Paper

Read paper entitled: “Scheduling and Capable-to-Promise Application for Swift & Company,” by Bixby, Ann, Downs, Brian, and Self, Mike, Interfaces, Vol. 36, No. 1 (Jan. -Feb. 2006), pp. 69 – 86.

This seminal paper describes how the Swift & Company, which is a diversified protein-producing business, based in Greeley, Colorado, used decision analysis (i.e., management science) to model and solve a large scale and difficult problem to improve its business operations.

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With annual sales of over $8 billion, beef and related products are by far the largest portion of the company’s business. To expand the volume of its global sales, Swift & Company used an integrated system of 45 linear-programming models based on three model formulations to dynamically schedule its beef-processing operations at five plants in real-time as it receives orders. This scheduling application resulted in documented improvements in key metrics, such as order fulfillment, on-time delivery, and the percentage of a week’s scheduled production for which there are existing orders from more than 8,000 customers. The LP based scheduling application enabled Swift & Company to execute its business strategy and obtain a 200 percent return on investment in its first year of production.

Your specific tasks: Please write an essay to explain how the Decision Analysis using modeling linear programming and other modeling approaches were applied in this study. You need not discuss each of the proposed different models; you can select and focus on one key example used in the study while bringing others as you see fit to enrich your discussion.

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