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Verma A.,Nilai Educational Trusts Group of Institution | Verma R.,Operations Management | Mahanti N.C.,BIT Mesra
International Journal of Soft Computing

The standard uncapacitated facility location problem requires locating facilities on a network to service the demands on the network at a minimum total cost. It is assumed that the demand at each customer site must be satisfied. In this study we considered a generalized version of the problem where the demands are not known precisely (i.e., fuzzy) which makes the cost imprecise and has triangular possibility distribution. A numerical example is considered to illustrate the methodology. © Medwell Journals, 2010. Source

Revilla E.,Operations Management | Saenz M.J.,Zaragoza Logistics Center | Knoppen D.,Operations Management and Information Systems
International Journal of Production Research

This paper develops a taxonomy of buyer-supplier relationships (BSRs), based on the suppliers absorptive capacity (AC). AC encompasses three learning processes: exploration, assimilation, and exploitation. The aim is to develop a taxonomy that can predict a firms performance with regard to innovation and operational efficiency. This research complements the literature, which presently focuses on descriptive rather than predictive taxonomies. Data from 153 firms were collected through survey research. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to assess the quality of data and calculate composite scores to be used in the cluster analysis to develop the BSRs patterns. Analysis of variance was used to explore the relationships between BSR type and firm performance. Finally, semi-structured interviews aided interpretation of the proposed taxonomy. Findings support the identification of groups of dyads through different combinations of the learning processes underlying AC. The different combinations are typified through AC strength and AC reinforcement. The results provide evidence of a significant relationship between AC strength and firm performance. Surprisingly, we did not find empirical support for the relationship between AC reinforcement and performance. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

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Site: http://www.scientificcomputing.com/rss-feeds/all/rss.xml/all

Rochester, NY — Cloud computing software has brought many changes to the business landscape and, currently, the implementation of such a service is common. New research sheds light on the growing competition between two widely used software models — Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), and Modified off-the-Shelf (MOTS) software. “The key factor that drives competitive business strategies in this highly aggressive market is the provider’s pricing scheme,” says Abraham Seidmann, Xerox Professor of Computers and Information Systems and Operations Management from the University of Rochester’s Simon Business School. SaaS is available online on-demand, which allows businesses to increase production with fewer people. This scalability reduces investment on technology infrastructure, as well as easily maintaining access to important information with little to no upfront spending. SaaS is used in a number of common business areas with organizations, such as Workday, which offers cloud-based enterprise-level software solutions for human resources and financial management, QuickBooks offering cloud-based accounting solutions and DialogsCMS delivering enterprise content management. The typical in-house MOTS systems provide some API’s (application program interface) with access to the source code of the underlying software so it can be customized and better integrated to the business. Cerner is an example of a health care technology vendor that develops customized Electronic Medical Records (EMR) to create a “custom fit” between the software and the needs of the medical institution. This vendor recognizes the need for customization and enhanced functionality, while a leading competitor, such as EPIC, seems to be far more limited in that respect. On the other hand, most SaaS systems provide limited customization options, because they are operating in a multitenancy environment. Multiple customers share the same application, running on the same operating system, hardware and data-storage mechanism. This is how SaaS attains economies of scale, but as a result, users might incur significant lack-of-fit and integration costs. According to Seidmann, “Paying more while not getting your exact business integration needs is called “lack-of-fit” cost. When lack-of-fit costs decrease — when new industry standards are adopted, for example — SaaS systems need to reduce prices to gain market share. However, when lack-of-fit costs are expected to increase, MOTS software will be more competitive, because it’s easier to modify the source code to meet specific functional needs.” In their paper, “Analyzing Software as a Service (SaaS) with Per-Transaction Charges,” Seidmann and his co-author Dan Ma, Associate Professor Information Systems from Singapore Management University, built a game theory model to explore competitive pricing strategies of SaaS and MOTS platforms on a per-transaction basis to determine where and how each service modality gives end-users more value for their money. The co-authors identified three different qualities to measure the pricing strategies between competitors: Based on their analysis, the researchers offer three top strategic recommendations: Now that the cloud computing software trend seems unstoppable in many markets, major players in the competitive on-demand software game need to adapt to the changing times and offer both SaaS and MOTS options. The trend is already evident for companies, such as SAP, Microsoft and Oracle who feel the pressure by newcomers to the cloud space and, hence, offer both versions — hoping to convert a one-time sale into a perpetual income stream.

Crawled News Article
Site: http://phys.org/technology-news/

Depth-sensing cameras in a phone might be used to scan objects, which can then be digitized, modified and incorporated into new creations. The system allows the use of standard smartphone gestures such as swipe, pinch and move to create the designs. Research to develop the system, called MakerPad, is funded with a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation, a Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity grant being announced this week. The project is led by Karthik Ramani, the Donald W. Feddersen Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. "Currently, product design and manufacturing are the purview of enterprises and professionals such as engineers and artists," he said. "Everyone has ideas, but only a select few can bring them to reality. This is a tremendous waste of untapped human creative resources and economic potential to the society and world economy." Collaborators in the project include the company ZeroUI Inc., which Ramani co-founded, the Imagination Station museum in Lafayette, Ind., and Purdue's Gifted Education Resource Institute. Critical for the system to work are new cloud-powered algorithms that make possible an advanced human-computer interaction, allowing users to create and modify three-dimensional objects with a smartphone by harnessing depth-sensing cameras and other technologies. While the algorithms under development require a team of highly skilled engineers and computer scientists, they are designed to be used by people who have no technical background, said Ramani, working with co-principal investigators Ananth Iyer, the Susan Bulkeley Butler Chair of Operations Management and a professor of management; and Sanjay Rao, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. "This will eventually become a service for anyone to use," said Ramani, director of Purdue's C Design Lab. "Say I want a lampshade, or I want a necklace, or I want some accessory for my car or bike. You will be able to create these with your phone and emerging augmented and virtual reality tools that enable anybody to become a maker." Explore further: 'Makers' 3-D print shapes created using new design tool, bare hands

Crawled News Article
Site: http://www.materialstoday.com/news/

The EPMA has announced that Jonathan Wroe, EPMA executive director, passed away on Friday 4 December after a short illness. ’Jonathan was a great executive director and ambassador of the powder metallurgy industry, who during his 14 years at the Association turned the EPMA into a successful trade body for the benefit of all the Powder Metallurgy community,’ said Philippe Gundermann, EPMA president. ‘This is an enormous and painful loss for all of us as friends and colleagues and for the European PM industry. We have lost a great man, dedicated to our industry, hard worker, prudent and a great administrator. ‘Jonathan brought to EPMA his energy and he has been an untiring motor until the end,’ he added. ‘The EPMA board, council and staff are very sad about this loss, but in his memory will stay highly committed to the future of the association.’ Jonathan Wroe was a graduate of University College, Oxford and spent ten years as part of the shipping industry in Operations Management before moving into export marketing.  Since 1986 he worked in the materials sector with Cookson Group and CERAM Research holding senior roles in sales and marketing, purchasing and technology transfer. In 2001 Jonathan joined the European Powder Metallurgy Association as executive director and as part of his wider EPMA responsibilities he represented the European PM industry on UK boards, European project groups and several international committees. Jonathan came with an impressive track record in marketing and presentation was key to his strategy.  Thus, as befitting a new director, a new logo was designed and a new EPMA brand image emerged.  The website was totally transformed and results soon followed; during his fourteen years with the EPMA membership increased to an all-time high with 188 corporate and 75 individual members to date. Jonathan was new to metallurgy technology and came to EPMA with an open mind, always keen to try new initiatives.  During Jonathan’s time at the EPMA he worked on numerous events, starting with the Euro PM2001 Congress & Exhibition in Nice, France. From this stepping stone into the PM industry he managed, coordinated and assisted on annual Euro PMs, general meetings, board and council meetings and three World PMs, 2004, 2010 and more recently working in the build up to the 2016 event. Jonathan was a committed team member behind the scenes as well, actively participating in congresses, helping to set up and breakdown, in record time, when the event finished. Through his international working relationships with the EPMA’s sister organisations, North America’s Metal Powders Industry Federation (MPIF) and the Asian focused Japanese Powder Metallurgy Association (JPMA), friendships developed with colleagues around the world. In 2004 these positive connections helped to create and launch the Global Powder Metallurgy Property Database. The first material property database of its kind that was free to use, an internet accessible database, providing material property covering a wide range of powder metallurgy material systems. In 2009/2010 Jonathan’s level headed approach helped steer the EPMA through one of the worst recessions in memory, whilst at the same time providing a first class World PM Congress & Exhibition in Florence, Italy, which has been one of the most memorable to date. During his time as the EPMA’s Sectoral Group coordinator of  EuroMIM and, more recently, as one of the founding partners of the European Hot Isostatic Pressing Group (EHPG), Jonathan worked on the creation and implementation of International ISO Standards, PM technology promotion, resulting in the brand new ‘Introduction to HIP’ brochure as well as a revamped ‘Introduction to MIM’, and EU funded projects for the benefit of the PM industry, such as ‘Design for PM’ an e-learning training course. ‘On behalf of the Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF), APMI International, and the North American powder metallurgy community, let me express my heartfelt sorrow and thoughts on the passing of Jonathan Wroe,’ said C. James Trombino, executive director of the MPIF. ‘Having worked with Jonathan since he arrived at EPMA in 2001, he worked closely with MPIF in formulating areas of collaboration never seen before in our global industry.  Over those years he became a trusted colleague and friend and his loss touches all of us here in North America.  He was kind, creative, trustworthy and extremely effective in serving EPMA’s interests worldwide.  His loss affects all of us who care deeply about the success of our global PM industry; he will surely be missed.’ Any work friends and former colleagues who wish to provide a mark of respect to Jonathan are welcome to submit a tribute at www.epma.com/tribute. This story is reprinted from material from the EPMA, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.

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