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An integrated decision support system for global manufacturing co-ordination in the automotive industry

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Global manufacturing increasingly faces decision challenges of how to better manage the dependencies between different activities that take place either locally or across different locations. Co-ordination decision making not only requires the right information to be provided in the right place at the right time, but also requires the right level of support from models for decision analysis and decision evaluation. Furthermore, the alignment of co-ordination decisions with a global firm's global environment and its operations performance has been identified as crucial to the firm's success, but remains a challenge to decision makers. This paper proposes an integrated decision support system (IDSS) that can facilitate manufacturing managers to make more efficient and effective global co-ordination decisions. A combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis and assessment functions has been provided through the system's four key components (a global context modeller, a multi-criteria scoring modeller, a configurator and a co-ordinator). The evaluation of the decision system has been undertaken through a case study within the automotive industry, which demonstrates the applicability of the system to provide decision support for realistic global manufacturing co-ordination problems.
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Keywords: dependency and co-ordination; global manufacturing context; integrated decision support; multi-criteria decision making

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Management, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, Devon, UK 2: Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK 3: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath, Bath, UK

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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