Analysing the complexity of the model-based decision making processes within the industrial management context

Pulido Martínez, Raúl (2015). Analysing the complexity of the model-based decision making processes within the industrial management context. Thesis (Doctoral), E.T.S.I. Industriales (UPM).


Title: Analysing the complexity of the model-based decision making processes within the industrial management context
  • Pulido Martínez, Raúl
  • García Sánchez, Álvaro
  • Brun, Alessandro
Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Date: December 2015
Freetext Keywords: Joint decision; scheduling; vehicle routing, decision-making, operating room scheduling
Faculty: E.T.S.I. Industriales (UPM)
Department: Ingeniería de Organización, Administración de Empresas y Estadística
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

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PURPOSE The decision-making process plays a key role in organizations. Every decision-making process produces a final choice that may or may not prompt action. Recurrently, decision makers find themselves in the dichotomous question of following a traditional sequence decision-making process where the output of a decision is used as the input of the next stage of the decision, or following a joint decision-making approach where several decisions are taken simultaneously. The implication of the decision-making process will impact different players of the organization. The choice of the decision- making approach becomes difficult to find, even with the current literature and practitioners’ knowledge. The pursuit of better ways for making decisions has been a common goal for academics and practitioners. Management scientists use different techniques and approaches to improve different types of decisions. The purpose of this decision is to use the available resources as well as possible (data and techniques) to achieve the objectives of the organization. The developing and applying of models and concepts may be helpful to solve managerial problems faced every day in different companies. As a result of this research different decision models are presented to contribute to the body of knowledge of management science. The first models are focused on the manufacturing industry and the second part of the models on the health care industry. Despite these models being case specific, they serve the purpose of exemplifying that different approaches to the problems and could provide interesting results. Unfortunately, there is no universal recipe that could be applied to all the problems. Furthermore, the same model could deliver good results with certain data and bad results for other data. A framework to analyse the data before selecting the model to be used is presented and tested in the models developed to exemplify the ideas. METHODOLOGY As the first step of the research a systematic literature review on the joint decision is presented, as are the different opinions and suggestions of different scholars. For the next stage of the thesis, the decision-making process of more than 50 companies was analysed in companies from different sectors in the production planning area at the Job Shop level. The data was obtained using surveys and face-to-face interviews. The following part of the research into the decision-making process was held in two application fields that are highly relevant for our society; manufacturing and health care. The first step was to study the interactions and develop a mathematical model for the replenishment of the car assembly where the problem of “Vehicle routing problem and Inventory” were combined. The next step was to add the scheduling or car production (car sequencing) decision and use some metaheuristics such as ant colony and genetic algorithms to measure if the behaviour is kept up with different case size problems. A similar approach is presented in a production of semiconductors and aviation parts, where a hoist has to change from one station to another to deal with the work, and a jobs schedule has to be done. However, for this problem simulation was used for experimentation. In parallel, the scheduling of operating rooms was studied. Surgeries were allocated to surgeons and the scheduling of operating rooms was analysed. The first part of the research was done in a Teaching hospital, and for the second part the interaction of uncertainty was added. Once the previous problem had been analysed a general framework to characterize the instance was built. In the final chapter a general conclusion is presented. FINDINGS AND PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS The first part of the contributions is an update of the decision-making literature review. Also an analysis of the possible savings resulting from a change in the decision process is made. Then, the results of the survey, which present a lack of consistency between what the managers believe and the reality of the integration of their decisions. In the next stage of the thesis, a contribution to the body of knowledge of the operation research, with the joint solution of the replenishment, sequencing and inventory problem in the assembly line is made, together with a parallel work with the operating rooms scheduling where different solutions approaches are presented. In addition to the contribution of the solving methods, with the use of different techniques, the main contribution is the framework that is proposed to pre-evaluate the problem before thinking of the techniques to solve it. However, there is no straightforward answer as to whether it is better to have joint or sequential solutions. Following the proposed framework with the evaluation of factors such as the flexibility of the answer, the number of actors, and the tightness of the data, give us important hints as to the most suitable direction to take to tackle the problem. RESEARCH LIMITATIONS AND AVENUES FOR FUTURE RESEARCH In the first part of the work it was really complicated to calculate the possible savings of different projects, since in many papers these quantities are not reported or the impact is based on non-quantifiable benefits. The other issue is the confidentiality of many projects where the data cannot be presented. For the car assembly line problem more computational power would allow us to solve bigger instances. For the operation research problem there was a lack of historical data to perform a parallel analysis in the teaching hospital. In order to keep testing the decision framework it is necessary to keep applying more case studies in order to generalize the results and make them more evident and less ambiguous. The health care field offers great opportunities since despite the recent awareness of the need to improve the decision-making process there are many opportunities to improve. Another big difference with the automotive industry is that the last improvements are not spread among all the actors. Therefore, in the future this research will focus more on the collaboration between academia and the health care sector.

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Deposited by: Archivo Digital UPM 2
Deposited on: 07 Apr 2016 11:39
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2016 11:39
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