Date of Graduation

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Industrial Engineering (MSIE)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Industrial Engineering

Advisor

John R. English

Committee Member

Ed A. Pohl

Second Committee Member

Kelly M. Sullivan

Keywords

Applied sciences; Dynamic program; Inventory control; Inventory management; Logistics; Production planning; Uncertainty

Abstract

Companies today are changing the culture of business and beginning to involve more than just labor and money in overall decisions. Just as sustainability issues and humanitarian logistics are gaining popularity, so is the idea of using business to make a difference on society in addition to making a profit. As companies position themselves across the globe to make an impact, they employ people in third-world environments that create uncertainties on both the supply and demand sides. Also, the idea of strategically planning work with the goal of minimizing costs has been replaced by companies wanting to give more work and operate with "planned inefficiencies" so that they can guarantee workers that they will be able to earn an income and feed their family. The primary objective of this research is to develop an optimal or desirable inventory control policy for companies operating "for a cause." We investigate lot-sizing rules, material requirements planning (MRP) systems, and mathematical models to determine the inventory order quantity that will minimize costs while guaranteeing a steady amount of labor at a consistent interval. This study will help companies avoid cutting costs at the expense of sacrificing a person's livelihood.

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