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Abstract

Many industrial companies today operate under strict employment legislation and work agreements. Since flexible capacity has been widely recognized as an important hedge against uncertain demand, there exist strong efforts to introduce more flexible workforce models. In this paper, we investigate the benefits of such labor flexibility and its interplay with machine flexibility from a network capacity investment perspective.We consider a firm that has to invest simultaneously in labor and machine capacity under uncertain demand and a given network configuration while anticipating the deployment of labor flexibility after demand has been realized. Instruments of labor flexibility range from temporary employment to personnel transfers between plants. The underlying decision problem is formulated as a two-stage stochastic program with recourse.Based on numerical studies and the analysis of a stylized model, we demonstrate the impact of labor flexibility on the optimal levels of machine and labor capacity. We compare the benefits obtained by personnel transfers with those of temporary workers and find that temporary employment always decreases the number of permanent workers, while personnel transfers may even allow for a larger workforce. Our results further indicate that personnel transfers are more effective in larger manufacturing networks although these benefits are decreasing when most plants in the network are capable of producing more than one product (machine flexibility). Finally, we present evidence for the efficiency of a combined usage of personnel transfers and temporary workers.

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... As the temporary workers are in most cases, less skillful than regular workers, they usually perform only a specific subset of tasks. Temporary workers improve the adaptability and, therefore, responsiveness of a manufacturing system in case of a high seasonal or uncertain demand [De Bruecker et al., 2015, Corominas et al., 2008, Francas et al., 2011. Table 1.2 summarizes the recent literature, which concentrates on the use of temporary workers and corresponding optimization problems. ...
... A combination of moving and temporary workers was considered by [Francas et al., 2011]. The authors proved that temporary workers always decrease the investment in regular workers. ...
... In fact, a proper combination of strategies may provide better results than implementing only one. For example, Cevikcan and Durmusoglu [2011] and Francas et al. [2011] found the benefits of using moving workers in combination with temporary and utility workers. ...
Thesis
Mass customization and frequent market fluctuations push industrial companies to employ flexible and reconfigurable multi/mixed-model assembly lines instead of dedicated ones. This thesis focuses on this problem. It concentrates mainly on mixed-model assembly line design and balancing problems. The questions concerning the efficiency of such lines, the importance of optimal task assignment and use of walking workers are asked and studied. To increase the flexibility of the line, we account for different types of task assignments: fixed, model-dependent,and dynamic. We aim to design a line that can handle various entering product models. We use combinatorial optimization methods, and,in particular, robust optimization approaches. We present an extensive literature review on line balancing, workforce planning, and workforce reconfiguration strategies in different production systems. The first problem addresses a configuration selection problem between a single multi-model line and multiple dedicated lines. The second problem consists in designing and balancing a mixed-model assembly line with walking workers. We propose fixed and model-dependent task assignments for a given set of product mixes. The goal is to minimize the total cost of workers and equipment for the worst case. The third problem extends the second one. It considers the dynamic task assignment. In the last problem, we extend the third problem for the case where the sequence of products unfolds takt by takt. In this context, we minimize both the expected total cost and the worst-case cost. In order to solve the considered problems, we develop several exact methods and heuristics: mixed-integer linear programming models, greedy algorithm, local search,matheuristic and fixed-and-optimize heuristics among others. We also apply a Markov Decision Process to the proposed line balancing problem in the last chapter. It is the first study applying this method to a line balancing problem. Computational experiments evaluate the performance of the proposed approaches in terms of solution quality and time consumption. We draw managerial insights in each chapter. Our results show the superiority of the dynamic task assignment compared to model-dependent and fixed ones in different production situations.
... Temporary workers improve the adaptability and, therefore, responsiveness of a manufacturing system in case of a high seasonal or uncertain demand (De Bruecker et al., 2015;Corominas et al., 2008;Francas et al., 2011). Table 3 summarizes the recent literature, which concentrates on the use of temporary workers and corresponding optimization problems. ...
... Sikora et al. (2017) provided some real case studies with human workers and robots, assignment restrictions, zoning constraints, tasks executed by machines and common tasks requiring at least two workers. Bock et al. (2006) A combination of moving and temporary workers was considered by Francas et al. (2011). The authors proved that temporary workers always decrease the investment in regular workers. ...
... In fact, a proper combination of strategies may provide better results than implementing only one. For example, Cevikcan & Durmusoglu (2011) and Francas et al. (2011) found the benefits of using moving workers in combination with temporary and utility workers. ...
Article
This paper provides a literature review and an analysis of the studies related to workforce reconfiguration strategies as a part of workforce planning for various production environments. The survey demonstrates that these strategies play a crucial role in the resilience and flexibility of manufacturing systems since they help industrial companies to quickly adapt to frequent changes in demand both in terms of volume and product mix. Five strategies are considered: the use of utility, temporary, walking, cross-trained workers, and bucket brigades. They are analysed in the context of mixed and multi-model manual assembly lines, dedicated, cellular, flexible, and reconfigurable manufacturing systems. The review shows that most of the researches on these reconfiguration strategies focus on multi- or mixed-model assembly lines. At the same time, few studies consider workers team reconfiguration in flexible and reconfigurable manufacturing systems. Finally, this paper reveals several promising research directions in workforce reconfiguration planning, namely, the use of both machine and workforce reconfigurations, consideration of the ergonomic aspects, the combination of multiple workforce reconfiguration strategies, the study of workforce reconfiguration in human-robot collaborative systems, and the use of new technologies in human-machine industrial environments.
... Evaluating the sustainability of manufacturing systems using a cost-time profile diagram identifies single-criteria optimization problems well [2], but is unable to identify and describe the manufacturing flexibility influence on the manufacturing systems [12]. The importance of the manufacturing flexibility impact is defined as a four level architecture model within the manufacturing system [13]. An individual resource level defines the flexibility of the manufacturing system`s resources: labor, machinery and material handling. ...
... The flexibility defined in this way is a research problem that consists of two parts: multi-criteria optimization of flexible manufacturing systems, and evaluation of the cost-time profile diagram, depending on the manufacturing flexibility [16]. An appropriately valued and optimized cost-time and manufacturing flexibility ratio ensures a sustainably justified production system that minimizes negative environmental impacts, enhances quality and ensures the company′s global competitive advantage [13]. ...
... The initial research question was related to the ability to model manufacturing flexibility and its impact on cost-time investment, correlated with sustainable manufacturing processes, more sustainable products and social and environmental benefits [2]. The main purpose of the research was to demonstrate a new approach to manufacturing flexibility modelling, based on a comprehensive consideration of all parameters with respect to a four-level architectural model [13]. A mathematical method is presented for calculating the characteristics of a flexible job sop production system and determining the interdependencies between cost, time and manufacturing flexibility. ...
Article
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The presented manuscript deals with the impact of manufacturing flexibility on cost-time investment as a function of sustainable production, which addresses the company's sustainable social and environmental impact adequately. The impact of manufacturing flexibility on cost-time investment in the research sphere is not described, despite the fact that we know its key role in the high-mix low-volume production types. Recently, researchers have been addressing intensively the impacts of various parameters on the sustainable aspect and its dependence on manufacturing flexibility. The complexity of the influence parameters is reflected in the multi-criteria nature of optimization problems that can be solved with appropriate use of the evolutionary computation methods. The manuscript presents a new method of manufacturing flexibility modelling, with respect to the four-level architectural model, which reflected as a symmetry phenomena influence on the cost-time profile diagram. The solution to a complex optimization problem is derived using the proposed improved heuristic Kalman algorithm method. A new method is presented of optimization parametersèvaluation with respect to the manufacturing flexibility impacts on cost-time investment. The large impact of appropriate multi-criteria optimization on a sustainably justified production system is presented, with the experimental work on benchmark datasets and an application case. The new method allows a comprehensive optimization approach, and validation of the optimization results by which we can provide more sustainable products, manufacturing processes, and increase the company's total, social and environmental benefits.
... Most of them are stochastic, and some are not controllable. There are already different stochastic-programming models available in the literature [13], and some researchers have already applied them in manufacturing systems to analyze setup times [14], batch size [15], and machines and labor [16]. Within this context, this study aimed to optimize the total process cost per piece for AISI 52100 hardened-steel turning by also taking into account the following stochastic variables: setup time, insert changing time, batch size, machine and labor cost, tool holder price, tool holder life, and insert price. ...
... As a result, batch sizes (Z) may vary according to the customers' demands, which are usually considered random [32]. In addition, Francas et al. [16] investigated how machine and labor flexibility may reduce production costs of manufacturing networks. In these scenarios, machine and labor costs (S m + S h ) also have a stochastic nature. ...
... The partial derivatives of the stochastic variables are presented in Table 5, and the optimization problem is shown in Eq. (16), ...
Article
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An optimization problem of the AISI 52100 hard-steel turning process is examined. A new approach is presented in which not only the machine parameters (cutting speed, feed rate, and depth of cut) but also the stochastic industrial variables of setup time, insert changing time, batch size, machine and labor costs, tool holder price, tool holder life, and insert price are considered. By representing each of these variables by a given probability distribution, the goal was to analyze their impact on the total process cost per piece (Kp). Experiments were carried out following a central composite design to model tool life (T), average surface roughness (Ra), and peak-to-valley surface roughness (Rt) using a response surface methodology. Then, stochastic programming was used to model Kp’s expected value and standard deviation. The approach to the optimization problem aimed to maximize the probability for the cost to be less than a target value, subject to the experimental space and to maximum values of both Ra and Rt. The results were optimal values for the cutting conditions that provide a suitable confidence interval for Kp. The most-significant industrial variables on Kp were ranked. In addition, it was found that, in the addressed case, cutting conditions for maximum tool life actually increase Kp.
... Finally, an extensive number of articles focus on how the perception of environment -fitinfluences the manufacturing flexibility decision (i.e., [525,273,157]) under different contexts, i.e., short product life cycle environments, emerging countries and monopoly environments, among others. With respect to the smallest emergent cluster, technology, its content reveals a research line focused on analysing the impact of technology implementation on manufacturing flexibility development (i.e., [316,312]), whereas a second group of documents focuses on analysing relationships or tradeoffs between individual manufacturing flexibility types (i.e., [327,328,326]). ...
... On the one hand, the hierarchy research line adopts the strategic approach for sustaining that the manufacturing flexibility construct is composed of two flexibility levels (internal and external) that are interlinked [303,305,307] and focus on the analysis of these inter-level linkages. On the other hand, a second research line adopts a narrower perspective and explores possible intra-level linkages between flexibility types that compose either the internal (i.e., [326]) or external (i.e., [329]) flexibility levels-trade-offs research line. In both research lines, existing research presents some limitations derived from the problem associated with the flexibility conceptualisation and operationalisation. ...
... Beginning with non-technological resources, critical analysis of this research line reveals that most of their works analyse and test the direct and positive 1 effect of various non-technological resources on the dependent variable "flexibility" (path R 1 Fig. 2), as well as the mediating effect of flexibility on the resources-performance relationship (path R 2 Fig. 2). In contrast, the research analysing the moderating effect of flexibility on the non-technological resources-performance relationship 2 (path R 3 Fig. 2), or the mediating effect of some resources, -i.e., resources for innovation, on the flexibility-performance relationship 3 is Cellular manufacturing systems management [184][185][186][187][188][189][190]181,[191][192][193][194], Simulation tools development [195][196][197][198][199][200][201][202][203][204][205][206][207][208] Technology implementation effects [308][309][310][311][312][313][314][315][316][317][318][319][320][321][322] Tradeoffs between flexibility types [323][324][325][326][327][328][329]143,330,331] scarcer (path R 4 Fig. 2)-. Notwithstanding the limited presence of theoretical foundations for the establishment of these relationships Resource Based View (RBV) and contingency theory emerge as relevant approaches. ...
Article
This work proposes a systematic literature review on manufacturing flexibility that provides a broad map of the main investigated research issues in manufacturing flexibility and future research opportunities on the topic. A sample of 284 academic articles published in peer-reviewed international journals up to 2017 constitutes the knowledge base of the study. This sample is analysed through the combination of two complementary methods: 1) a co-words bibliometric technique to identify the thematic sub-fields as well as their relative standing and 2) a critical reflection based upon an in-depth reading of each of the articles that compose the subfields previously identified with the purpose of interpreting the intellectual structure of the research. This information makes it possible to identify trends and deficiencies in this context, providing well-structured information helping to centralise the efforts required for future work. Based on information from the literature, this paper proposes a theory-based research agenda that summarises different axes of development for future investigations within the field.
... A high degree of flexibility is required from industrial companies due to increasing environmental impacts and higher variability of products and processes (Jain et al., 2013). In particular, wider product ranges and shorter product life cycles increase the fluctuations in demand for products (Francas et al., 2011). A key tool to smooth these fluctuations is the employment of temporary employees (Qin et al., 2015), but their use can contribute to social inequalities. ...
... In the literature, for example, Koste and Malhotra (1999) distinguish between the individual resource level, the shop floor level, the plant level and the functional level. A significant aspect of this is the consideration of fluctuations in demand, and the development of tools to harmonize the product supply and demand has become a key factor in achieving a sufficient utilization and a high service level (Francas et al., 2011). One important measure to achieve this, is the employment of temporary employees (Qin et al., 2015). ...
Conference Paper
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The research seeks to examine the importance of economic and non-economic incentives for managers operating in non-profit sports organisations. It also focuses on how managers in such organisations view the gap between compensation and specific aspects of managerial work, such as the amount of work done, the authority and responsibility vested in them, the required competencies and the level of their personal initiative. A questionnaire survey organised among managers of Czech nonprofit sports organisations has been chosen as the research method. In total, the research group included 270 respondents. The analysis provides overall results of the survey along with more detailed results broken down by management level and parttime/full-time employees. The results show a strong preference for non-economic incentives, especially meaningful work, helping others, self-actualisation and responsibility, mission, conviction. By contrast, the respondents attributed the least importance to contributions towards insurance premiums, holiday bonuses and other services provided by the organisation at reduced prices, or for free, and holiday. The self-assessment of the interplay between compensation and various aspects of managerial work showed the respondents viewed their work as undervalued, most notably with respect to the level of responsibility, the work done and their own personal initiative. The perceived undervaluation is viewed especially strongly for volunteers in managerial positions, who, due to the nature of volunteering, collect only minimal, mostly symbolic wages. This trend especially manifests itself strongly at higher tiers of management and with part-time workers.
... A high degree of flexibility is required from industrial companies due to increasing environmental impacts and higher variability of products and processes (Jain et al., 2013). In particular, wider product ranges and shorter product life cycles increase the fluctuations in demand for products (Francas et al., 2011). A key tool to smooth these fluctuations is the employment of temporary employees (Qin et al., 2015), but their use can contribute to social inequalities. ...
... In the literature, for example, Koste and Malhotra (1999) distinguish between the individual resource level, the shop floor level, the plant level and the functional level. A significant aspect of this is the consideration of fluctuations in demand, and the development of tools to harmonize the product supply and demand has become a key factor in achieving a sufficient utilization and a high service level (Francas et al., 2011). One important measure to achieve this, is the employment of temporary employees (Qin et al., 2015). ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
To achieve flexibility and in particular volume flexibility is an important task for manufacturing companies, especially regarding increasing fluctuations in product demand. Enterprises cover these fluctuations by the operational production planning. In this context, the harmonization of the available and required capacity is a central task, which is assigned to the levels of aggregate production planning and master production scheduling. For this, general approaches consider only the use of additional capacities and there are only a few approaches that combine aspects of personnel requirements planning with production planning. Therefore, this article presents a linear optimization model for master production scheduling. A frequently used tool in industrial practice to cover the fluctuations in demand is the use of temporary employees. But, the temporary employment often is connected with social inequalities. In order to improve social sustainability, this paper investigate different strategies of temporary employment while satisfying various fluctuations in demand and the impact on costs as well as on other social aspects is analyzed. In this regard, the work intensity, the deviations from the regular working time and the use of overtime are assessed. It was observed that the share of temporary employees could be reduced without a significant increase in costs. However, limiting the share of temporary employees to a level less than the fluctuations in demand affects other social aspects negative.
... A high degree of flexibility is required from industrial companies due to increasing environmental impacts and higher variability of products and processes (Jain et al., 2013). In particular, wider product ranges and shorter product life cycles increase the fluctuations in demand for products (Francas et al., 2011). A key tool to smooth these fluctuations is the employment of temporary employees (Qin et al., 2015), but their use can contribute to social inequalities. ...
... In the literature, for example, Koste and Malhotra (1999) distinguish between the individual resource level, the shop floor level, the plant level and the functional level. A significant aspect of this is the consideration of fluctuations in demand, and the development of tools to harmonize the product supply and demand has become a key factor in achieving a sufficient utilization and a high service level (Francas et al., 2011). One important measure to achieve this, is the employment of temporary employees (Qin et al., 2015). ...
... Thus, companies have to meet shorter delivery times and life cycles, a wider range of products as well as incresead customization (Toni and Tonchia 1998). The wider range of products and the shorter product life cycle have increased the fluctuations in demand (Francas et al. 2011). To overcome these fluctuations, companies have to achieve volume flexibility. ...
... To overcome these fluctuations, companies have to achieve volume flexibility. For this, balancing available capacity with capacity requirements has become important (Francas et al. 2011). Companies implement a variety of strategies to attain this harmonization. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Flexibility and in particular volume flexibility is an important topic for industrial manufacturing companies. In this context, the harmonization of the available and required capacity is a central task, especially with increasing fluctuations in customer demand. In classical approaches , this is considered only by the use of additional capacities and there are only a few approaches that combine aspects of personnel planning with production planning. Therefore, this article presents a linear optimization model for master production scheduling that includes aspects of personnel requirements planning. It is used to investigate different strategies for the use of overtime and temporary workers in order to achieve different levels of volume flexibility. With regard to the monetary and social impacts, the results indicate that overtime has a stronger influence to achieve volume flexibility than the use of temporary workers. However, both are affected by substantial deficits in human working conditions. But the results also imply a promising potential for improving the social aspects without a significant increase in costs.
... Evidence for this additional strain on manufacturing operations is provided by China's average working hours falling from 46.7 h in January to 40.2 h in February 2020, with 49% of employees not being able to work in that same month (Zeng, 2020). As may be expected, this impact was particularly pronounced in labor-intensive industries, where labor is a critical, if not the most important, resource (Bechtold & Jacobs, 1991;Francas et al., 2011). The nature of work in labor-intensive industries is also often associated with an inability to perform the work remotely (Bhattacharya & Narayan, 2015), exacerbating the challenges faced by labor-intensive manufacturers. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigates the impact of the Chinese government's Level I emergency response policy on manufacturers' stock market values. We empirically examine the roles of human resource dependence (labor intensity) and operational slack within the context of supply chain resilience. Through an event study of 1357 Chinese manufacturing companies, we find that the government's emergency response policy triggered statistically significant positive abnormal returns for manufacturers. However, we also find that there exists a negative impact on abnormal returns for manufacturers that are labor‐intensive, giving rise to arguments based in resource dependence theory. In addition, the results indicate the positive role played by operational slack (e.g., financial and inventory slack) in helping manufacturers maintain operations and business continuity, effectively mitigating risks and adding to the manufacturers' resilience. With these findings, we contribute to operations and supply chain management by calling attention to the importance of human resource redundancy while at the same time identifying financial slack and inventory as supply chain resilience strategies that were able to mitigate pandemic‐related risks. Although government policies and regulations are often central for supply chain risk mitigation, they may sometimes also carry secondary risks; manufacturers should monitor and ideally anticipate public policy interventions. Slack financial resources provide greater flexibility in a company's response to an unanticipated event and should thus be emphasized; nevertheless, the value of excess inventory should not be neglected. A greater dependence on labor exposes manufacturers to greater risks, especially when public policy curtails travel and the movement of labor. Governments should use policymaking as a means to provide guidance and support regarding the deployment of manufacturers' operational slack, especially financial slack.
... The current competitive environment continuously challenges companies that have to show outstanding capabilities in adapting to these changes. In particular, manufacturers deal with mega trends such as growing product customization and internationalization of their businesses that ultimately cause shorter product life cycle, the explosion in the number of product families, and growing sources of variability (Francas et al. 2011). ...
Article
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Either make-to-order (MTO) or make-to-stock (MTS) alone cannot satisfy the customer demand. Therefore, companies in different sectors are trying to adopt a hybrid MTO-MTS production strategy. Unlike MTO or MTS, there are few research on hybrid MTO-MTS environment and very few considering the operational issues. The workload control seems to handle better the operational issues in the hybrid environment considering job shop configuration whereas drum buffer rope has been designed to handle the bottleneck issue in a pure flow shop. Therefore, the objective of this paper has been defined to compare bottleneck-based release models and load-based ones in a hybrid MTO-MTS flow shop. Simulation results are not clearly in favour of one over the other, since besides severity, there is another important factor to consider: the choice of control at the dispatching level, and its connected trade-offs. In particular, implementing this control with the bottleneck-based rule is effective for MTO performances, especially in cases of high severity. Instead, when control at dispatching is absent, the workload control as a release rule is preferred, leading also to the best lead times for low severity. The results demonstrate important managerial and research implications for bottleneck-based and load-based release models in MTO-MTS flow shops.
... lower project cost (Gomar et al. 2002), shorter project time (Hegazy et al. 2000), and higher product and service quality (Qin and Nembhard 2015). Every cross-training configuration comes with its own specific costs, which may include reduced efficiency (Yang 2007), quality loss (Sayın and Karabatı 2007), transfer costs (Francas et al. 2011), training costs (Azizi and Liang 2013), salary increases (Lill 2009), and psychological effects (Campbell 2011). The complex interactions between the cross-training benefits and costs pertaining to each individual cross-training configuration necessitates a careful cost-benefit analysis to avoid costs dominating benefits (Mi and Scacchi 1996). ...
Article
The objective of this research was to present a platform to identify the optimal staffing of a multiskilled workforce in the construction industry. The novelty of our model is its capability in developing a customized and context specific multiskilled workforce staffing strategy that identifies the best compromise between multiskilling costs and benefits with consideration of unique features of different production environments. Another novelty of our multiskilled workforce staffing is its capacity to explore every possible schedule associate with every possible staffing strategy. Our model chooses the multiskilling staffing strategy corresponding to the schedule that leads to the best results in terms of cost and time. The paper examined optimal multiskilling staffing and scheduling and compared it with well-regarded existing multiskilling strategies in the construction industry, such as chaining and direct capacity balancing, using an optimization technique. The parameters of the optimization model were informed by a small hypothetical case and a real case off-site construction factory producing bathroom pods in Australia. Developed an optimal multiskilling staffing strategy continuously and in some cases significantly outweighed the existing well-regarded multiskilling strategies. The optimal multiskilling staffing strategy is highly context-specific and can be very complex because achieving it needs having an appropriate staffing platform. Subjective decision making on a multi skilling staffing strategy that does not deploy the workforce to the most appropriate workstations can lead to a significant productivity loss.
... It is a measure of production performance and is directly proportional to the manufacturing productivity of a firm. (Demeter, Chikán, & Matyusz, 2011;Francas, Löhndorf, & Minner, 2011;Shahidul et al., 2013;Tratar, 2010) Deliver (D) Service Quality (D1) ...
Article
This study aims to evaluate the relative importance of critical performing supply chain (SC) processes instrumental in reducing the Time to Market (TTM) of a firm by taking the case of an apparel company. An integrated decision support system based on the Fuzzy Inference System (FIS) and Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) has been employed to prioritize the critical strategic factors and their relevant sub-factors essential for TTM. This approach also allows determining the degree of impact of each factor on the company’s TTM. The results show the instrumental role of Plan and Deliver in SC processes in reducing the TTM. Within Plan and Deliver, the role of demand forecasting error and service quality was found to be substantial in controlling TTM. The findings of the study can be helpful for the managers and decision-makers to identify the key areas at the operational level that need to be improved and has an impact on strategic level performance, i.e., TTM. The use of a decision support system to identify the critical supply chain processes and sub-processes is the major contribution of this study.
... Temporary workers are high-skilled professionals, and are available to fill even the most specialist skill requirement (HAYS news, 2021). Considering temporary workers can improve the flexibility of the deployment of labor force (Francas et al., 2011). Liu et al. (2019) introduce the employment of high-skilled temporary workers into the ALWABP with uncertain disabled worker availability. ...
Article
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Assembly line worker assignment and balancing problem (ALWABP) is an important research topic originated from sheltered work centres for disabled, in which workforce is assumed to be heterogeneous due to their disabilities. Since the employment of disabled workers may sustain higher absenteeism rates due to their health, especially under COVID-19, employing temporary workers to fill labour shortage is a crucial issue. In addition, in practice, the movement of workers between stations on assemble lines can increase the flexibility of worker assignment. In this study, we investigate a new risk-averse ALWABP with uncertain disabled worker availability, limited temporary workers and moving workers. The objective is to minimise the risk-averse weighted sum of the cycle time and the number of employed temporary workers. For the problem, a risk-averse two-stage stochastic programming model is formulated. The first stage assigns specific tasks (called fixed tasks) to stations, while the second stage assigns workers and remaining tasks (called flexible tasks) to stations. A genetic algorithm combining K-means clustering approach and variable neighbourhood search (GAKV) is designed. Experiment results show the superiority of the GAKV in terms of solution quality and computation time compared with sample average approximation (SAA). In addition, managerial insights are drawn.
... The also show that flexibility in transshipment enables global production networks more robust to demand and exchange rate uncertainties. Francas et al. [14] consider a production network of a firm and study labor and manufacturing capacity investment decisions in face of demand uncertainty. They show that investment in labor flexibility benefits larger production networks, however such benefit decreases when product flexibility is more in the networks. ...
Article
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Our research is motivated by capacity investment and inventory sourcing decisions that firms make while investing in multi-plant production facilities to offer products and services to the markets. We study the strategic choice between investing alternative technologies in a production network and examine for conditions under which flexible technology to be chosen over dedicated technology and vice-versa. We model a firm’s technology choice, capacity investment, and inventory sourcing decisions in face of demand uncertainty as a two-stage stochastic optimization problem for a production network. We conduct numerical studies to examine a situation under which flexible technology to be chosen over dedicated technology in a production network. We observe that optimal amount of capacity to be acquired in a production network with flexible technology is less compared to a network with dedicated technologies. However, optimal levels of inventories to be sourced in a production network with flexible technology is more compared to a network with dedicated technologies. We show that a production network with flexible technology can hedge against demand uncertainty using operational measures such as extra inventory and flexible capacity; in case products demand is either negatively or positively correlated then the value of investing in flexible technology in a production network diminishes.
... Flexible human resources capable of handling all internal and external situations such as changes in demand volume and design according to customer requirements. This issue is also demonstrated by Francas et al. (2011); however, a flexible labor transition will affect better competitiveness. Hence, there was the first hypothesis; ...
Article
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Economic integration is an indispensable trend in all countries. However, besides the advantages that economic integration brings, there are also disadvantages, such as competition between businesses among states in export activities. Vietnam is a developing country with many advantages, especially, the seafood exporting industry. However, with competitive pressure as well as strategic constraints, Vietnamese seafood exporters still face many difficulties. Therefore, the case study of the Kien Giang province of Vietnam is used to analyze the factors affecting the competitiveness of seafood exporting enterprises. The study applied quantitative research methods with a survey of 350 seafood exporting enterprises in Kien Giang province to achieve the research objectives. The research results identified eleven key factors affecting the competitiveness of seafood exporting enterprises, including (1) vision and strategy of leader; (2) human resources management capability; (3) organization capability; (4) customer-responsive marketing capability; (5) relationship management capability; (6) technical capability; (7) competitors reaction capability; (8) business environment adoption capability; (9) financial capability; (10) products and services innovation capability; and (11) branding management. The research results provided the basis to propose some managerial implications to improve the competitiveness of exporting enterprises in the context of the global economic integration.
... However, the traditional mathematical models might be in the process of unsuitable models under uncertain demand on assembly lines of the real world. For instance, Francas et al. [4] express that they should consider a firm that has to invest simultaneously in labor and machine capacity under uncertain demand and a given network configuration while anticipating the deployment of labor flexibility after demand has been realized. Additionally, Corominas et al. [5] present the process of rebalancing the line at motorcycle-assembly plant. ...
Article
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The assembly line design and balancing problems have been widely documented in the literature. Generally, many previous papers assume the tasks do not depend on the stations, i.e., any task can be carried out at any station. On the other hand, some previous papers involve solving two assignment problems. For instance, resources must be assigned to stations, while tasks are assigned to the same stations simultaneously. On the other hand, some previous papers also introduce the lines where some tasks cannot be performed at all the stations and where performance times depend on the worker performing the task just like the real world. However, the models are processed to reduce the dimension of the problem, and therefore they have some shortcomings. Especially, the task time for temporary workers is expressed as the product of the task time for a permanent worker and a coefficient deterministically. Therefore, it cannot consider the strategic human resource planning even though the skill levels of various workers exist in the real world. In this paper, a multi-period worker assignment model considering work elements, skills, learning and forgetting is proposed by redefining new variables and parameters regarding worker skills. Using numerical experiments, we show better cases where the proposed model leads to less total processing time and higher production rate for each human resource strategy. In addition, we show the number of workers at a particular skill at the end of simulation to consider strategic human resource management simulation.
... Later, addition of material handling, program, and market flexibility in the existing flexibility increases its number from eight to 11 [10]. From past, many of the researchers are working over the impact of routing and machine flexibility on different performance parameters of FMS [11][12][13][14][15][16]. Some work related with the layout problems of FMS has been done in literature also [17][18][19][20]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Flexible manufacturing system (FMS) is one of the solutions that enables any manufacturing system to withstand changing requirements of the market. An FMS consists of different automated workstations, material handling devices, and storage systems, all of which work under computer control. In the present work, analysis and modeling of a real problem has been considered for performance improvement. Modeling is done for analyzing the performance of an existing model, to propose a new layout for the system. Effect of factors like part mix, layout type, and batching condition, on the system performance in terms of productivity, system utilization rate, and cycle time is analyzed. The work includes simulation study along with Taguchi’s experimental design framework for studying how different factors with varying levels affect system performance. ProModel software is used for simulating existing and proposed models of the manufacturing firm. Further, analysis of variance (ANOVA) is employed for finding the most important factor that affects system performance. Proposed methodology helps in determining best factor-level combination for each performance parameter. The results show that the system performs well with the implementation of loop layout having many numbers of batches. Towards the end, the scope of further is highlighted.
... Flexible workers are apt to handle internal/external uncertainty in the production process such as absenteeism (Zhang et al., 2003), change in volume of demand and design as per the requirement of customer. It is also supported by Francas et al. (2011) that the ease of transfer of labour between the departments leads to the labour flexibility. In the present study this flexibility is measured by the workers' capability to work on more than one machine at a time, on machine with multiple operations, the ability to operate various machines, altering of working methods, availability of workers when there is change in demand and product design variations, ease to transfer between organizational units and departments. ...
... Demeter and Matyusz (2011) found a significant relationship between lean manufacturing practices and inventory turnover. Francas et al. (2011) investigate the benefits of labor flexibility and its interplay with machine flexibility from a network capacity investment perspective. Eroglu and Hofer (2011) investigated the effect of inventory leanness on firm performance. ...
Article
Purpose Today, manufacturing companies are facing a fierce competition and are under great pressure to cut costs for survival in the market. So emphasis is given to enhance quality, minimize waste, customer delight and increasing productivity through reduction in wastage of resources. But, most companies hesitate to implement all measures simultaneously to acquire lean manufacturing because of some practical/ capital constraints. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to develop a phase-wise approach to implement lean manufacturing. Design/methodology/approach The paper opted for an exploratory study using the qualitative flexible system methodology framework proposed by Sushil (1994) and options field methodology proposed by Warfield (1982, 1990) including rigorous group discussion comprising the employees representing middle and senior management with productivity improvement backgrounds. The response of experts was recorded using a specially designed instrument in the light of the parameters suggested in group discussion. The measures/ actions were arranged in the decreasing order of their cumulative score. Findings The paper provides a phase-wise approach to implement lean manufacturing. Mixed approach is preferred over the other three approaches to implement lean manufacturing. Thirty measures/actions contributing to mixed approach are identified to implement lean manufacturing in three phases. A three-phase approach is developed: 10, 14 and six measures in the first, second and third phases, respectively, are identified to implement lean manufacturing after considering the practical constraints faced by the companies. Research limitations/implications All the measures/actions suggested to implement lean manufacturing are focused on the engineering manufacturing industry. Thus, the research results may lack generalizability and are limited to engineering manufacturing industry. The model developed in this research is based upon experts’ opinions. The experts’ opinion may be biased. The results of the model may vary in the real-world setting. Practical implications The present paper provides guidelines to practitioners for implementing lean manufacturing in phases. Hopefully, this study will motivate the firm’s management for implementing lean manufacturing and limiting the effect of practical constraints and scarcity of resources. Originality/value This paper fulfills and identifies the need to develop an approach to implement lean manufacturing phase wise because of practical constraints.
... overtime, flexible resource allocation, as well as shortterm and temporary increase in resource capacity) and external capacities. Furthermore, product-mix flexibility (ability to use one resource to build multiple products, according to Francas et al. [46]) and routing-flexibility (ability to produce a part by alternate routes through the system, according to Sethi and Sethi [47]) are modelled to allow for the compensation of fully used capacities at one production site or segment. When flexibility measures can no longer cope with forecasted demand changes, there is a need for the reconfiguration of network structures and capacities. ...
Article
Full-text available
Given today's customer requirements in different market segments, companies are facing increased complexity when utilising their global production networks. To meet long-term corporate goals, the consideration of customer requirements at early production planning stages and during the order fulfilment processes becomes essential. A holistic approach for production network design, planning, and control is sought addressing stated matters on strategic, tactical, and operational level. In this paper, a decision-support model is introduced integrating product allocation and production and supply network (re-)design, followed by assignment of customer orders to plants and local (re-) scheduling. The model is applied in the aeronautics industry.
... On the other hands, capacity utilization depends on production operating parameters such as the technology level of machinery, facility layout of production levels, production planning and others (Gunasekaran et at, 1998, Mesut 2011. David et al. (2011) and Krisztina et al., (2011) examined the impact of machine flexibility on production performance and found a positive association between CU and production operation. ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose-This study designed to develop a framework for the purpose of measuring and analysis of machinery Capacity Utilization (CU) and Capacity Gap (CG). The proposed framework aims to support the production and operation managers of garment manufacturing firms for evaluating production performance. Design/Methodology/Approach-The structure of the proposed framework has developed based on concept published in operations research, manufacturing and production management literatures. Theory of short-run production function and engineering concept of capacity utilization has been used for developing the framework; and tested by using input-output data of year 2007-2012 of garments manufacturing firms. Findings-Test results revealed that the developed framework was able to measure CU and CG of targeted manufacturing firms successfully. Findings showed that CU of machinery was 67.3% with the CG of this variable 6.2%. The estimated actual CU was about 53% and potentially CU was about 62%. Limitation-This study only focused on the garment manufacturing firm for measuring CU and CG of its installed machinery. Practical Implication-Production and operations managers at factory level would be benefited from the findings of this study in evaluating CU and CG for achieving higher production efficiency. Originality/value-The proposed framework enables production and operations manager for measuring capacity utilization of machineries and its gap which is the originality and core value of this study.
... Verknüpfung: linker Flexibilitätstyp befähigt rechten Flexibilitätstyp Flexibilitätstypen von Produktionssystemen hervorgehoben (Seidel & Garrel 2010;Goyal & Netessine 2011;Metternich et al. 2013). Beide finden typischerweise im Umfeld einer volatilen Nachfrage Einsatz, um einen Ausgleich zwischen Nachfrage und Produktionskapazität zu schaffen (Francas, Löhndorf & Minner 2011). Zudem stellt die Routenflexibilität einen wesentlichen Bestandteil der Gesamtflexibilität eines Systems dar (Chang 2007 ...
Book
Bedingt durch die zunehmende Verschiebung der Kundennachfrage hin zu Schwellenländern sowie durch den steigenden Individualisierungstrend in etablierten Märkten weiten Unternehmen ihr Produktangebot stetig aus. Parallel treiben sie die globale Expansion ihrer Produktionsaktivitäten voran, um die Produktionskosten durch die Nutzung unterschiedlicher Faktorkosten zu senken. Die optimale und dynamische Anpassung von Produktionsstrukturen und -kapazitäten ist von immer größerer Bedeutung, um die Wettbewerbsfähigkeit der Unternehmen zu sichern. Damit verbundene integrierte Entscheidungen werden jedoch immer komplexer. In der vorliegenden Dissertation wird eine Methodik zur integrierten Gestaltung globaler Produktionsnetzwerke vorgestellt, welche die Ermittlung der optimalen Produktallokationsstrategie und Netzwerkkonfigurationssequenz ermöglicht. Die Methodik setzt sich aus drei Modulen zusammen. Basierend auf den Ergebnissen des im ersten Modul entwickelten Algorithmus zur Clusterung des Produktprogramms werden im zweiten Modul unter Anwendung des entwickelten Optimierungsmodells Lösungen für das integrierte Entscheidungsproblem ermittelt. Weitere Verbesserungspotentiale werden mittels post-optimaler Analysemethoden im dritten Modul bestimmt. Unter Verwendung der Verbesserungspotentiale kann anschließend im Rahmen einer Postoptimierung eine weiter verbesserte Lösung gefunden werden. Die entwickelte Methodik leistet einen Beitrag zur Entscheidungsunterstützung im Rahmen der integrierten Produktionsgestaltung global agierender Unternehmen. Durch deren Anwendung kann das Risiko von Fehlentscheidungen bei der integrierten Gestaltung globaler Produktionsnetzwerke reduziert und weiteres Verbesserungspotential trotz der hohen Entscheidungskomplexität bestimmt werden.
... Experts claim that flexibility can be measured through different perspectives, yet the most common form of measuring flexibility is through volume and variety (Bengtsson and Olhager 2002;Francas et al. 2011;Manyoma 2011). Volume flexibility can be measured using the cost curve. ...
Book
Full-text available
Macroergonomics dates back to 1982 in Seattle, WA, USA. A group of concerned physical ergonomics researchers concluded that increasing the physical aspects of the job was important but not enough to improve human conditions in labor settings. Thus, to improve work conditions, a new approach was necessary for evaluating the organizational context. Under this scenario, the notion of Organizational Design and Management (ODAM) emerged as an attempt to consider the organizational structure in ergonomic evaluations. Then, years later, ODAM gave birth to macroergonomics, a subdiscipline or branch of ergonomics. Since then, macroergonomics has become popular. Originally, macroergonomics addressed work and job positions from an organizational approach, yet now it has evolved and extends beyond these aspects. Nowadays, it is also interested in manufacturing systems, healthcare systems, safety systems, and sustainable systems, among others. This book proposes a macroergonomic approach to evaluating manufacturing systems, which is why both terms—macroergonomics and manufacturing systems —must be clearly established from the beginning. That said, experts such as Hendrick (1995), Hendrick and Kleiner (2002), Carayon (2012) view macroergonomics as a branch of ergonomics that is both a top-down and a bottom-up approach to sociotechnical systems. Macroergonomics encompasses organizational structures, policies, and processes that support the design of work systems and interfaces, such as the human–work, human–machine, human–software, and human–environment interfaces. Its fundamental purpose is to make sure that work systems are fully harmonized and compatible with their sociotechnical characteristics to achieve synergic improvements within a broad range of organizational effectiveness criteria (e.g., safety and health, comfort, productivity) (Carayon 2012; Zink 2014).
... Experts claim that flexibility can be measured through different perspectives, yet the most common form of measuring flexibility is through volume and variety (Bengtsson and Olhager 2002;Francas et al. 2011;Manyoma 2011). Volume flexibility can be measured using the cost curve. ...
Book
Macroergonomics dates back to 1982 in Seattle, WA, USA. A group of concerned physical ergonomics researchers concluded that increasing the physical aspects of the job was important but not enough to improve human conditions in labor settings. Thus, to improve work conditions, a new approach was necessary for evaluating the organizational context. Under this scenario, the notion of Organizational Design and Management (ODAM) emerged as an attempt to consider the organizational structure in ergonomic evaluations. Then, years later, ODAM gave birth to macroergonomics, a subdiscipline or branch of ergonomics. Since then, macroergonomics has become popular. Originally, macroergonomics addressed work and job positions from an organizational approach, yet now it has evolved and extends beyond these aspects. Nowadays, it is also interested in manufacturing systems, healthcare systems, safety systems, and sustainable systems, among others. This book proposes a macroergonomic approach to evaluating manufacturing systems, which is why both terms—macroergonomics and manufacturing systems —must be clearly established from the beginning. That said, experts such as Hendrick (1995), Hendrick and Kleiner (2002), Carayon (2012) view macroergonomics as a branch of ergonomics that is both a top-down and a bottom-up approach to sociotechnical systems. Macroergonomics encompasses organizational structures, policies, and processes that support the design of work systems and interfaces, such as the human–work, human–machine, human–software, and human–environment interfaces. Its fundamental purpose is to make sure that work systems are fully harmonized and compatible with their sociotechnical characteristics to achieve synergic improvements within a broad range of organizational effectiveness criteria (e.g., safety and health, comfort, productivity) (Carayon 2012; Zink 2014).
... Second, it considers a case-study of high mix, low volume production of electronic devices with a hybrid ETO-MTO production system with both rapid prototyping and serial manufacturing that has also not been studied in literature from the positions of capacity flexibility with production smoothing consideration and with the help of MILP so far. Third, it considers a hybrid ETO-MTO production system that has not been studied in literature from the positions of labour capacity flexibility extensively so far (Francas et al., 2011). This paper is an extended version of the study by Zschorn et al. (2016). ...
... Second, it considers a case-study of high mix, low volume production of electronic devices with a hybrid ETO-MTO production system with both rapid prototyping and serial manufacturing that has also not been studied in literature from the positions of capacity flexibility with production smoothing consideration and with the help of MILP so far. Third, it considers a hybrid ETO-MTO production system that has not been studied in literature from the positions of labor capacity flexibility extensively so far (Francas et al. 2011). ...
... Nowadays, to increase the competitive market in the manufacturing industry that requires speedier time-to-market, higher quality of products [1], variety of product model, assembly processes grow into more globalized [2], and employees have good job satisfaction and well-being [3]. The manual assembly and flexibility processes have created for workers to make the assembly production survive in dynamic and uncertain market demand [4]. Manual assembly process is often required on physicality, human dexterity and cognitive capabilities of the production workers [5]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Musculoskeletal discomfort (MSD) is very common condition in automotive industry. MSD is affecting the worker's health, well-being and lower down the productivity. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to identify the prevalence of MSD and ergonomics risk factors among the production team members at a selected automotive component manufacturer in Malaysia. MSD data were collected by conducting structure interview with all participants by referring to the Cornell Musculoskeletal Disorder Questionnaire (CMDQ). Those production team members who achieved a total discomfort score for all body regions more than 100 was selected for job task assessment. The physical exposure risk factors of work related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD) has evaluated by using Quick Exposure Check (QEC) techniques. The results of the study identified the severe MSD associated with production assembly team members. It is expected that the prevalence of MSD for those production assembly team members was lower back (75.4%), upper back (63.2%), right shoulder (61.4%), and right wrist (60%). The QEC analysis discovered that about 70% of job tasks had very high risks for neck posture and 60% had high risks for the back (in moving condition) and shoulder/arm postures. There were 80% of respondents have produced a high score for exposure risk to vibration. As a conclusion, the main implication of the current study is that special attention should be paid to the physical and psychosocial aspects in production team members with musculoskeletal discomfort to improve their safety, health, and well-being, maintain work ability and productivity.
... Experts claim that flexibility can be measured through different perspectives, yet the most common form of measuring flexibility is through volume and variety (Bengtsson and Olhager 2002;Francas et al. 2011;Manyoma 2011). Volume flexibility can be measured using the cost curve. ...
Chapter
In this chapter, we present a hypothetical causal model to understand the impact of tools and technologies as a macroergonomic factor on manufacturing system performance. More specifically, the model assesses the effects of three macroergonomic elements of technologies and tools on Production Processes, Customers, and Organizational Performance. Data were obtained after administering the Macroergonomic Compatibility Questionnaire (MCQ) to middle and senior managers on Mexican manufacturing companies located in the state of Chihuahua. Results reveal that information technology has significant effects on manufacturing system performance, which is why they must be considered as a source of competitiveness. Also, we found that Customers and Production Processes have a positive impact on Organizational Performance.
... Experts claim that flexibility can be measured through different perspectives, yet the most common form of measuring flexibility is through volume and variety (Bengtsson and Olhager 2002;Francas et al. 2011;Manyoma 2011). Volume flexibility can be measured using the cost curve. ...
Chapter
The proper functioning of manufacturing systems can be ensured by conducting evaluations in terms of quality, productivity, leanness, flexibility, and reliability, among others. Then, after such evaluations, it is important to apply methods and strategies to improve the aforementioned aspects. In this chapter, we define the concept of evaluation and discuss its different stages. Also, we discuss the three aspects upon which manufacturing systems have been assessed through the years.
... Experts claim that flexibility can be measured through different perspectives, yet the most common form of measuring flexibility is through volume and variety (Bengtsson and Olhager 2002;Francas et al. 2011;Manyoma 2011). Volume flexibility can be measured using the cost curve. ...
Chapter
This chapter offers a definition of macroergonomic compatibility concept. For this, firstly, it mentions the different macroergonomic factors and elements existing in literature. Then, the chapter presents the history, goals, and definition of symvatology, a subdiscipline of ergonomics and science of artifact–human interaction. Finally, the chapter provides a definition of macroergonomic compatibility.
... Experts claim that flexibility can be measured through different perspectives, yet the most common form of measuring flexibility is through volume and variety (Bengtsson and Olhager 2002;Francas et al. 2011;Manyoma 2011). Volume flexibility can be measured using the cost curve. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter, we develop a macroergonomic compatibility index (MCI). The methodology combines employee perceptions regarding the macroergonomic practices implemented in their companies in the five macroergonomic factors previously addressed (person, organization, technologies and tools, tasks, and environment) with the assessment of experts regarding the importance of such macroergonomic practices. The MCI relies on dimensional analysis, which is why the result is a similarity index with respect to an ideal solution. The chapter describes step by step the methodology for the index generation and provides the results of the MCQ validation, which showed 91.3% of statistical reliability.
... Experts claim that flexibility can be measured through different perspectives, yet the most common form of measuring flexibility is through volume and variety (Bengtsson and Olhager 2002;Francas et al. 2011;Manyoma 2011). Volume flexibility can be measured using the cost curve. ...
Chapter
In this chapter, we present the most popular macroergonomic methods for the evaluation of work systems. More specifically, macroergonomic approaches and microergonomic perspectives are compared. Some of these methods have been adapted from more popular methodologies aimed at studying the organization and behavior of variables and factors. For every method, a brief description is offered to discuss its major advantages, drawbacks, and implementation areas. Also, whereas the majority of the methods presented below are composed of a series of instruments for data collection, others represent more comprehensive methodologies aimed at analyzing sociotechnical systems and organizational structures in terms of the technological and person subsystems and external environmental aspects. All these methods have contributed to the development and rapid growth of macroergonomics as a subdiscipline of ergonomics.
... Experts claim that flexibility can be measured through different perspectives, yet the most common form of measuring flexibility is through volume and variety (Bengtsson and Olhager 2002;Francas et al. 2011;Manyoma 2011). Volume flexibility can be measured using the cost curve. ...
Chapter
In this chapter, we define the term “manufacturing” to later conceptualize manufacturing systems. In addition, we describe the components of manufacturing systems to introduce the terms that will be used throughout the book.
... Experts claim that flexibility can be measured through different perspectives, yet the most common form of measuring flexibility is through volume and variety (Bengtsson and Olhager 2002;Francas et al. 2011;Manyoma 2011). Volume flexibility can be measured using the cost curve. ...
Chapter
This chapter presents the most influential theories, models, and methodologies that set the bases for the development of a macroergonomic compatibility index (MCI) for manufacturing work systems. The contribution of fuzzy logic to index generation is highlighted, since it is a logic operation method useful for evaluation capable of simulating human reasoning. Likewise, the role of multiattribute methods in decision making are discussed, as well as the different approaches to characterize manufacturing work systems in terms of sustainability, agility, safety, and ergonomics. The chapter concludes by commentign on the importance of developing accurate measurement indices to meet the exigencies of the modern manufacturing industry.
... Experts claim that flexibility can be measured through different perspectives, yet the most common form of measuring flexibility is through volume and variety (Bengtsson and Olhager 2002;Francas et al. 2011;Manyoma 2011). Volume flexibility can be measured using the cost curve. ...
Chapter
Measuring ergonomic compatibility has been a concern to many academics, industrialists, and health systems due to the economic implications involved. The goal of this chapter is to describe the most important factors that have been used to develop compatibility indices and to analyze the trends and methods that are most used for index generation, as well as their advantages and benefits.
... Experts claim that flexibility can be measured through different perspectives, yet the most common form of measuring flexibility is through volume and variety (Bengtsson and Olhager 2002;Francas et al. 2011;Manyoma 2011). Volume flexibility can be measured using the cost curve. ...
Chapter
This chapter presents a hypothetical model that studies the relationship between tasks, as a macroergonomic factor, and the performance of manufacturing work systems. More specifically, the model studies how Work Demands, a macroergonomic element of the Task factor, can be associated with performance variables such as Customers, Production Processes, and Organizational Performance. As in previous chapters, the data used to develop and test the model were collected among Mexican manufacturing companies located in Chihuahua. Results revealed that Work Demands are an essential element to increase competitiveness since they have significant effects on performance variables. Similarly, we found that Customers and Production Processes play a role in Organizational Performance.
... Experts claim that flexibility can be measured through different perspectives, yet the most common form of measuring flexibility is through volume and variety (Bengtsson and Olhager 2002;Francas et al. 2011;Manyoma 2011). Volume flexibility can be measured using the cost curve. ...
Chapter
The macroergonomic factors and elements can have different effects on workers and manufacturing systems. As for workers, these effects may include aspects such as health and safety, job satisfaction, creativity, and individual performance. The effects on manufacturing systems, on the other hand, range from solving problems and reducing staff absenteeism to increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty, thereby improving productivity and competitiveness. In this chapter, we discuss the impact of macroergonomics on workers or employees and manufacturing work systems.
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to empirically test a research model exploring the complex links between internal and external manufacturing flexibility capabilities (IF and EF) and competitive advantage (CA). Design/methodology/approach A survey approach with responses from 266 Spanish manufacturing firms from different industries was used. Structural equation modelling and SPSS macro PROCESS were used to test the hypotheses. Findings Manufacturing flexibility (MF) is a dual-dimensional concept composed by IF and EF, which are complementary and hierarchical in its development. Contrary to previous assumptions, IF does not always express its final competitive effect through EF, which only partially mediates the IF–CA relationship. Thus, IF and EF independently can positively enhance a firm's CA, being the direct effect of the IF being stronger than EF. Practical implications This study offers practical insights supporting a guide for prioritising flexibility capabilities through the holistic MF implementation, thus assisting managers wishing to formulate MF strategies seeking efficiency and customer value advantages relative to competitors. Originality/value The main novelty of this work is to explore for the first time the direct and indirect role of IF on CA, enlarging the assumptions of the flexibility funnel framework (FFF) and the strategic view of MF. The study is also unique due to both the depth and breadth of the investigation of the basis of the use of resource-based theory (RBT) and by employing a recent and comprehensive MF conceptual systematisation to guide the measurement approach.
Article
The complexities associated with the interconnections between workforce and fleet of assets to achieve organizational objectives often lead to uncertain and multi-objective problems. Further, different decision makers may have different preferences towards the degree of risk they tend to accept in their decisions. We contribute to the literature by developing a risk-averse multi-objective optimization model to determine the appropriate settings of recruitment, promotion and fleet transition strategies that simultaneously minimize the weighted sum of expected and Conditional-Value-at-Risk values of several objectives. In this study, we consider three objectives, namely, workforce cost (WC), capability gap (CG) (defined as the unavailability of assets due to workforce shortages to crew assets) and capital and sustainment cost (CSC) of assets. To solve this problem, we develop a simulation-optimization method integrated with Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) as a hybrid solution approach. The simulation-optimization method combines Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm (NSGA) III and a System Dynamics (SD) simulation model. In an iterative process, NSGA-III generates the recruitment, promotion and fleet transition strategies and the SD simulation model evaluates the fitness of the generated strategies by calculating the values of three objectives. The output of the simulation-optimization method is a set of Pareto optimal solutions. We use TOPSIS to rank the Pareto optimal solutions and determine the best Pareto optimal solution. We apply the proposed model and solution approach on a joint problem of workforce planning, fleet renewal and asset management inspired by the Australian Navy. The results provide valuable information for military decision makers regarding the trade-offs between various alternatives based on their preferences.
Book
The five-volume set IFIP AICT 630, 631, 632, 633, and 634 constitutes the refereed proceedings of the International IFIP WG 5.7 Conference on Advances in Production Management Systems, APMS 2021, held in Nantes, France, in September 2021.* The 378 papers presented were carefully reviewed and selected from 529 submissions. They discuss artificial intelligence techniques, decision aid and new and renewed paradigms for sustainable and resilient production systems at four-wall factory and value chain levels. The papers are organized in the following topical sections: Part I: artificial intelligence based optimization techniques for demand-driven manufacturing; hybrid approaches for production planning and scheduling; intelligent systems for manufacturing planning and control in the industry 4.0; learning and robust decision support systems for agile manufacturing environments; low-code and model-driven engineering for production system; meta-heuristics and optimization techniques for energy-oriented manufacturing systems; metaheuristics for production systems; modern analytics and new AI-based smart techniques for replenishment and production planning under uncertainty; system identification for manufacturing control applications; and the future of lean thinking and practice Part II: digital transformation of SME manufacturers: the crucial role of standard; digital transformations towards supply chain resiliency; engineering of smart-product-service-systems of the future; lean and Six Sigma in services healthcare; new trends and challenges in reconfigurable, flexible or agile production system; production management in food supply chains; and sustainability in production planning and lot-sizing Part III: autonomous robots in delivery logistics; digital transformation approaches in production management; finance-driven supply chain; gastronomic service system design; modern scheduling and applications in industry 4.0; recent advances in sustainable manufacturing; regular session: green production and circularity concepts; regular session: improvement models and methods for green and innovative systems; regular session: supply chain and routing management; regular session: robotics and human aspects; regular session: classification and data management methods; smart supply chain and production in society 5.0 era; and supply chain risk management under coronavirus Part IV: AI for resilience in global supply chain networks in the context of pandemic disruptions; blockchain in the operations and supply chain management; data-based services as key enablers for smart products, manufacturing and assembly; data-driven methods for supply chain optimization; digital twins based on systems engineering and semantic modeling; digital twins in companies first developments and future challenges; human-centered artificial intelligence in smart manufacturing for the operator 4.0; operations management in engineer-to-order manufacturing; product and asset life cycle management for smart and sustainable manufacturing systems; robotics technologies for control, smart manufacturing and logistics; serious games analytics: improving games and learning support; smart and sustainable production and supply chains; smart methods and techniques for sustainable supply chain management; the new digital lean manufacturing paradigm; and the role of emerging technologies in disaster relief operations: lessons from COVID-19 Part V: data-driven platforms and applications in production and logistics: digital twins and AI for sustainability; regular session: new approaches for routing problem solving; regular session: improvement of design and operation of manufacturing systems; regular session: crossdock and transportation issues; regular session: maintenance improvement and lifecycle management; regular session: additive manufacturing and mass customization; regular session: frameworks and conceptual modelling for systems and services efficiency; regular session: optimization of production and transportation systems; regular session: optimization of supply chain agility and reconfigurability; regular session: advanced modelling approaches; regular session: simulation and optimization of systems performances; regular session: AI-based approaches for quality and performance improvement of production systems; and regular session: risk and performance management of supply chains *The conference was held online.
Chapter
The traditional configurations of market response, make-to-order (MTO) and make-to-stock (MTS), are no more suitable in today’s competitive context, forcing companies to a transition towards hybrid solutions. Unfortunately, this has been neglected, in particular at the operational level where the Order Review and Release issue counts only two related articles but restricted to job shops. Therefore, researchers are moving towards flow shop configuration, particularly addressing the issue of bottleneck. Literature links this topic to the Theory of Constraints by Goldratt and Cox [14], from which Drum Buffer Rope (DBR) has been designed as a production planning and control tool. The objective of this paper has been defined as verifying how the decision on the release model changes considering the designed hybrid flow shop model. Simulation results are not clearly in favor of one over the other, since besides severity, there is another important factor to consider: the choice of control at dispatching level, and its connected trade-offs. In particular, implementing this control with bottleneck-based rule is effective for MTO performances, especially in case of high severity. Instead, when control at dispatching is absent, the workload control as release rule is preferred, leading also to the best lead times for low severity.
Article
HR strategic integration is a key factor reflecting the strategic use of human resources for competitive advantage. It has been argued that the changing business environmental factors such as industry conditions, institutional factors and organizational characteristics drive the emergence of HR strategic integration. However, empirical evidence about the environment factors and HR strategic integration relationship in China is inconsistent, which might be attributed to methodological and theoretical considerations. To address these issues, we draw on strategic tripod theory and employ a multi-source (combining HR managers’ subjective evaluations and Statistical Yearbook objective data), time-lagged (across three years), and multi-level research design to examine the environmental factors and the HR–strategic integration relationship. We explore the main and interactive effects of three key environmental variables (industry dynamism, firm size, and firm ownership) on HR strategic integration. We find that three-way interactions of environmental variables are more effective in explaining the relationship between context and HR strategic integration than are two-way interactions and main effects. Our study contributes to the HRM and strategy management literature.
Book
Full-text available
La cadena de valor en las operaciones propiciando una mejora de la competitividad en la Industria 4.0 es una obra donde el lector podrá encontrar diferentes temas de investigación básica y aplicada; escritos por expertos en sus áreas y, que a su vez, ayudará tanto a empresarios y académicos en la generación de conocimiento para la toma de decisiones en las organizaciones y que esto detone en lograr una mayor competitividad en las organizaciones. Los doce capítulos pertenecientes a esta libro fueron elaborados por investigadores de diversas universidades colombianas y mexicanas como son: la Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Universidad de Colima, Universidad de Monterrey, Universidad de la Amazonia, Universidad de Guadalajara, Universidad Iberoamericana, Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo y Tecnológico Nacional de México. Entre los diferentes tópicos se discuten existen tres estudios que se enfocan al sector agrícola en países como México y Colombia, analizando la competitividad de la industria ganadera como de frutos del bosque o bayas (berries) a través de un enfoque sistémico, la cadena de valor y la industria 4.0; bajo este último enfoque se estudian las evidencias de dos investigaciones sobre los clústeres de tecnologías de información en Colima y el de salud en Baja California. Así también se aborda el estudio de la cadena de suministro en México con dos estudios; uno bibliométrico y otro empírico, aplicado en el Estado de Aguascalientes, donde en ambos se analiza como este fenómeno ha afectado los procesos producticos en Pymes manufactureras y por lo tanto su desempeño. Del mismo modo, se estudian temas de cómo resiliencia y la empresa socialmente responsable son elementos importantes para lograr la competitividad. Por ultimo, se tienen tres propuestas donde presentan evidencias empíricas de cómo un sistema de flexibilidad en la producción y su optimización para para lograr la competitividad en diferentes industrias manufactureras. En este libro se realizó la revisión por pares a doble ciego bajo los estándares del Reglamento para la Actividad Editorial del CUCEA de la Universidad de Guadalajara bajo los siguientes criterios: derivarse de un proyecto de investigación, ser congruentes con el objetivo del libro, así como, mostrar avances significativos en los diferentes ámbitos involucrados, así como tener un comité editorial y la opinión favorable de un dictaminador externo. Además para cuidar que fueran inéditos, los manuscritos fueron analizados con software especializados para garantizar la originalidad de los mismos. Lo anterior, con la idea de garantizar el carácter científico de los trabajos presentados.
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El libro tiene como objetivo evidenciar como la administración de operaciones, la innovación, el manejo óptimo de la energía, las aplicaciones tecnológicas en un entorno de calidad en escenarios de empresas de manufactura detonan el desarrollo de la competitividad en las organizaciones. Involucra este proyecto de investigación universidades de México y Colombia, y que conjuntaron esfuerzos para presentar los productos de las investigaciones efectuadas en escenarios de ambos países y que tuvieron como actores desde obreros hasta mujeres emprendedoras. Los doce capítulos pertenecientes a esta obra fueron elaborados por investigadores de diversas universidades colombianas, chilenas y mexicanas como son: el Instituto Politécnico Nacional, la Universidad de Guadalajara, la Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana de Bogotá, Instituto Teconológico de Tehuacán, Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas de Colombia, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Unidad Xochimilco, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Unidad Iztapalapa, Instituto Tecnológico Superior de los Ríos Universidad de Colima Los capítulos fueron elaborados como parte de un proyecto que involucró a varias universidades de México y Colombia cuyo interés se centró en temas centrales, tales como, operaciones, manufactura, innovación, calidad, cultura de servicio, energía, tecnología. Los actores que fueron tomados en cuenta, muy variados y van desde operadores, obreros en manufactura, avicultores, agricultores, mujeres emprendedoras. En temas actuales como: exportación, ecodiseño, ecoeficiencia, manufactura esbelta, entorno tecnológico y que, de manera fundamental, impactan la competitividad de las empresas en el ámbito nacional como internacional. La segunda etapa involucró la revisión por pares bajo los siguientes criterios: derivarse de un proyecto de investigación, ser congruentes con el objetivo del libro, así como, mostrar avances significativos en los diferentes ámbitos involucrados. Para cuidar que fueran inéditos, los manuscritos fueron analizados con software que garantice la originalidad de los mismos. Lo anterior, con la idea de garantizar el carácter científico de los trabajos presentados. Los coordinadores de esta publicación jugaron los siguientes tres roles para cuidar la calidad científica: 1) Revisión de los textos combinado con la corrección de estilo: 2) Coordinación editorial, supervisando cada una de las etapas de producción del libro, con base en el proceso y los tiempos para ello propuestos; 3) coordinación técnica, involucrando en maquetado, con el fin de que la calidad del contenido correspondiera con la calidad de su presentación. Por lo anterior queda demostrado el alto compromiso de los autores, los pares internacionales y de los coordinadores, lo que refleja la alta calidad en la elaboración de este producto científico.
Article
Ongoing market requirements and real-time demands have led to intense competiveness in the manufacturing industry. Hence competitors are bound to employ newer means of manufacturing systems that can handle the ongoing market conditions in a flexible and efficient manner. To tackle these problems manufacturing control systems have evolved to the distributed manufacturing control system by exploiting their control architectures. These distributed control architectures provide an efficient mechanism that gives reactive and dynamically optimized system performance. This paper studies the impact of design and control factors on the performance of flexible manufacturing system. The system is evaluated on the basis of makespan, average machine utilization and the average waiting time of parts at the queue. Discrete-event based simulation models are developed to conduct simulation experiments. The results obtained were subjected to multi-response optimization as per Grey based Taguchi methodology. The effect of control architecture was statistically significant on the performance of flexible manufacturing system.
Article
Purpose Following industry-based view’s (IBV) isomorphic trend among firms in the same industries, the purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to investigate whether industry capital intensity encourages or inhibits firm’s utilization of strategic HRM systems, particularly, high-commitment work systems (HCWS); and second, to examine the quadratic moderating role of firm size on the relationship between industry capital intensity and firms’ utilization of HCWS, drawing on the interactionist view of IBV and the resource-based view, as well as the interactive perspective in the contextualized HRM field. Design/methodology/approach The research design was time lagged. Firm-level subjectively rated data were collected from 168 large firms with more than 200 employees in Beijing. Industry-level objectively rated data were collected from the statistics yearbooks of Beijing city. Findings The industry capital intensity was positively related to firms’ utilization of HCWS, all else being equal. For large firms in this research, the relationship between industry capital intensity and firms’ utilization of HCWS was moderated by firm size in a quadratic way. Originality/value This research contributes to contextualized HRM literature by empirically examining the complex interactive effects of industry capital intensity and firm’s utilization of HCWS. First, it established the direct cross-level relationship between industry capital intensity and firms’ utilization of strategic HRM systems. Moreover, it explored the boundary conditions of such relationship by investigating the quadratic moderating role of firm size.
Article
Purpose Flexibility is a fundamental performance objective for manufacturing operations, allowing them to respond to changing requirements in uncertain and competitive global markets. Additive manufacturing machines are often described as “flexible,” but there is no detailed understanding of such flexibility in an operations management context. The purpose of this paper is to examine flexibility from a manufacturing systems perspective, demonstrating the different competencies that can be achieved and the factors that can inhibit these in commercial practice. Design/methodology/approach This study extends existing flexibility theory in the context of an industrial additive manufacturing system through an investigation of 12 case studies, covering a range of sectors, product volumes, and technologies. Drawing upon multiple sources, this research takes a manufacturing systems perspective that recognizes the multitude of different resources that, together with individual industrial additive manufacturing machines, contribute to the satisfaction of demand. Findings The results show that the manufacturing system can achieve seven distinct internal flexibility competencies. This ability was shown to enable six out of seven external flexibility capabilities identified in the literature. Through a categorical assessment the extent to which each competency can be achieved is identified, supported by a detailed explanation of the enablers and inhibitors of flexibility for industrial additive manufacturing systems. Originality/value Additive manufacturing is widely expected to make an important contribution to future manufacturing, yet relevant management research is scant and the flexibility term is often ambiguously used. This research contributes the first detailed examination of flexibility for industrial additive manufacturing systems.
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Increasing product proliferation, customisation, competition and customer expectations, as well as supply side disruptions, pose significant challenges to firm operations. Such challenges require improved efficiency and resilience in manufacturing, service and supply chain systems. New and innovative flexibility concepts and models offer a prospective route to such operational improvements. Several emerging issues in flexibility, such as risk and uncertainty management, environmental sustainability, optimal strategies under competition, optimal operations with strategic consumer behaviours are being examined in this regard. This overview provides a concise review of these critical research issues, and discusses related papers featured in this special issue. Four major flexibility drivers are classified: disruption risks, resilience and the ripple effect in the supply chain; digitalisation, smart operations and e-supply chains; sustainability and closed-loop supply chains; and supplier integration and behavioural flexibility.
Article
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It has been widely recognized that different flexibility types (e.g. product or mix flexibility, volume flexibility, platform-based flexibility, etc.) are interrelated and that exploiting the linkages between flexibility types can aid decision-making. In particular, both product flexibility and volume flexibility are tools for coping with uncertain demand. In this paper, we explore the intertwined nature of volume and product flexibility by studying four technologies in a monopolistic setting: volume-flexible, product-flexible, both volume and product-flexible and neither volume nor product-flexible. Specifically, we model a firm manufacturing two products and facing uncertain demand curves in both markets. The firm installs capacity and then, depending on the selected technology, adjusts and/or allocates this capacity after observing the demand curve realizations. We isolate conditions (in the form of demand/market parameters and technology costs) under which the firm selects each of the four technologies. Similarities and differences among these tech-nologies are highlighted. In particular, we systematically show that product flexibility mitigates uncertainty in demand for individual products better than volume flexibility, which in turn is better at managing uncertainty in the aggregate demand. Moreover, product-flexible technology handles substitutable (complementary) products better (worse) than volume-flexible technology. Surprisingly, there are limited advantages to adding product flexibility to volume flexibility because of possible dis-economies of scope. The analysis is undertaken with both endogenous and exogenous (retro-fitting) capacity choices.
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We consider a supply chain, which consists of several retailers and one supplier. The retailers, who possibly differ in their cost and demand parameters, may be coordinated through replenishment strategies and transshipments, that is, movement of a product among the locations at the same echelon level. We prove that in order to minimize the expected long-run average cost for this system, an optimal replenishment policy is for each retailer to follow an order-up-to S policy. Furthermore, we demonstrate how the values of the order-up-to quantities can be calculated using a sample-path-based optimization procedure. Given an order-up-to S policy, we show how to determine an optimal transshipment policy, using a linear programming/network flow framework. Such a combined numerical approach allows us to study complex and large systems.
Article
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We introduce a class of models, called newsvendor networks, that allow for multiple products and multiple processing and storage points and investigate how their single-period properties extend to dynamic settings. Such models provide a parsimonious framework to study various problems of stochastic capacity investment and inventory management, including assembly, commonality, distribution, flexibility, substitution and transshipment. Newsvendor networks are stochastic models with recourse that are characterized by linear revenue and cost structures and a linear input-output transformation. While capacity and inventory decisions are locked in before uncertainty is resolved, some managerial discretion remains via ex-post input-output activity decisions. Ex-post decisions involve both the choice of activities and their levels and can result in subtle benefits. This discretion in choice is captured through alternate or ÜnonbasicÝ activities that can redeploy inputs and resources to best respond to resolved uncertain events. Nonbasic activities are never used in a deterministic environment; their value stems from discretionary flexibility to meet stochastic demand deviations from the operating point. The optimal capacity and inventory decisions balance overages with underages. Continuing the classic newsvendor analogy, the optimal balancing conditions can be interpreted as specifying multiple Ücritical fractilesÝ of the multivariate demand distribution; they also suggest appropriate measures for and trade-offs between product service levels. This paper shows that the properties of optimal newsvendor network solutions extend to a dynamic setting under plausible conditions. Indeed, we establish dynamic optimality of inventory and capacity policies for the lost sales case. Depending on the nonbasic activities, this also extends to the backordering case. Analytic- and simulation-based solution techniques and graphical interpretations are presented and illustrated by a comprehensive example that features discretionary input commonality and a flexible processing resource.
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This article studies optimal investment in flexible manufacturing capacity as a function of product prices (margins), investment costs and multivariate demand uncertainty. We consider a two-product firm that has the option to invest in product-dedicated resources and/or in a flexible resource that can produce either product, but has to make its investment decision before demands are observed. The flexible resource provides the firm with a hedge against demand uncertainty, but at a higher investment cost than the dedicated resources. Our analysis highlights the important role of price (margin) and cost mix differentials, which, in addition to the correlation between product demands, significantly affect the investment decision and the value of flexibility. Contrary to the intuition also prevalent in the academic literature, we show that it can be advantageous to invest in flexible resources even with perfectly positively correlated product demands.
Article
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This paper presents a model and an analysis of the cost-flexibility tradeoffs involved in investing in product-flexible manufacturing capacity. Flexible capacity provides a firm with the ability to respond to a wide variety of future demand outcomes, but at the expense of the increased cost of acquiring flexible manufacturing capacity, as compared with dedicated or nonflexible capacity. We formulate the product-flexible manufacturing capacity investment decision as a two-stage stochastic program. In the first stage, the firm must make its investment decision in manufacturing capacity, before the resolution of uncertainty in product demand. In the second stage, after demand for products are known, the firm implements its production decisions, constrained by the first-stage investments. The main contributions of this paper are threefold. First, we develop a model of the firm's flexible manufacturing investment decision that conceptually captures some of the key characteristics of this complex decision problem. Second, with the aid of the model, we characterize the necessary and sufficient conditions for a firm to invest in flexible capacity to protect efficiently against uncertainty in demand for all of its products. Third, we explore the sensitivity of the firm's optimal capacity investment decision to key problem components, namely to the cost of flexible and nonflexible production capacity, to the underlying distribution of product demand, and to the level of risk.
Article
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This research uses three in-depth case studies to establish the drivers and sources of volume flexibility. We find that in all three firms, there is significant concern among managers for gaining competitiveness through volume flexibility. We also find that there are several avenues for developing a volume flexible response and that deployment of these tactics is dependent on the availability of resources and systems. To verify some of these propositions we report on the outcomes of a field survey that measures the importance firms place on volume flexibility as well as the corresponding actions they take to remain volume flexible. Our critical finding is that short- and long-term sources of volume flexibility have a positive, albeit differential, impact on a firm’s performance.
Article
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Commonality strategies assemble different products from at least one common component and one other product-specific component. The distinguishing feature of commonality, i.e., the presence of dedicated components to be assembled with a common component, is shown to be mathematically inconsequential in the sense that the unified commonality problem for two products can be reduced to an equivalent substitution flexibility problem without those dedicated components. This significant simplification provides the first general, closed-form condition for commonality adoption and identifies its value drivers. Commonality is optimal even for perfectly correlated demands if products have sufficiently different margins. This introduces the "revenue maximization option" of commonality as a second benefit that is independent of the traditional risk pooling benefit. "Pure commonality" strategies are never optimal unless complexity costs are introduced. Dual sourcing, externalities and operational hedging features of commonality are discussed.
Article
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Moving production to low-wage countries may reduce manufacturing costs but increases logistics costs and is subject to foreign trade barriers, among others. This paper studies a manufacturer’s multimarket facility network design problem and investigates the offshoring decision from a network capacity investment perspective. We analyze a …rm that manufactures two products to serve two geographically separated markets using a common component and two localized …final assemblies. The common part can be transported between the two markets that have different economic and demand characteristics. Two strategic network design questions arise naturally: (1) Should the common part be produced centrally or in two local facilities? (2) If a centralization strategy is adopted for the common component, which market should the facility be located in? We present a transportation cost threshold that captures costs, revenues, and demand risks, and below which centralization is optimal. The optimal location of commonality crucially depends on the relative magnitude of price and manufacturing cost differentials but also on demand size and uncertainty. Incorporating scale economies further enlarges the centralization’s optimality region.
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Includes bibliographical references (p. 30). by Stephen C. Graves, William C. Jordan.
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This paper addresses the empirical verification of hypotheses that relate to the strategic use and implementation of manufacturing flexibility. We begin with a literature review and framework for analyzing different types of flexibility in manufacturing. Next, we examine some of the propositions in the framework using data from 31 printed circuit-board plants in Europe, Japan, and the United States. Based on our analysis and findings, we then suggest several new strategic insights related to the management of flexibility and some potentially fruitful areas for further theoretical and empirical research. Our findings include: more automation is associated empirically with less flexibility, as found in other studies; nontechnology factors, such as high involvement of workers in problem-solving activities, close relationships with suppliers, and flexible wage schemes, are associated with greater mix, volume, and new-product flexibility; component reusability is significantly correlated with mix and new-product flexibility; achieving high-mix or new-product flexibility does not seem to involve a cost or quality penalty; mix and new product flexibility are mutually reinforcing and tend to be supported by similar factors; and mix flexibility may reduce volume fluctuations, which could theoretically reduce the need for volume flexibility.
Article
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Increasing manufacturing flexibility is a key strategy for efficiently improving market responsiveness in the face of uncertain future product demand. Process flexibility results from being able to build different types of products in the same plant or production facility at the same time. In Part I of this paper, we develop several principles on the benefits of process flexibility. These principles are that 1) limited flexibility (i.e., each plant builds only a few products), configured in the right way, yields most of the benefits of total flexibility (i.e., each plant builds all products) and 2) limited flexibility has the greatest benefits when configured to chain products and plants together to the greatest extent possible. In Part II, we provide analytic support and justification for these principles. Based on a planning model for assigning production to plants, we demonstrate that, for realistic assumptions on demand uncertainty, limited flexibility configurations (i.e., how products are assigned to plants) have sales benefits that are approximately equivalent to those for total flexibility. Furthermore, from this analysis we develop a simple measure for the flexibility in a given product-plant configuration. Such a measure is desirable because of the complexity of computing expected sales for a given configuration. The measure is ∏(M*), the maximal probability over all groupings or sets of products (M) that there will be unfilled demand for a set of products while simultaneously there is excess capacity at plants building other products. This measure is easily computed and can be used to guide the search for good limited flexibility configurations.
Article
Manufacturing flexibility is widely recognized as a critical component to achieving a competitive advantage in the marketplace. A comprehensive look at the empirical research pertaining to manufacturing flexibility highlights the very fragmented nature of this body of work. We present a comprehensive contingency‐based framework for examining the content related issues involving the relationships and variables included in past studies. We also examine several important research design/methodology issues (e.g., sampling, data collection and measurement) and propose solutions to some identified problems.
Article
This research uses three in‐depth case studies to establish the drivers and sources of volume flexibility. We find that in all three firms, there is significant concern among managers for gaining competitiveness through volume flexibility. We also find that there are several avenues for developing a volume flexible response and that deployment of these tactics is dependent on the availability of resources and systems. To verify some of these propositions we report on the outcomes of a field survey that measures the importance firms place on volume flexibility as well as the corresponding actions they take to remain volume flexible. Our critical finding is that short‐ and long‐term sources of volume flexibility have a positive, albeit differential, impact on a firm’s performance.
Article
This paper examines the benefits and costs of two alternative manufacturing network configurations in the presence of component commonality. We evaluate the trade-off between the decreased logistics costs and loss of risk-pooling benefits in plant networks which spread component manufacturing over each plant (product network) as compared to those that consolidate component manufacturing in a single plant (process network). We examine for conditions that mean that a product network would be chosen instead of a process network and vice-versa. We find that the risk-pooling benefit obtained by consolidating common subassembly production is reduced when the cost of acquiring common component capacity is sufficiently high or low. A post-optimality sensitivity analysis for the process network provides insights into subtle substitution effects, which are a direct outcome of cost mix differentials and network structure and complementarity effects, which are induced by the considered sequential assembly system. Our results suggest that the impact of operational cost parameters on strategic decisions can often be non-intuitive. Overall, our analysis provides a link between strategic and operational decision-making in supply chain management, in the context of multi-plant configuration.
Article
Abstract To gain insight into the potential logistical beneÞts of worker cross-training and agile workforce policies, we study simple models of serial production systems with ßexible servers operating under a CONWIP release policy. Two important and interrelated issues are: (a) how to decide which skill(s) are strategically most desirable for workers to gain, and (b) how to coordinate these workers to respond dynamically to congestion. We address these by considering two cross-training strategies, a straightforward capacity balancing approach, which we call “cherry picking”, and an overlapping zone model that we call “skill chaining”. We show that skill chaining strategies have the potential to be robust and efficient methods for implementing workforce agility in serial production lines.
Chapter
Flexibility has emerged recently as an important performance indicator for operational systems. This chapter discusses three dimensions of flexibility for supply chain design: volume flexibility, mix flexibility, and new product flexibility. Manufacturing flexibility has many dimensions among which hierarchical relationships can be identified. In particular, volume, mix, and new product flexibility depends on machine, labor, and materials handling flexibility. Each flexibility dimension is further characterized by its range and the uniformity within the range. The chapter also reviews the resource investment problem for the single-plant product-family resource investment problem under demand level uncertainty. This research reveals the intricate relationships between investments in dedicated and flexible resource and its dependence on the level of demand uncertainty, on the correlation between demands, and on the sales margin differences between products. The research also provides basic insights for solving of the single-plant resource investment problem under specific conditions such as linear investment costs.
Article
Most service systems consist of multi-departmental structures corresponding to multiple types of service requests, with possibly multi-skill agents that can deal with several types of service requests. The design of flexibility in terms of agents' skill sets and assignments of requests is a critical issue for such systems. Managers also have a choice in determining the percentage of capacity that will have the designed flexibility structure. A similar problem exists in the manufacturing of multiple products in multiple plants. In this paper, we investigate two issues regarding flexibility design: what is the amount of resource flexibility needed in each department and how does this interact with the flexibility structure in place.
Article
To help meet competitive realities operations managers need to know more about the strategic aspects of manufacturing flexibility. This paper takes steps toward meeting that need by critically reviewing the literature and establishing a research agenda for the area. A conceptual model, which places flexibility within a broad context, helps to identify certain assumptions of theoretical studies which need to be challenged. The model also provides a basis for identifying specific flexibility dimensions. The manner in which these dimensions may limit the effectiveness of a manufacturing process, and the problems in operationalizing them are discussed. Focusing next on the neglected area of applied work, concepts are presented for analyzing whether desired amounts of flexibility are being achieved and whether the potential for flexibility built into a manufacturing process is being tapped. Once more, a procedure is outlined for altering a plant's types and amounts of flexibility over time. The research agenda, which grows out of the appraisal of theoretical and applied work, indicates the value in studying generic flexibility strategies, the flexibility dimensions, methods of delivery, ways of evaluating and changing a process's flexibility, and above all measurement problems. The conclusions indicate principles for strategic research, some of which have relevance for the development of mathematical models.
Article
This paper concerns a multilocation newsboy problem with normal demand at each location and identical linear holding and penalty cost functions at each location. Consolidation of demand from several facilities is considered, and an expression is derived for the resulting expected holding and penalty costs as a function of the demand parameters for each location (means, variances, and correlation coefficients). The expression is used to demonstrate that (i) the expected holding and penalty costs in a decentralized system exceed those in a centralized system; (ii) the magnitude of the saving depends on the correlation of demands; and (iii) if demands are identical and uncorrelated, the costs increase as the square root of the number of consolidated demands.
Article
In situations where a seller has surplus stock and another seller is stocked out, it may be desirable to transfer surplus stock from the former to the latter. We examine how the possibility of such transshipments between two independent locations affects the optimal inventory orders at each location. If each location aims to maximize its own profits---we call this local decision making---their inventory choices will not, in general, maximize joint profits. We find transshipment prices which induce the locations to choose inventory levels consistent with joint-profit maximization.
Chapter
The scope of this paper is the medium term capacity planning in the automotive sector. Production and labour capacity of an automotive plant are considered simultaneously in one model. The planning task is to find cost optimal capacity levels for a horizon of one to seven years using given flexibility instruments like different working time models or cycle times. The goal is to reduce fix cost by adapting capacity to the current demand. In contrast to the long term strategic planning, no additional invest in machines is considered. One major part of the problem is to find a valid coordination of production programs between the different shops of an automotive plant. An optimization approach based on dynamic programming is introduced. The approach has been implemented within the framework of a decision-support-system which is in use in several plants of the Daimler-Chrysler AG. Finally a case study illustrates the benefit of the optimal usage of capacity flexibility and the advantage of different flexibility instruments.
Article
The competitive environment of today has generated an increased interest in flexibility as a response mechanism. While the potential benefits of flexibility are familiar, the concept of flexibility itself is not well-understood. Neither practitioners nor academics agree upon, or know, how flexibility can be gauged or measured in its totality. Consequently, this study seeks to provide a framework for understanding this complex concept and to create a theoretical foundation for the development of generalizable measures for manufacturing flexibility. With this objective in mind, we first critically examine diverse streams of literature to define four constituent elements of flexibility: range-number (R-N), range-heterogeneity (R-H), mobility (M), and uniformity (U). The R-H element is new, and has not been proposed before in prior literature. These four elements can be applied to consistently define different types or dimensions of flexibility. Definitions for 10 flexibility dimensions pertaining to manufacturing are thus obtained. These definitions serve a dual purpose. First, they capture the domain of flexibility. Second, we show in this study how these definitions can be used to generate scale items, thereby facilitating the development of generalizable manufacturing flexibility measures. Several research avenues that can be explored once such measures are developed are also highlighted.
Article
We develop a new model for flexible workforce management in environments with uncertainty in the demand for labor. In particular we model a workforce comprised of regular workers who have fixed schedules and may work overtime, and contingent workers whose working hours are flexible as specified by a contract over a finite planning horizon. Our model can represent a variety of contracts, including: temporary workers, on-call workers with guaranteed minimum pay, and comp-time arrangements. We formulate the model as an optimization problem that determines the regular and contingent worker pool sizes that minimize expected labor and backlog costs. Embedded within this problem is a dynamic programming problem of making optimal operational staffing decisions with respect to the utilization of contingent and overtime resources. Numerical examples demonstrate the effect that the timing of information has on the benefits of flexibility. We also derive structural results that may be exploited to reduce the computational effort required to use the model.
Article
An enterprise-level flexible manufacturing approach for a multi-product manufacturer like an automotive company requires a cost-effective mix of many key enablers, including flexible assembly plants, part commonality between products, and supply base flexibility. This paper develops a strategic planning model that determines the overall business value of flexible manufacturing systems. The model is designed to be capable of dealing with problems of realistic size and scope. Interpretation of results of the model gives important strategic insights on factors influencing manufacturing flexibility and capacity requirements in the presence of these factors. The model is applied to study a flexibility evaluation problem faced by a major automotive company. The experimental results show that flexibility enablers such as flexible product to manufacturing facility assignments and part commonality can lead to improved profitability. Increases in profitability of up to 17% are seen in the modeled system. Increased commonality and/or flexibility also result in a reduction of the optimal capacity for the assembly system while simultaneously slightly improving sales. These results are robust with respect to introduction of the regulatory compliance issue of fuel economy standards, although the incremental profits from improved flexibility and commonality are reduced by approximately 25% when fuel economy standards are included.
Article
Manufacturing flexibility is widely recognized as a critical component to achieving a competitive advantage in the marketplace. A comprehensive look at the empirical research pertaining to manufacturing flexibility highlights the very fragmented nature of this body of work. We present a comprehensive contingency-based framework for examining the content related issues involving the relationships and variables included in past studies. We also examine several important research design/methodology issues (e.g., sampling, data collection and measurement) and propose solutions to some identified problems.
Article
We developed a strategic-planning model to optimize BMW's allocation of various products to global production sites over a 12-year planning horizon. It includes the supply of materials as well as the distribution of finished cars to the global markets. It determines the investments needed in the three production departments, body assembly, paint shop, and final assembly, for every site and the financial impact on cash flows. The model has improved the transparency and flexibility of BMW's strategic-planning process.
Article
Managers have two basic alternatives for addressing the challenge posed by variable demand: (1) build manufacturing plants with excess capacity and /or stock excess goods in inventory to help smooth over fluctuations in demand, or (2) increase the flexibility of their manufacturing plants so that production can be varied more easily to match changes in demand. This paper focuses on the second alternative and examines two types of flexibility using two examples based on the automobile industry. First, process flexibility is defined as the ability of a single manufacturing plant to make more than a single product (in this case products are different car models), and its is shown that a limited degree of process flexibility is very valuable for dealing with variations in demand. Second, machine flexibility is defined in terms of a changeover cost, measured in terms of the capacity or production which is lost when a plant must produce more than a single car model. Machine flexibility is shown to have a moderating effect on process flexibility, but one which does not necessarily cancel out the benefits of process flexibility.
Article
Planning manpower capacity can be achieved by a large number of instruments. These instruments are particularly suited for long-, medium- and short-term planning. Within a case study, this paper demonstrates the simultaneous application of the following four instruments belonging to different planning levels: variation of monthly working time, overtime, employment of floaters and leasing of work force. The optimization is performed by an ambitious stochastic dynamic program using modern concepts of hierarchical planning. For the indicated practical case mentioned above numerical results will be derived and extensively discussed.
Sustainability Report Renault steers away from one-platform, one-model plant
  • Daimler
Daimler, 2005. Sustainability Report 2005 /http://www.daimler.com/Projects/ c2c/channel/documents/1688145_daimler_sust_2005_reports_sustainabilityr eport2005facts_en.pdfS. De Saint-Seine, S., 2007. Renault steers away from one-platform, one-model plant. Automotive News Europe, June 11.
Flexibility helps BMW's U.S. plant avoid layoff. Automotive News Europe
  • D Barkholz
Barkholz, D., 2009. Flexibility helps BMW's U.S. plant avoid layoff. Automotive News Europe, June 12.
Volume flexibility with multiple products and the trade-off with product flexibility
  • M Goyal
  • S Netessine
Goyal, M. and S. Netessine, 2009, Volume flexibility with multiple products and the trade-off with product flexibility, working paper.
  • K Sydsaeter
  • P Hammond
Sydsaeter, K. and P. Hammond, 2002, Essential Mathematics for Economic Analysis, 2nd edition, Pearson-Prentice Hall, New Jersey.
  • Daimler
Daimler, 2005, Sustainability Report 2005, http://www.daimler.com/Projects/c2c/channel/documents/ 1688145_daimler_sust_2005_reports_sustainabilityreport2005facts_en.pdf.
Renault steers away from one-platform, one-model plant. Automotive News Europe
  • De Saint-Seine
De Saint-Seine, S., 2007, Renault steers away from one-platform, one-model plant, Automotive News Europe, June 11.
On the interaction between resource flexibility and flexibility structures
  • O Z Aksin
  • F Karaesmen
  • E L Ormeci
Aksin, O.Z., Karaesmen, F., and E. L. Ormeci, 2005, On the Interaction Between Resource Flexibility and Flexibility Structures, Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Analysis of Manufacturing Systems -Production Management, Zakynthos, Greece, May 2005.