PhD Thesis - Luis Henrique Rodrigues


Abstract: Manufacturers are constantly looking for a competitive advantage in order to survive. The trend in the 80’s was to achieve “World Class Manufacturing” status based on better quality, continuous improvement on customer service and lower costs. One way to reach this goal is by synchronising the flow of work through the factory, so that excessive in-process stocks do not build up.

The research has led to the development of a tool kit called Interactive Production Planning and Scheduling Advice System (IPPASAS), which helps companies to eliminate the main barrier to synchronise manufacturing, capacity constraints. It assists in the definition of a preferred product mix and permits and evaluation of possible scheduling techniques. Two of the most famous scheduling algorithms, Manufacturing Resource Planning and Theory of Constraints, are emulated by the tool kit. Appendix I contains a visual interactive program that explains the logic and main modules of this system.

This approach has been tested in three real plants. These experiences also provided some extra insights about scheduling techniques and guide-lines for defining scheduling parameters.

Author: Luis Henrique Rodrigues

Doctoral Thesis - Luís Felipe Riehs Camargo

Title: Proposição de um método para desenvolvimento de sistema de apoio à decisão baseado em modelos de simulação computacional na indústria de mineração.

Abstract: Decisions are essential for the maintenance and growth of the firm in competitive and uncertain environment. Decisions are also imporant and difficult to be taken due to the uncertainity of their future potential results. This dissertation tries to fill a gap in the literature of modeling and simulation methods to support operations decisions and setting operating policies in the operations. There are few approaches at the specialized OR/MS literature that integrate the production system and the manufacturing system and provide system performance in terms of quality the product and productivity of the system. This disseration presents a method for the construction of a decision support sytem, based on systems thinking (soft OR) and computer simulation (hard OR). The method allows evaluating dynamically, stochastic and systemic the impact of the decisions of the supply chain in the mining area and deal with the phenomenon of degradation and variability in the quality of the raw material. The application of the method on a real case demonstrated to be feasible. The dissertation also illustreated situations in which the simulation model was used to support dicisions at Samarco Company. The study further demonstrates, with the computational model developed, the effect of the degradation of the quality of raw material in the overall system performance.

Author: Luís Felipe Riehs Camargo.

Masters Dissertation - Daniel Pacheco Lacerda


Abstract: There are several manners to visualize and accomplish the management of organizations. One of these is Theory of Constrains (TOC), proposed by the physicist Dr. Eliyahu Goldratt. TOC presents two ways of thinking about the management in organizations: the logic of Cost World and the logic of Throughput World. The debate between these ways is presented on a variety of manners in different areas of business administration and accounting. However, this debate is more prevalent in traditional accounting management. Several academic works and cases from organizations have showed limitations of the Cost World and have presented other ways to deal with product costs. As an alternative to Cost World, TOC points out the Throughput World. But companies continue to base their operations management on traditional accounting rules, although Throughput World philosophy could be an useful management alternative. This situation also occurs in the university studied, in spite of the fact that universities have access to new findings in accounting management. This research presents a contribution to organizations in order to migrate from one world to another, trying to contribute to this change. For this reason, processes design and organizational measures from an university have been redesigned under the logic of Throughput World philosophy. The central hypothesis is that organizations don’t change their processes and operations management because they don’t know how these processes and operations in the Throughput World are. Analysis of the current processes in a university and analysis of the benefits of the redrawn processes are done according to the Thinking Process of the TOC. As a result, a model of changing from Cost World to Throughput World is presented to serve as a model to help companies to align their operations management with Throughput World from Theory of Constrains (TOC).

Author: Daniel Pacheco Lacerda

Doctoral Thesis - Daniel Pacheco Lacerda


Abstract: Although strategy is not a new academic field, there are few studies on how strategy is really implemented by organizations (ATKINSON, 2006, HUTZCHENREUTER & KLEINDIENST, 2006, MEERS, 2007). Analyzing articles published in the main journals of strategy in the last 26 years, Furr, Thomas, Goussevskaia (2008) concluded that studies on strategic implementation have been scarce in the literature. Also, some studies (ATKINSON, 2006, HUTZCHENREUTER & KLEINDIENST, 2006, MEERS, 2007) focusing on investigating strategic implementation report that most strategic intentions are not implemented, which confirms the challenge of this topic. However, the problem is not only strategic implementation per se, but also the context in which strategy is implemented. Strategy implementation in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) is an example of such contextual difficulty. For instance, some authors (COHEN, MARCH & OLSEN, 1972; COHEN & MARCH, 1974; MARCH & OLSEN, 1976; DAHRENDORF, 1995) argue that universities (a type of HEIs that is the object/phenomenon of this study) cannot be managed, which in turn makes any attempt to develop strategies in this context questionable. However, the competitive context in which institutions of Higher Education, in general, and universities, in particular, are inserted has become fiercer than ever. The number of HEIs in Brazil and Rio Grande do Sul increased, respectively, 92% and 113% between 2000 and 2006. In Brazil, the number of seats available in universities increased 116%, while the number of registered students increased only 74%. Furthermore, the context of long distance education provides additional challenges for HEIs. In this sense, the use of strategy techniques, in general, and implementation of the strategy, in particular, in the context of private IES becomes fundamental. This research focus on studying if strategic intentions of a specific private university in the sate of Rio Grande do Sul really become strategic actions. Moreover, we will look for patterns of behavior and factors pertaining to success or failure in achieving the strategic intentions.

Author: Daniel Pacheco Lacerda

Masters Dissertation - Maria Isabel Wolf Motta Morandi

Title: Elaboração de um método para o entendimento da dinâmica da precificação de commodities através do pensamento sistêmico e do planejamento por cenários : uma aplicação no mercado de minérios de ferro.

Abstract: In competitive and complex environments, like commodity markets, the ability to plan alternative scenarios and foreseen pricing behavior represents a competitive advantage. Within this context, this research aims to build a method that uses a systemic approach to understand the key factors that impact in commodities pricing, in order to visualize prices in different future scenarios. Action research is chosen as research method, by its characteristics of continuous and collective knowledge constructions. Based on PSPC -Systems Thinking and Scenario Planning it proposes a method with three steps to be applied in the iron ore market. The first step leads to a collective awareness of the main variables related with pricing. In the second one, this knowledge is transferred to the dynamic system model, which, in the third phase, is used to visualize prices behavior in future scenarios. Along with quantitative evaluation, interviews with the participants give the inputs to accept and improve the proposed method. The achieved results, acquired knowledge and practical uses identified for the model indicate that the proposed method provides, through Systems Thinking and Scenario Planning, the basis for commodity pricing awareness.

Authoress: Maria Isabel Wolf Motta Morandi

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