Integrating Modified Delphi with Fuzzy AHP for Concrete Production Facility Location Selection

Integrating Modified Delphi with Fuzzy AHP for Concrete Production Facility Location Selection

Golam Kabir (Department of Civil Engineering, University of British Columbia (UBC), Kelowna, Canada) and Razia Sultana Sumi (Department of Business Administration, Stamford University, Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/ijfsa.2013070104
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Evaluation and selection of concrete production facility location is an important strategic decision making problem for both public and private sector. The multi-dimensional, multi-criteria nature of the concrete production facility location problem limits the usefulness of any particular single objective model. In this study, social, economical, technological, environmental and transportation factors and sub criteria, have been derived to make the optimal concrete production facility location selection decision more realistic and effectual. In this paper, an improved and more appropriate concrete production facility location evaluation and selection model has been developed by integrating Modified Delphi Method (MDM) with Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (FAHP). A numerical example is presented to show applicability and performance of the proposed methodology followed by a sensitivity analysis to discuss and explain the results.
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From a low cost and rather unusual material in the late nineteenth century, concrete became “the stone” of the twentieth. From construction elements to urban furniture, a large variety of concrete objects surround us nowadays. Concrete is one of the most widely used building materials in roads, buildings, bridges and other infrastructures. On average, approximately 1 ton of concrete is produced each year for every human being in the world (Lippiatt & Ahmad, 2004). When compared to other construction materials, concrete has more strength, ease of product and ease of maintenance. Since more than 150 years, research on cement concrete have contributed to improve its mechanicals (strength, durability) and casting (self-compacting.) characteristics (Cazacliu & Ventura, 2010). With these characteristics, concrete is the most common construction material in the world as well as in Bangladesh. In industrial countries the number of constructions is growing as a result of urbanization and industrial investment. And concrete is preferred as a construction material increasingly.

In recent years, to meet the construction needs concrete production facilities have been built in different areas. The problem of facility location is common to all businesses. The strategic planning of facility location is critical to a company’s eventual success. A suitable location can provide favorable contributions to a company’s market competitiveness. More and more firms are clearly dispersing parts of their production process to locations around the world to take advantage of national differences in the cost and quality of labor, talent, energy, facilities and capital (Partovi, 2006). The decision of the location selection of concrete production facility is a crucial aspect as it depends on multiple factors or constraints like economical, environmental, social, political, technological etc. (Zapata & Gambatese, 2005; Rajendran & Gambatese, 2007; Cazacliu & Ventura, 2010; Chowdhurya et al., 2010; Turhan et al., 2010). In this complex and conflicting situation, a multi criteria analysis (MCA) is inevitable for locating concrete production facility where both quantitative and qualitative objectives can be considered. Real-life applications of multicriteria decision-making methods require the processing of imprecise, uncertain, qualitative or vague data (Kabir & Hasin, 2011; Roostaee et al., 2012; Kabir & Sumi, 2013). Therefore the main objective of this research is to formulate a decision support model (system), which would facilitate in the decision making and to evaluate the best concrete production facility location among a set of discrete potential locations. An improved and more accurate concrete production facility location evaluation and selection model has been developed by integrating modified Delphi method and Fuzzy AHP.

The Delphi method is an iterative process used to collect and distill the judgments of experts using a series of questionnaires interspersed with feedback. Therefore, it de-livers qualitative as well as quantitative results and has beneath its explorative, predictive even normative elements. The Delphi technique is an appropriate methodology for identifying the significant factors and issues for the evaluation and selection of power substation location (Vidal et al., 2011). Fuzzy logic is a method for understanding, quantifying and dealing with vague, ambiguous and uncertain characteristics, ideas and judgments (Kabir & Hasin, 2011). Fuzzy AHP is being used more and more frequently in multi-criteria decision- making because of its simplicity and similarity to human reasoning. This method is suitable for use in evaluating policies (including tangible and intangible information). Further- more the FAHP also allows group decision-making to derive priorities based on sets of pairwise comparisons (Kabir & Hasin, 2012).

The remainder of this paper is organized as follows. In the next section, the proposed methodology has been described with brief note on modified Delphi method and fuzzy AHP method. The proposed methodology is applied to evaluate and select the optimal location of a concrete production facility in Bangladesh in the following section. Finally, the last section presents the conclusion and discusses the limitations and scope for future research.

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