the broader framework of total quality management an aspect that integrates old and new approaches by applying new thinking to old problems. The authors contend that there may be nothing new about Six Sigma tools themselves; what is new about these tools is their use with a more strategic focus than it has been in the past.

Kreipl, S., & Pinedo, M. (2004). Planning and scheduling in supply chains: an overview of issues in practice. Production and Operations management, 13(1), 77-92.Kreipl and Pinedo posit that it is difficult to integrate planning systems and scheduling systems under a single framework. The difficulty results from, in part, the variation in measurement bases used at the planning stage and the scheduling stage. During planning, firms measure their objectives in terms of dollars, but during scheduling, firms measure their objective in terms of time units. In addition, there may be only a partial overlap in the period over which planning and scheduling activities attain optimum outcomes. For scheduling activities, the horizon for observing an optimum outcome starts in the present time and lasts over a short term. The outcome of scheduling activities, on the other hand, becomes apparent in the future, and the horizon for observing it lasts a long term. Medium-term planning models also differ on the aspects they emphasize; some models emphasize set-up costs, whereas others emphasize transportation costs. The emphasis of a planning model could be a reflection of the operations strategy the model is implementing.

Olhager, J., Rudberg, M., & Wikner, J. (2001). Long-term capacity management: Linking the perspectives from manufacturing strategy and sales and operations planning. International Journal of Production Economics, 69(2), 215-225

Olhager, Rudberg and Wikner explore how perspectives on managing capacity in the long-term can integrate into a single framework. Efficient management of the operating capacity has a bearing on the competitiveness of a manufacturing entity in terms of the operating costs, reliability and flexibility. In manufacturing contexts, capacity management falls under the structural decision category because its concern is in handling dynamic changes to capacity to help the firm align with shifts in product demand. Holistic capacity management in manufacturing contexts calls for sales and operations planning, which is a long-term initiative to align production levels to sales projections. Within the sales and operations planning framework, resource planning is an important element that helps firms determine the appropriate level of operating capacity that can result in the realization of the production plan. Overall, the interplay of the manufacturing strategy and long-term resource planning opens new ground in capacity management for manufacturing operations.

Pfeifer, T., Reissiger, W., & Canales, C. (2004). Integrating six sigma with quality management systems. The TQM Magazine, 16(4), 241-249.

Pfeifer, Reissiger, and Canales note that the successful implementation of Six Sigma in European enterprises has lent the concept more credence. It is plausible to assume that, going forward, Six Sigma will become an important competitive factor for small and medium enterprises (SME). Considering firms in the SME segment may have low financial capabilities, it is important to find approaches for tailoring the implementation of Six Sigma programs to the contextual circumstances of a firm. It is also important for SMEs to integrate Six Sigma programs with conventional quality principles in that predominantly disseminate quality management systems. The challenge, though, is a convenient combination of classic principles and contemporary paradigms in order to develop a specific application that maximizes the benefit. Having a specific, targeted application depends on the extent to which firms can exploit - to the optimum - the potential for improvement, and their efficiency in deploying production inputs and other resources.

Rajagopalan, S., & Swaminathan, J. M. (2001). A coordinated production planning model with capacity expansion and inventory management. Management Science, 47(11), 1562-1580.

Rajagopalan and Swaminathan assess how a large manufacturers production planning interacts with her decisions to acquire capacity when demand is growing. The manufacturer produces multiple items over multiple periods in which she knows the demand level, but the demand is variable and increasing over the long term; the demand also fluctuates in the short term. There is a significant changeover in the production equipment whenever the manufacturer stops producing one item and shifts to the production of another item. Although demand grows gradually, the manufacturer expands the production capacity discreetly. The mathematical programming model developed in the paper shows that an increase in product variety would not cause a build-up of inventory and its associated costs. In addition, the opportunities for expanding the operating capacity help contain changes in the total operating costs that could result from significant increases in the machine set-up times and inventory holding costs. The authors demonstrate the strategic value of effective capacity planning.

Riley, J. M., Riley, J. M., Klein, R., Klein, R., Miller, J., Miller, J., ... & Sridharan, V. (2016). How internal integration, information sharing, and training affect supply chain risk management capabilities. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 46(10), 953-980.

Riley et al. evaluate the factors influencing firms capabilities in warning and recovery. If firms have a high exposure to supply chain risks, managers can develop the firms competencies in internal integration, sharing pertinent information and training personnel as a way of bolstering the firms ability withstand supply chain risks. The researchers find a significant correlation between a firms ability to act on warning and its level of internal integration. The be...

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