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Winter 2012

(Winter/November 2012)

Master of Business Administration – MBA Semester 2

MB 0044 – Production and Operation Management (4 credits)

(Book ID:B1627 ) ASSIGNMENT- Set 1

Note: Assignment Set -1 must be written within 6-8 pages. Answer all questions.


Q1. Explain the basic competitive priorities considered while formulating operations strategy by

a firm?

After collectively considering the products and services demanded by customers, strengths and weaknesses of competitors, the environment, and the firm’s own strengths, weaknesses, cultures, and resources, proficient firms can formulate their vision as expressed through the mission statement. This statement expresses the organization’s values and aspirations; basically its reason or purpose for existence. Based on this mission statement the firm will formulate its business strategy. This business strategy is a long-term plan for accomplishing the mission set forth in the mission statement. Each function within the business can then derive its own strategy in support of the firm’s overall business strategy (financial strategy, marketing strategy, and operations strategy).


Operations strategy is the collective concrete actions chosen, mandated, or stimulated by corporate strategy. It is, of course, implemented within the operations function. This operations strategy binds the various operations decisions and actions into a cohesive consistent response to competitive forces by linking firm policies, programs, systems, and actions into a systematic response to the competitive priorities chosen and communicated by the corporate or business strategy. In simpler terms, the operations strategy specifies how the firm will employ its operations capabilities to support the business strategy.


Operations strategy has a long-term concern for how to best determine and develop the firm’s major operations resources so that there is a high degree of compatibility between these resources and the business strategy. Very broad questions are addressed regarding how major resources should be configured in order to achieve the firm’s corporate objectives. Some of the issues of relevance include long-term decisions regarding capacity, location, processes, technology, and timing.


The achievement of world-class status through operations requires that operations be integrated with the other functions at the corporate level. In broad terms, an operation has two important roles it can play in strengthening the firm’s overall strategy. One option is to provide processes that give the firm a distinct advantage in the marketplace. Operations will provide a marketing edge through distinct, unique technology developments in processes that competitors cannot match.


The second role that operations can play is to provide coordinated support for the essential ways in which the firm’s products win orders over their competitors, also known as distinctive competencies. The firm’s operations strategy must be conducive to developing a set of policies in both process choice and infrastructure design (controls, procedures, systems, etc.) that are consistent with the firm’s distinctive competency. Most firms share access to the same processes and technology, so they usually differ little in these areas. What is different is the degree to which operations matches its processes and infrastructure to its distinctive competencies.




Industries have characteristics or strategic elements that affect their ability to prosper in the marketplace (i.e., attributes, resources, competencies, or capabilities). The ones that most affect a firm’s competitive abilities are called key success factors (KSFs). These KSFs are actually what the firm must be competent at doing or concentrating on achieving in order to be competitively and financially successful; they could be called prerequisites for success. In order to determine their own KSFs, a firm must determine a basis for customer choice. In other words, how do customers differentiate between competitors offering the same or similar products or services and how will the firm distinguish itself from these competitors? Once this is determined, the firm has to decide what resources and competitive capabilities it needs in order to compete successfully, and what will it take to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. These KSFs can be related to technology, operations, distribution, marketing, or to certain skills or organizational capability. For example, the firm may derive advantages from superior ability to transform material or information (technology or operations), to quickly master new technologies and bring processes online (technology or organizational capability), or to quickly design and introduce new products, service a broad range of products, customize products or services on demand, or provide short lead times (skills).


The set of KSFs that are delegated totally or substantially to the operations function has been termed the manufacturing mission. It represents what top management expects from operations in terms of its strategic contribution. All decisions made relative to system design, planning, control and supervision must aim at accomplishing the manufacturing mission. As such, the manufacturing mission is the principal driver of the operations function and gives it its reason for existence. All world-class manufacturers have an explicit, formal manufacturing mission.


From the manufacturing mission the operations function derives its distinctive competencies (also called competitive priorities or competitive weapons). Distinctive competence is defined as the characteristic of a given product/service or its producing firm that causes the buyer to purchase it rather than the similar product/service of a competitor. It is generally accepted that the distinctive competencies are cost/price, quality, flexibility, and service/time. Various experts include other competencies, such as location, but these can usually be categorized within one of the generally accepted four. Some experts also feel that innovation is quickly becoming a fifth distinctive competency, if it hasn’t already. It should be noted that a firm’s position on the product-process matrix is a controlling factor for the manufacturing mission and the firm’s competitive priority or priorities.




Details relative to each distinctive competency are provided, along with the implications of each and some examples.




A firm competing on a price/cost basis is able to provide consumers with an in-demand product at a price that is competitively lower than that offered by firms producing the same or similar good/service. In order to compete on a price basis, the firm must be able to produce the product at a lesser cost or be willing to accept a smaller profit margin. Firms with this competency are generally in a position to mass produce the product or service, thereby giving the firm economies of scale that drive the production cost per unit down considerably. Commodity items are mass-produced at such volume that they utilize a continuous process, thus deriving tremendous economies of scale and very low prices Consumers purchasing commodity-type products are usually not greatly aware of brand difference, and will buy strictly on the basis of price; e.g., as long as it is a major brand of gasoline and location is not a factor, consumers will opt for the lowest price. Wal-Mart is able to offer low prices by accepting a lower profit margin per unit sold. Their tremendous volume more than makes up for the lower profit margin.




David Garvin lists eight dimensions of quality as follows:


Performance. Performance refers to a product’s primary operating characteristics. For an automobile this could mean fast acceleration, easy handling, a smooth ride or good gas mileage. For a television it could mean bright color, clarity, sound quality or number of channels it can receive. For a service this could merely mean attention to details or prompt service.

Conformance. Conformance is the degree to which a product’s design and operating characteristics meet predetermined standards. When a manufacturer utilizing coils of steel receives a shipment from the mill, it checks the width of the coil, the gauge (thickness) of the steel, the weight of the coil, and puts a sample on a Rockwell hardness tester to check to ensure that the specified hardness has been provided. Receiving inspection will also check to see if specified characteristics are met (e.g., hot-rolled, pickled, and oiled). Services may have conformance requirements when it comes to repair, processing, accuracy, timeliness, and errors.

Features. Features are the bells and whistles of a product or service. In other words, characteristics that supplement the basic function of the product or service. Desirable, but not absolutely necessary, features on a VCR include four heads, slow-motion capability, stereo or surround sound, split screens or inset screens, and 365-day programming ability. Service examples include free drinks on an airline flight or free delivery of flowers.

Durability. Durability is defined as mean time until replacement. In other words, how long does the product last before it is worn out or has to be replaced because repair is impossible? For some items, such as light bulbs, repair is impossible and replacement is the only available option. Durability may be had by use of longer life materials or improved technology processes in manufacturing. One would expect home appliances such as refrigerators, washer and dryers, and vacuum cleaners to last for many years. One would also hope that a product that represents a significant investment, such as an automobile, would have durability as a primary characteristic of quality.

Reliability. Reliability refers to a product’s mean time until failure or between failures. In other words, the time until a product breaks down and has to be repaired, but not replaced. This is an important feature for products that have expensive downtime and maintenance. Businesses depend on this characteristic for items such as delivery trucks and vans, farm equipment and copy machines since their failure could conceivably shut down the business altogether.

Serviceability. Serviceability is defined by speed, courtesy, competence and ease of repair. This is can be an extremely important characteristic as witnessed by the proliferation of toll-free hot lines for customer service. A number of years ago, a major television manufacturer advertised that its product had its “works in a box.” This meant that the television set was assembled out of modular units. Whenever there were problems with the set, a repairman making a house call simply had to replace the problem module, making the product easily and quickly serviceable.

Aesthetics. A product’s looks, feel, smell, sound, or taste are its aesthetic qualities. Since these characteristics are strictly subjective and captive to preference, it is virtually impossible to please everyone on this dimension.

Perceived Quality. Perceived quality is usually inferred from various tangible and intangible aspects of the product. Many consumers assume products made in Japan are inherently of high quality due to the reputation of Japanese manufacturers, whereas 50 years ago, the perception was the complete opposite. Other characteristics such as high price or pleasing aesthetics may imply quality.

Firms competing on this basis offer products or services that are superior to the competition on one or more of the eight dimensions. Obviously, it would be undesirable if not impossible for firms to compete on all eight dimensions of quality at once. This would be prohibitively expensive, and there are some limitations imposed by trade-offs that must be made due to the nature of the product. For example, a firm may sacrifice reliability in order to achieve maximum speed.




Service can be defined in a number of ways. Superior service can be characterized by the term customer service or it could mean rapid delivery, on-time delivery, or convenient location.




Firms may compete on their ability to provide either flexibility of the product or volume. Firms that can easily accept engineering changes (changes in the product) offer a strategic advantage to their customers. This can also apply to services. A number of years ago, a well-known fast food restaurant advertised “hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders don’t upset us,” which meant that ordering a nonstandardized version of the product would not slow down the delivery process. Also, some firms are able to absorb wide fluctuations in volume allowing customers with erratic demand the luxury of not holding excessive inventories in anticipation of change in demand.




Firms usually focus on one distinctive competency (rarely more than two). For some competencies there are tradeoffs involved. An automobile manufacturer producing a product that is considered to be of high quality (leather seats, real wood trim, and an outstanding service package) will not be able to compete on a cost/price basis as the cost of manufacture prohibits it. An automotive parts house would like to keep their customers happy by offering the lowest prices possible. However, if the automotive parts house also wants to be able to fill almost every single order from walk-in customers, it must maintain an extensive inventory. The expense of this inventory could preclude the parts house from offering prices competitive with other similar firms not choosing to provide this level of service. Therefore, one parts house is competing on the basis of service (but not cost/price) while the other is competing of the basis of cost/price (but not service). The customer may have to wait a few days to get the desired part; if the customer cannot wait, he or she can pay more and purchase the part immediately from the competitor.




Operations strategist and author Terry Hill introduced the terms qualifier and order winner (1989). A qualifier is a competitive characteristic a firm or product must be able to exhibit to be a viable competitor in the marketplace. An order winner is a competitive characteristic of a product or service that causes a customer to choose this firm’s product or service rather than that of a competitor (distinctive competence). For example, say a consumer in the market for a new automobile has a predetermined level of quality that the automobile must possess before being considered for purchase. The consumer has narrowed his or her choice down to five models of automobile that all meet this minimum quality requirement. From this point the consumer, with all else being equal, will probably purchase the automobile that he or she can get for the least cost. Therefore, quality is the qualifier (must be present to be considered) and cost/price is the order winner (basis for the final choice).





In too many instances, a firm’s operations function is not geared to the business’s corporate objectives. While the system itself may be good, it is not designed to meet the firm’s needs. Rather, operations is seen as a neutral force, concerned solely with efficiency, and has little place within the corporate consciousness. Steven C. Wheelwright and Robert H. Hayes described four generic roles that manufacturing can play within a company, from a strategic perspective. While they specifically discuss the manufacturing function, the term operations can be substituted with no loss in relevance. These generic roles are labeled stages 1 to 4, as explained below.


Stage 1 firms are said to be internally neutral, meaning that the operations function is regarded as being incapable of influencing competitive success. Management, thereby, seeks only to minimize any negative impact that operations may have on the firm. One might say that operations maintain a reactive mode. When strategic issues involving operations arise, the firm usually calls in outside experts.


Stage 2 firms are said to be externally neutral, meaning they seek parity with competitors (neutrality) by following standard industry practices. Capital investments in new equipment and facilities are seen as the most effective means of gaining competitive advantage.


Stage 3 firms are labeled internally supportive, that is, operations’ contribution to the firm is dictated by the overall business strategy but operations has no input into the overall strategy. Stage 3 firms do, however, formulate and pursue a formal operations strategy.


Stage 4 firms are at the most progressive stage of operations development. These firms are said to be externally supportive. Stage 4 firms expect operations to make an important contribution to the competitive success of the organization. An operation is actually involved in major marketing and engineering decisions. They give sufficient credibility and influence to operations so that its full potential is realized. Firms within Stage 4 are known for their overall manufacturing capability.


Since the bulk of many, if not all, firms have the bulk of their labor force and assets tied to the operations function, it makes sense for most firms to strive for a position in Stage 3 or Stage 4. Firms can, of course, evolve from one stage to the next with few, if any, skipping a stage. In fact, most outstanding firms are in Stage 3, as Stage 4 is extremely difficult to reach.


The need for an operations strategy that reflects and supports the corporate strategy is not only crucial for the success of the corporate strategy but also because many decisions are structural in nature. In other words, the results are not easily changed. The firm could be locked into a number of operations decisions, which could take years to change if the need arose. These could range from process investment decisions to human resource management practices. Too often, marketing-led strategies leave operations to resolve the resulting issues from their unilateral view of what is best for the business as a whole. If corporate management cannot fully appreciate the issues and consequences of relegating operations to a tactical status it could find itself needing to make structural changes that are costly, time consuming, and much too late to make the competitive impact necessary to compete effectively.


Firms that fail to fully exploit the strategic power of operations will be hampered in their competitive abilities and vulnerable to attack from those competitors who do exploit their operations strategy. To do this effectively, operations must be involved throughout the whole of the corporate strategy. Corporate executives have tended to assume that strategy has only to do with marketing initiatives. They erroneously make the assumption that operation’s role is strictly to respond to marketing changes rather than make inputs into them. Secondly, corporate executives assume that operations have the flexibility to respond positively to changing demands. These assumptions place unrealistic demands upon the operations function. A recent article by Michael A. Lewis in the International Journal of Operations and Production Management warns firms a practical operations strategy is iterative and will require market compromise. While corporate management perceives corporate improvement as coming through broad decisions concerning new markets, takeovers, and so on, it overlooks the idea that building blocks of corporate success can be found in the creative and effective use of operations strategy to support the marketing requirement within a well-conceived corporate strategy.


Operations management’s attention must increasingly be toward strategy. The balance and direction of its activity should reflect its impact on the firm’s performance toward achieving its goals through its strategy, and on the performance of operations itself, recognizing that both need to be done well. Linda Nielsen-Englyst recommends a four-phase process for formulating and updating operations strategy: learning, reviewing, aligning, and redirecting. Phase one is a learning stage where alternatives to the intended strategy are evaluated in practice. Phase two involves reviewing alternatives over time, allowing ideas to grow and mature. Phase three, the alignment stage, is an analytical process where the firm attempts to identify and document financial rationale for changing the intended strategy. Finally, in the redirecting phase, the firm tests its ideas in practice through local initiatives.




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Q2.a. List the benefits of forecasting

b. Explain the significance of plant location decision


Q3. What do you understand by “line balancing”? What happens if balance doesn’t exist?


Q4. Describe the various approaches to TQM?


Q5.a. What is meant by productivity? Explain.

b. What do you mean by operations strategy? Explain in brief.


Q6. What is logical process modelling? What is physical modelling?


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(November 2012)

Master of Business Administration- MBA Semester 2


(Book ID:B1628) Assignment Set -1 (60 marks)

Note: Assignment Set -1 must be written within 6-8 pages. Answer all questions.


Q1. What are the goals of financial management? 10 marks

The financial management has to take three important decision viz. (i) Investment decision i.e., where to invest fund and in what amount, (ii) Financing decision i.e., from where to raise funds and in what amount, and (iii) Dividend i.e., how much to pay dividend and how much to retain for future expansion. In order to make these decisions the management must have a clear understanding of the objective sought to be achieved. It is generally agreed that the financial objective of the firm should be maximization of owner’s economic welfare. There are two widely discussed approaches or criterion of maximizing owners’ welfare -(i) Profit maximization, and (ii) Wealth maximization. It should be noted here that objective is used in the sense of goal or goals or decision criterion for the three decisions involved.


Profit Maximization: Maximization of profits is very often considered as the mainobjective of a business enterprise. The shareholders, the owners of the business, invest their funds in the business with the hope of getting higher dividend on their investment. Moreover, the profitability of the business is an indicator of the sound health of the organisation, because, it safeguards the economic interests of various social groups which are directly or indirectly connected with the company e.g. shareholders, creditors and employees. All these parties must get reasonable return for their contributions and it is possible only when company earns higher profits or sufficient profits to discharge the obligations to them.


Wealth Maximization: The wealth maximization (also known as value maximization or Net Present Worth Maximization) is also universally accepted criterion for financial decision making. The value of an asset should be viewed in terms of benefits it can produce over the cost of capital investment.


Prof. Era Solomon has defined the concept of wealth maximization as follows- “The gross present worth of a course of action is equal to the capitalized value of the flow of future expected benefits, discounted (or as capitalized) at a rate which reflects their certainty or uncertainty. Wealth or net amount of capital investment required to achieve the benefits being discussed. Any financial action which creates wealth or which has a net present worth above zero is a desirable one and should be undertaken. Any financial action which does not meet this test should be rejected. If two or more desirable courses of action are mutually exclusive (i.e., if only one can be undertaken) then the decision should be to do that which creates most wealth or shows the greatest amount of net present worth. In short, the operating objective for financial management is to maximize wealth or net present worth. Thus, the concept of wealth maximization is based on cash flows (inflows and outflows) generated by the decision. If inflows are greater than outflows, the decision is good because it maximizes the wealth of the owners.


We have discussed above the two goals of financial management. Now the question is which one is the best or which goal should be followed in decision making. Certain objections have been raised against the profit maximization goal which strengthen the case for wealth maximization as the goal of financial decisions.


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Q2. Explain the factors affecting Financial Plan. 10 marks

Q3. Explain the time value of money. 10 marks

Q4. XYZ India Ltd’s share is expected to touch Rs. 450 one year from

now. The company is expected to declare a dividend of Rs. 25 per

share. What is the price at which an investor would be willing to buy if

his or her required rate of return is 15%?

Q5. Below Table depicts the statistics of a firm and its sales requirements.

Compute the DOL according to the values given in the table.


Q6. What are the assumptions of MM approach?


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Master of Business Administration- MBA Semester 2

MB0046 —Marketing Management – 4 Credits

(Book ID: B 1629)

Assignment Set -1 (60 marks)

Note: Assignment Set -1 must be written within 6-8 pages. Answer all questions.


Q.1 A. Explain the six criteria for effective market segmentation 5+5 = 10 marks


Process of dividing the market according to similarities that exist among the various subgroups within the market. The similarities may be common characteristics or common needs and desires. Market segmentation comes about as a result of the observation that all potential users of a product are not alike, and that the same general appeal will not interest all prospects. Therefore, it becomes essential to develop different marketing tactics based on the differences among potential users in order to effectively cover the entire market for a particular product. There are four basic market segmentation strategies: behavior segmentation, demographic segmentation, geographic segmentation, and physiographic segmentation.



Basis for segmenting consumer markets


[edit]Geographic segmentation

The market is segmented according to geographic criteria–nations, states, regions, countries, cities, neighborhoods, or zip codes. Geo-cluster approach combines demographic data with geographic data to create a more accurate profile of specific [1] With respect to region, in rainy regions you can sell things like raincoats, umbrellas and gumboots. In hot regions you can sell summer wear. In cold regions you can sell warm clothes.

[edit]Demographic segmentation

Demographic segmentation consists of dividing the market into groups based on variables such as age, gender, family size, income, occupation, education, religion, race and nationality. As one might expect, demographic segmentation variables are amongst the most popular bases for segmenting customer groups. This is partly because customer wants are closely linked to variables such as income and age. Also, for practical reasons, there is often much more data available to help with the demographic segmentation process.

[edit]Psychographic segmentation

Psychographics is the science of using psychology and demographics to better understand consumers. Psychographic segmentation: consumers are divided according to their lifestyle, personality, values and social class. Consumers within the same demographic group can exhibit very different psychographic profiles.[2]

[edit]Positive market segmentation

Market segmenting is dividing the market into groups of individual markets with similar wants or needs that a company divides into distinct groups which have distinct needs, wants, behavior or which might want different products and services. Broadly, markets can be divided according to a number of general criteria, such as by industry or public versus private. Although industrial market segmentation is quite different from consumer market segmentation, both have similar objectives. All of these methods of segmentation are merely proxies for true segments, which don’t always fit into convenient demographic boundaries.

This part of the segmentation process consists of drawing up a perceptual map, which highlights rival goods within one’s industry according to perceived quality and price. After the perceptual map has been devised, a firm would consider the marketing communications mix best suited to the product in question.

[edit]Behavioral segmentation

In behavioral segmentation, consumers are divided into groups according to their knowledge of, attitude towards, use of or response to a product. It is actually based on the behavior of the consumer.


Segmentation according to occasions is based on the arising of special need and desires in consumers at various occasions. For example, for products that will be used in relation with a certain holiday. Products such as Christmas decorations or Diwali lamps are marketed almost exclusively in the time leading up to the related event, and will not generally be available all year round. Another type of occational market segments are people preparing for their wedding or a funeral, occasions that only occurs a few times in a persons lifetime but happens so often in a large population that it can be considered a market segment.


Segmentation takes place according to benefits sought by the consumer or which the product/service can provide.

[edit]Using segmentation in customer retention


The basic approach to retention-based segmentation is that a company tags each of its active customers with three values:

Is this customer at high risk of canceling the company’s service?

One of the most common indicators of high-risk customers is a drop off in usage of the company’s service. For example, in the credit card industry this could be signaled through a customer’s decline in spending on his or her card.

Is this customer worth retaining?

This determination boils down to whether the post-retention profit generated from the customer is predicted to be greater than the cost incurred to retain the customer.[3][4]

What retention tactics should be used to retain this customer?

For customers who are deemed worthy of saving, it is essential for the company to know which save tactics are most likely to be successful. Tactics commonly used range from providing special customer discounts to sending customers communications that reinforce the value proposition of the given service.

Niche marketing

A niche is a more narrowly defined customer group who seek a distinct set of benefits. Ä°dentified by dividing a segment into subsegments,distinct and unique set of needs,requires specialization, and is not likely to attract too many competitors.

Local marketing

Marketing programs tailored to the needs of local customer groups.


B. Discuss the types of target marketing strategies. (200-250 words each)


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Q.2 Explain the consumer buying decision process. 10 marks

(350-400 words)


Q.3 A. Discuss the Henry Assael model on buying decision behaviour. 5+5 =10 marks


B. Explain the five stages of Adoption Process. (200-250 words each)


Q.4 Describe the components of the micro environment of marketing 10 marks

(350 — 400 words)


Q.5 A. Explain the types of Marketing Information systems 5+5 = 10 marks

B. Discuss the different components of MIS (200-250 words each)


Q.6 Describe the factors to be considered while developing 10 marks

an Effective marketing mix. (350-400 words)

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November/ Winter 2012

Master of Business Administration- MBA Semester 2

MB0047 — Management Information Systems – 4 Credits

(Book ID: B 1630)

Assignment Set -1 (60 marks)

Note: Assignment Set -1 must be written within 6-8 pages. Answer all questions.

Q1. Explain Knowledge based system? Explain DSS and OLAP with example.


KBS are the systems based on knowledge base. Knowledge base is the database maintained for knowledge management which provides the means of data collections, organization and retrieval of knowledge. The knowledge management manages the domain where it creates and enables organization for adoption of insights and experiences.


There are two types of knowledge bases.

a. Machine readable knowledge bases: The knowledge base helps the computer to process through. It makes the data in the computer readable code which makes the operator to perform easier. Such information sare used by semantic web. Semantic web is a web that will make a description of the system that a system can understand.

b. Human readable knowledge bases: They are designed to help people to retrieve knowledge. The information need to be processed by the reader. The reader can access the information and synthesize their own.


KBS refers to

a system of data and information used for decision making. The system is automated to work on the knowledge based data and information required in a particular domain of management activity. The processing is done based on the past decisions taken under suitable conditions. Decision making is based on the fact that the condition is similar to the past situation hence the decision is also is similar.

Examples of KBS are intelligent systems, robotics, neural networks etc.


Decision Support Systems (DSS)

DSS is an interactive computer based system designed to help the decision makers to use all l the resources available and make use in the decision making. In management many a time problems arise out of situations for which simple solution may not be possible. To solve such problems you may have to use complex theories. The models that would be required to solve such problems may have to be identified. DSS requires a lot of managerial abilities and managers judgment.

You may gather and present the following information by using decision support application:

– Accessing all of your current information assets, including legacy and relational data sources, cubes, data warehouses, and data marts

– Comparative sales figures between one week and the next

– Projected revenue figures based on new product sales assumptions

– The consequences of different decision alternatives, given past experience in a context that is described.


Manager may sometimes find it difficult to solve such problems. E.g. — In a sales problem if there is multiple decision variables modeled as a simple linear problem but having multiple optima, it becomes difficult to take a decision. Since any of the multiple optima would give optimum results. But the strategy to select the one most suitable under conditions prevailing in the market, requires skills beyond the model.

It would take some trials to select a best strategy. Under such circumstances it would be easy to take decision if a ready system of databases of various market conditions and corresponding appropriate decision is available. A system which consists of database pertaining to decision making based on certain rules is known as decision support system. It is a flexible system which can be customized to suit the organization needs. It can work in the interactive mode in order to enable managers to take quick decisions. You can consider decision support systems as the best when it includes high-level summary reports or charts and allow the user to drill down for more detailed information.

A DSS has the capability to update its decision database. Whenever manager feels that a particular decision is unique and not available in the system, the manager can chose to update the database with such decisions. This will strengthen the DSS to take decisions in future..

There is no scope for errors in decision making when such systems are used as aid to decision making. DSS is a consistent decision making system. It can be used to generate reports of various lever management activities. It is capable of performing mathematical calculations and logical calculation depending upon the model adopted to solve the problem. You can summarize the benefits of DSS into following:

– Improves personal efficiency

– Expedites problem solving

– Facilitates interpersonal communication

– Promotes learning or training

– Increases organizational control

– Generates new evidence in support of a decision

– Creates a competitive advantage over competition

– Encourages exploration and discovery on the part of the decision maker

– Reveals new approaches to thinking about the problem space



Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)

OLAP refers to a system in which there are predefined multiple instances of various modules used in business applications. Any input to such a system results in verification of the facts with respect to the available instances.

A nearest match is found analytically and the results displayed form the database. The output is sent only after thorough verification of the input facts fed to the system. The system goes through a series of multiple checks of the various parameters used in business decision making. OLAP is also referred to as a multi dimensional analytical model. Many big companies use OLAP to get good returns in business.

The querying process of the OLAP is very strong. It helps the management take decisions like which month would be appropriate to launch a product in the market, what should be the production quantity to maximize the returns, what should be the stocking policy in order to minimize the wastage etc.

A model of OLAP may be well represented in the form of a 3D box. There are six faces of the box. Each adjoining faces with common vertex may be considered to represent the various parameter of the business situation under consideration. E.g.: Region, Sales & demand, Product etc.

Q2. What do you understand by service level Agreements (SLAs)? Whyare they needed? What is the role of CIO in drafting these? Explain the various security hazards faced by an IS?

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Q3. Explain DFD & Data Dictionary? Explain in detail how the information requirement is determined for an organization?

Q4. Distinguish between closed decision making system & open decision making system? What is ‘What — if‘ analysis? Why is more time spend in problem analysis & problem definition as compared to the time

spends on decision analysis?

Q5. How hardware & software support in various MIS activities of the organization? Explain the transaction stages from manual system to automated systems?


Q6. Compare & Contrast E-enterprise business model with traditional business organization model? Explain how in E-enterprise manager role & responsibilities are changed? Explain how manager is a

knowledge worker in E-enterprise?

Master of Business Administration- MBA Semester 1

MB0048 Operations Research- 4 Credits

(Book ID: B1631)

Assignment Set – 1 (60 Marks)


Note: Assignment Set -1 must be written within 6-8 pages. Answer all questions.


Q1. a. What do you mean by linear programming problem? Explain the steps

involved in linear programming problem formulation?


Ans. A problem consists of a linear function of variable called objective function subject to set of linear equation or inequalities called constraints, are known as linear programming problem.


In LP model the various parameters namely the objective function coefficients, R.H.S, coefficients of the constraints and resource values are certainly known and their value do not change with time. Thus the profit or cost per unit of product, availability of labour and material, market demand is known with certainty.


Ans. Advantages–


1. It helps in attaining the optimum use of productive factors.


2. It improves the quality of decisions. The individual who makes use of linear programming methods becomes more objective than subjective.


3. It also helps in providing better tools for adjustment to meet changing conditions.


4. It highlights the bottlenecks in the production processes.


5. Most business problems involve constraints like raw materials availability, market demand etc. which must be taken into consideration. Just we can produce so many units of product does not mean that they can be sold. Linear programming can handle such situation also.




1. In some problems objective functions and constraints are not linear. LPP under non linear condition usually results in an incorrect soIution


2. LPP deals with problems that have a single objective. Real life problem may involve multiple objectives.


3. Parameters appearing in the model are assumed to be constant. But in real life situation they are neither constant nor deterministic.


4. It is applicable to only static situations since it does not take into account the effect of time.


5. LPP can not be used efficiently for large scale problems, the computational difficulties are enormous, even when the large digital computer is available.


6. LPP may get fractional valued answers for the decision variables, whereas it may happen that only integer values of the variable are logical.



b. A paper mill produces two grades of paper viz., X and Y. Because of raw

material restrictions, it cannot produce more than 400 tons of grade X paper

and 300 tons of grade Y paper in a week. There are 160 production hours in a

week. It requires 0.20 and 0.40 hours to produce a ton of grade X and Y papers.

The mill earns a profit of Rs. 200 and Rs. 500 per ton of grade X and Y paper

respectively. Formulate this as a Linear Programming Problem.


Q2. a. Discuss the methodology of Operations Research.

b. Explain in brief the phases of Operations Research.


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Q3. Solve the following Linear Programming Problem using Simple method.

Maximize Z= 3×1 + 2X2

Subject to the constraints:

X1+ X2 ≤ 4

X1+ X2 ≤ 2

X1, X2 ≥ 0


Q4. Explain the procedure of MODI method of finding solution through optimality



Q5. a. Explain the steps in Hungarian method.

b. Solve the following assignment problem.

Machine Operators

1 2 3 5

A 60 50 45 45

B 40 45 55 35

C 55 70 60 50

D 45 45 40 45


Q6. a. Explain the steps involved in Vogel’s approximation method (VAM) of

solving Transportation Problem.


b. Solve the following transportation problem using Vogel’s approximation






Factories Distribution Centres Supply


C1 C2 C3 C4

F1 3 2 7 6 50

F2 7 5 2 3 60

F3 2 5 4 5 25

Requirements 60 40 20 15

(Winter/November 2012)

Master of Business Administration – MBA Semester 2

MB0049 — Project Management (4 credits)

(Book ID:B1632 )


Marks 60

Note: Assignment Set -2 must be written within 6-8 pages. Answer all questions.


Q1. Discuss the various steps of PMIS planning.


Project Management Information System (PMIS) are system tools and techniques used in project management to deliver information. Project managers use the techniques and tools to collect, combine and distribute information through electronic and manual means. Project Management Information System (PMIS) is used by upper and lower management to communicate with each other.

Project Management Information System (PMIS) help plan, execute and close project management goals. During the planning process, project managers use PMIS for budget framework such as estimating costs. The Project Management Information System is also used to create a specific schedule and define the scope baseline. At the execution of the project management goals, the project management team collects information into one database. The PMIS is used to compare the baseline with the actual accomplishment of each activity, manage materials, collect financial data, and keep a record for reporting purposes. During the close of the project, the Project Management Information System is used to review the goals to check if the tasks were accomplished. Then, it is used to create a final report of the project close.

To conclude, the project management information system (PMIS) is used to plan schedules, budget and execute work to be accomplished in project management.

This term is defined in the 3rd and the 4th edition of the PMBOK.

Related Entries:


Project Execution Outputs — Work Performance Information Project management really boils down to planning and execution. Work performance information plays a critical role in the latter….


Historical Information The term historical information refers to any information containing resources that may be utilized by a project team and or…


Information Distribution The project management term or phrase that is used for the purposes of representing the project management process that focuses…


Request for Information Requests for information exist in many areas of our society, and typically refer to the seeking out of information by…


Work Performance Information Part of the executed project management plan includes the routine collection of work performance information. The information gathered is important,…


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Q2. What are the different phases of contract management?

Q3. Describe the process of project performance evaluation

Q4. Discuss the various elements of project control.

Q5.a. What could be the reasons for project termination?

b. Write a note on project follow up

Q6. Discuss the advantages of using PM software package. What are the

common features available in PM software packages

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