The purpose of this paper is to propose a novel integrated approach using analytical hierarchy process (AHP) and technique for order of preference by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS) methods for evaluation and prioritization of appropriate manufacturing flexibility type required in the face of multiple environmental uncertainties.
Using a case study of an Indian fashion apparel firm, the study demonstrates the application of the proposed integrated framework for evaluation and prioritization of manufacturing flexibility. The study uses AHP method to determine importance weight of environmental uncertainty criteria and subcriteria and then employs TOPSIS method to determine the final ranking of manufacturing flexibility types required to cope up with these uncertainties.
The findings of the case suggest that the proposed integrated approach is feasible and practically implementable for manufacturing flexibility assessment.
AHP has been extensively studied and used, but the major limitation of this proposed approach is the involvement of large number of pairwise comparisons leading to difficulty in maintaining consistency in pairwise comparisons.
The proposed approach can work as a benchmarking tool to practitioners in evaluating and prioritizing manufacturing flexibility alternatives and to suggest strategic allocation of resource by prioritizing different manufacturing flexibilities types.
Unlike conventional approaches, the study provides meaningful knowledge to decision makers by demonstrating a simple, flexible, and efficient method to evaluate and rank the appropriate manufacturing flexibility types.
Mishra, R., Pundir, A.K. and Ganapathy, L. (2017), "Evaluation and prioritisation of manufacturing flexibility alternatives using integrated AHP and TOPSIS method: Evidence from a fashion apparel firm", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 24 No. 5, pp. 1437-1465. https://doi.org/10.1108/BIJ-07-2015-0077
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