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Article
Publication date: 4 June 2021

Radu Atanasiu

This paper proposes a theory-based process model for the generation, articulation, sharing and application of managerial heuristics, from their origin as unspoken insight…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper proposes a theory-based process model for the generation, articulation, sharing and application of managerial heuristics, from their origin as unspoken insight, to proverbialization, to formal or informal sharing, and to their adoption as optional guidelines or policy.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual paper is built using systematic and non-systematic review of literature. This paper employs a three-step approach to propose a process model for the emergence of managerial heuristics. Step one uses a systematic review of empirical studies on heuristics in order to map extant research on four key criteria and to obtain, by flicking through this sample in a moving-pictures style, the static stages of the process; step two adapts a knowledge management framework to yield the dynamic aspect; step three assembles these findings into a graphical process model and uses insights from literature to enrich its description and to synthesize four propositions.

Findings

The paper provides insights into how heuristics originate from experienced managers confronted with negative situations and are firstly expressed as an inequality with a threshold. Further articulation is done by proverbialization, refining and adapting. Sharing is done either in an informal way, through socialization, or in a formal way, through regular meetings. Soft adoption as guidelines is based on expert authority, while hard adoption as policy is based on hierarchical authority or on collective authority.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are theory-based, and the model must be empirically refined.

Practical implications

Practical advice for managers on how to develop and share their portfolio of heuristics makes this paper valuable for practitioners.

Originality/value

This study addresses the less-researched aspect of heuristics creation, transforms static insights from literature into a dynamic process model, and, in a blended-theory approach, considers insights from a distant, but relevant literature – paremiology (the science of proverbs).

Details

Management Decision, vol. 59 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Emre Cevikcan

Walking-worker assembly lines can be regarded as an effective method to achieve the above-mentioned characteristics. In such systems, workers, following each other, travel…

Abstract

Purpose

Walking-worker assembly lines can be regarded as an effective method to achieve the above-mentioned characteristics. In such systems, workers, following each other, travel workstations in sequence by performing all of the required tasks of their own product. As the eventual stage of assembly line design, efforts should be made for capacity adjustments to meet the demand in terms of allocating tasks to workers via assembly line balancing. In this context, the purpose of this study is to address the balancing problem for multi-model walking-worker assembly systems, with the aim of improving planning capability for such systems by means of developing an optimization methodology.

Design/methodology/approach

Two linear integer programming models are proposed to balance a multi-model walking-worker assembly line optimally in a sequential manner. The first mathematical programming model attempts to determine number of workers in each segment (i.e. rabbit chase loop) for each model. The second model generates stations in each segment to smooth workflow. What is more, heuristic algorithms are provided due to computational burden of mathematical programming models. Two segment generation heuristic algorithms and a station generation heuristic algorithm are provided for the addressed problem.

Findings

The application of the mathematical programming approach improved the performance of a tap-off box assembly line in terms of number of workers (9.1 per cent) and non-value-added time ratio (between 27.9 and 26.1 per cent for different models) when compared to a classical assembly system design. In addition, the proposed approach (i.e. segmented walking-worker assembly line) provided a more convenient working environment (28.1 and 40.8 per cent shorter walking distance for different models) in contrast with the overall walking-worker assembly line. Meanwhile, segment generation heuristics yielded reduction in labour requirement for a considerable number (43.7 and 49.1 per cent) of test problems. Finally, gaps between the objective values and the lower bounds have been observed as 8.3 per cent (Segment Generation Heuristic 1) and 6.1 (Segment Generation Heuristic 2).

Practical implications

The proposed study presents a decision support for walking-worker line balancing with high level of solution quality and computational performance for even large-sized assembly systems. That being the case, it contributes to the management of real-life assembly systems in terms of labour planning and ergonomics. Owing to the fact that the methodology has the potential of reducing labour requirement, it will present the opportunity of utilizing freed-up capacity for new lines in the start-up period or other bottleneck processes. In addition, this study offers a working environment where skill of the workers can be improved within reasonable walking distances.

Originality/value

To the best knowledge of the author, workload balancing on multi-model walking-worker assembly lines with rabbit chase loop(s) has not yet been handled. Addressing this research gap, this paper presents a methodology including mathematical programming models and heuristic algorithms to solve the multi-model walking-worker assembly line balancing problem for the first time.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 36 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 November 2014

John H Drake, Matthew Hyde, Khaled Ibrahim and Ender Ozcan

Hyper-heuristics are a class of high-level search techniques which operate on a search space of heuristics rather than directly on a search space of solutions. The purpose…

Abstract

Purpose

Hyper-heuristics are a class of high-level search techniques which operate on a search space of heuristics rather than directly on a search space of solutions. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the suitability of using genetic programming as a hyper-heuristic methodology to generate constructive heuristics to solve the multidimensional 0-1 knapsack problem

Design/methodology/approach

Early hyper-heuristics focused on selecting and applying a low-level heuristic at each stage of a search. Recent trends in hyper-heuristic research have led to a number of approaches being developed to automatically generate new heuristics from a set of heuristic components. A population of heuristics to rank knapsack items are trained on a subset of test problems and then applied to unseen instances.

Findings

The results over a set of standard benchmarks show that genetic programming can be used to generate constructive heuristics which yield human-competitive results.

Originality/value

In this work the authors show that genetic programming is suitable as a method to generate reusable constructive heuristics for the multidimensional 0-1 knapsack problem. This is classified as a hyper-heuristic approach as it operates on a search space of heuristics rather than a search space of solutions. To our knowledge, this is the first time in the literature a GP hyper-heuristic has been used to solve the multidimensional 0-1 knapsack problem. The results suggest that using GP to evolve ranking mechanisms merits further future research effort.

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2020

Emre Cevikcan and Mehmet Bulent Durmusoglu

Rabbit chase (RC) is used as one of the most effective techniques in manufacturing systems, as such systems have high level of adaptability and increased productivity in…

Abstract

Purpose

Rabbit chase (RC) is used as one of the most effective techniques in manufacturing systems, as such systems have high level of adaptability and increased productivity in addition to providing uniform workload balancing and skill improving environment. In assembly systems, RC inspires the development of walking worker assembly line (WWAL). On the other hand, U-type assembly lines (UALs) may provide higher worker utilization, lower space requirement and more convenient internal logistics when compared to straight assembly lines. In this context, this study aims to improve assembly line performance by generating RC cycles on WWAL with respect to task assignment characteristics of UAL within reasonable walking distance and space requirement. Therefore, a novel line configuration, namely, segmented rabbit chase-oriented U-type assembly line (SRCUAL), emerges.

Design/methodology/approach

The mathematical programming approach treats SRCUAL balancing problem in a hierarchical manner to decrease computational burden. Firstly, segments are generated via the first linear programming model in the solution approach for balancing SRCUALs to minimize total number of workers. Then, stations are determined within each segment for forward and backward sections separately using two different pre-emptive goal programming models. Moreover, three heuristics are developed to provide solution quality with computational efficiency.

Findings

The proposed mathematical programming approach is applied to the light-emitting diode (LED) luminaire assembly section of a manufacturing company. The adaptation of SRCUAL decreased the number of workers by 15.4% and the space requirement by 17.7% for LED luminaire assembly system when compared to UAL. Moreover, satisfactory results for the proposed heuristics were obtained in terms of deviation from lower bound, especially for SRCUAL heuristics I and II. Moreover, the results indicate that the integration of RC not only decreased the number of workers in 40.28% (29 instances) of test problems in U-lines, but also yielded less number of buffer points (48.48%) with lower workload deviation (75%) among workers in terms of coefficient of variation.

Practical implications

This study provides convenience for capacity management (assessing capacity and adjusting capacity by changing the number of workers) for industrial SRCUAL applications. Meanwhile, SRCUAL applications give the opportunity to increase the capacity for a product or transfer the saved capacity to the assembly of other products. As it is possible to provide one-piece flow with equal workloads via walking workers, SRCUAL has the potential for quick realization of defects and better lead time performance.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, forward–backward task assignments in U-type lines have not been adapted to WWALs. Moreover, as workers travel overall the line in WWALs, walking time increases drastically. Addressing this research gap and limitation, the main innovative aspect of this study can be considered as the proposal of a new line design (i.e. SRCUAL) which is sourced from the hybridization of UALs and WWAL as well as the segmentation of the line with RC cycles. The superiority of SRCUAL over WWAL and UAL was also discussed. Moreover, operating systematic for SRCUAL was devised. As for methodical aspect, this study is the first attempt to solve the balancing problem for SRCUAL design.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 40 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1993

Reza Eftekharzadeh

A comprehensive review of the literature for the problem oflot‐size scheduling (serial and assembly) considering the uncapacitatedproblem and complicated capacitated…

Abstract

A comprehensive review of the literature for the problem of lot‐size scheduling (serial and assembly) considering the uncapacitated problem and complicated capacitated assembly manufacturing structure. Analyses the different solution techniques and findings for each product set.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 27 November 2018

Zorica Zagorac-Uremović and Christian Marxt

Entrepreneurial opportunity (EO) identification pertains to the core processes of entrepreneurship and innovation. The initial phase of this process starts with individual…

Abstract

Entrepreneurial opportunity (EO) identification pertains to the core processes of entrepreneurship and innovation. The initial phase of this process starts with individual cognition, which is why cognition has been established as a critical theoretical perspective.

Knowledge and new information have been confirmed as essential cognitive impact factors. However, it is not understood well, how individuals apply those factors and how they actually identify innovative and economically viable EOs. To address the limitations of current research, this chapter investigates the current literature on underlying cognitive processes of opportunity identification.

The literature analysis demonstrates that there is not a single cognitive process but rather a magnitude of different micro-mechanisms that are necessary for the successful identification of EOs. The findings are grouped to four categories of cognitive processes and entail their micro-mechanisms: pattern recognition, information processing, and creative thinking. Furthermore, the analysis reveals that those micro-mechanisms have seldom been related to each other within the scope of opportunity identification. This chapter closes this gap by discussing and contrasting and the different process categories and respective micro-mechanisms and suggests an integrative theory development and avenues for future research.

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1999

Sue Abdinnour‐Helm

The distribution function in a supply chain is an important internal service function for any firm, and has been increasingly recognized as playing a strategic role in…

Abstract

The distribution function in a supply chain is an important internal service function for any firm, and has been increasingly recognized as playing a strategic role in achieving competitive advantage. This paper proposes improving the distribution function of the supply chain by employing hub‐and‐spoke network designs. Such designs have proven to be effective with third party logistics carriers such as Federal Express, UPS, Norfolk Southern, and Yellow Freight. Several models and heuristic solution techniques have been introduced in the literature in the past ten years. However, the performance of such heuristics, under different transportation environments, has not been examined. This paper acts as a first step in this direction. The performance of two heuristics to solve a hub‐and‐spoke network is compared against the performance of an optimal technique, for various configurations of data. With the results of this study, business managers can, by analyzing the structure of their data, assess the “risk” associated with applying one of the two heuristics. Heuristic developers can also exploit the results of this study to give them insight into areas where heuristics can be developed or strengthened in order to give rise to more robust heuristics.

Details

International Journal of Agile Management Systems, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1465-4652

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1990

Sabah U. Randhawa and Ramesh Pendakur

A microcomputer‐based information management and capacity planningsystem for discrete parts manufacturing is described. The two primarycomponents of the system are: (1…

Abstract

A microcomputer‐based information management and capacity planning system for discrete parts manufacturing is described. The two primary components of the system are: (1) framework for information management and schedule generation, and (2) heuristic methods for workload balancing. The databases facilitate streamlining and standardisation of the information used on the production floor. The schedules generated by the system help the user in developing machine level capacity plans. The automatic workload balancing heuristics provide an effective way to refine the initial schedules to balance the workload and to satisfy user specified constraints.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 10 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 March 2018

Chao Wang, Shengchuan Zhou, Yang Gao and Chao Liu

The purpose of this paper is to provide an effective solution method for the truck and trailer routing problem (TTRP) which is one of the important NP-hard combinatorial…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an effective solution method for the truck and trailer routing problem (TTRP) which is one of the important NP-hard combinatorial optimization problems owing to its multiple real-world applications. It is a generalization of the famous vehicle routing problem (VRP), involving a group of geographically scattered customers served by the vehicle fleet including trucks and trailers.

Design/methodology/approach

The meta-heuristic solution approach based on bat algorithm (BA) in which a local search procedure performed by five different neighborhood structures is developed. Moreover, a self-adaptive (SA) tuning strategy to preserve the swarm diversity is implemented. The effectiveness of the proposed SA-BA is investigated by an experiment conducted on 21 benchmark problems that are well known in the literature.

Findings

Computational results indicate that the proposed SA-BA algorithm is computationally efficient through comparison with other existing algorithms found from the literature according to solution quality. As for the actual computational time, the SA-BA algorithm outperforms others. However, the scaled computational time of the SA-BA algorithm underperforms the other algorithms.

Originality/value

In this work the authors show that the proposed SA-BA is effective as a method for the TTRP problem. To the authors’ knowledge, the BA has not been applied previously, as in this work, to solve the TTRP problem.

Details

Engineering Computations, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-4401

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1996

Natalie C. Simpson and S. Selcuk Erenguc

Surveys multiple‐stage production planning literature to reveal that this sizeable body of research is largely inspired by single‐item production planning. Suggests…

Abstract

Surveys multiple‐stage production planning literature to reveal that this sizeable body of research is largely inspired by single‐item production planning. Suggests several promising research opportunities, including the possible development of scheduling techniques not derived from older, single‐item procedures. Highlights the need for further comparative testing between existing “improved” techniques, as well as the wealth of work yet to be done in multiple‐stage production planning with limited resources and possible extensions to supply‐chain management.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 16 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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