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Research

 

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Journal articles are listed in reverse chronological order.

Operations in Emerging Markets: China - a paper written by graduate students in the MBA program at The Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business.

Modeling Uncertain Forecast Accuracy in Supply Chains with Postponement

By: L. LeBlanc, James Hill, J. Harder, and G. Greenwell
Citation: Forthcoming Journal of Business Logistics

An Investigation of the Value of Crossdocking for Supply Chain Management
By: M.R. Galbreth, James Hill, and Sean Handley
Citation: Forthcoming, Journal of Business Logistics

A Heuristic for Single-Warehouse Multi-Retailer Supply Chains with All-Unit Transportation Cost Discounts
By: James Hill and M.R. Galbreth
Citation: European Journal of Operational Research, 187 (2), 2008, 473-482

Business Strategies and Manufacturing Decisions: An Empirical Examination of Linkages
By: Peter Ward, John McCreery, and Gopesh Anand
Citation: International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 27 (9), 2007, 951-973

Defining and Developing Measures of Lean Production
By: Rachna Shah and Peter Ward
Citation: Journal of Operations Management, 25, 2007, 785-805
Our research addresses the confusion and inconsistency associated with “lean production.” We attempt to clarify the semantic confusion surrounding lean production by conducting an extensive literature review using a historical evolutionary perspective in tracing its main components. We identify a key set of measurement items by charting the linkages between measurement instruments that have been used to measure its various components from the past literature, and using a rigorous, two-stage empirical method and data from a large set of manufacturing firms, we narrow the list of items selected to represent lean production to 48 items, empirically identifying 10 underlying components. In doing so, we map the operational space corresponding to conceptual space surrounding lean production. Configuration theory provides the theoretical underpinnings and helps to explain the synergistic relationships among its underlying components.
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3 Critical Issues in Internet Retailing
By: Ken Boyer, Timothy Laseter, Elliot Rabinovich, and Manus Rungtusanatham
Citation: Sloan Management Review, Spring 2007, 58-64
The insights offered in this article draw on the research of the four coauthors, including work done collectively and separately with other collaborators. One source of the research has been our work with the business members of the Last Mile Supply Chain Center at Michigan State University (see www.lastmilesupplychaincenter.org). Center members include the online divisions of traditional retailers (such as OfficeMax and Albertsons), pure-play Internet retailers (such as Netgrocer.com and 1-800-PetMeds) and infrastructure providers (such as Newgistics and Descartes Systems Group). We have also worked with several other retail industry players to develop teaching cases and as consultants. Although our specific research interests vary, we share a common emphasis on empirical research. We regularly employ survey techniques to understand perceptual issues, but increasingly we seek to mine actual transactional data from company records in our research. Our goal is to employ rigorous analytic techniques to address the operational problems facing the online retail industry.

Quality, Operational Logistics Strategy and Repurchase Intentions: A Profile Deviation Analysis
By: Ken Boyer, Tomas Hult, and David Ketchen
Citation: Journal of Business Logistics, 29 (2), 2007, 105-131
Emerging thoughts on quality suggest that three principal sources of customer-based value creation exist for firms operating in the online marketplace. These include a focus on delivering (1) service quality, (2) product quality, and (3) eBusiness quality. Drawing on strategic choice theory coupled with configuration theory, we conducted a profile deviation analysis among customers of online grocery firms using the "ideal" quality profile for four operational logistics strategies as the benchmark (semi extended strategy, fully extended strategy, de-coupled strategy, and centralized extended strategy). The findings suggest that service, product, and eBusiness quality-based fit with operational logistics strategy type are associated with customers' behavioral (repurchase) intentions. This lends support to the notion that capitalizing on the appropriately weighted quality-focus represents a strategic vehicle to create superior outcomes in online businesses. The makeup of these ideal quality profiles that represent the strongest repurchase intentions of customers is also provided.
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An Analysis of Operation-Oriented Drivers of Customer Loyalty for Two Service Channels
By: Ken Boyer, Andrea Prud’homme, and G. Tomas Hult
Citation: Direct Marketing: An International Journal, 1 (2), 2007

Last-Mile Supply Chain Efficiency: An Analysis of Learning Curves in Online Ordering
By: Ken Boyer, Tom Kull, and Roger Calantone
Citation: International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 27 (4), 2007, 409-434

Managing Internet Product Returns: A Focus on Effective Service Operations
By: Ken Boyer, Diane Mollenkopf, Elliot Rabinovich, and Timothy Laseter
Citation: Decision Sciences, 38 (2), 2007, 215-250
Product returns present one of the biggest operational challenges in the world of Internet retailing due to the sheer volume and cost of processing returns. But returns also represent an often-missed opportunity to manage customer relationships and build customer loyalty to the retailer. Based upon data from a survey of 464 customers of five different Internet retailers, this article explores how firms' returns management systems affect loyalty intentions. We draw upon extant literature in the fields of Internet retailing, service quality, supply chain management, and customer satisfaction/loyalty to develop a model and a set of hypotheses relating ten latent variables in the service returns offering area. Our resulting structural equation model provides evidence of the impact of the returns management system upon customer loyalty intentions. The model also identifies effects on loyalty intentions arising from customers' satisfaction with, and perceptions of, the value of the returns service offered. These findings will help inform managers' choices regarding investment in the returns management system as an element of service quality improvement and a potential means of improved profitability. In addition, this study's empirical exploration and testing of a returns management model in the Internet retailing environment is a contribution to the currently underrepresented body of academic literature linking marketing and supply chain management in the context of end consumers. This paper was one of five finalists for Best Paper for 2007 in Decision Sciences .
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Impact of Information Technology Integration and Lean/Just-in-Time Practices on Lead-Time Performance
By: Peter Ward and Honggeng Zhou
Citation: Decision Sciences, 37 (2), 2006, 177-203
Managers seeking to improve lead-time performance are challenged by how to balance resources and investments between process improvement achieved through lean/just-in-time (JIT) practices and information technology (IT) deployment. However, extant literature provides little guidance on this question. Motivated by both practical importance and lack of academic research, this article examines empirically the relationships among interfirm IT integration, intrafirm IT integration, lean/JIT practices, and lead-time performance using data from Industry Week's Census of Manufacturers (Industry Week, 2006). The results provide several new insights on the relationship between IT integration and lean/JIT practices. First, the study confirms that implementing lean/JIT practices significantly reduces lead time. Second, lean/JIT practices mediate the influence of IT integration on lead-time performance. This suggests that process improvements that result from lean/JIT practices are important contributors to the success of IT integration. Even companies that have experienced success in reducing lead time through lean/JIT practices may benefit from IT integration practices such as those embodied in enterprise resource planning systems. The findings provide managers with empirical evidence and a theoretical framework on the balance between lean/JIT and IT for effecting improvement in lead-time performance, thus offering practical guidance on this important question. Future research is needed to extend the lean/JIT practices in this study to supply chain practices and explore the relationship between supply chain practices and IT integration.
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Performance Measurement System Simplicity
By: Eric O. Olsen and Peter Ward
Citation: International Journal of Manufacturing Technology and Management, 8 (4), 2006, 330-354

Recursive Behavior of Safety Stock Reduction: The Effect of Lead-Time Uncertainty
By: Ping Wang and James Hill
Citation: Decision Sciences, 37 (2), 2006, 285-290
Motivated by a recent paper on the effect of lead-time variability reduction on safety stocks, we provide evidence of the recursive nature of safety stock changes. When lead times follow a gamma distribution we demonstrate that, for cycle service levels between .60 and .70, the reduction of lead-time variability will first increase safety stock and then either recursively decrease safety stock or make it remain constant. We also numerically show the existence of the recursive effect. A two-by-two matrix is introduced to assist managers in making decisions regarding safety stock policy.
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Innovation-Supportive Culture: The Impact of Organization Values on Process Innovation
By: Ken Boyer, Shalini Khazanchi, and Marianne Lewis
Citation: Journal of Operations Management, 25 (4), 2006, 871-884

Customer Behavioral Intentions for Online Purchases: An Examination of Fulfillment Method and Customer Experience
By: Ken Boyer and Tomas Hult
Citation: Journal of Operations Management, 24 (2), 2006, 124-147

An Analysis of Effects of Operational Execution on Repeat Purchasing for Heterogeneous Customer Segments
By: Ken Boyer and Markham Frohlich
Citation: Production and Operations Management, 15 (2), 2006, 229-242
Winner of the 2004 Wickham Skinner Prize.

Radio Frequency Identification Performance: The Effect of Tag Orientation and Package Contents
By: Ken Boyer, Robert Clarke, Diana Twede, and Jeff Tazelaar
Citation: Packaging Technology & Science, 19 (1), 2005, 45-54

Customer Behavior in an Online Ordering Application: A Decision Scoring Model
By: Ken Boyer and G. Tomas Hult
Citation: Decision Sciences, 36 (4), 2005, 569-598

Extending the Supply Chain: Integrating Operations and Marketing in the Online Grocery Industry
By: Ken Boyer and Tomas Hult
Citation: Journal of Operations Management, 23 (6), 2005, 642-661
This study reports results from case studies of four Internet-ordering and home-delivery grocers and 2440 of their customers. Each grocer follows a different operations strategy as determined by choice of where to fulfill customer orders (from existing stores or from a dedicated DC) and by choice of delivery method (direct to the customer's home/office or indirect via customer pickup or third-party logistics provider). The survey data from customers are used to assess the degree of integration between marketing and operations and the relationship with customer behavioral intentions. The results indicate that eBusiness-, product-, and service-quality, all have a significant direct effect on customer behavioral intentions to purchase again. There is limited support for technology as a moderating factor. Finally, the relationships between the predictor variables and customer behavioral intentions differ across grocers. This supports the idea that grocers utilizing different operational strategies should focus attention on different facets of their business and provides insight as to where efforts should be directed.
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Internet Ticketing in an Not-for-Profit, Service Organization: Building Customer Loyalty
By: Ken Boyer and John Olson
Citation: International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 25 (1), 2005, 74-92

Operational, Economic and Mission Elements in Not-for-Profit Organizations: The Case of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
By: Ken Boyer, John Olson, and Jim Belohlav
Citation: Journal of Operations Management, 23 (2), 2005, 125-142

Introduction to Special Issue on Service Strategy and Technology Application
By: Ken Boyer and Richard Metters
Citation: Production and Operations Management, 13 (3), 2004

Fit, Flexibility and Performance in Manufacturing: Coping with Dynamic Environments
By: Gopesh Anand and Peter Ward
Citation: Production and Operations Management Journal, 13 (4), 2004, 369-385
Today's dynamic markets are motivating companies to develop greater flexibility. An effective strategy requires that managers discern the specific market challenges faced by their business and choose an appropriate approach to flexibility in response. It is important that managers not blindly invest in flexible technologies as a hedge against an uncertain future: careful analysis is required to achieve fit with the marketplace and improved performance.
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Nu-kote’s Spreadsheet Linear Programming Models for OptimizingTransportation
By: L.J. LeBlanc, James Hill, G.W. Greenwell, and A.O. Czesnat
Citation: Interfaces, 34 (2), 2004, 139-146

Performance Implications of Assembly Work Teams
By: John McCreery, Lee Krajewski, Keong Leong, Peter Ward
Citation: Journal of Operations Management, 22 (4), 2004, 387-412
A model of a manually-paced assembly area can help managers understand how three workforce management policies related to flexibility (the configuration of work teams, the extent of cross training, and the deployment of workers) affect throughput, utilization, and efficiency. The results show that the value of workforce flexibility is contingent upon characteristics of the operating environment (product variety and task complexity); more cross training and more work teams working in parallel are not universally appropriate actions.
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A Mapping of Competitive Priorities, Manufacturing Practices, and Operational Performance in Groups of Danish Manufacturing Companies
By: Thomas Christiansen, William Berry, Peter Bruun, Peter Ward
Citation: International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 23 (10), 2003, 1163-1183
Given resource constraints, companies cannot afford improving everything at the same time. Strategic group membership can be a valuable means for understanding the impact of choices companies make regarding which practices to implement. A sample of 63 Danish companies was divided into four distinct manufacturing strategy groups based on their competitive priorities. A key finding is that not all competitive priorities require the same emphasis on JIT, TQM, and TPM in order to achieve operational objectives.
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Revising the Master Production Schedule in Sequence Dependent Processes
By: James Hill, William Berry, David Schilling
Citation: International Journal of Production Research, 41 (9), 2003, 2021-2035
Past MPS research has generally not focused on environments with sequence dependent changeover times, as is common in process industries. This paper presents two heuristics to revise the MPS to improve plant performance in such environments and describes the sensitivity of the performance effects to frequently encountered plant operating conditions.
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Lean Manufacturing: Context, Practice Bundles, and Performance
By: Rachna Shah and Peter Ward
Citation: Journal of Operations Management, 21 (2), 2003, 129-142
Moving beyond past anecdotal success stories, this paper uses extensive survey data from the IndustryWeek Census of Manufacturers to provide convincing statistical evidence of the benefits of lean manufacturing in a broad range of contexts. Factors associated with lean implementation and associated benefits were examined. Plant age and unionization do not seem to be major implementation inhibitors. Implementation of bundles of Just-In-Time, Total Quality Management, Total Productive Maintenance, and worker team practices associated with lean is likely to provide performance advantage, regardless of size, age, or level of unionization. This research, generously supported by the CEMM, won the prestigious Shingo Prize.
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Privately Held Company Boards of Advisors - A series of 10 articles
John F. Dix
Business Development Index, Ltd.

Published in Business First

Article #1 Boards of Advisors Efficient Way To Fill Gaps In Expertise
Article #2 Signs Become Clear When Board of Advisers is Needed
Article #3 Advisory Boards Can Freshen Up the Approach to Business
Article #4 How to Lay the Foundation for Strong Advisory Board
Article #5 How to Reap Valuable Fruit of Advisory Board Expertise
Article #6 Eight Ways to Get Most Out of a Firm's Advisory Board
Article #7 Wring the Most Benefits from Your Advisory Board
Article #8 Board of Advisors Composition and Compensation
Article #9 Questions Board Members Should Ask
Article #10 Information to Share with New Board Members

The Process of Strategic Planning - A series of 10 articles

By: John F. Dix
  Business Development Index, Ltd.
  H. Lee "Buck" Mathews
  The Ohio State University
  Columbus, Ohio
  August 2002
  Published in Business First

To view the Strategic Planning Flow Chart, click here.

Article #1 Introduction To Strategic Planning
Article #2 Current Situation Analysis
Article #3 Segmentation Analysis: Matching Market
  Potential and Company Strength
Article #4 SWOT Analysis
Article #5 Core Competency Analysis
Article #6 Key Success Factors
Article #7 Business Unit Strategy
Article #8 The Balanced Scorecard
Article #9 Evaluation
Article #10 Summary and Conclusion

If you would like to view all ten of the above strategic planning articles, click here.

Aligning Supply Chain Management Characteristics and Interorganizational Information System Types: An Exploratory Study
By: Rachna Shah, Susan Meyer Goldstein, Peter Ward
Citation: IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 49 (3), 2002, 282-292
This research proposes a supply chain management-interorganizational information system (SCM-IOIS) matrix as a framework to investigate the impact of the alignment of IOIS capabilities with the needs of supply chain members. Although firms that coordinate more with their supply chain partners and/or achieve higher level of IOIS integration generally show improvement for several performance metrics, the benefits are significantly greater for those that show SCM-IOIS alignment.
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Master Production Scheduling in Capacitated Sequence Dependent Process Industries
By: James Hill, William Berry, G.K. Leong, and David Schilling
Citation: International Journal of Production Research, 38 (18), 2000, 4743-4761
Traditional approaches to planning and control of manufacturing (MRPII) focus on discrete parts manufacturing industries (e.g. automotive). The chemical industry, however, presents unique challenges. Cross-contamination of production is a key issue among some chemical facilities. A considerable amount of capacity is lost as a result of changeovers which involve performing thorough clean-ups to wash away the impurities which may contaminate the next product to be produced. Therefore, planning for sequence-dependent changeovers becomes crucial and complicates the master production scheduling process. This paper shows how improved master production scheduling performance can be obtained by using a two-level master production schedule (MPS) to focus on key plant processes, and by incorporating a scheduling heuristic which considers sequence-dependent changeovers and capacity constraints. This approach is illustrated using actual operating data from a chemical firm typical of many process industry operations. Simulation experiments are reported that test the performance of the proposed master scheduling method in a single-stage sequence-dependent process. The experimental factors include both the introduction of the two-level MPS with the scheduling heuristic, and the effect of changes in the MPS batch size. The results demonstrate that important simultaneous improvements in process changeover time and delivery performance can be achieved using the proposed MPS scheduling approach against a more traditional (single-level) MPS approach which does not consider sequence-dependent changeovers. Further, we find that delivery performance is relatively insensitive to adjustments in the MPS batch size when using the two-level MPS approach.
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Approaches to Mass Customization: Configurations and Empirical Validation
By: Rebecca Duray, Peter Ward, Glenn Milligan, William Berry
Citation: Journal of Operations Management, 18 (6), 2000, 605-625
Mass customization is a paradox-breaking approach that combines the unique products of craft manufacturing with the cost-efficient manufacturing methods of mass production. This paper classifies mass customizers based on the point of initial customer involvement in the production cycle and the type of modularity employed to achieve customization. Performance implications of the configurations are examined. Those mass customizers that are closest to mass producers in manufacturing approach are most likely to reap the benefits of mass customization.
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Master Production Scheduling in Capacitated Sequence-Dependent Process Industries
By: James Hill, William Berry, Keong Leong, David Schilling
Citation: International Journal of Production Research, 38 (18), 2000, 4743-4761
Past MPS research has generally not focused on environments with sequence dependent changeover times, as is common in process industries. This paper shows how a relatively simple heuristic with two-level master production scheduling can provide improvement in changeover time and shortages compared to single-level scheduling without the heuristic. Furthermore, shortages actually decrease with the heuristic (instead of increase as with single-level scheduling) when smaller lot sizes are used.
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Manufacturing Strategy in Context: Environment, Competitive Strategy and Manufacturing Strategy
By: Peter Ward and Rebecca Duray
Citation: Journal of Operations Management, 18 (2), 2000, 123-138
This paper tests a conceptual model of the relationship between the business environment, organizational competitive strategy, manufacturing strategy, and company performance. A differentiation strategy is more effective than a low price strategy in dynamic environments. The data also showed a strong link between a manufacturing strategy of pursuing quality and performance.
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Manufacturing Flexibility: Methods for Measuring the Impact of Product Variety on Performance in Process Industries
By: William Berry and Martha Cooper
Citation: Journal of Operations Management, 17 (2), 1999, 163-178
Achieving competitive advantage through increased product variety is heavily dependent on the proper alignment of the marketing and manufacturing strategies. This paper describes a framework and methodology for resolving the critical strategic issues of product pricing and process investment required to achieve the necessary manufacturing flexibility in product mix.
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Aligning Marketing and Manufacturing Strategies with the Market
By: William Berry, Terry Hill, Jay Klompmaker
Citation: International Journal of Production Research, 37 (16), 1999, 3599-3618
Frameworks and methodologies are an essential aid for executives when formulating, articulating, debating, and implementing functional strategies such as marketing and manufacturing. The framework and methodology described in this paper provide a way of organizing management thinking about manufacturing strategy and how it relates to a firm's markets and marketing strategy, and a means of articulating the strategies to other business functions. A five step, hard-data-driven process to achieve strategic alignment is illustrated in the context of a business case.
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Unlocking the Potential of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies
By: Kenneth Boyer, Keong Leong, Peter Ward, Lee Krajewski
Citation: Journal of Operations Management, 15, 1997, 331-347
A survey of manufacturers shows that firms that invest in advanced manufacturing technologies (AMTs) and manufacturing infrastructure perform better than firms that invest in only one or the other. Although AMTs such as flexible manufacturing systems, computer aided design, computer aided manufacturing, and robotics offer powerful capabilities, those capabilities can only be fully realized when companies also invest in their infrastructure, such as upgrading the skills of their workforce.
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Customer Driven Manufacturing
By: William Berry, Terry Hill, Jay Klompmaker
Citation: International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 15 (3), 1995, 4-15
To be successful, a company must do the basic tasks well, and nothing is more basic than manufacturing and marketing. The most significant corporate manufacturing decision a firm makes is its investments in manufacturing processes and infrastructure based on the technical and business specifications indicated by the various products produced and markets served. Unfortunately, too often manufacturing's strategic inputs are not well developed, either alone or in line with the marketing strategy. A strategy development framework is presented that is based on integrated functional partnership geared towards meeting customer needs.
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Business Environment, Operations Strategy, and Performance: An Empirical Study on Singapore Manufacturers
By: Peter Ward, Rebecca Duray, Keong Leong, Chee Chuong Sum
Citation: Journal of Operations Management, 13 (2), 1995, 99-115
Successful firms respond to labor shortages through a strategic emphasis on flexibility, whereas low performers do not show any significant strategic response. Furthermore, good performers in dynamic or hostile environments adopt strategies that enable differentiation based on operations capabilities (i.e., quality, delivery performance, and/or flexibility), whereas poor performers simultaneously pursue both differentiation and cost reduction.
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Manufacturing Proactiveness and Performance
By: Peter Ward, Keong Leong, Kenneth Boyer
Citation: Decision Sciences, 25 (3), 1994, 337-358
A survey of manufacturers shows that a firm needs to invest in structural programs (technology) and have either a high level of manufacturing executive involvement in the development of the strategic processes of the business unit or a high degree of investments in infrastructural programs (people) to be more likely than average to achieve success. In other words, technology alone is not enough; companies must vigorously pursue at least one other proactiveness dimension.
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