The relationship between materials management lifecycle and asset life cycle determine the effectiveness of the production or manufacturing process in a company. According to Arnold, Chapman and Clive (2008, p.11), materials management entails the planning, coordinating and controlling the flow of materials in an organization. Materials management ensures the maximization of the usage of a company's resources and provision of customer service at the required levels. Materials management lifecycle consists of the steps that a company takes to manage raw materials from the time they are ordered, entry into the store, usage and exhaustion or recycling. Assets lifecycle entails the acquisition and utilization phases. The assets lifecycle determines whether there is enough availability, reliability and maintainability of equipment at all levels of the production process. It extends from design, procurement, installation, operation, maintenance and exhaustion (Schuman and Brent 2007, p.3).
Manufacturers face various challenges when managing the material lifecycle as a result of increased repairs, operation and maintenance costs of the plant (Popko and Luyer 2009, p.2). Raw materials are among the items that increase the costs of production. It means that there is dynamism in how the procurement and supply chain management department in an organization manages the materials life cycle. It calls for different ways and times of ordering, reordering and usage of materials in the company. All these aspects affect the asset life cycle.
Materials management lifecycle requires the application of resource efficiency that will determine how well the asset lifecycle is managed (Vila, Abellan-Nebot, Albinana and Hernandez 2015, p.585). The supply of materials should follow a chain that sustains the organization's resource efficiency. Innovation, quality and sustainable production should guide the management of the materials lifecycle while considering its impact on the asset lifecycle. Sustainable concepts such as material design, development, manufacturing and disposal are critical facets to useful materials management life cycle and in turn the asset lifecycle (Borsato 2014, 258). Information and data on materials should guide materials management lifecycle stages and drive the organization towards improved asset lifecycle management. Furthermore, the increased life of materials through improved management guarantees a reduction of costs for operating the equipment as well as better control of the inventory lifecycle (Vila et al. 2015, p.587). Therefore, the dynamics of materials management lifecycle support the asset's lifecycle in different ways and research is useful in understanding the relationship between these two aspects and how the topic is applicable in a manufacturing business such as the Toyota Company in Japan.
The study will aim to examine the dynamics of materials management lifecycle and how it supports the asset's lifecycle in a company. The researcher will apply the knowledge of materials management lifecycle and asset's lifecycle management for the Toyota Company Inc. in Japan. The description of the materials management lifecycle lies within the company's definition of efficient lifecycle which is determined by the process of production which in turn influences how assets are managed and the life cycle that follows. The topic is also relevant to organizations in the supply chain management sector, their management and specifically in the Toyota Company Inc. Japan.
The study will follow two categories of research questions including the primary and secondary.
Primary Research Question
- To what extent do the dynamics of the material management lifecycle support the asset lifecycle in manufacturing companies?
Secondary Research Questions
- What are the dynamics of the materials management lifecycle?
- What is the relationship between the dynamics of material management lifecycle and the asset lifecycle?
- How do the dynamics of the material management lifecycle affect the asset lifecycle in manufacturing companies?
Rationality for the Study
The topic of interest covers crucial areas in the field of supply chain management. The dynamics of materials management lifecycle and asset lifecycle are two subjects relating to supply chain management. There has been a challenge for organizations and people in understanding whether the materials management lifecycle impacts on the asset lifecycle. Exploring the relationship between the two aspects is essential in learning the best practices in material management lifecycle that support the asset lifecycle. Materials management lifecycle can change at times depending on the production process of the company, and that is why the dynamics must be identified and ways in which they support the asset lifecycle. The exploration of the proposed topic helps the researcher in understanding the benefits of designating the materials management lifecycle at a particular instance and establishing the difference at a different time. The dynamics or changes occurring to the materials management lifecycle should predict the asset lifecycle. In that case, the best practices in material management will determine the suitable lifecycle that will reduce inventory and the proper administration of assets in the store.
This study will focus on achieving a general purpose and specific objectives
The main aim of the study will be to investigate the dynamics of the material management lifecycle and how it supports the asset lifecycle in manufacturing companies.
- To establish the dynamics of the materials management lifecycle.
- To find out the relationship between the dynamics of material management lifecycle and the asset lifecycle.
- To find out how the dynamics of the material management lifecycle affect the asset lifecycle in manufacturing companies.
Outline of the Dissertation
The dissertation will consist of five chapters including introduction, literature review, method, results and discussion. The introduction will form the first chapter whereby the researcher will describe the research problem, provide the research objective and question(s), and lay out the reasoning behind the research study. The theoretical argument of the study will be explained in-depth to justify the significance of the information provided to the audience. The limitations of the study will also be covered in this first chapter of the dissertation.
The literature review will form the second chapter of the dissertation whereby the researcher will review the past research that has been conducted regarding the subject of study. The literature review will provide the different perspectives offered by various researchers to support the theoretical argument of the current study. It will also demonstrate that the researcher understands the main ideas and findings concerning the topic of investigation.
The method section will form the third chapter of the study whereby the researcher will provide enough details regarding the methodology to be used in the research. The method section will describe the subjects/participants of the study, instruments, materials, procedure, data analysis, ethical considerations, reliability and validity of the data collection instruments.
The results will be the fourth chapter of this dissertation. Here, the researcher will present the findings obtained from the collected data. The presentation of the findings will follow the order of the research question and further analysis that is suitable for this study.
The discussion section will be the fifth chapter of the dissertation whereby the interpretation of the findings will be discussed. Interpretation of results will be done based on the research questions and supported with literature. The limitations of the analysis and implications for further researcher will be discussed in this chapter.
In conclusion, the study asserts that the materials management life cycle is a significant determinant of the asset life cycle within a manufacturing or processing plant. It means that the proper management of assets is depended on the efficient materials management life cycle. Adequate control of materials requires efficient resource management and utilization. The ability of a company to achieve a sustainable approach to managing the materials life cycle is critical in supporting a good asset life cycle.
Arnold, T., Chapman, S., and Clive, L. (2008). Introduction to materials management. 6th Edition, Person, Prentice Hall. ISBN-13: 978-0-13-233761-8.
Borsato, M. (2014). Bridging the gap between product lifecycle management and sustainability in manufacturing through ontology building. Computers in Industries, 65 (2), pp. 258-269. doi>10.1016/j.compind.2013.11.003.
Popko, E., and Luyer, E. (2009). Assetto support product lifecycle management (PLM). Leveraging asset to benefit PLM projects. IBM Corporation. Available at: <ftp://public.dhe.ibm.com/software/plm/coe/asset_management_to_support_product_lifecycle_management.pdf>
Schuman, C., and Brent, A. (2007). Asset life cycle management: Toward improving physical asset performance in the process industry. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, pp.1-17. DOI: 10.1108/01443570510599728.
Vila, C., Abellan-Nebot, J., and Hernandez, A. (2015). An approach to sustainable product lifecycle management (Green PLM). Procedia Engineering, 132, pp.585-592. doi: 10.1016/j.proeng.2015.12.608.
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