Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Business, Economics, Finance and Accounting

Kinds of Suppliers

  • automotive supplier
  • input supplier
  • key supplier
  • liquidity supplier
  • upstream supplier

  • Terms modified by Suppliers

  • supplier evaluation
  • supplier firm
  • supplier integration
  • supplier involvement
  • supplier performance
  • supplier power
  • supplier relationships

  • Selected Abstracts

    Economic evaluation of demand-side energy storage systems by using a multi-agent-based electricity market

    Ken Furusawa
    Abstract With the wholesale electric power market opened in April 2005, deregulation of the electric power industry in Japan has faced a new competitive environment. In the new environment, Independent Power Producer (IPP), Power Producer and Supplier (PPS), Load Service Entity (LSE), and electric utility can trade electric energy through both bilateral contracts and single-price auction at the electricity market. In general, the market clearing price (MCP) is largely changed by the amount of total load demand in the market. The influence may cause a price spike, and consequently the volatility of MCP will make LSEs and their customers face a risk of higher revenue and cost. DSM is attractive as a means of load leveling, and has an effect on decreasing MCP at peak load period. Introducing Energy Storage systems (ES) is one DSM in order to change demand profile at the customer side. In the case that customers decrease their own demand due to increased MCP, a bidding strategy of generating companies may be changed. As a result, MCP is changed through such complex mechanism. In this paper the authors evaluate MCP by multi-agent. It is considered that customer-side ES has an effect on MCP fluctuation. Through numerical examples, this paper evaluates the influence on MCP by controlling customer-side ES corresponding to variation of MCP. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Electr Eng Jpn, 167(3): 36,45, 2009; Published online in Wiley InterScience ( DOI 10.1002/eej.20658 [source]

    A study of economic evaluation of demand-side energy storage system in consideration of market clearing price

    Ken Furusawa
    Abstract In Japan the electricity market will open on April 1, 2004. Electric utility, Power Producer and Supplier (PPS), and Load Service Entity (LSE) will join the electricity market. LSEs purchase electricity based on the Market Clearing Price (:MCP) from the electricity market. LSEs supply electricity to the customers that contracted with the LSEs on a certain electricity price, and one to the customers that introduced Energy Storage System (:ES) on a time-of-use pricing. It is difficult for LSEs to estimate whether they have any incentive to promote customers to introduce ES or not. This paper evaluates the reduction of LSEs' purchasing cost from the electricity market and other LSEs' purchasing cost by introducing ES to customers. It is clarified which kind of customers has the effect of decreasing LSEs' purchasing cost and how much MCP of the whole power system the demand-side energy storage systems change. Through numerical examples, this paper evaluates the possibility of giving the cost merit to both customers with energy storage systems and LSE by using real data for a year's worth of MCP. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Electr Eng Jpn, 158(1): 22,35, 2007; Published online in Wiley InterScience ( DOI 10.1002/eej.20447 [source]

    Delineating the "Ease of Doing Business" Construct within the Supplier,Customer Interface

    Gary Stading
    SUMMARY The current research provides insight into the "ease of doing business" construct. Factor analysis of survey responses of supply managers in the electronics industry was used to test the proposed "ease of doing business" construct, which includes the three dimensions , information and material services, financial contract services and personal relations services. Results support a link between a customer's assessment of a supplier's "ease of doing business" and the amount of business conducted with that supplier. The attributes supported by this research provide the means for managers to improve and grow business with customers. [source]

    Input Suppliers, Differential Pricing, and Information Sharing Agreements

    Anthony Creane
    It is common for firms to systematically share information with their input suppliers. Although such agreements with horizontal rivals have been analyzed, there has been little work examining vertical sharing, and that analysis has focused on suppliers that set uniform prices. However, there has been a systematic change in the US policy toward vertical relationships in the past decades: both FTC inaction and courts rulings have curtailed the effect of Robinson-Patman, a law meant to prevent differential pricing. Furthermore, it is not clear if differential pricing reflects the suppliers' or the buyers' power. The interaction of these effects is examined. [source]

    The link between household structure and the level of abstraction in the purchase decision process: an analysis using a functional food

    Ramo Barrena
    Major changes are affecting consumer trends in the agri-food sector. Suppliers are engaged in launching a succession of product innovations and introducing a range of new marketing strategies to promote food health benefits, while consumers are incorporating the new attributes into their choice structures. This study aims to analyze the consumer cognitive structure for a functional food using a means,end chain approach, through the association pattern technique (APT). A further objective is to verify whether consumer cognitive structures vary with household structure (children vs. no children), as reported in the literature on new product acceptance. The results reveal a higher degree of abstraction in the cognitive structure of households with children, incorporating more values in the means,end chains. In line with other research approaches, our study also confirms the stronger confidence-seeking tendency typically associated with the cognitive structure of this type of household. [EconLit Classification: Q130]. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]

    SCM Involving Small Versus Large Suppliers: Relational Exchange and Electronic Communication Media

    Paul D. Larson
    SUMMARY This article develops and tests hypotheses on relational exchange and electronic communication media in supply chains involving small versus large suppliers. Through a combination of focus groups, e-mail surveys and case studies, the article addresses the differences in relational exchange due to supplier size. Findings indicate significantly greater use of relational exchange and electronic communication media with large suppliers compared to small suppliers. The article offers solutions to reducing the relational and technological gaps between large and small suppliers. [source]

    RFID research and testing for packages of apparel, consumer goods and fresh produce in the retail distribution environment

    S. P. Singh
    Abstract Radio frequency identification (RFID) is a term used for any device that can be sensed at a distance by radio frequencies with few problems of obstruction. The origins of the term lie in the invention of tags that reflect or retransmit a radio-frequency signal. According to a recent article by Forrester Research, the minimal ,Slap and Ship' approach to RFID compliance will cost an individual company between $2 million and $20 million. Because retailers like Wal-Mart plan to share with their suppliers all the RFID-generated data points (from when a case/pallet enters their distribution centre until it leaves their stockroom), suppliers will eventually be able to use this data as a powerful forecasting tool. RFID is an enabling technology that can potentially facilitate a real-time, end-to-end supply chain visibility system. Suppliers who integrate full-scale RFID systems will realize efficiencies in time, material movement, inventory planning, shipping and warehousing both internally and externally. This paper provides a brief overview of the RFID technology, mandates by retailers and federal agencies, advances towards global standardization and typical consumer level RFID applications, and discusses RFID initiatives taken by some of the global leaders in apparel, consumer goods and fresh produce industries. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Interfirm Innovation under Uncertainty: Empirical Evidence for Strategic Knowledge Partitioning,

    Jaegul Lee
    This paper analyzes how uncertainty and life-cycle effects condition the knowledge boundary between assemblers and suppliers in interfirm product development. Patents associated with automotive emission control technologies for both assemblers and suppliers are categorized as architectural or component innovations, and technology-forcing regulations imposed by the government on the auto industry from 1970 to 1998 are used to define periods of high and low uncertainty. Results confirm that suppliers dominate component innovation whereas assemblers lead on architectural innovation. More importantly, when facing uncertainty firms adjust their knowledge boundary by increasing the knowledge overlap with their supply-chain collaborators. Suppliers clearly expand their knowledge base relatively more into architectural knowledge during such periods. But assemblers' greater emphasis on component innovation in periods of greater uncertainty is only true as a relative deviation from an overall trend toward increasing component innovation over time. This trend results from an observed life-cycle effect, whereby architectural innovation dominates before the emergence of a dominant design, with component innovation taking the lead afterward. Thus, for assemblers life-cycle effects may dominate over task uncertainty in determining relative effort in component versus architectural innovation. This work extends research on strategic interfirm knowledge partitioning as well as on the information-processing view of product development. First, it provides a large-scale empirical justification for the claim that firms' knowledge boundaries need to extend beyond their task boundaries. Further, it implies that overlaps in knowledge domains between an assembler and suppliers are particularly important for projects involving new technologies. Second, it offers a dynamic view of knowledge partitioning, showing how architectural knowledge prevails in the early phase of the product life cycle whereas component knowledge dominates the later stages. Yet the importance of life-cycle effects versus task uncertainty in conditioning knowledge boundaries is different for assemblers and suppliers, with the former dominating for assemblers and the latter more influential for suppliers. Finally, it supports the idea that architectural and component knowledge are critical elements in the alignment of cognitive frameworks between assemblers and suppliers and thus are key for information-exchange effectiveness and resolution of task uncertainties in interfirm innovation. [source]

    Entry into the Schooling Market: How is the Behaviour of Private Suppliers Influenced by Public Sector Decisions?

    Thomas A. Downes
    This research examines the location choice of private schools entering the California schooling market in 1979,80. We find that entrants are more likely to locate in public school districts with lower levels of per,pupil expenditure and higher fractions of public school students who reside in low,income households. In addition, we provide evidence of differences in the responsiveness of different types of private schools to the underlying conditions. Also, in comparing our results to those of previous research, we find that the determinants of the location choices of entrants appear to be the same as the determinants of the location pattern of incumbent private schools. [source]

    Searching for Better Negotiation Agreement Based on Genetic Algorithm

    Ren-Jye Dzeng
    In current practice, contractors negotiate with suppliers according to negotiators' experiences instead of extensive exploration of negotiable options and negotiators' preferences. Consequently, negotiators often reach suboptimal agreements, and leave money on the table. This research intends to help negotiators explore negotiable options by developing a computer system, named C-Negotiator, using the genetic algorithm. This article also describes experiments conducted to determine how much money was left on the table on typical realistic construction procurements. The result shows that C-Negotiator's negotiation improved the joint payoff of the contractor and supplier from 1.5% to 9.8% compared with conventional human negotiation. The improvement may increase for more complex negotiation problems with more options and complicated preferences or for inexperienced negotiators. [source]

    Using Buyer,Supplier Performance Frontiers to Manage Relationship Performance,

    DECISION SCIENCES, Issue 1 2009
    Anthony D. Ross
    ABSTRACT This article presents a consensus-building methodology to implement dyadic performance measurement. It focuses on transmuting supplier performance and buyer performance metrics on several important attributes into actionable relationship management plans using Clark's (1996) theory of performance frontiers. Access to the supplier performance management program of a Fortune 100 corporation was granted to the research team. Direct observation of practice and in-depth discussions with several managers provided a roadmap for investigating both the literature on quantitative evaluation methods and the empirically derived theory on buyer,supplier relationships from several perspectives. This study describes a multiphase, iterative framework that uses current methods and theory on dyadic buyer,supplier evaluation to consider: (i) evaluation criteria and their importance; (ii) whether the improvement focus should be on strengths, weaknesses, or both; and (iii) whether the referent role supplier should be the ideal supplier, best supplier, or best-in-strategic-group supplier in the focal supply base. We illustrate a unifying approach by reporting results from a large buyer and 35 of its key suppliers. This research makes the case for managing supplier relationships through the dyadic performance lens. The outputs from this framework provide individual supplier improvement paths which are actionable prescriptions for each buyer,supplier dyad, as well as recommendations for strategic group formation. [source]

    Supply Management Under High Goal Incongruence: An Empirical Examination of Disintermediation in the Aerospace Supply Chain

    DECISION SCIENCES, Issue 3 2008
    Christian L. Rossetti
    ABSTRACT Aftermarket sales and profits are becoming an increasingly important part of an original equipment manufacturer's (OEM) business model. Because replacement parts often do not require further manufacturing, OEMs act as intermediaries in the aftermarket. As with any intermediary, the OEM must concern itself with suppliers disintermediating its supply chain selling replacement parts directly to the OEM's customers. We frame supply chain disintermediation (SCD) as a principal,agent contracting problem between an OEM buyer and a supplier. Hypotheses relate contract conditions, goal incongruence, supplier capabilities and contract enforcement to SCD. The data are collected from the aerospace industry using a multimethod study, combining an Internet-based survey with archival data. Causal modeling with structural equation modeling (SEM) shows general support for the hypotheses. Particularly, SCD is positively related to buyer,supplier goal incongruence. The agency model offers insights that differ from previous transaction-cost-based models of buyer,supplier relationships. OEM buyers with a lucrative aftermarket should consider aligning goals through incentives rather than relying entirely on economic hostages associated with specific assets. [source]

    Coordinated Capacitated Lot-Sizing Problem with Dynamic Demand: A Lagrangian Heuristic

    DECISION SCIENCES, Issue 1 2004
    E. Powell Robinson Jr.
    ABSTRACT Coordinated replenishment problems are common in manufacturing and distribution when a family of items shares a common production line, supplier, or a mode of transportation. In these situations the coordination of shared, and often limited, resources across items is economically attractive. This paper describes a mixed-integer programming formulation and Lagrangian relaxation solution procedure for the single-family coordinated capacitated lot-sizing problem with dynamic demand. The problem extends both the multi-item capacitated dynamic demand lot-sizing problem and the uncapacitated coordinated dynamic demand lot-sizing problem. We provide the results of computational experiments investigating the mathematical properties of the formulation and the performance of the Lagrangian procedures. The results indicate the superiority of the dual-based heuristic over linear programming-based approaches to the problem. The quality of the Lagrangian heuristic solution improved in most instances with increases in problem size. Heuristic solutions averaged 2.52% above optimal. The procedures were applied to an industry test problem yielding a 22.5% reduction in total costs. [source]

    Channel Strategies and Stocking Policies in Uncapacitated and Capacitated Supply Chains,

    DECISION SCIENCES, Issue 2 2002
    Jayashree Mahajan
    ABSTRACT A supply chain consisting of a single supplier distributing two independent products through multiple retailers is analyzed in this paper. The supplier needs to incentivize its retailers to adopt stocking policies that are mutually advantageous and that result in the optimal level of market coverage. The focus is on determining the optimal stocking policies for retailers and the resulting distribution strategy given that the supplier has either unlimited or limited capacity. The results provide insights on the optimal distribution strategy and stocking policies for the supply chain. In general, the paper shows that it is optimal for the supplier to use an intensive distribution strategy (i.e., the products are stocked by all retailers). Selective or exclusive strategies are optimal only when retailers are risk averse, stocking synergies exist, and there are differences in demand or supply uncertainties across products. The analysis also shows that retailers hold larger stocks of a product which generates higher supplier margins but only when the supplier has unlimited capacity. If the supplier has limited capacity, then their margins have no effect on retailers' stocking decisions. Contrary to conventional wisdom, retailers hold larger stocks of a product that has less demand uncertainty as compared to one that has more demand uncertainty. [source]

    The Impact of Forecast Errors on Early Order Commitment in a Supply Chain,

    DECISION SCIENCES, Issue 2 2002
    Xiande Zhao
    ABSTRACT Supply chain partnership involves mutual commitments among participating firms. One example is early order commitment, wherein a retailer commits to purchase a fixed-order quantity and delivery time from a supplier before the real need takes place. This paper explores the value of practicing early order commitment in the supply chain. We investigate the complex interactions between early order commitment and forecast errors by simulating a supply chain with one capacitated supplier and multiple retailers under demand uncertainty. We found that practicing early order commitment can generate significant savings in the supply chain, but the benefits are only valid within a range of order commitment periods. Different components of forecast errors have different cost implications to the supplier and the retailers. The presence of trend in the demand increases the total supply chain cost, but makes early order commitment more appealing. The more retailers sharing the same supplier, the more valuable for the supply chain to practice early order commitment. Except in cases where little capacity cushion is available, our findings are relatively consistent in the environments where cost structure, number of retailers, capacity utilization, and capacity policy are varied. [source]

    Decision Making in a Standby Service System,

    DECISION SCIENCES, Issue 3 2000
    H. V. Ravinder
    A standby service option allows a firm to lower its risk of not having sufficient capacity to satisfy demand without investing in additional capacity. Standby service options currently exist in the natural gas, electric, and water utility industries. Firms seeking standby service are typically large industrial or institutional organizations that, due to unexpectedly high demand or interruptions in their own supply system, look to a public utility to supplement their requirements. Typically, the firm pays the utility a reservation fee based on a nominated volume and a consumption charge based on the volume actually taken. In this paper, a single-period model is developed and optimized with respect to the amount of standby capacity a firm should reserve. Expressions for the mean and variance of the supplier's aggregate standby demand distribution are developed. A procedure for computing the level of capacity needed to safely meet its standby obligations is presented. Numerical results suggest that the standby supplier can safely meet its standby demand with a capacity that is generally between 20 to 50% of the aggregate nominated volume. [source]

    Competing Mechanisms in a Common Value Environment

    ECONOMETRICA, Issue 4 2000
    Bruno Biais
    Consider strategic risk-neutral traders competing in schedules to supply liquidity to a risk-averse agent who is privately informed about the value of the asset and his hedging needs. Imperfect competition in this common value environment is analyzed as a multi-principal game in which liquidity suppliers offer trading mechanisms in a decentralized way. Each liquidity supplier behaves as a monopolist facing a residual demand curve resulting from the maximizing behavior of the informed agent and the trading mechanisms offered by his competitors. There exists a unique equilibrium in convex schedules. It is symmetric and differentiable and exhibits typical features of market-power: Equilibrium trading volume is lower than ex ante efficiency would require. Liquidity suppliers charge positive mark-ups and make positive expected profits, but these profits decrease with the number of competitors. In the limit, as this number goes to infinity, ask (resp. bid) prices converge towards the upper (resp. lower) tail expectations obtained in Glosten (1994) and expected profits are zero. [source]

    Characteristics of mutations generated through digestion with restriction enzyme and ligation in plasmid DNA

    Shingo Nakamura
    Abstract Recently, the use of restriction enzymes has been extended to studies in which rare events such as mutation and mistakes in DNA repair are examined. In these studies, the specificity of restriction enzymes becomes critical. To clarify the nature of the rare unexpected events occurring in the process of cutting of DNA with restriction enzymes then ligating it, we studied the molecular characteristics of unexpected plasmid DNAs that were retrieved as mutants of the plasmid after transfection to E. coli. The plasmid used was pUR288, containing lacZ as a marker of mutation. It was digested with restriction enzymes under the conditions recommended by the supplier of the enzymes and under the presence of DMSO, which is known to induce star activity of the enzymes. Comparisons of mutant frequencies and of nucleotide sequences of the mutants found in the different conditions indicated that nonspecific endonucleolytic activity similar to that found under star activity was present under the recommended conditions and, further, was responsible for the creation of deletion-type mutations. The frequency of these events ranged from 10,5 to 10,3, depending on the kind of restriction enzymes analyzed. Although the levels of the nonspecificity were not high, they should be considered in assays such as mutation and mistakes in DNA repair, where rare events are examined. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 38:46,54, 2001 © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Adopting ecodesign practices: Case study of a midsized automotive supplier

    Miriam Borchardt
    First page of article [source]

    Carbon dioxide uptake, water relations and drought survival for Dudleya saxosa, the ,rock live-forever', growing in small soil volumes

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 4 2007
    P. S. NOBEL
    Summary 1Although many plants grow in rock crevices and other regions of small soil volume, including over 20 000 epiphytic and hemi-epiphytic species, analyses of the actual soil volume occupied, the water availability in that soil, the water-storage capacity in the shoots and underground organs, and the photosynthetic pathway utilized have rarely been combined. 2Dudleya saxosa (M.F. Jones) Britton and Rose (Crassulaceae), growing in the Sonoran Desert, has very shallow roots that occupied soil volumes averaging only 43 × 10,6 m3 per medium-sized plant. This volume of soil can hold about the same amount of water (10 g) as can be stored in the leaves, corm and roots combined (11 g), but at a sufficiently high water potential for transfer to the plant for less than 1 week after a substantial rainfall. 3About 80% of the net carbon dioxide uptake by D. saxosa over a 24-h period occurred during the daytime (C3) under wet conditions, the daily total decreasing by 34% and the pattern shifting to nocturnal net CO2 uptake (CAM) after 46 days' drought. Seventy-seven days' drought eliminated its daily net CO2 uptake. 4Stomatal frequency was only 67 mm,2 on the adaxial (upper) surface and twofold lower on the abaxial surface. The cuticle was thick, 34 µm for the adaxial surface. Leaves had 24 mesophyll cell layers, leading to a high mesophyll cell surface area per unit leaf area of 142. 5The three leaf anatomical features plus utilization of CAM increased net CO2 uptake per unit of water transpired, and helped D. saxosa thrive in a small soil volume, with the underground corm being a major supplier of water to the succulent leaves during 2.5 months of drought. The maximum water-holding capacity of the soil explored by the roots closely matched the maximum water-holding capacity of the plant, reflecting the conservative strategy used by D. saxosa in a stressful semi-arid environment. [source]


    Britt Dale
    ABSTRACT. The IGU Symposium on Urban Geography in Lund in 1960 was a path-breaking event towards new nomothetic thinking within the discipline. In nearly half of the papers, the state of the art in central place research was presented and debated. The symposium was the main source of inspiration for a study of the central place system in Midt-Norge in the 1960s, a research project that has been followed up in stages over a 40-year period. The result is a unique collection of data, covering all central places in the region and the location of approximately 200 service functions of different categories in the 1960s, 1980s and c. 2000. Despite the profound changes that have taken place on the part of the consumer, as well as the supplier, the main structure of the central place hierarchy has been surprisingly stable. However, when looking at the growth and decline of each of the different service functions, considerable dynamics have been found. There are tendencies of centralization/concentration as well as decentralization/dispersion. Furthermore, the functional division of labour by vertical steps and tiers in the 1960s has been supplemented by horizontal specialization between places, and also in the lower levels of the central place hierarchy. In this paper, we present and discuss some of the main changes that have taken place in the system in the light of older and newer theories and trends. [source]

    The role of the information specialist in the systematic review process: a health information case study

    C. A. Beverley
    There is an increasing body of literature on the information specialist's role in supporting evidence-based health care. In particular, the information component in systematic reviews has received considerable attention in recent years. Information professionals have evolved from simply acting as ,evidence locators' and ,resource providers' to being quality literature filterers, critical appraisers, educators, disseminators, and even change managers. This paper describes ten possible roles for information professionals in the systematic review process, using a case study of a review of the health information needs of visually impaired people carried out by the Centre for Health Information Management Research (CHIMR) at the University of Sheffield. This health information review was undertaken entirely by a team of information professionals. The ten roles identified are: project leader, project manager, literature searcher, reference manager, document supplier, critical appraiser, data extractor, data synthesiser, report writer and disseminator. This review has also identified an eleventh possible role for information professionals; that of primary researcher. Finally, the implications for evidence-based health care and evidence-based health informatics are discussed. [source]

    Knowledge-intensive firms: the influence of the client on HR systems

    Juani Swart
    HR systems play a critical role in growing knowledge-intensive firms (KIFs) by facilitating the conversion of human capital into intellectual capital, which has market value. However, the choice of HR system is constrained by the relatively small number of clients they have in business-to-business relationships. This article seeks to understand how and why these client relationships affect the choice of HR practices in these firms. We address this issue by drawing on extensive empirical research currently under way in KIFs. Our research shows that HR practices can be influenced strongly by the client, both directly and indirectly. However, some KIFs will use their HR practices as a means of managing the relationships they have with their clients by shaping their boundaries with their clients and building organisational, professional and client identities. The varying client influence can be understood by examining the nature of the power relationship between the client and supplier, which is influenced by the uniqueness of the services provided. This has implications for our understanding of the factors affecting the exercise of a constrained choice of HR systems. [source]

    Technologies for value creation: an exploration of remote diagnostics systems in the manufacturing industry

    Katrin Jonsson
    Abstract., With firms increasingly relying on ubiquitous computing to implement major business initiatives, it is becoming ever more necessary to understand the technological aspects of business developments. This paper analyzes the use of remote diagnostics systems in the manufacturing industry and discusses the opportunities and challenges for the early adopters. It pays specific attention to the impact on business aspects such as the value creation process consisting of relationships, roles, and architecture and the value proposal consisting of a business offer and customer value. The study shows how ubiquitous computing allows manufacturers to become remote service providers while customers can either become co-creators of value or passive receivers of created value. Ubiquitous computing also creates possibilities for the manufacturing industry to design new kinds of business offers based on remote presence. Studying remote diagnostics systems shows that ubiquitous computing creates value when deployed in products, and not just in relation to individuals. Moreover, the design of the value-creation process should not be limited to the single supplier or customer organization, as ubiquitous computing applications take no notice of organizational boundaries. [source]

    A multi-agent-based negotiation support system for distributed transmission cost allocation

    Yonghe Yan
    We have developed a multi-agent system (MAS), based on the network flow model and KQML, called MASCAN, to support negotiations in the cost allocation of network transmission. This is very important to industries that have different entities connected with lines or pipes, such as the Internet and telecommunications. Such an approach is especially useful to the utility industries, such as electricity and gas, and the transportation industry. In the system, each agent represents a node in a network, for example supplier or consumer. Agents do not receive any centralized controls or information from centralized sources to guarantee autonomy,a key requirement for the agent. In this all decisions are made locally based on the rules or knowledge that each agent has or captured to communicate or coordinate with other agents for the cheapest path under fair-play requirements. We also assume that each agent is rational, that is, one of the goals or objectives of agent decisions or movements is to minimize costs or increase profits. The solution to cost allocation is to search for the equilibrium point of a non-cooperative game subject to the given constraints, for example network capacity. We applied MASCAN to model and support the negotiation of cost allocation in power transmission, and the results and how this approach supported the process of negotiation are perceived to be closer to the real-world negotiation and the outcomes were accepted more easily by the participants. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Use of Enzymes for the Processing of Biomaterials

    Hidero Unuma
    Ceramic/polymer composites and hollow ceramic microspheres are receiving attention as biomaterials as a bone/tissue substitute and cancer remedy. This article describes the advantages of the use of enzymes as "controllable precipitant supplier" in the processing of such biomaterials. It has been demonstrated that hydroxyapatite (HA)/polymer composites and hollow microspheres of Y2O3, Fe3O4, and HA may be fabricated in a shorter time and using a simpler operation. [source]

    Milk fats as ingredients

    Ken J Burgess
    This paper reviews aspects of the use of milk fats as food ingredients from a technico-marketing perspective. Good marketing involves matching the needs of the market place with the strengths of the supplier relative to those needs. A practical approach to using milk fats as ingredients is therefore based on understanding the background science and technology of milk fats, and on appreciating where the attributes of milk fat in its various forms can deliver real benefits to food manufacturers. These considerations have been addressed in three key areas: what are the characteristics of milk fats; how can the properties of milk fats be modified; and what are the typical milk fat ingredients and their applications. [source]

    Business-to-business electronic marketplaces: Joining a public or creating a private

    Chrysovalantou Milliou
    Abstract We analyse a firm's incentives to create a private B2B e-marketplace or to join a public e-marketplace. In the former the firm incurs higher set-up costs but lower quality investment costs due to closer supplier,buyer collaboration than in the public. In the latter, the firm's quality improvement may spillover to competitors. We show that a firm's incentives to create a private e-marketplace are stronger, the closer is supplier,buyer collaboration, the higher are spillovers, and the larger is the buyer's profit share within the e-marketplace. Our welfare analysis indicates that a firm's incentives do not always coincide with those of a social planner. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    A tabu search procedure for coordinating production, inventory and distribution routing problems

    André Luís Shiguemoto
    Abstract This paper addresses the problem of optimally coordinating a production-distribution system over a multi-period finite horizon, where a facility production produces several items that are distributed to a set of customers by a fleet of homogeneous vehicles. The demand for each item at each customer is known over the horizon. The production planning determines how much to produce of each item in every period, while the distribution planning defines when customers should be visited, the amount of each item that should be delivered to customers and the vehicle routes. The objective is to minimize the sum of production and inventory costs at the facility, inventory costs at the customers and distribution costs. We also consider a related problem of inventory routing, where a supplier receives or produces known quantities of items in each period and has to solve the distribution problem. We propose a tabu search procedure for solving such problems, and this approach is compared with vendor managed policies proposed in the literature, in which the facility knows the inventory levels of the customers and determines the replenishment policies. [source]

    Activity-Based Pricing in a Monopoly

    V. G. Narayanan
    abstract In this article, I study the interaction between cost accounting systems and pricing decisions in a setting where a monopolist sells a base product and related support services to customers whose preference for support services is known only to them. I consider two pricing mechanisms,activity-based pricing (ABP) and traditional pricing,and two cost-accounting systems,activity-based costing (ABC) and traditional costing, for support services. Under traditional pricing, only the base product is priced, whereas support services are provided free because detailed cost-driver volume information on the consumption of support services by each customer is unavailable. Under ABP, customers pay based on the quantities consumed of both the base product and the support services because detailed cost-driver volume information is available for each customer. Likewise, under traditional costing for support services the firm makes pricing decisions on cost signals that are noisier than they are under ABC. I compare the equilibrium quantities of the base product and support services sold, the information rent paid to the customers, and the expected profits of the monopolist under all four combinations of cost-driver volume and cost-driver rate information. I show that ABP helps reduce control problems, such as moral hazard and adverse selection problems, for the supplier and increases the supplier's ability to engage in price discrimination. I show that firms are more likely to adopt ABP when their customer base is more diverse, their customer support costs are more uncertain, their costing system has lower measurement error, and the variable costs of providing customer support are higher. Firms adopt ABC when their cost-driver rates for support services under traditional costing are noisier measures of actual costs relative to their cost-driver rates under ABC and when the actual costs of support services are inherently uncertain. I also show that cost-driver rate information and cost-driver volume information for support services are complements. Although the prior literature views ABC and activity-based management (ABM) as facilitating better decision making, I show that ABC and ABP (a form of ABM) are useful tools for addressing control problems in supply chains. [source]