, Volume 5, Issue 3-4, pp 91-100
Date: 10 Nov 2012

Planning with uncertain materials availability: The value of workday flexibility

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In this paper, we consider the problem of a manufacturer that faces uncertainty in the availability of its raw materials. This can occur, for example, in a remanufacturing setting where replacements for damaged components are not always available as needed. We examine the potential for flexible workday policies to mitigate the impact of uncertain materials availability, and present a simulation optimization approach to determine staffing levels under various levels of workday flexibility. An example implementation of the aggregate planning model we develop is provided using data from a cell phone reassembly facility in Hong Kong. Our model provides insights for managers regarding the benefits of increasing levels of workday flexibility when raw material availability is uncertain.