Purpose – This work aims at integrating materials management with project management in the context of manufacturing of complex products which require a variety of items. To achieve this, we propose two prioritization measures of items: material criticality (MC) at activity level and overall criticality (OC) at project level by incorporating project network characteristic through activity criticality (AC) values. Design/methodology/approach – The costs or penalties which determine criticality of items are hidden in nature and are difficult to measure and model mathematically. Hence, Fuzzy Inference System (FIS), which captures experts’ tacit knowledge in the form of linguistic If‐Then rules has been used. Findings – OC obtained can be used as a measure to prioritize items for procurement aligned with on‐site build strategy and as a surrogate measure of shortage cost coefficient for inventory models. The analyses of output to observe the effect of AC on OC values of items, clearly demonstrate the novelty and importance of incorporating project network characteristics in materials management decision making. Originality/value – In this work, we are able to leverage managerial tacit knowledge derived through years of experience and convert it into a readily usable quantitative parameter OC for prioritization of items to be procured. For identifying the input parameters for OC, we brought in the new perspective of including project network characteristics to align materials and project management.
Journal of Advances in Management Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 2, 2013
Keywords: Materials management; Complex products; Criticality; Fuzzy Inference System; Project management