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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1982

Geoff Buxey

The Vehicle Scheduling Problem (VSP) is to assign specific routes to a fleet of delivery vehicles so that management's standards of operational efficiency and customer…

Abstract

The Vehicle Scheduling Problem (VSP) is to assign specific routes to a fleet of delivery vehicles so that management's standards of operational efficiency and customer service are both satisfied. The basic format requires all carriers to operate from a common depot and to furnish any particular order with a single drop. In addition, total loads must be within each vehicle's capacity limit and distributed during the driver's statutory working day, whilst a variety of further constraints may have to be taken into account as circumstances dictate.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1991

Geoff Buxey and Stanley Petzall

The Australian vehicle industry has alwaysstruggled to remain viable despite relying heavilyon government protection. Now it faces theprospect of competing on its own…

Abstract

The Australian vehicle industry has always struggled to remain viable despite relying heavily on government protection. Now it faces the prospect of competing on its own merits, and has turned to JIT as one way to reduce manufacturing costs. However, the resultant exposure of the total supply network to the effects of isolated strikes has become a major concern. This article traces relevant events since JIT became commonplace. The gravity of the situation has forced the principal union and the motor corporations to co‐operate more, but there are fewer restraints on the other unions representing small groups in a host of supplier firms. Attempts are in train to address these structural difficulties too, but they have been greeted with some scepticism.

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Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 91 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1991

Geoff Buxey

The paper highlights some Australian businesses where CAD‐CAM hasramifications for the quality of goods produced. Since this technologyconstitutes the core of flexible…

Abstract

The paper highlights some Australian businesses where CAD‐CAM has ramifications for the quality of goods produced. Since this technology constitutes the core of flexible automation, it eliminates direct human involvement with certain aspects of product and process design, and production. Therefore, the outcomes are more predictable. Reviews are presented of the various dimensions of quality and the potential benefits of CAD‐CAM. There is also some discussion of TQM and the tendency to focus on shopfloor (consistent) conformance to given product specifications, in contrast to recent attempts to emphasise design, because it offers more scope for gaining competitive advantage. The empirical evidence indicates that CAD‐CAM has indeed had a greater impact on preproduction activities, and toolmaking in particular, than on factory operations. Also, styling is very significant in the context of quality enhancement. The ability to machine to closer dimensional tolerances may have been somewhat oversold in this respect, unless the definition covers raising productivity through “getting it right first time”.

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International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 11 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1993

Geoff Buxey

When sales vary significantly according to season, the manufacturermakes special provisions to integrate the acquisition of raw materialsand labour with an effective…

Abstract

When sales vary significantly according to season, the manufacturer makes special provisions to integrate the acquisition of raw materials and labour with an effective production schedule which satisfies customers′ requirements. The recommended procedure is called aggregate planning, and many algorithms produce a good definitive solution. However, they have been ignored by industry. The empirical research presented here looks at such planning in a sample of 20 Australian factories. It sheds some light on the acknowledged gap between theory and practice, and suggests that business strategy, the extent of the seasonal distortion, and the tactical remedies available, are all linked. Strategic and tactical considerations tend to bypass the aggregate planning step, and the problem is ultimately resolved at the master production schedule level.

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International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 13 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2005

Geoff Buxey

The textiles, clothing, and footwear (TCF) industry has struggled in Australia since the government commenced dismantling tariffs. By sourcing from Asia, middlemen…

Abstract

Purpose

The textiles, clothing, and footwear (TCF) industry has struggled in Australia since the government commenced dismantling tariffs. By sourcing from Asia, middlemen undercut established suppliers, and retail chains set benchmark low prices with their imported “house” labels. The policy‐makers predicted that local producers would become more efficient, and export to make up for lost sales, but the media paints a picture of rising imports, retrenchments, and factory closures. The research objective was to discover what strategies the survivors (actually) employ in adapting to the pressures of globalisation.

Design/methodology/approach

More than 30 companies were involved in the study, ranging from small family businesses to subsidiaries of big multinationals. Each case study was based on an interview with a senior executive, normally followed by a plant tour. This methodology suits a fresh topic, as it avoids preconceptions and imposes no bounds.

Findings

Results show that the policy change was based on “pie in the sky” forecasts. Increasingly, TCF production is transferred to cheap offshore locations, generally via subcontracting plus the “badging” of foreign designs. To survive, local factories should focus on quality and customer service, preferably in niche markets (like uniforms), or for specific customer groups, and develop technologically advanced products. A move down the supply chain into retailing can also assist. Large multinational corporations that engage in foreign direct investment dominate the management literature.

Originality/value

This paper presents a different perspective, neglected in international operations management, whereby domestically oriented businesses attempt to defend themselves against the adverse consequences of globalisation.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2000

Geoff Buxey

The Australian government welcomed globalisation and led the way with tariff reductions, claiming that many local manufacturers were inefficient and inward looking as a…

Abstract

The Australian government welcomed globalisation and led the way with tariff reductions, claiming that many local manufacturers were inefficient and inward looking as a result of over protection. This paper reports on a series of interviews conducted in companies belonging to the (small) electrical appliances and household kitchenware industries, which both face fierce competition from imported goods. The objectives were to find out what business and manufacturing strategies have sustained them in the new trade environment. Six distinct strategies were identified, although a mix is common. There has been a real push to increase productivity, but it is not enough on its own to enable a firm to defend its domestic market against cheap imports. The main impact of globalisation has been a move to replace local sources of production with others located offshore. Typically, these are independent suppliers in China operating under contract manufacturing agreements.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 20 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1997

Geoff Buxey and Robert Kosmider

A cursory glance over retailers’ shelves in Australia reveals a proliferation of imports, with locally‐made goods often a minority. This is especially true of clothing…

Abstract

A cursory glance over retailers’ shelves in Australia reveals a proliferation of imports, with locally‐made goods often a minority. This is especially true of clothing, footwear and small electrical appliances and is linked to lower tariffs and other barriers to trade. Much of the debate about government policy concerns the pace of tariff reform that will give domestic manufacturers a chance to adapt. Looks at the ways a small sample of companies has coped; many have moved production offshore. Analyses why, how, and through what strategies and environmental factors the rest keep on manufacturing here. Finally, compares the results with expectations.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 97 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2006

Geoff Buxey

This paper sets out to discuss practical inventory control systems. Orthodox theory revolves around the purchaser and balances ordering costs against charges for carrying…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper sets out to discuss practical inventory control systems. Orthodox theory revolves around the purchaser and balances ordering costs against charges for carrying goods in stock. However, for any company holding thousands of different items the directives for constructing the best system(s) are confusing and the logic seems inconsistent. The research objective is to clarify this hitherto unsatisfactory situation and to provide robust guidelines for managing such inventories.

Design/methodology/approach

A small number of published examples are described in sufficient detail to reveal what these firms actually do. Each case is dissected to uncover management's motives, since the original reports were not embellished with useful analytical comments. The aim is to reconstruct the overall design process.

Findings

The myopic standpoint of established models neglects the impact of various ordering policies at the supplier's end, where the promotion of cost‐effective and responsive warehouse and transport operations is paramount. As a rule, both areas benefit from stable resources planning, based on cyclic orders and delivery schedules along fixed vehicle routes.

Practical implications

An alternative “top down” approach is proposed. The main thrust is the efficient deployment of a designated transport fleet. Also, some salient points are made concerning the relative merits of P‐ and Q‐type stock replenishment modes.

Originality/value

The paper provides a new perspective on stock control that brings theory into line with modern supply chain management concepts.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 26 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2005

Geoff Buxey

The paper reports on the ramifications for production planning when monthly sales exhibit predictable seasonal highs and lows. The literature first acknowledged and dealt…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper reports on the ramifications for production planning when monthly sales exhibit predictable seasonal highs and lows. The literature first acknowledged and dealt with the (aggregate planning) problem 50 years ago. Nevertheless, there is neither evidence that industry has adopted any of the mathematical techniques that were subsequently developed, nor a convincing explanation as to why not. Hence this research sets out to discover the methods manufacturers use to cope with seasonal demand, and how germane the published algorithms really are.

Design/methodology/approach

Forty‐two case studies were compiled by interviewing senior managers and then conducting plant tours. No prior assumptions were made and the list of questions covered the gamut of production planning.

Findings

The main finding is that manufacturers select a straightforward production strategy, right from the outset, so the fundamental cost‐balancing format is not relevant. The majority pick a “chase” strategy, since most organizations subscribe to a “just in time” ethos. Whenever a different strategy is preferred the rationale springs from skilled labour considerations or binding facilities constraints. The chosen strategy serves as a road map for resources acquisitions, and the master production schedule is constructed directly. So, the complex issue of how to disaggregate an optimal aggregate plan never even arises. Managers do not seek perfect solutions, but strive to eliminate, or contain, the most significant marginal costs. The nature of the business determines the most appropriate tactics to employ.

Originality/value

These findings break the mould as far as orthodox aggregate planning is concerned and show why theory is at odds with practice, whilst reaffirming the importance of concepts such as “flexibility”, “integration”, and “just‐in‐time production”.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 25 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1983

In the last four years, since Volume I of this Bibliography first appeared, there has been an explosion of literature in all the main functional areas of business. This…

Abstract

In the last four years, since Volume I of this Bibliography first appeared, there has been an explosion of literature in all the main functional areas of business. This wealth of material poses problems for the researcher in management studies — and, of course, for the librarian: uncovering what has been written in any one area is not an easy task. This volume aims to help the librarian and the researcher overcome some of the immediate problems of identification of material. It is an annotated bibliography of management, drawing on the wide variety of literature produced by MCB University Press. Over the last four years, MCB University Press has produced an extensive range of books and serial publications covering most of the established and many of the developing areas of management. This volume, in conjunction with Volume I, provides a guide to all the material published so far.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 21 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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