Quality of Decisions and Organizational Performance...

Quality of Decisions and Organizational Performance Quality of decisions made is very important for the smooth functioning of an organization. It is a known fact that decision making is not just about selecting the right choices or compromises. Unless a decision has degenerated into work, it is not a decision. It is at best a good intention. Decisions made become effective only after they are implemented. Organizational management is required to make a large number of decisions on a continuous basis. These decisions are required to be made for the smooth running of the organization. The performance of the organization is greatly influenced by these decisions. Hence, making decisions is a matter of a huge responsibility for the management not only against the organization itself, but against their employees and other stakeholders, as well. The decision making process can be explained as a proposal considered by the management in the context of the organization and its strategic position. Alternatives, risks and potential outcomes are considered and then a decision is reached. There can also be a post audit and a feedback loop. The decision making process of the management is subject to human error as the management personnel have personalities, prejudices and a self-interest bias. Importantly, they have different attitudes to and appetites for risk. The decisions of the management are influenced by the decision making environment which consists of a unity of management’s experience, beliefs and perceptions on one side, and decision support tools and techniques on the other side. For determining the effectiveness of the decision made, the performance of the organization is normally measured on the basis of eight performance parameters. These performance parameters include (i) profitability, (ii) organizational effectiveness, (iii) continuous improvement, (iv) productivity of the processes, (v) quality of...

Standardization and the Process of Standardization...

Standardization and the Process of Standardization There is practically no economic activity nowadays which is not outlined, whether partly or totally, by the process of standardization. The worldwide acceptance of standardization is closely related to the economic globalization and the transformation of regulatory processes at the national, regional, and international levels. Standardization helps in reducing, simplifying, and organizing matters which are apt to become diversified, complicated, and chaotic if left uncontrolled. It is the process of formulating, issuing, and implementing standards. Standardization creates value at many levels. The output of the process of standardization is the creation of standards. The development of standardization as an engineering activity was pioneered in 1793 by Eli Whitney. Standardization of screw threads by Sir Joseph Whitworth dates back to 1841. Other instances of early standardization can be found during the emergence of the railway industry. Mass production became possible only through standardization. By the turn of the 19th century, standardization was already recognized in industrialized countries as a powerful tool to increase productivity through interchangeability and reduction of variety. The early part of the 20th century saw the establishment of several standardization organizations, which turned standardization into an organized and ongoing effort for industrial applications. By 1928, national standards organizations had been established in 16 industrialized countries. After the First World War, standardization, through reduction in variety, was established as a useful management tool for reducing costs. Some three decades later, seller market conditions, which prevailed for some time after the Second World War, put consumer interest under threat. To safeguard this interest and to meet the rising demand for standards for finished products, standardization activities increased in various countries, with the additional support and involvement of government and industry Definitions of standardization The standardization process is often...

Standards and their importance for the Organizations...

Standards and their importance for the Organizations The modern and globalized world cannot exist without standards which are sup­porting cooperation, trade, health, safety, and economic growth etc. In fact, standards exist in almost all aspects of modern life. They range from standards in information and communication technology which ensure the interoperability of diverse components to standards for the quality of products or services, and underlie areas ranging from the harmonization of international accounting systems to the governance of the social and environmental performance of the organizations. Stand­ards have a huge influence on everyday life. They play a key role in an environment where an organization is to be at its best for achieving success. They are open access documents with no charge or license fee for their use, apart from the cost of its purchase. The development of standardization as an engineering activity was pioneered by Eli Whitney, who in 1793 invented the cotton gin, a machine for separating cotton fibres from their seeds. Whitney later introduced the production of interchangeable components for the manufacture of guns. Standardization of screw threads by Sir Joseph Whitworth dates back to 1841. Other instances of early standardization can be found in the dawning age of the railway industry, as the establishment of a standard width between the two rails on the railway track, the manufacture of railway couplings, air brakes and the signaling system called for increasing levels of standardized work. But major impetus to the development of standards came around the turn of the 20th century, when a large number of national standardization organizations were founded, including organizations that are nowadays known as the British Standards Institution (BSI) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Their purpose was to create sets of rules for the design...

Energy Management in Small and Medium sized Re-rolling mills...

Energy Management in Small and Medium sized Re-rolling mills Energy consumption in small and medium sized re-rolling mills takes place in two forms namely (i) electrical energy, and (ii) fuel or heat energy. Electrical energy is used directly in main rolling process for shaping of hot billets into rolled product (rolling mill, and shears etc.), in reheating furnace (coal pulverizer, blower, and pusher etc.) and also in auxiliary (roll turning machines, pumps, man coolers, overhead crane etc.), and shop lighting. Fuel energy is used in the reheating furnace for raising the temperature of the feed material to desired temperatures (generally 1150 deg C–1250 deg C). The division of the energy in these two forms normally varies from mill to mill based on the practices employed as well facilities installed in the re-rolling mills in SME (small and medium enterprise) sector. However, the share of electrical energy in small and medium sized mill generally varies in the range 20 % to 30 %. Consumption of fuel energy takes the major share of the energy consumption and usually constitutes 70 % to 80 %. From a theoretical perspective, the energy in hot rolling is primarily determined by the requirements of reheating of feed material. The theoretical energy for deformation is only 0.02 GJ/ton (around 5000 kcal/ton), compared to 0.83 GJ/ton (around 200,000 kcal /ton) for heating billets when charged cold in the reheating furnace. Though it is not technically feasible to achieve theoretical energy consumption figures, but the energy efficiency of the rolling mill is depends upon how close it is to the theoretical consumption. Management of electrical energy consumption Out of the total electrical energy consumed by a re-rolling mill, the share of the process of rolling is in the range of around 60 %...

Technology Upgradation Management in Re-rolling Mills...

Technology Upgradation Management in Re-rolling Mills Re-rolling mills in small and medium enterprise (SME) sector play an important role in meeting the demand of the finished steel in the country. These mills are crucial to the national steel economy since they are making available a large amount of finished steel in the market.  The technology adoption level of these mills is rather low and many of these mills operate with technologies which are 50 years to 60 years old. These mills operate at low level of productivities and high level of energy consumptions. The operations of these mills are mostly manual and most of the mill parameters as well as the quality of the product depend largely on the skill of the operators. Mill owners have the complete control over the management of the mill. The re-rolling mills are presently facing many problems and challenges. These include (i) shortage of skilled workers, (ii) shrinking market because of increasing competition, (iii) higher operating costs, (iv) low productivities, and (v) high energy consumption etc. The mill owners are presently not serious to solve the problems, since they are able to run the mills for at least a shift. The mill owners’ attitude towards finding solutions to the challenges being faced indicates that they are not aware of what is stored for them in the near future. The mill owners are not realizing that ignoring the major issues at this stage, can lead them, after certain period, to such a situation which will be out of their control. With the capacity expansions being implemented by integrated steel plants in India, the availability of finished steel is improving and the competition is becoming tougher as each day is passing by. The finished steel available from the integrated steel...

Important Issues related to Re-rolling mills in SME Sector...

Important Issues related to Re-rolling mills in SME Sector The steel sector in India consists of four branches namely (i) multi-million tons integrated steel plants, (ii) mini integrated steel plants, (iii) individual units of steel melting producing pencil ingots, and (iv) re-rolling mills which are rolling steel from billets, pencil ingots and scrap steel. Most of the units under last two categories are in small and medium enterprise (SME) sector. All the four branches which constitute the steel sector play a very important role in the steel economy of the country. Re-rolling mills has a considerable contribution to the steel production of the country.  There are around 1800 re-rolling mills in SME sector in India. The rolling capacities of these mills are mostly in the range of 8,000 tons per year to 80,000 tons per year. On a very conservative estimate, these mills contribute more than 20 % of the total production of finished steel in the country. Hence, these mills play a very important role in supporting the steel economy of the country. The conditions of the most of the re-rolling mills can be termed as not healthy. They operate with very old technologies and operate at low level of productivities and high level of energy consumptions. There are many problems and challenges associated with these mills. Several agencies have carried out detailed studies of the steel and re-rolling units of SME sector. Some of these studies have identified certain barriers associated with these mills (Fig 1) which include (i) high energy consumption due to the use of obsolete technologies, (ii) lack of awareness and knowledge on several fronts, (iii) lack of proper operational procedures, (iv) a negative mind-set among owners of the mills, and (v) lack of finance to effect necessary changes...