Advances in Decision Sciences
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 328349, 29 pages
Research Article

Model Driven Integrated Decision-Making in Manufacturing Enterprises

Department of Manufacturing and Materials, School of Applied Sciences, Cranfield University, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, UK

Received 7 February 2012; Accepted 30 April 2012

Academic Editor: Albert T. Jones

Copyright © 2012 Richard H. Weston. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Decision making requirements and solutions are observed in four world class Manufacturing Enterprises (MEs). Observations made focus on deployed methods of complexity handling that facilitate multi-purpose, distributed decision making. Also observed are examples of partially deficient “integrated decision making” which stem from lack of understanding about how ME structural relations enable and/or constrain reachable ME behaviours. To begin to address this deficiency the paper outlines the use of a “reference model of ME decision making” which can inform the structural design of decision making systems in MEs. Also outlined is a “systematic model driven approach to modelling ME systems” which can particularise the reference model in specific case enterprises and thereby can “underpin integrated ME decision making”. Coherent decomposition and representational mechanisms have been incorporated into the model driven approach to systemise complexity handling. The paper also describes in outline an application of the modelling method in a case study ME and explains how its use has improved the integration of previously distinct planning functions. The modelling approach is particularly innovative in respect to the way it structures the coherent creation and experimental re-use of “fit for purpose” discrete event (predictive) simulation models at the multiple levels of abstraction.