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Decision-Analytic Approaches to Operational Decision Making: Application and Observation

by   Tom Chavez, et al.

Decision analysis (DA) and the rich set of tools developed by researchers in decision making under uncertainty show great potential to penetrate the technological content of the products and services delivered by firms in a variety of industries as well as the business processes used to deliver those products and services to market. In this paper I describe work in progress at Sun Microsystems in the application of decision-analytic methods to Operational Decision Making (ODM) in its World-Wide Operations (WWOPS) Business Management Group. Working with membersof product engineering, marketing, and sales, operations planners from WWOPS have begun to use a decision-analytic framework called SCRAM (Supply Communication/Risk Assessment and Management) to structure and solve problems in product planning, tracking, and transition. Concepts such as information value provide a powerful method of managing huge information sets and thereby enable managers to focus attention on factors that matter most for their business. Finally, our process-oriented introduction of decision-analytic methods to Sun managers has led to a focused effort to develop decision support software based on methods from decision making under uncertainty.


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