Alternative Spreadsheet Model Designs for an Operations Management Model Embedded in a Periodic Business Process

02/01/2018 ∙ by Thomas A. Grossman, et al. ∙ 0

We present a widely-used operations management model used in supply and distribution planning, that is typically embedded in a periodic business process that necessitates model modification and reuse. We consider three alternative spreadsheet implementations, a data-driven design, a canonical (textbook) design, and a novel (table-driven) technical design. We evaluate each regarding suitability for accuracy, modification, analysis, and transfer. We consider the degree of training and technical sophistication required to utilize each design. The data-driven design provides insight into poor spreadsheet practices by naïve modelers. The technical design can be modified for new data and new structural elements without manual writing or editing of cell formulas, thus speeding modification and reducing risk of error. The technical design has potential for use with other classes of models. We identify opportunities for future research.

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