|Commenced in January 1999||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 81|
The concept of City Logistics (CL) has emerged to improve the impacts of last mile freight distribution in urban areas. In this paper, a System Dynamics (SD) model exploring the dynamics of the diffusion of a ICT platform for CL management across different populations is proposed. For the development of the model two sources have been used. On the one hand, the major diffusion variables and feedback loops are derived from a literature review of existing diffusion models. On the other hand, the parameters are represented by the value propositions delivered by the platform as a response to some of the users’ needs. To extract the most important value propositions the Business Model Canvas approach has been used. Such approach in fact focuses on understanding how a company can create value for her target customers. These variables and parameters are thus translated into a SD diffusion model with three different populations namely municipalities, logistics service providers, and own account carriers. Results show that, the three populations under analysis fully adopt the platform within the simulation time frame, highlighting a strong demand by different stakeholders for CL projects aiming at carrying out more efficient urban logistics operations.
Within the last 30 years, entrepreneurship education (EE) has continued to gain massive interest both in the field of research and among policy makers. This surge in interest can be attributed to the perceived importance EE plays in the equipping of potential entrepreneurs and as a 21st century strategy to foster economic growth and development. This paper sets out to ascertain the correlation between EE and economic growth and development. A desk research approach was adopted where a multiplicity of literatures in the field were studied intensely. The findings reveal that indeed EE has a positive effect on entrepreneurship engagement thereby fostering economic growth and development. However, some research studies reported the contrary. That although EE may be able to equip potential entrepreneurs with requisite entrepreneurial skills and competencies, it will only be successful in producing entrepreneurs if they are internally driven to become entrepreneurs, because we cannot make people what they are not. The findings also reveal that countries that adopted EE early have more innovations inspired by entrepreneurs and are more developed than those that only recently adopted EE as a viable tool for entrepreneurship and economic development.
To design a product with the given product requirement and design objective, there can be alternative ways to propose the detailed design specifications of the product. In the design modeling stage, alternative design cases with detailed specifications can be modeled to fulfill the product requirement and design objective. Therefore, in the design evaluation stage, it is required to perform an evaluation of the alternative design cases for deciding the final design. The purpose of this research is to develop a product evaluation model for evaluating the alternative design cases by integrated evaluating the criteria of functional design, Kansei design, and design for supply chain. The criteria in the functional design group include primary function, expansion function, improved function, and new function. The criteria in the Kansei group include geometric shape, dimension, surface finish, and layout. The criteria in the design for supply chain group include material, manufacturing process, assembly, and supply chain operation. From the point of view of value and cost, the criteria in the functional design group and Kansei design group represent the design value of the product. The criteria in the design for supply chain group represent the supply chain and manufacturing cost of the product. It is required to evaluate the design value and the supply chain cost to determine the final design. For the purpose of evaluating the criteria in the three criteria groups, a fuzzy analytic network process (FANP) method is presented to evaluate a weighted index by calculating the total relational values among the three groups. A method using the technique for order preference by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS) is used to compare and rank the design alternative cases according to the weighted index using the total relational values of the criteria. The final decision of a design case can be determined by using the ordered ranking. For example, the design case with the top ranking can be selected as the final design case. Based on the criteria in the evaluation, the design objective can be achieved with a combined and weighted effect of the design value and manufacturing cost. An example product is demonstrated and illustrated in the presentation. It shows that the design evaluation model is useful for integrated evaluation of functional design, Kansei design, and design for supply chain to determine the best design case and achieve the design objective.
Green IT is a term that refers to the collective strategic and tactical practices that unswervingly condense the carbon footprint to a diminished proportion in an establishment’s computing procedures. This concept has been tightly knit with IT related organizations; hence it has been precluded to be applied within non-IT organizations in Sri Lanka. With the turn of the century, computing technologies have taken over commonplace activities in every nook and corner in Sri Lanka, which is still on the verge of moving forth in its march towards being a developed country. Hence, it needs to be recursively proven that non-IT industries are well-bound to adhere to ‘Green IT’ practices as well, in order to reduce their carbon footprint and move towards considering the practicality of implementing Green-IT practices within their work-arounds. There are several spheres that need to be taken into account in creating awareness of ‘Green IT’, such as the economic breach, technologies available, legislative bounds, community mind-set and many more. This paper tends to reconnoiter causes that currently restrain non-IT organizations from considering Green IT concepts. By doing so, it is expected to prove the beneficial providence gained by implementing this concept within the organization. The ultimate goal is to propose feasible ‘Green IT’ practices that could be implemented within the context of Sri Lankan non-IT sectors in order to ensure that organization’s sustainable growth towards a long term existence.
In this paper, we will present a research about feasibility of implementing unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as 'drones', in logistics. Research is based on available information about current incentives and experiments in application of delivery drones in commercial use. Overview of current pilot projects and literature, as well as an overview of detected challenges, will be compiled and presented. Based on these findings, we will present a conceptual model of business process that implements delivery drones in business to business logistic operations. Business scenario is based on a pharmaceutical supply chain. Simulation modeling will be used to create models for running experiments and collecting performance data. Comparative study of the presented conceptual model will be given. The work will outline the main advantages and disadvantages of implementing unmanned aerial vehicles in delivery services as a supplementary distribution channel along the supply chain.
This paper analyzes, using descriptive statistics and econometrics data which span the period 1981 to 2014 to gauge the effects of trade policy incentives on economic growth in Nigeria. It argues that the provided incentives penalize economic growth during pre-trade liberalization eras, but stimulated a rapid increase in total factor productivity during the post-liberalization period of 2000 to 2014. The trend analysis shows that Nigeria maintained high tariff walls in economic regulation eras which became low in post liberalization era. The protections were in favor of infant industries, which were mainly appendages of multinationals but against imports of competing food and finished consumer products. The trade openness index confirms the undue exposure of Nigeria’s economy to the vagaries of international market shocks; while banking sector recapitalization and new listing of telecommunications companies deepened the financial markets in post-liberalization era. The structure of economic incentives was biased in favor of construction, trade and services, but against the real sector despite protectionist policies. Total Factor Productivity (TFP) estimates show that the Nigerian economy suffered stagnation in pre-liberalization eras, but experienced rapid growth rates in post-liberalization eras. The regression results relating trade policy incentives to TFP growth rate yielded a significant but negative intercept suggesting that a non-interventionist policy could be detrimental to economic progress, while protective tariff which limits imports of competing products could spur productivity gains in domestic import substitutes beyond factor growth with market liberalization. The main constraint to the effectiveness of trade policy incentives is the failure of benefiting industries to leverage on the domestic factor endowments of the nation. This paper concludes that there is the need to review the current economic transformation strategies urgently with a view to provide policymakers with a better understanding of the most viable options that could make for rapid success.
The purpose of this study is to explore the different facets of growth among micro, small and medium-sized firms in Croatia and to analyze the differences between models designed for all micro, small and medium-sized firms and those in creative industries. Three growth prediction models were designed and tested using the growth of sales, employment and assets of the company as dependent variables. The key drivers of sales growth are: prudent use of cash, industry affiliation and higher share of intangible assets. Growth of assets depends on retained profits, internal and external sources of financing, as well as industry affiliation. Growth in employment is closely related to sources of financing, in particular, debt and it occurs less frequently than growth in sales and assets. The findings confirm the assumption that growth strategies of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in creative industries have specific differences in comparison to SMEs in general. Interestingly, only 2.2% of growing enterprises achieve growth in employment, assets and sales simultaneously.
The advanced information technology is becoming an important factor in the development of financial services industry, especially the banking industry. It has introduced new ways of delivering banking to the customer, such as Internet Banking. Banks began to look at electronic banking (e-banking) as a means to replace some of their traditional branch functions using the Internet as a new distribution channel. Some consumers have at least more than one account, and across banks, and access these accounts using e-banking services. To look at the current net worth position, customers have to login to each of their accounts and get the details and work on consolidation. This not only takes ample time but it is a repetitive activity at a specified frequency. To address this point, an account aggregation concept is added as a solution. E-banking account aggregation, as one of the e-banking types, appeared to build a stronger relationship with customers. Account Aggregation Service generally refers to a service that allows customers to manage their bank accounts maintained in different institutions through a common Internet banking operating a platform, with a high concern to security and privacy. This paper presents an overview of an e-banking account aggregation approach as a new service in the e-banking field.
The research concentrates on the role of tourism in generating female employment and on impact of gender discrimination in tourism sector. Unfortunately, in many countries there are still some barriers to the inclusion of women at all hierarchical levels of tourism labor market. Research analysis focuses on EU countries where tourism is a main employer of women. The analysis shows that women represent over third persons employed in the non-financial business economy and almost two thirds in core tourism activities. Women's gross hourly earnings in accommodation and food services were below those of men in the European Union and only countries who recorded increase of gender pay gap from the beginning of crisis are Bulgaria and Croatia. Women in tourism industry are still overrepresented in lower status jobs with fewer opportunities for career progression and are often treated unequally.
One of the biggest challenges entering a market with a carsharing or any other shared mobility (SM) service is sound investment decision-making. To support this process, the authors think that a city index evaluating different criteria is necessary. The goal of such an index is to benchmark cities along a set of external measures to answer the main two challenges: financially viability and the understanding of its specific requirements. The authors have consulted several shared mobility projects and industry experts to create such a Shared Mobility City Index (SMCI). The current proposal of the SMCI consists of 11 individual index measures: general data (demographics, geography, climate and city culture), shared mobility landscape (current SM providers, public transit options, commuting patterns and driving culture) and political vision and goals (vision of the Mayor, sustainability plan, bylaws/tenders supporting SM). To evaluate the suitability of the index, 16 cities on the East Coast of North America were selected and secondary research was conducted. The main sources of this study were census data, organisational records, independent press releases and informational websites. Only non-academic sources where used because the relevant data for the chosen cities is not published in academia. Applying the index measures to the selected cities resulted in three major findings. Firstly, density (city area divided by number of inhabitants) is not an indicator for the number of SM services offered: the city with the lowest density has five bike and carsharing options. Secondly, there is a direct correlation between commuting patterns and how many shared mobility services are offered. New York, Toronto and Washington DC have the highest public transit ridership and the most shared mobility providers. Lastly, except one, all surveyed cities support shared mobility with their sustainability plan. The current version of the shared mobility index is proving a practical tool to evaluate cities, and to understand functional, political, social and environmental considerations. More cities will have to be evaluated to refine the criteria further. However, the current version of the index can be used to assess cities on their suitability for shared mobility services and will assist investors deciding which city is a financially viable market.
The collapse of the infamous Rana Plaza, a multi-storeyed commercial building in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh has brought with it a plethora of positive and negative consequences. Bangladesh being a key player in the export of clothing, found itself amidst a wave of economic upheaval following this tragic incident that resulted in numerous Bangladeshis, most of whom were factory workers. This paper compares the consequences that the country’s Ready Made Garments (RMG) sector is facing now, two years into the incident. The paper presents a comparison of statistical data from study reports and brings forward perspectives from all dimensions of Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations in Bangladesh following the event. The paper brings across the viewpoint of donor organizations and donor countries, the impacts of several initiatives taken by foreign organizations like the International Labour Organization, and local entities like the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) in order to reinforce compliance and stabilize the shaky foundation that the RMG sector had found itself following the collapse. Focus of the paper remains on the stance taken by the suppliers in Bangladesh, with inputs from buying houses and factories, and also on the reaction of foreign brands. The paper also focuses on the horrific physical, mental and financial implications sustained by the victims and their families, and the consequent uproar from workers in general regarding compliance with work safety and workers’ welfare conditions. The purpose is to get across both sides of the scenario: the economic impact that suppliers / factories/ sellers/ buying houses/exporters have faced in Bangladesh as a result of complete loss of reliability on them regarding working standards; and also to cover the aftershock felt on the other end of the spectrum by the importers/ buyers, particularly the foreign entities, in terms of the sudden accountability of being affiliated with non- compliant factories. The collapse of Rana Plaza has received vast international attention and strong criticism. Nevertheless, the almost immediate strengthening of labourrights and the wholesale reform undertaken on all sides of the supply chain, evidence a move of all local and foreign stakeholders towards greater compliance and taking of precautionary steps for prevention of further disasters. The tragedy that Rana Plaza embodies served as a much-needed epiphany for the soaring RMG Sector of Bangladesh. Prompt co-operation on the part of all stakeholders and regulatory bodies now show a move towards sustainable development, which further ensures safeguarding against any future irregularities and pave the way for steady economic growth.
The biodegradable family of polymers polyhydroxyalkanoates is an interesting substitute for convectional fossil-based plastics. However, the manufacturing and environmental impacts associated with their production via intracellular bacterial fermentation are strongly dependent on the raw material used and on energy consumption during the extraction process, limiting their potential for commercialization. Industrial wastewater is studied in this paper as a promising alternative feedstock for waste valorization. Based on results from laboratory and pilot-scale experiments, a conceptual process design, techno-economic analysis and life cycle assessment are developed for the large-scale production of the most common type of polyhydroxyalkanoate, polyhydroxbutyrate. Intracellular polyhydroxybutyrate is obtained via fermentation of microbial community present in industrial wastewater and the downstream processing is based on chemical digestion with surfactant and hypochlorite. The economic potential and environmental performance results help identifying bottlenecks and best opportunities to scale-up the process prior to industrial implementation. The outcome of this research indicates that the fermentation of wastewater towards PHB presents advantages compared to traditional PHAs production from sugars because the null environmental burdens and financial costs of the raw material in the bioplastic production process. Nevertheless, process optimization is still required to compete with the petrochemicals counterparts.
The construction industry has been demonstrating increased growth and importance in Brazil’s national economic development. This study aims to evaluate the financial performance of the leading companies in the construction sector in Brazil in the period from 2009 to 2012. An analysis is made of the capital structure, liquidity, and profitability of the six largest companies in the construction sector in Brazil: Brookfield, Cyrela, Gafisa, MRV, PDG and Rossi. The results are then compared with standard industry ratios. It was found that among the companies analyzed, MRV and Cyrela showed the best relative performance in the period under consideration.
The building sector is responsible, in many industrialized countries, for about 40% of the total energy requirements, so it seems necessary to devote some efforts in this area in order to achieve a significant reduction of energy consumption and of greenhouse gases emissions. The paper presents a study aiming at providing a design methodology able to identify the best configuration of the system building/plant, from a technical, economic and environmentally point of view. Normally, the classical approach involves a building's energy loads analysis under steady state conditions, and subsequent selection of measures aimed at improving the energy performance, based on previous experience made by architects and engineers in the design team. Instead, the proposed approach uses a sequence of two wellknown scientifically validated calculation methods (TRNSYS and RETScreen), that allow quite a detailed feasibility analysis. To assess the validity of the calculation model, an existing, historical building in Central Italy, that will be the object of restoration and preservative redevelopment, was selected as a casestudy. The building is made of a basement and three floors, with a total floor area of about 3,000 square meters. The first step has been the determination of the heating and cooling energy loads of the building in a dynamic regime by means, which allows simulating the real energy needs of the building in function of its use. Traditional methodologies, based as they are on steady-state conditions, cannot faithfully reproduce the effects of varying climatic conditions and of inertial properties of the structure. With this model is possible to obtain quite accurate and reliable results that allow identifying effective combinations building-HVAC system. The second step has consisted of using output data obtained as input to the calculation model, which enables to compare different system configurations from the energy, environmental and financial point of view, with an analysis of investment, and operation and maintenance costs, so allowing determining the economic benefit of possible interventions. The classical methodology often leads to the choice of conventional plant systems, while our calculation model provides a financial-economic assessment for innovative energy systems and low environmental impact. Computational analysis can help in the design phase, particularly in the case of complex structures with centralized plant systems, by comparing the data returned by the calculation model for different design options.