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Research is a method of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data to make informed decisions. A company that wants to determine a research question needs to identify effective research methods. These methods depend on the company’s objectives. The aim of this paper is to analyze the various evaluation methods that a company can use to regulate its poor inventory management system.
Ex post facto evaluation
This evaluation method determines the variables that dominate between subject groups. This form of research is used when the researcher has little control over the outcomes of the research. This form of analysis involves the following steps:
- Identify the research problem in addition to elements that can affect dependent variables. For example, a company experiencing poor inventory management should implement Just in Time inventory management system (Diem, 2002).
- Formulate separate hypotheses. This can explain relationships: a good inventory management system is equal to a good inventory turnover.
- Formulate subject groups. These are parties affected by the chosen proposal (such as the suppliers and the procurement department).
- Gather and examine data. The procurement department needs to identify affordable and convenient suppliers.
The disadvantage of ex post facto evaluation is that this design cannot show the cause and effect of a proposal (Diem, 2002).
It is an experimental research design whose results are based on the behavior of the subjects before evaluation. For example, if a group performs better after training, it means that the training caused improved performance. In this context, prior training of the procurement department can reduce inefficiency. Additionally, the use of improved procuring systems can reduce waste and increase inventory cycle time. Therefore, this form of design portrays the effect of short-term programs. However, it is less ineffective in the long-term analysis because there are underlying threats that can affect its results (Diem, 2002).
Evaluation using option analysis and decision theory
Options analysis is also known as cost-benefit analysis. It involves decision making in the event of many alternatives. On the other hand, decision theory involves selection that is done in a certain rule.
The decision theory uses the decision matrix. Decision Support Systems (DSS) is one of the tools used in this analysis. It determines the best contractor that can offer the desired needs at the most viable cost and time. For example, in inventory management, the decision matrix can assist in deciding the winning bid or proposal. The decision matrix lists alternatives (options) and criteria. It involves developing criterion, alternatives, weights, and ratings on a given scale. The criterion is also known as the decision model. Each criterion is assigned weight before weighing it on a rating scale of 0-5 or 0-10.
On the other hand, options analysis applies when a decision or proposal is chosen among various options. For example, various contractors or supplies can be listed in terms of their efficiency, pricing, and financial status. The most suitable contractor should be efficient, affordable, and financially stable (Diem, 2002).
The company under analysis should implement the second proposal. This is because it emphasizes a change in the inventory management system used by the material department. This proposal is in line with the requirements of the three design methods. The ex post facto, prior evaluation, decision theory, and options analysis explain the reason that proposal 2 is more viable than proposal 1. This is because it offers more viable and long-term solutions due to its focus on system change.
Diem, K. (2002). Using Research Methods to Evaluate Your Extension Program. Journal of Extension, 40(6), 1-2.