Day: April 16, 2018

Irony of the Cask of Amontillado

Irony of the Cask of Amontillado

Irony of The Cask of Amontillado Many of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories contain a wide variety of irony, motifs, and symbolism. The unity of these elements within many of his tales creates specific moods in and throughout his works. One story in particular, The Cask of Amontillado not only displays Poe’s exquisite attention to detail and mastery of literary unity, but it clearly portrays his expertise in the use of irony within this story. The most evident use of irony is through the character’s name Fortunato. The name plainly means fortunate however, the very unfortunate fate of this character is obviously found out as the story unfolds.

Poe uses several types of irony in The Cask of Amontillado. The irony of the situation in general is clearly stated in the first sentence, “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge. ” Basically the narrator states that the physical injuries he endured from Fortunato did not really bother him however, when Fortunato ventured upon verbal insult, the narrator then wanted revenge. Most human beings are more apt to act on physical pain versus emotional insult, but in this story that apparently is not the case.

The narrator then goes on to say, “You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat. ” With this statement the narrator is attempting to display the goodness of his nature by stating that people who truly know him know that the following tale is out of character for him. Then a few sentences down, the narrator chooses to follow that bold statement with “A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong. This quote states the importance of revenge upon Fortunato for the narrator. The narrator carefully plans his revenge to where he cannot be punished for the punishment he is instilling upon Fortunato. This is made clear in his before statement, “I must not only punish, but punish with impunity. ” In the opening paragraph one can see that Poe is using the narrator’s words to show the seriousness of revenge while keeping the integrity of the narrator somehow intertwined as well. From there the change of setting sets the next tone of irony.

The story goes from a fun carnival atmosphere to an impending cavern of death. The audience is overtly aware of the fate of Fortunato although he himself has no clue. Reminders of this use of dramatic irony within the tale are thrown in here and there to accentuate the narrator’s feeling of distress. Poe cleverly uses dramatic irony to show how the narrator falsely gained Fortunato’s trust. And this use of dramatic irony lasts until the final page of the tale when Fortunato becomes an initiate. In the story, the narrator uses wine to entice Fortunato into his future burial chamber.

The narrator then repetitively inquires about Fortunato’s health however, his concern for the other man’s well-being is at odds with his true intentions. Once Fortunato is drunk the narrator then builds a wall to keep Fortunato in the chamber, and leaves him to die. From the beginning of the story the narrator refers to Fortunato as his friend, yet uses this to his advantage to lure Fortunato to his very unfortunate death. During their descend into the chamber Fortunato toasts “to the buried that repose around us,” unaware that he will soon join them. And I to your long life,” responds Montresor. Fortunato also asks whether Montresor is a member of the masons. Montresor produces a mason’s trowel from under his cloak. Fortunato thinks it a joke, unaware that he is seeing a tool to be used in his entombment. The brotherhood of Free and accepted Masons is far removed from what has brought these two men together. At the end, when Fortunato is in the niche, after he realizes what is happening to him he begins to laugh, “Ha! ha! ha! -He! he! he! – a very good joke indeed-an excellent jest. this can be ironic because previously in the story Fortunato is dressed in a clown suit, as a jester with bells on his hat. Several displays of verbal irony are also used. Some of the times verbal irony is used to help to enforce the other uses of irony. For instance, as Fortunato is finding out his fate and trying to convince himself that it is a joke, he says that the Lady Fortunato will be waiting for him at the Palazzo, and “Let us be gone” and Montresor’s response is “Yes. ” “Let us be gone. ” They both say the same thing, but to each of them it has drastically different meanings. Fortunato wants o go home, go to his wife. Montresor wants him to simply be gone, be gone from his life, and be gone from the world. It is an ironic play on words. However this verbal irony also can be taken as the dramatic irony as well, because the character Fortunato is finally beginning to see what the audience has known all along, but still doesn’t quite pick up on the verbal hints of Montressor. Between the irony of Montressor manipulating and controlling the story as well as Poe’s further creation of verbal, dramatic, and situational irony within the story, readers can see how the use of irony is extremely important.

This tale is not only full of irony, but also of symbolism, foreshadowing, and the list goes on. Poe’s expertise in morphing these literary devices together allows the reader to fully engage in the story full of emotion and suspense. Poe’s eerie tales have been deemed timeless. Among them, The Cask of Amontillado shows Poe’s pure genius of word choice and literary devices. Poe’s twisted irony is a crucial element to understanding the function of the story; with out the recognition of irony, Poe’s narrative would not have had the same effect.

Research Proposal-Customer Satisfaction Towards Laura Arias in China

Research Proposal-Customer Satisfaction Towards Laura Arias in China

Executive Summary Laura Arias is a well-known UK-based company that provides home furnishing of good quality but relatively lower prices compared with those of competitors, targeting middle- and low-income consumers. In early 2008, the company entered Chinese market and founded branches in some big cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, etc. However, many Chinese consumers show a low level of satisfaction towards the company. This research proposal is prepared to provide guide for formal research to investigate the customer satisfaction towards Laura Arias in China.

Based on the research result, decision can be made as to how Laura Arias can improve the customer satisfaction for better sales in China. The structure of this research proposal will strictly follow what has suggested for a comprehensive proposal, and it will be stated in the following steps: First the background to the research problem towards what has happened in Laura Arias. The second section focuses on problem definition including management and research problem, and specific research objectives, based on the background.

Third, literature review relating to this research problem in terms of research objectives will be studied to help solve the problem. The fourth section aims to elaborate research design and methodology in order to provide guide to conduct this research, including specific design that will be used in this study, data collection method, questionnaire, sampling method, proposed data analysis, and so on. This section is closely followed by additional issues, such as time schedule, budget, and limitation. Table of Contents Executive Summary 1. Introduction 2. Background to the Research Problem 3. Problem Definition 3. Management Problem 3. 2 Research Problem 3. 3 Research objectives 4. Literature Review 4. 1 Customer Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction 4. 2 The Demand and Consumption Level of Chinese Consumers 5. Research Design and Methodology 5. 1 Research Design 5. 2 Methodology 5. 3 Sampling 5. 4 Data Analysis 6. Additional Issues 6. 1 Time Schedule 6. 2 Budget 6. 3 Limitations List of References Appendix 1: The Pre-designed Questionnaire Customer Satisfaction towards Laura Arias in China 1. Introduction This research proposal is prepared to provide guide for formal research to investigate the customer satisfaction towards Laura Arias in China.

Based on the research result, decision can be made as to how Laura Arias can improve the customer satisfaction for better sales in China. The structure of this research proposal will strictly follow what has suggested for a comprehensive proposal, and it will be stated in the following steps: First the background to the research problem towards what has happened in Laura Arias. The second section focuses on problem definition including management and research problem, and specific research objectives, based on the background.

Third, literature review relating to this research problem in terms of research objectives will be studied to help solve the problem. The fourth section aims to elaborate research design and methodology in order to provide guide to conduct this research, including specific design that will be used in this study, data collection method, questionnaire, sampling method, proposed data analysis, and so on. This section is closely followed by additional issues, such as time schedule, budget, and limitation. 2. Background to the Research Problem

Laura Arias is a well-known UK-based company that provides home furnishing of good quality but relatively lower prices compared with those of competitors, targeting middle- and low-income consumers. The company has many branches in the Occident. In early 2008, the company entered Chinese market and founded branches in some big cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, etc. However, it is found that pricing in Chinese market is difficult due to its relatively low level of economic development compared with the Occident.

The price which is cheap for the Occident seems still high for many Chinese consumers. In addition, there are friendly environment and cost-cutting effort towards a low price strategy that can be seen in the company, but consumers still complain that there are no free delivery and installation, and insufficient service staff. These complaints have been heard as of now, and it is believed that there may be some other complaints. In a word, many Chinese consumers show a low level of satisfaction towards the company. The revenue of the company in China only accounted for 5% of its total revenue in 2008.

However, China has been recognized as a huge potential market. Hence as to how to improve the customer satisfaction in China has been the key issue for Laura Arias. 3. Problem Definition Based on the background section, management and research problems, and research objectives are defined as follows: 3. 1 Management Problem According to the background to the research problem, management problem can be defined as follows: How can Laura Arias improve the customer satisfaction for better sales in China? 3. 2 Research Problem

What factors have caused the low level of Chinese customers’ satisfaction towards Laura Arias? 3. 3 Research objectives ?To identify the consumer demand in China. ?To identify the consumption level of Chinese consumers. ?To identify the factors causing the low sales in China. ?To identify the factors that influence the Chinese consumers’ dissatisfaction towards Laura Arias. 4. Literature Review 4. 1 Customer Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction Customer satisfaction has been increasingly paid significant attention to in today’s global competitive environment (Thompson, Strickland & Gamble 2005).

Improving customer satisfaction is a key strategy that today’s business must develop as dissatisfied customers can easily shift to competitor’s products or services (Allen & Rao 2000; Gitman & McDaniel 2002). According to Thomas (2000), a company has to balance customers’ expectation and perceived performance or outcomes in order to gain high level of customer satisfaction for the final purpose—maximizing long-term profitability. In addition, high level of customer satisfaction can lead to positive word of mouth, which in turn helps attract more new ustomer for the company (Grewal, Cline & Davies 2003). Hence it is critical for Laura Arias to find out factors that influence the Chinese consumers’ dissatisfaction towards it. In general, it can cost 5 or 6 times to induce a new customer than to retain a customer (Zelmer 2001). Customer dissatisfaction can be caused when customers’ perception is lower than their expectation (Oliver 1980). Customers who experienced dissatisfaction may refuse to purchase the products or service from a company again, which may lead to negative word of mouth.

Measuring customer satisfaction helps organizations to indicate how successful they are at providing products/services to cutomers (John 1999). According to Berry & Brodeur (1990-1998), ten ‘Quality Values’ can influence customer satisfaction behavior, which further expanded by Berry (2002) and defined as the ten domains of customer satisfaction, including quality, value, timeliness, efficiency, ease of access, environment, inter-departmental teamwork, front line service behaviors, commitment to the customer and innovation. This may be helpful to solve the last two research objective. 4. The Demand and Consumption Level of Chinese Consumers The consumption level of Chinese consumers in relation to the furniture demand can be decided by four factors: Stabilization of China’s politics and level of economic development, housing condition, level of family income, and level of education (Shanghai Furniture 2006). The average furniture consumption level in some key countries is introduced in the following table: CountryAverage Furniture Consumption level ($) Germany371 Italy307 American236 Japan225 France178 Korea97 Canada85 U. K80 Australia62 China5. 48 (Source: http://www. pjiaju. com/news. php? newsid=18&mode=news, 2006) The above table indicates that the average furniture consumption level in China is quite low. In addition, according to Business China (2004), the demand of Chinese consumers typically focuses on the middle- and low-end segments. Hence, the price level of Laura Arias seems still too high to many Chinese consumers although it is already cheap for the Occident due to the big difference of consumption level between China and the Occident, which has caused the low degree of customer satisfaction and sales of the company in China.

Although Laura Arias has successfully controlled cost by various efforts such as no delivery and installation, less service staff, and so on, Chinese consumers seem to demand such reduced services. The above information and analysis has actually solved the first two objectives (“To identify the consumer demand in China” and “To identify the consumption level of Chinese consumers”). 5. Research Design and Methodology 5. 1 Research Design Research design is necessary to provide a plan specifying the methods and procedures for collecting and analyzing the needed information, depending on the nature of the research problem (Zikmund 2003).

For this research problem, descriptive research design will be used. Descriptive research aims to collect primary data from a sample of individuals based on proper questionnaires or survey to provide a precise description of specific characteristics (Zikmund 2003). For this research problem, descriptive research design will be used to describe what factors have been causing the low sales in China, what factors have been influencing the Chinese consumers’ dissatisfaction towards Laura Arias, and the demand and consumption level of Chinese consumers (see the literature review).

Thereby it is appropriate to use descriptive research for this research as it determines the answers to who, what, when, where, and how questions (Zikmund 2003). This also why exploratory research and causal research are abandoned in this research as exploratory is conducted to clarify ambiguous problem only and causal research aims to identify cause-and-effect relationships (Zikmund 2003), which is unnecessary in this research. 5. 2 Methodology Secondary research is used for the first two research objectives, which has already been addressed. And primary research is used for the last two research objectives.

In this study, both telephone survey and online survey will be used to collect desired data. This is proper for descriptive research (Zikmund 2003). Telephone survey: Telephone survey has a great merit that it can often achieve a high response rate. According to Zikmund (2003), once the call is connected and answered, most respondents will choose to answer the questions required by the researchers. However, the questionnaire should be short as respondents may lose patience (Zikmund 2003). Hence the questionnaire for this study is designed with one page.

But telephone survey is usually more expensive and time-consuming as respondents need to spend time in listening to the questions and researchers have to spend time in recording the answers, and at the same time some respondents may refuse to participate in the survey or stop the survey before it can be completely finished. In addition, some respondents may refuse the survey due to the wrong time. Online survey: Online survey helps gain the outcome as soon as possible (Zikmund 2003). It is easy for respondents to answer the questions by just clicking on the screen.

In addition, the collected data can be analyzed automatically and electronically in a digital form. Moreover, the cost is relatively low and the distribution of large amount of questionnaire is also unnecessary. However, online survey may lead to the result of low rate of response. And some respondents may even answer and submit the questionnaire for more than one time. Also some potential respondents may do not have computers or cannot access to the online questionnaire. Hence telephone survey is used for this study as a complement only. Questionnaire will be designed within one page due to limited budget and time.

The questionnaire for online survey is attached in Appendix 1. Both scaled-response questions and close-ended questions will be designed (See Appendix 1). Likert rating scale is used based on five-point scale (See Appendix 1). For validation purpose, the researchers will pre-test the set survey questionnaires. This will be done by conducting an initial survey to 10 respondents from the company’s customer database. After this, the researchers will ask these 10 respondents for suggestions to improve the questionnaire to ensure that the survey-questionnaire is effective.

Automatically, these 10 respondents will no be included as respondents for the formal survey implementation. In the survey, ethical issues regarding the respondents must be considered. First, researchers should consider whether the participant has given willing and informed consent (Zikmund 2003). Hence this will be handled by presenting the purpose and process of the survey online on the first page of the questionnaire, and explaining the purpose of the survey first by the researchers if through telephone survey. In addition, confidentiality and anonymity will be assured to respondents.

Moreover, to further respect the respondents (Chinese consumers), the questionnaire will be designed in Chinese. 5. 3 Sampling Appropriate sampling is very helpful in doing research as it is often difficult to measure certain characteristics of all units of a population (Zikmund 2003). This method consists of target population, sampling frame, sampling method, sample size, etc. Target population: it refers to the entire group under study (Zikmund 2003). In this study, the target population can be all the customers of Laura Arias in China as of the time when sample selection begins.

The target population should be defined according to elements, units, extent and time (Zikmund 2003). Sampling frame: It refers to the list of elements from which the sample may be drawn (Zikmund 2003). In this study, the sampling frame is a list of all the customers of Laura Arias in China based on its customer database. Sampling method: A systematic sampling with 1 in 3 ratio based on the list of customer database will be used. Systematic sampling is a sampling procedure in which an initial starting point is selected by a random process, and then every nth number on the list is selected (Zikmund 2003).

Sample size: It is necessary to calculate the sample size since the probability sampling technique (systematic sampling) has been chosen. Assume the confidence coefficient is 95%, the relative precision is 0. 1, and estimate is 70%. Then the sampling size is estimated to be about 166. However, more sample units will be selected in order to ensure that response from the 166 units is achieved, and so 180 samples will be selected. 5. 4 Data Analysis After the needed data has been collected, it will be analyzed in order to obtain any useful result for decision making. First, the collected data will be cleaned.

Descriptive analysis will be used to transfer the raw data collected from telephone survey into a form, which is usually the first step in data analysis. As to the online survey, automatically data editing is used. To make the data usable, this information must be organized and summarized. Constructing a frequency distribution/table is one of the most common means of summarizing a set of data (Zikmund 2003), which will be used in this research. In addition, weighted mean will be based on the following equation: f1x1 + f2x2 + f3x3 + f4x4 + f5x5 x = ———————————————; xt here: f – weight given to each response x – number of responses xt – total number of responses The researchers will also use the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) for the statistical analysis in this study. SPSS is a powerful statistical software packages that covers a broad range of statistical procedures, which help summarize data, such as computing means and standard deviations, do t-tests, analysis of variance, examine relationships among variables, such as correlation, multiple regression, and graph results (Einstein & Abernethy, 2000). 6. Additional Issues 6. 1 Time Schedule

Based on information stated in the above sections, this research is estimated to take about 43 days to finish, see the detail as follows: Action PlanTime (days) Research team recruitment 5 Customer contact data collection 5 Sample selection 3 Survey implementation and data collection 20 Data analysis 7 Final report completion 3 Total: 43 days 6. 2 Budget The estimated budget is shown as follows based on the action plan: Action PlanCost (RMB) Research team recruitment 1,000 Customer contact data collection 500 Sample selection 500 Survey implementation and data collection 3,000

Data analysis 2,000 Final report completion 300 Total Costs 7,300 6. 3 Limitations There are initiations that exist in the telephone and online surveys despite their advantages and popularity. First, the telephone survey is usually more expensive and time-consuming, and at the same time some respondents may refuse to participate in the survey or stop the survey before it can be completely finished. Second, the online survey may lead to the result of low rate of response. And there may be the situation that some respondents may even answer and submit the questionnaire for more than one time.

Third, some potential respondents may do not have computers or cannot access to the online questionnaire, but they may hold different views to the questionnaire. Due to this, survey implementation and data collection may take longer time. List of References Aaker, GS & Lawley, M 2005. Marketing research, Pacific Rim edn, Australia. Allen, Derek & Rao, Tanniru R. 2000. Analysis of customer satisfaction data, Journal of Customer Relations, America Einstein, G. & Abernethy, K. 2000. SPSS Tutorial: statistical package for the social science, viewed May 23, 2009,

Gitman, Lawrence J. & McDaniel, Carl D 2002. The future of business, The Free Press, Malaysia, p. 23 Grewal, R. , Cline,T. W. & Davies, A. 2003. Early-entrant advantage, word-of-mouth communication, brand similarity, and the consumer decision-making process, Journal of Consumer Psychology, 13, p. 3 John, Joby 1999. Fundamentals of Customer-Focused Management: Competing Through Service, Journal of Consumer Behavior. Oliver, R. L. 1980. Satisfaction: a behavioral perspective on the consumer, McGraw Hill, America, p. 231 Shanghai Furniture 2006.

An analysis of average consumption level of furniture in several countries, viewed May 3, 2009, < http://www. jpjiaju. com/news. php? newsid=18&mode=news> Thompson, Arthur A. Jr, A. J. Strickland ? & John E. Gamble 2005, Crafting and Executing Strategy, The Quest for Competitive Advantage: CONCEPTS & CASES, 14th edn, Mc Graw Hill, America, p. 47. Thomas, Jerry 2000. Customer satisfaction and loyalty research, Journal of Customer Research, America Zikmund, William G. 2003. Business research methods, 7th edn, South-western, America, p. 54, p. 175, p. 184, p. 556 Appendix 1: The Pre-designed Questionnaire

Ing Insurance Asia Pacific Operation Plan

Ing Insurance Asia Pacific Operation Plan

Operation issues at ING ING Insurance Asia Pacific (IAP), one of the top five foreign financial services provider in Asia Pacific show robustness financial results regardless the continuing declines in the global equity markets and the market volatility. Despite the good financial results, IAP is encountering operation issues internally. There is no alignment between regional headquarter and business units. Communications between regional office and business units are not efficient nor effective, it has been difficult to drive initiatives down and cross.

Operation-wise, there is no model or system is in-place to monitor and track the performance. Lack of standardization on the operation and evaluation process make the comparison and sharing of best practices between business units impossible. Cause of Issues The above issues are mainly stem from one single cause – the lack of a strategic operation model to bring the necessary level of alignment, business process integration and data standardization in the business units.

Added onto it is the organization reporting structure, local business / function manager reports to the county manager instead of the regional manager, which means regional office has no responsibility on the local business unit and make the structure further dis-integrate and decentralize. What complicate the picture more is the great variation in terms of business unit’s internal organizational characteristics and operating style. Some business unit is organized around product while some organized around solution provider.

There is no corporate – wide approach and when a local unit is successful, the potential benefits to other units are rarely explored. Thus, no synergy is exist. Operation Model is the Answer IAP is seem to function with many discrete units without the dots connecting each other and, and they are towards all the different directions that hardly bring any synergy across. To address the issue stated, IAP should develop and implement an appropriate operation model.

Starting from the top, a mission and vision statement should communicate across the whole company. IAP should help local business units to translate the corporate mission and vision into local goals and objectives. Clear understanding and embracing the mission and vision is the beginning of bringing alignment and creating synergy across. This brings the whole organization towards the same direction and create a platform for leverage. From Goal to Strategy

Local business goals and objectives should include financial targets as well as business activities targets. Once goals are established, situational and gap analysis is conduct, so as to devise strategies to close the gap and thereby achieving the goals. Strategic themes and initiatives should include not only the financial results but as well as business processes, technology platforms and incentive systems. For example, one of the possible mission for IAP can be “to be the market leader in financial service solutions for customers “.

Local goal and strategy translated is bundling relevant financial services as a total solution for key customers and market it effectively through channel expansion and increase geography coverage. Monitor, Track and Compare Once goals and strategies are established, implementation as well as the performance of the strategies themes can then be measured with a set of balance scorecards. The scorecards serve a number of important functions. First, the key performance indicators provide a means to quantify and measure.

Progress and performance can be tracked on a regular basis to avoid last minute fire fighting. Any off track issue can be discovered immediately and rectified. Secondly, the scorecard parameters create a performance for comparison across business units. It provides a standard across to get to know who is doing good and who is not. Benchmarking is possible, successful stories and best practices can be shared to make the business process more effective. Thirdly, an incentive system base of the key performance indicators can be established to motivate people across.

Alignment and Synergy The processes not only track and evaluate the business unit performance across, but it can be also down to individual level. Those strategic themes and goals should link to individual MBO, so that all employees in the whole organization is marching towards same common goal. This is very important because externally it creates synergy in the business environment, enabling competitive advantage against competition. Internally, it aligns business units with the regional office, making communication more effective.

Strategic initiatives can be drive across to create business value. Also, visibility increased and management can tack, measure and compare performance across. Improving organization structure To enable the operation model to be implement smoothly, it is suggested the local business manager to have dotted line report responsibility to the regional manager In this way, it create minimal organization change across but ensure smooth implementation of the strategic theme vertically and across.

Simulating Print Production System Through System Dynamics Modeling Towards Productivity Improvement in Order Fulfillment

Simulating Print Production System Through System Dynamics Modeling Towards Productivity Improvement in Order Fulfillment

Simulating Print Production System through System Dynamics Modeling towards Productivity Improvement in Order Fulfillment Ma. Crea Eurice D. Santos Abstract: The production system in logistic operations is an important function that significantly determines an organization’s performance in delivering customer requirements. This study investigates on the production system of a generic commercial printing company with the goal of understanding interrelationships of operation parameters towards influencing print productivity in relation to business logistic function of order fulfillment.

Simulating the cause and effect relationship of print production work flow considering feedback mechanisms presents a comprehensive representation of the system’s complexity whereby interplay of associated variables and parameters are examined. Specifically, through developing alternative mental models, opportunities at both strategic and operational level can be exploited based on impact assessment of policies and decisions from simulation runs of different scenarios Keywords: System Dynamics, Print Production, Order Fulfillment 1. Introduction

Worldwide manufacturing industries are in constant search for means of producing faster, cheaper, and better products or services(Uribe, 2008). In line with this, production takes a dominating and strategic logistic function in the process of order fulfillment (Helbing & Reichel, 1998). However, despite increasing technology in the printing industry added to widely available management tools, print productivity still has fallen further behind other manufacturing industries (Grant, 2003; Uribe, 2008; Zeng, Lin, Hoarau, & Dispoto, 2009).

In response to this, a system dynamics approach, modeling print production system, is provided to better understand the interrelationships between operation parameters and to uncover feedback loops influencing overall organization productivity. Analysis of the cause and effect relationships of print production variables exposes underlying reasons for lagging behind the average productivity levels. Specifically, simulating print production mental models provides an overview of system behavior whereby opportunities at both strategic and operational level are identified and exploited.

Commercial printing embodies a diverse, complex, and dynamic system(Uribe, 2008; Romano, Fawcett, & Soom, 2003). Its diversity is rooted to wide customized product offering possibilities. Particularly, commercial printers are involved in the manufacture of various custom printed products including flyers, posters, brochures, books, newsletters, invitations, packaging materials, and many more(Romano, Fawcett, & Soom, 2003). This make-to-order production system makes productivity improvements quite a challenge(Uribe, 2008).

Industry complexity, on the other end, transpires as diversity is complemented with mass production. More to this high customization high volume not-so-good match structure, complexity is intensified as it is classified as both a capital- and labor- intensive industry (Uribe, 2008; Zeng, Lin, Hoarau, & Dispoto, 2009). The highly diverse and dynamic job mix hence result to different print system configuration involving several work flows and varying combinations of equipment, resources, and business models (Kipphan, 2001; Uribe, 2008).

In view of that, this highly complex and dynamic nature of print production system makes it viable for a system dynamic approach investigation. In so applying systems thinking, further knowledge and comprehension enables management to not only create better strategies and decisions but more so to determine the effectiveness of the proposed solution immediately, without the need of waiting for results and actual application to the system which may be too costly and risky.

Generally, there is much to explore in the world of printing. Today, just like several other industries, it has been highly populated with printers that can produce good quality printing, and what differentiates a printer from another is basically a combination of the added value and services it is able to provide (Dana). Thousands of different mix and match of strategies have been designed and employed by commercial printers yet no single one is deemed the best and only solution (Uribe, 2008).

Assessment of various commercial printers’ current situation and problems point to disconnected or misaligned process requirements in producing print materials, whereby disintegrated equipment or process efficiencies are accounted distinctly. Adopting a system dynamics approach of exploration, focusing on the relationships interconnecting the complex system of printing rather than on individual areas of production, provides a holistic view whereby opportunities for improvement and better decision-making can be built. 2. Problem Articulation

Problem Statement and Research Objectives Productivity has been widely acknowledged as among any organization’s critical success factors. However, evaluating and understanding this measure entails a rather complex process(Kipphan, 2001). Beginning with the question of how to measure, Millet and Rosenberg, as cited in Uribe (2008), characterize productivity as the relation of throughput with a given set of resources, thus translating the ability to produce higher output with a fixed set of resources to be classified as more productive.

In this study, throughput through time is the accounted measure of productivity as per production backlog and turn-time estimates. Research indicate that the behavior of in-process production follows a cyclical pattern, increasing and decreasing accordingly with demand and turn time. Figure 1 shows the reference mode for the production backlog based on available literature. Figure 1: WIP in an Uncontrolled Process (Pritschow & Wiendahl, 1995) The high complexity of print production systems outlays difficulties in realizing high productivity which in turn contribute to unsatisfactory order fulfillment performance.

Being influenced by various interacting factors that form feedback mechanisms, straightforward linear solutions may not automatically result to observable higher productivity. Apparently, most decisions in printing companies are subject to miscalculations taking its roots from managers’ personal assessment on the basis of individual expertise. Basically, decision foundation builds on trial-and-error solution implementation originating from manager’ experiences(Zeng, Lin, Hoarau, & Dispoto, 2009).

Accordingly, the higher the complex¬ity of the system, the more likely decisions are to be errant. Incidentally, printing managers’ idea of a “perfect print shop,” can be highly diverse and conflict¬ing(Uribe, 2008). Hence, in order to address the rather low productivity evident in the printing industry, a holistic perspective analyzing the design and management of print production as an integrated system is simulated using a system dynamics approach to model the causation among interrelated variables and identify leverage points for designing organizational policies and decisions.

Generally, the modeling of print productivity in terms of system dynamics allow for a comprehensible depiction of complex relationships, thus subjecting underlying assumptions and relationships expressed in terms of functions and differential equations to be evaluated over time and scrutinized(Richmond, 2001). With this in mind, specific objectives of the study are identified as follows: create a computer simulation model that conceptualizes the dynamics of a generic commercial printing production system •to provide an understanding of the current state of commercial printers so as to indicate a path for higher productivity •identify policies and decisions towards opportunities for improvement through simulation runs of different strategy scenarios Study Scoping In printing job orders, process is quite fascinating, having to involve high-speed machines, reams of paper, metal plates, and many other supplies.

Also, service may begin from layout down to the binding process. An overview of the entire printing process is illustrated in Figure 2. Figure 2: Overview of the Printing Process Discussion of the printing process in detail can be divided into five main phases involving coordination between consumers and service providers (Refer to Figure 3). Figure 3: Printing Business Process Map (Glykas, 2004) In the order acquisition phase, commercial printers receive an order from a customer and coordinate to determine job order specifications and project concept.

The following phase, consisting of the design stage, may be a joint venture for print buyers and providers whereby the design team prepare basic design for the print job based on the discussed concept. In the electronic production phase, all scanning, editing and electronic image processing is performed ensuring compatibility with printing mechanism. The customer shall then signal the printer to proceed with the printing of the project whereby film production is initiated if CTP technology is absent to the provider.

In this phase, films produced are put in the proper layout, and then blueprints and digital proofs are sent to customers for approval. Upon approval from the customer, the printing phase is commenced whereby negatives are converted to plates to be used in the offset printing machine. The machine is set up with the appropriate colors and paper and printing impression is performed. From printing, printed sheets undergo a finishing phase whereby all cutting and binding activities are performed.

Finally, the delivery phase includes all activities related to final inspection, packaging and delivery (Glykas, 2004; Zeng, Lin, Hoarau, & Dispoto, 2009). However, the scope of the study shall only include the film production, printing, and finishing phase of the production system. 3. Dynamic Hypotheses and Model Presentation A mental model of a generic print production system is developed with causation hypotheses adopted from available researches and knowledgeable people from the industry. Figure 4 illustrates the causal loop diagram developed to describe the interrelationships between variables and associated feedback structures.

Again, the purpose of the model is to provide an understanding of the current state of commercial printers and to create an avenue for higher productivity. Further explanations of the variable interrelationships in relation to this are discussed in the following section as per stock flow diagram. Figure 4: Print Productivity CLD The mental model incorporated the interaction between sales variables, production backlog, customer satisfaction, and production capacity whereby sales orders are triggered by relative price, sales aggressiveness and customer satisfaction which in turn adds up to in-process production stock delivered as per capacity.

This time delay of fulfilling an order constrained by capacity influences customer satisfaction level specifically modeled by the effect of too much production backlog towards turn time and quality. Production Stock Flow The production stock is modeled as per the three basic production phases in offset printing, namely, the (1) pre-press, (2) press, and (3) finishing or bindery (Mine). Pre-press covers the stage wherein digital files are converted into film negatives to be used in creating metal plates for press run. Press includes the actual impressions of images or texts to papers.

Lastly, Postpress or Finishing comprises the binding of printed material or any finishing services that may be required of the job specification until it is packaged and made ready for delivery (Introduction to the Offset Printing Process). Print production operates under the assumption of a make-to-order policy. Hence, stock and flow struc¬ture are represented by orders coming into the production system, processed for a given time (production delay or turn time), then shipped to customers(Uribe, 2008). The production backlog represents the in-process orders waiting to be completed — Prepress + Press + Postpress.

It increases as sales order exceeds the output capability of the system and vice versa. It flows from the Prepress phase as plates are processed constrained by associated capacity and influenced by pressure or processing factor based on perceived WIP level. These processed plates then serve as an input to the Press stage. In the Press stage, there is an added outflow and inflow based on print rejects and returns that is unacceptable to standard quality and require reruns respectively. The Postpress stage likewise follows the same underlying mechanism with an option to outsource finishing requirements.

Figure 5: Production Stock Flow The rest of the model concentrates on the feedback structures that control the system. Order Inflow The overall production stock is affected by the rate of the order inflow coming in to the system at the prepress phase generated by sales orders from customers (Uribe, 2008). The assumption is that all orders undergoes the three print production stages as is often the case in most commercial printing services. In modeling production systems, it is very important to understand what affects the production stock including the inflow and how this rate can be managed.

Generally, order inflow can be affected by multiple variables. Refer to Figure 6 for significant factors considered by consumers in print service provider selection. However, inputs to the model focus on identified variables from literature as relevant to the problem and to the policies to be designed in the simulation. Figure 6: Factors Considered in Selecting a Printing Services Provider(Pellow, 2003) The first variable accounted in the model having direct impact on the sales order rate is the relative price, defined as the ratio of the price of the company to the market price.

Demand curve indicates that demand increases as price decreases. On the basis of this basic demand theory, if relative price is less than one, meaning price offered is less than market average, then the order rate increases, and vice versa. The second variable considered is the average order. To replace the complexity of the market demand, this is modeled as a constant indicating that a printing company that has been established in a market will have an average inflow of orders based on historical order patterns. The third variable is described as a switch variable on sales aggressiveness.

Lastly, customer satisfaction level is also considered to account for the top three ranking factors in printer selection: 1) Dependability, 2) Quality, and 3) Turn Time. Many more variables could be included in the model, yet current variables selected are assumed adequate for the model purpose and boundaries. Figure 7: Order Inflow Customer Satisfaction Level Customer satisfaction level generally creates the feedback mechanisms within the production system as per the effect of high level of satisfaction towards increasing sales order that likewise increases production backlog.

In particular, increasing backlog may be exceeding production capacity thereby increasing turn time as well as probability of rejects. This in turn decreases customer satisfaction which then creates the balancing loop. Fundamentally, the main reasons why print buyers abandon printers are due to quality issues and late deliveries (Merit, 1992; Uribe, 2008). However, the behavior of customer satisfaction is observed to follow the trend of turn time considerably more to quality as per simulation study. Figure 8: Customer Satisfaction Level

Figure 9 illustrates the integrated stock flow diagram of the print production system. (Refer to Appendix for associated equations) Figure 9: Print Production SFD 4. Simulation Model The behavior of system is simulated and compared with reference mode shown in Figure 1. Using Stella, resulting behavioral pattern is presented in Figure 10. Figure 10: Simulated WIP Behavioral Pattern The behavior of the production backlog follows the oscillating trend of the reference mode as defined by sales order and shipment rates.

Apparently, in-process level is cyclical in nature, depicting the principle of limits to growth. Figure 11: Reference Mode Figure 12: Simulation Behavior Results indicate that production backlog follows the trend of customer satisfaction with increasing orders as satisfaction rises more to other variables considered in the study. However, it is likewise observed that a limit to the growth of sales orders that serves as input to production backlog exist given that a printer can only accommodate orders pertinent to their capacity.

As capacity represent the controlling parameter of production outflow, increasing backlog is accumulated when demand exceeds capacity thereby increasing turn time and reducing customer satisfaction. This balances the upsurge in backlog as sales order is limited, thus creating the cyclical pattern. Figure 13: In-Process (Current System) Figure 14: Performance (Current System) In order to evaluate effectiveness of alternative proposals, turn-time, backlog, and total orders are tracked to compare system performance with alternative scenario simulation runs.

In line with this, current system accommodated orders as well as production backlog and turn time range is presented in Table 1. Table 1: Performance Measures VariableMeasures Total Orders164. 07 Production Backlog2. 91 to 23. 92 Turn Time1. 164 to 7. 974 Sensitivity Analysis In order to better understand the behavior of the system as per management decisions, changes in the parameters are subjected to sensitivity analysis. Variables chosen for assessment were considered owing to apparently significant contribution towards the behavior pattern of the system.

In line with this, system is observed to be sensitive to capacity parameter. Hence, effect of prepress, press, and postpress capacity changes to turn time, backlog, and total orders behaviors are examined specifically. Graphs in Figure 15, Figure 16 and Figure 17 depict the results of increasing and decreasing system capacity (1- decrease, 2- sustain, 3-increase). Figure 15: Turn Time Sensitivity to Increasing Capacity Figure 16: Backlog Sensitivity to Increasing Capacity Figure 17: Total Orders Accommodated to Increasing Capacity

Results indicate a logical behavior depicting decreasing turn time and backlog while increasing total orders as capacity is increased. Turn time behavior is observed to have high range for a decrease in capacity. On the other hand, increasing capacity produces more fluctuating results with average turn time slightly lower than current capacity. Nevertheless, this is still considered a better option given that turn time variance is seemingly lower despite shorter time frame of increase and decrease of values. Specifically, it depicts a rather more consistent order fulfillment lead time to end-consumers.

Alternative Scenarios Increasing Factor of Sales Aggressiveness The first alternative scenario modeled is to increase the factor of sales aggressiveness to managing sales order based on production backlog. In particular a policy on pushing sales account executives when work in process is below average backlog to smooth in-process and avoid idle capacity is proposed. However, results indicate no significant change in behavioral pattern as shown in Figure 18 and Figure 19 with the exception of shorter variation in sales order inflow.

Effects on range of performances reflect minimal improvement as shown in Table 2. Nevertheless, this can still be considered a better alternative with slight increase in performance without incurring additional costs for the provider other than having better demand management with the help of current workforce. Figure 18: Backlog Behavior (Sales Aggressiveness) Figure 19: Performance (Sales Aggressiveness) Table 2: Performance Measures VariableMeasures CurrentProposed Total Orders164. 07178. 33 Production Backlog2. 91 to 23. 923. 577 to 23. 92 Turn Time1. 164 to 7. 9741. 26 to 7. 974 Outsource Postpress exceeding Capacity Another alternative modeled is to outsource completely any Postpress in-process exceeding capacity. Generally, outsourcing strategy allows organizations to develop and leverage the capabilities required towards global competitiveness (Mclvor, 2008). This significantly decreased the level of production backlog as postpress level is not accumulated overtime having to accomplish finishing requirements outright every time period. Hence, the proposal smoothen overall production backlog without incurring fixed additional costs.

Improved performance is also observed with higher total orders accommodated and less varying backlog and turn time measures. It is also worth noting that increased overall backlog is observed with this proposal. Nonetheless, outsourcing production through subcontracting bindery requirements may be more costly of which effect was not considered in the analysis of the study. Figure 20: Backlog Behavior (Outsource) Figure 21: Performance (Outsource) Table 3: Performance Measures VariableMeasures CurrentProposed Total Orders164. 07225. 19 Production Backlog2. 91 to 23. 927. 141 to 25. 44

Turn Time1. 164 to 7. 9742. 162 to 6. 426 ? Increasing Postprocess Capacity Increasing postprocess capacity against outsourcing option was also considered in case organization would rather fulfill order in-house. Results indicate similar behavioral pattern but with more erratic turn time. Also, overall backlog and turn-time performance are reduced relative to outsourcing option. Figure 22: Backlog Behavior (Postprocess Capacity) Figure 23: Performance (Postprocess Capacity) Table 4: Performance Measures VariableMeasures CurrentProposed Total Orders164. 07223. 37 Production Backlog2. 91 to 23. 27. 715 to 24. 6 Turn Time1. 164 to 7. 9742. 137 to 6. 15 ? 5. Conclusions and Recommendations Production planning has grown increasing interest from logistic managers across companies of different industries. Fundamentally, production process timing and control require close coordination with logistics (Coyle, Bardi, & Langley, 2003). In line with this, computer simulation model using system dynamics was successfully created for a generic print shop. Modeling the causation within production system parameters provided a better understanding of the behavior of these integrated variables.

Alternative scenarios are then simulated to find the path towards higher productivity. The simulation model developed is quite simple with limited variables and feedback structures accounted. Nevertheless, it is comprehensive of a basic print production system presenting the work flow of main offset printing process (prepress, press, and postpress). It is modeled in such a way that it is flexible enough to adapt to any print company putting emphasis on how level of production back¬log affects the turn time of the orders processed and, at the same time, how customer satisfaction reinforces the system.

Although stock flow diagram accounted for multiple variables such as price and quality, it is observed that behavioral pattern of the system is highly influenced by customer satisfaction in terms of turn time or orders, hence the focus on designing alternatives. Sensitivity analysis on capacity changes is provided indicating higher capacity as the answer to turn time minimization as expected. Design alternatives are then centered towards managing demand and considering increase in capacity. Further studies to validate the model and designing alternatives may be considered to continue this research.

The cost function may also be added in the model to assess feasibility of proposals to be generated. ? 6. Bibliography Coyle, J. , Bardi, E. , & Langley, J. (2003). The Management of Business Logistics:A Supply Chain Perspective (7th ed. ). Canada: South-Western: Thomson Learning. Dana, M. (n. d. ). Work with commercial printers to get it right. Retrieved March 03, 2009, from Boston Print Buyers: http://www. bostonprintbuyers. com/articles/article016. html Glykas, M. (2004). Workflow and process management in printing and publishing firms. International Journal of Information Management , 24, 523-538. Grant, A. 2003). Print productivity gap widens. Printing World , 284 (2). Helbing, K. , & Reichel, M. (1998). Selected aspects of development and planning of production and logistic systems. Journal of Materials Processing Technology , 76, 233-237. Introduction to the Offset Printing Process. (n. d. ). Retrieved April 01, 2009, from PsPrint: http://www. psprint. com/resources/printing-tips-and-techniques/general/introduction-to-the-offset-printing-process. asp Kipphan, H. (2001). Handbook of Print Media: Technologies and Production Methods. Springer. Mclvor, R. (2008). What is the right outsourcing strategy for your process?

European Management Journal , 26, 24–34. Merit, D. (1992). Excellence in scheduling print production. New York: Don Merit. Mine, M. (n. d. ). How Offset Printing Works. Retrieved March 28, 2009, from HowStuffWorks: : http://computer. howstuffworks. com/offset-printing. htm/printable Pellow, B. S. (2003). The advertising agency’s role in marketing communications demand creation. Printing Industry Center at Rochester Institute of Technology. Pritschow, G. , & Wiendahl, H. (1995). Application of Control Theory for Production Logistics – Results of a Joint Project. CIRP Annals – Manufacturing Technology , 44 (1), 421-424.

Richmond, B. (2001). An introduction to system dynamics. High Performance Systems, NH. Romano, F. , Fawcett, R. , & Soom, M. (2003). An investigation into printing industry demographics. Printing Industry Center at Rochester Institute of Technology. Uribe, J. (2008). Print Productivity: A System Dynamics Approach. Printing Industry Center at Rochester Institute of Technology. Zeng, J. , Lin, I. , Hoarau, E. , & Dispoto, G. (2009). Numerical Simulation and Analysis of Commercial Print Production Systems. 25th International Conference on Digital Printing Technologies (NIP25).

Supplier Selection

Supplier Selection

Introduction The evaluation and selection of suppliers, structuring the supplier base is an important task in any organization. It assumes utmost importance in the current scenario of global purchasing. Every Organization especially manufacturing organizations need to have a Supplier evaluation matrix or model in place. This paper tries to bring in a typical Supplier Evaluation Framework, which blends with company’s basic values, and help in establishing a Strategic sourcing policy.

It also outlines ways and means to reward a supplier and establish long-standing relationships with suppliers. Vendor selection range of criterions Today’s consumers demand cheaper, high quality products, on-time delivery and excellent after-sale services. Hence, companies are under intense pressure to cut product and material costs while maintaining a high level of quality and after-sale services. Achieving this starts with supplier selection. Therefore, an efficient supplier selection process needs to be in place and of paramount importance for successful supply chain management.

It begins with the realisation of the need for a new supplier; determination and formulation of decision criteria; pre-qualification (initial screening and drawing up a shortlist of potential suppliers from a large list); final supplier selection; and the monitoring of the suppliers selected (i. e. continuous evaluation and assessment). The supplier selection can be seen as decision making under uncertainty and can be illustrated by a decision tree diagram as follows:- | | | | | | a| Satisfactory| | | | | | | | | | Supplier | A| | | | | | | | | | 1a| Unsatisfactory| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | b| Satisfactory| | Supplier | B| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 1b| Unsatisfactory| | | | | | | | | Above diagram show a simple decision making situation with only two suppliers considered and two possible outcomes. It shows, however, the uncertainty environment present in almost every supplier choice and the risk inherent in the decision. To use the decision method effectively, buyer must identify the options and criteria for evaluation and assess the probabilities of success and failures.

The vendor selection process can be a very complicated and emotional undertaking if one don’t know how to approach it from the very start. Here are five steps to help to select the right vendor. This guide will show how to analyze business requirements, search for prospective vendors, lead the team in selecting the winning vendor and provide with insight on contract negotiations and avoiding negotiation mistakes. It begins by gathering data or perform interviews, assemble a team of people who have a vested interest in this particular vendor selection process.

The first task that the vendor selection team needs accomplish is to define, in writing, the product, material or service that you are searching for a vendor. Next define the technical and business requirements. Also, define the vendor requirements. Finally, publish document to the areas relevant to this vendor selection process and seek their input. Have the team analyze the comments and create a final document. In summary: 1. Assemble an Evaluation Team 2. Define the Product, Material or Service 3. Define the Technical and Business Requirements 4.

Define the Vendor Requirements 5. Publish a Requirements Document for Approval The identification of potential sources is a primary qualification for any effective buyer. Information sources from internet, trade portals and journals, e-catalogue, advertisements, suppliers and commodities directories, sales interviews, professional contacts are some of the most common tools used. The choice of suppliers selection can considers the following parameters as the Common supplier selection criteria: * Previous experience and past performance with the product/service to be purchased. Relative level of sophistication of the quality system, including meeting regulatory requirements or mandated quality system registration (for example, ISO 9001, QS-9000). * Ability to meet current and potential capacity requirements, and do so on the desired delivery schedule. * Financial stability. * Technical support availability and willingness to participate as a partner in developing and optimizing design and a long-term relationship. * Total cost of dealing with the supplier (including material cost, communications methods, inventory requirements and incoming verification required). The supplier’s track record for business-performance improvement. * Total cost assessment. Now when the agreement on the business and vendor requirements had been compiled, the team now must start to search for possible vendors that will be able to deliver the material, product or service. The larger the scope of the vendor selection process the more vendors you should put on the table. Of course, not all vendors will meet the minimum requirements and the team will have to decide which vendors you will seek more information from. Vendor evaluation range of criterions

The areas that company chooses to measure and manage and the criteria used will be a direct result of the company’s goals and strategy and the objectives for the supplier performance management program. There are a wide variety of areas of supplier performance that may be measured. It is important to select the ones that are most important for the organization. Common areas that companies choose to measure include financial health (risk of bankruptcy, liquidity, sales, etc), operational performance (quality, lead times, customer services, etc), contract compliance, business processes (defect prevention, inspections, etc), and overall cost.

There are other metrics that may be important to aparticular company. These metrics should be defined as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Another factor that should influence the choice of evaluation methodology includes the type of suppliers that a company has. In the supplier performance management program, it is important for company personnel to focus on the higher value and more strategic suppliers since these suppliers contribute the greatest amount of risks. It often doesn’t make economic sense to include low dollar value, one time business, or non-strategic suppliers in this type of program.

By grouping these top suppliers together and examining the company’s relationships with them, some common attributes will become evident. These attributes of the relationship can be used to develop the areas and metrics with which to measure. It is also important to work with the suppliers when developing these metrics and areas of focus. Some of the companies that are best at examining supplier performance continually interact with their suppliers, communicate with them frequently, and use a mutually agreed upon system of metrics. This is a more collaborative approach with suppliers and ensures that supplier know what is expected of them.

They can also make business plans and take steps to meet the goals and objective that were set for them. The suppliers are also acutely aware of whether or not they have performed well or have performed poorly. Quality The most important vendor selection criterion is usually quality. Quality refers to the specifications a user desires in an item. For example, these can be the technical specifications, physical properties, or design. Quality also includes the additional factors such as life span of the product, durability, maintenance requirement, ease of use and dependability.

Typical measures of product quality are ‘Returns’ or ‘Parts per Million’ (PPM). End users are more affluent & well learnt today and have higher expectation for value for money purchase. The pursuant of quality excellence will continue to be the main criterion for delivery of the product. Reliability Reliability comprises delivery and performance history. The capability to consistently meet delivery schedules (on-time delivery), to adjust to changes in delivery schedules (flexibility), and to consistently deliver the right parts (accuracy).

Inorder to prevent production line shut down resulting from longer than expected lead times, the buyer requires consistent, on-time deliveries. Also, the product’s performance life can directly affects the quality of the final product, the manufacturer’s warranty claims, and repeat sales. Capability The third criterion is capability of the supplier. It considers the potential vendor’s production facilities and capacity, technical know-how, management and organizational strengths and operating controls. The supplier’s capability to reduce the customer’s cycle time and bring products to market at a faster pace.

For example, a supplier can reduce time-to-market for a customer through accelerating design work, developing prototypes faster than competitors, and speeding up the product testing and validation process. Supplier’s knowledge of the supply market may provide an opportunity to present the customer with new sourcing solutions. Second, a thorough understanding of the customer’s operations creates an opportunity for the supplier to assist the customer in improving existing products – both in terms of functionality and costs.

Third, a supplier may assist the customer in developing new products. These factors examine the vendor’s ability to provide a needed quality and quantity of material in a timely manner. Financial The vendor price is a major consideration in the selection process but it may not be the most important determinant. The material’s quality, reliability and capability are more important. In addition to price, the buying firm needs to consider vendor’s financial position. Financially unstable suppliers can pose possible disruptions in a long-run continued supply of materials.

For example the bankruptcy of a key supplier that supplies critical material to a final product could result the stop in the buyer’s production line. Miscellaneous categories of desirables We may group the remaining selection factors into miscellaneous categories of desirables. Suppliers are evaluated and selected according to homogeneous methods, which are based on objective parameters. | Service SupportIn addition to tangible products, a supplier provides a range of accompanying services. These services can be: services directly related to the product (i. e. warranty, spare parts, or product adaptations), appropriate customer information (i. e. providing the ‘right information’ at the ‘right time’), and outsourcing a number of tasks to the supplier (i. e. , sub-assembly, design, or testing). Personal InteractionThough business relationships exist between firms, they are actually managed by individuals. Personal interaction in a manufacturer-supplier relationship may create value in different ways such as improved communication between both parties, more effective and efficient problem resolution, and a better understanding of each partner’s objectives in the relationship.

Geographical locationThis factor addresses the issues of whether to buy from local or overseas vendors. Transportation cost is one obvious reason. Other reasons such as the ability to fill rush orders, meet deliveries dates, provide shorter delivery times and utilize greatersupplier-buyer cooperation, favour the use of local suppliers. However, distant vendors may provide lower prices, greater technical ability, supply reliability & higher quality. | | Conclusion It is of utmost importance that the co-operation between customer and suppliers is based on common values and that the improvement work is focused at all times.

The Supplier Evaluation Framework is a way to point at the requirements and values, which are put on the supplier’s development. By a close co-operation and common processes for target setting (quality, delivery, productivity etc. ) and suited measuring systems the common competitive strength of the Customer – Supplier will be enhanced. Vendor evaluation is important as it can reduce supply chain costs and improve the quality and timeliness of the delivery of items to your company.

The skill in evaluating vendors is to determine which criteria are important and the weighting that these criteria are given. It is important to remember that these criteria may be different for each item you are sourcing and possibly different between regions or countries. Objective data is useful to compare the information that you can obtain from each purchase order and goods receipt, but sometimes the subjective data that your purchasing agents can provide such as customer service and the willingness of the vendor to accommodate your requirements, is as or more important in a vendor evaluation.