Development of an intelligent quotation system (IQS) with applications in a fashion jewellery factory

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Development of an intelligent quotation system (IQS) with applications in a fashion jewellery factory

 

Author: Yu, Hing-hing Simon
Title: Development of an intelligent quotation system (IQS) with applications in a fashion jewellery factory
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2005
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Jewelry -- Valuation
Jewelry -- Prices
Department: Dept. of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Pages: ix, 119, iv leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1810008
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/4300
Abstract: Other than value-added services on each segment of the value chain and product quality, the most crucial element to remain competitive is to squeeze the total lead-time in the whole supply chain, especially while we are in a fast-moving and ever changing fashion industry. In order to satisfy customer needs in fashion markets, designers have to response quickly enough to catch up with the fashion trend under a predefined market segment with expected price range and product quality. Within a very short time interval, they have to compare and decide on a lot of different design alternatives for a single product line; they need also advices on the technical feasibility and prices on all product alternatives as soon as possible before they can launch their marketing plans. However, most of the time is wasted in the design stage because manufacturers are unable to provide a precise quotation on time. In most cases, designs have to be changed in order to suit production feasibility or target price by means of a change in material, process, surface treatment, or package. With all these alternatives, manufacturers may have to revise their quotations over and over again. If the quotations are submitted lately, designers may have to abandon their projects because the fast-moving fashion trend may have already been changed. This dissertation aims at describing and designing an intelligent quotation system (IQS) for a fashion jewellery manufacturer. Basically, it is a rule-based expert system with the incorporations of different artificial intelligent tools. Relationships among costing parameters are formulated with quantitative analyses, and the coefficients are then optimized by a hybrid Artificial Neural Network (ANN) and Genetic Algorithm (GA) optimization engine. Case-Based Reasoning (CBR) is also employed in the system so as to provide past successful records for comparison. Successful records are being updated continuously and feedback into the case repository and optimization engine, so that the system can learn past knowledge by itself and become more precise overtime. A prototype is set up with a Microsoft (MS) Excel program on a stand alone desk top computer during the pilot run. Final implementation is carried out in a Local Area Network (LAN) environment, with a SQL server back-end database structure, and a Delphi program as the front-end user interface. Using the analysis with Activity-Based Coasting (ABC) as baselines measurement, the performance of the IQS is compared with the conventional pricing methodology as well as the ANN and CBR approaches. It is shown that the IQS outperforms the other pricing methodology in terms of accuracy and the time to response. The most important of all, the successful rate of getting orders is increased. Furthermore, the system also provides various suggestions of fulfilling requests and shows alternatives that illustrate tradeoffs in material, cost and processes; which helps the decision maker to compare and select among alternatives that reduce cost, improve customer value and optimize profit. In ongoing work, the pricing system may be extended to other industry for pricing products or services. Research may also be done to transform it into a web-based interactive collaboration system with the application of Extensible Markup Language (XML). Incorporating with Open Database Connectivity (ODBC), the system may also be further enhanced to compromise different Database Management System (DBMS) platforms. We may also explore its application as a system for Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Production and Material Control (PMC), simulation, or forecasting; and be incorporated into our organization's Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).

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