Operations Management of Distributed Service Networks

Operations Management of Distributed Service Networks

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Distributed service networks encompass various facilities with which we have daily contact. In the public sector they include, for instance, ambulance, fire, and police services; in the business sector they include maintenance and repair services, road services, courier services, and the like. Policy making problems in distributed service networks can be clearly classified into a number of hierarchical levels. The levels are distinguished by the time horizon of the problem, by the amount of cost involved in the implementation of a solution, and by the political implications of the solution. This top-down classification is typical of what is known as the qsystems approach, q advocating that the direction of the analysis of complex systems should be from the whole to the details. The top-down classification consists of the following categories of policies: 1. Zoning: How should a network be partitioned into subzones? 2. Station location: Where should service stations or service units be located? 3. Resource allocation: What amount of resources should be allocated to the stations? vii viii Preface 4. Dispatching, routing, and repositioning: What is the optimal dis patching policy, what are the optimal routes for nonbusy units, and under what circumstances is it worthwhile to reposition a certain idle unit? A top-down approach implies that each of the problems is solved separately; however, the solution of a higher-level problem sets constraints on problems at lower levels.Take, for instance, an ambulance returning from the scene of service or from a hospital back to the home node, its permanent station. During ... Presenting a Sample Network Figure 7.1 depicts the sample service network we use for illustration.

Title:Operations Management of Distributed Service Networks
Author:Niv Ahituv, Oded Berman
Publisher:Springer Science & Business Media - 2012-12-06


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