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Bachelor­arbeit am Lehr­stuhl für Service Operations Management

Wir bieten verschiedene Arten von Themen für Bachelor­arbeiten an. Diese kann als Literatur­recherche, empirische Forschung oder quantitative Analyse eines Entscheidungs­problems geschrieben werden. 

Beispielthemen:

  • Approaches for Measuring Business Process Performance
  • How to Measure and Manage Service Quality?
  • Lean Management in Service Industries - Potential and Limitations
  • Recent Approaches for Service Experience Design - A Literature Review
  • „Green“ Product Design
  • The Impact of Delivery Lead Time on Demand (literature review or empirical analysis)
  • Pricing of Magazine Advertisements - Current Practice and Recommendations for Improvement
  • A Comparison of State-of-the-Art Optimization Solvers
  • Dell's hybrid supply chain - make-to-stock vs. make-to-order
  • Train Scheduling bei der Deutschen Bahn
  • Theorie und Praxis hybrider Leistungs­bündel
  • Skill-based Project Management
  • Delay management in railway systems
  • Techniques for visualizing service processes
  • Revenue Management - The on-line booking problem

Wir versuchen, die Präferenzen der Studierenden bei der Themenvergabe zu berücksichtigen.

Die Arbeit kann in englischer oder deutscher Sprache verfasst werden.

  • Themen im FSS19 für Studierende der „B.Sc. Betriebs­wirtschafts­lehre“

    Flight Schedule Design under customer choice

    The task of the schedule design (SD) is to assign frequencies and departure times for specific routes by choosing from a set of proposed flights while aiming for the highest possible profit. Schön (2008) states that the schedule in combination with the fare conditions is the main criterion for passengers to choose an airline; similarly, Barnhart and Cohn (2004) call it the „single most important product of an airline“. These arguments underline on one hand the large impact of the schedule on profitability but on the other hand, suggest to include customer behavior in the modelling approach to account for the market side. All these influences make the sub­problem so complex that Airlines are still challenged by using models for their schedule design and rely on a manual approach as Barnhart, Belobaba and Odoni (2016) suggest.

    Aim of the bachelor thesis should be to,

    • introduce schedule design models and compare the most important models,
    • to discuss a specific model in detail,
    • to create an academical example in Excel (optional),
    • to provide open research gaps and future trends. 

     

    Fleet Assignment in the Airline Scheduling Process

    For the fleet assignment (FA) the chosen flight legs from schedule design are assigned to a particular fleet of an airline in order to manage the tradeoff between lost revenue from spill of customers and higher operational costs for larger aircraft. The decisions are not taken in isolation for each leg and route, rather, the fixed fleet mix requires an efficient allocation of resources over the whole flight network as Barnhart and Cohn (2004) point out. Usually, the problem is modelled as a multicommodity network flow problem with side constraints and an underlying time-line network. Barnhart, Belobaba and Odoni (2016) suggest that the problem size under this setting is much smaller and it can be solved faster in comparison with other alternative settings.

    Aim of the bachelor thesis should be to,

    • introduce fleet assignment models and compare the most important models,
    • to discuss a specific model in detail,
    • to create an academical example (optional),
    • to provide open research gaps and future trends. 

     

    Maintenance Routing

    In Maintenance Routing (MR) all assigned flight legs of a particular fleet have to be assigned to specific aircrafts on each day. As the aircraft type is fixed, MR is done for each fleet individually. Following Barnhart and Cohn (2004) as well as Gopalan and Talluri (1998), MR is modelled as a network circulation problem with side constraints and it is only solved for feasibility as different routings do not result in different costs. Others, e.g. Gabteni and Grönkvist (2009), model it as extended Set Partitioning problem. While the assignment of flight legs to aircraft should be feasible due to the fleet assignment, the challenge is to include all required maintenance events for each individual aircraft. These maintenance events can only be undertaken at specific airports; furthermore, it is beneficial to let aircrafts fly to maintenance airports regularly because when a non-critical component breaks it can be fixed quickly. 

    Aim of the bachelor thesis should be to,

    • introduce MR models and compare the most important models,
    • to discuss a specific model in detail,
    • to create an academical example (optional),
    • to provide open research gaps and future trends. 

     

    Crew Scheduling for Railways

    In all transportation industries several scheduling steps are required to assign available resources to the given demand as the Railway Planning Process by Lusby et al. (2011) shows; somewhat similar steps can be found in the airline industry. The last step is usually crew scheduling which assigns to each trip or flight a human resource (train conductor or pilot, respectively) to operate it. Research has so far focused on the airline industry because airline crews represent one of the biggest cost factors in their business model; for railways there have been fewer models and approaches. While the underlying assumptions and constraints may be different, both model types share the same objective of cost minimization.  

    Aim of the bachelor thesis should be to,

    • introduce and compare crew scheduling models from railways and airlines,
    • to discuss a specific railway crew scheduling model in detail,
    • to create an academical example (optional),
    • to provide open research gaps and future trends. 

     

    Allocation of Customer demand to Service Facilities in Inventory Location Models

    In inventory location models, the service providers decide on locations of facilities subject to stochastic demand and the amount of inventory to be held at each facility. Another essential aspect of the location models is the mechanism by which customer demand is allocated to facilities. Directed Assignment (DA) and Customer Choice (CC) are the two mechanisms used widely in location literature. In DA, the customers are assigned to facilities by a central decision maker such that overall system performance is optimized. On the contrary in CC, customers self-select facilities maximizing their own utilities based on their choice preferences associated to service offerings at the facility.

    The objectives of this thesis are to

    • review closely the objectives and decisions in Inventory-location models
    • compare DA and CC
    • comment theoretically, on the relevance of each DA (or CC) to various service facility settings.
    • Provide academic examples from the service industry to support the findings of the thesis.

     

    Integration of Customer Behavioral Models in Operations Research

    The vast majority of OR models in the literature are inclined towards the “supply” side of the problem. The “demand” side is often neglected, assumed as a known parameter and modeled using simplifying assumptions. These assumptions are often not justified for real-world applications.  Therefore, policy makers enco­unter huge uncertainties associated to customer demand while planning for their systems. To bridge the demand and supply gap, it is crucial to understand customer patronization behavior and preferences associated to service offerings. These preferences are formalized with discrete choice models. The mathematical models associated to planning problems (e.g. design and system configurations) are often Mixed-Integer Linear Programming (MILP) models.

    The objectives of this thesis are to

    • review OR models, in which demand and supply interact closely and where integration of customer behavioral models might result in better decisions from policy maker’s perspective
    • discuss methods, to integrate discrete choice models in MILP and resulting complexity of the mathematical models.
    • Provide academic examples from the service industry to support the findings of the thesis.

     

    Choice-based Revenue Management: Theory and methods

    Revenue Management (RM) as a discipline has its roots soaked in the Airline Industry. At present RM is used widely across many industries, ranging from transportation to broadcasting and advertising. In previous literature, demand is often assumed to be independent.  In other words, it was assumed that customers would never substitute one product for another, but instead would consider the purchase of a specific product only and, if this was not available, not to purchase at all.  However, in case of airlines, by the early 21st century, the independent demand assumption turned out to be problematic due to the increased competition and visibility of different fares.

    The objectives of this thesis are to

    • review the design and estimation of discrete choice models for RM
    • comment theoretically on, how to control demand via product availability over a finite period of time while accounting for customer’s choice behavior
    • Provide academic examples from the service industry to support the findings of the thesis.

     

    Service Network Design in Face of Stochastic demand and Congestion

    Network design and facility location are of great importance for a wide range of public and private firms (eg, in the health care industry). In location problems with congestion, customers generate streams of stochastic demand, and service times are uncertain. This combination leads to congestion. Therefore, each facility in these models can be modeled as a queuing system. This bachelor thesis only focuses on immobile servers i.e. server is fixed and customers has to visit the facility to use the services offered by the server. Retail stores (e.g. supermarkets, IKEA etc.), ATM machines, government offices and hospitals are examples of immobile servers. The main decisions involved in designing such a network is where to locate these facilities and what should be the capacities of the servers at these selected facility locations. Most of the literature assumes that the waiting rooms at the services facilities are infinite. Also, the existing location models with congested immobile facilities focus on the expected waiting time and pays less attention towards other performance measures percentage of blocked or delayed customers.

    The objectives of this thesis are to

    • review literature streams which capture finiteness of the waiting rooms at service facilities
    • present a review of the existing models with the focus on objective function, queuing model and decisions involved
    • comment theoretically, on how service performance measures other than expected waiting time can be integrated into location models subject to congestion

     

    Public Sector Facility Location Planning

    Facility location planning in the public sector is different from private sector in terms of the objective functions considered by the planners. The objective functions considered in public sectors are often social cost minimization, access, efficiency, and equity. Facility location planning in the public sector has a wide range of applications: Bike sharing systems, simultaneous bus scheduling and depot location planning, electric vehicle charging station planning, healthcare facility location planning, and school location planning.

    The objectives of this thesis are to

    • review the academic literature on the public sector facility location planning with focus on objective functions considered, approaches to include more and more relevant planning decision factors
    • suggest directions for future research
    • Provide academic examples from the public sector applications to support the findings of the thesis

     

    Revenue Management in Railway Companies

    Revenue Management (RM) for Railway Companies is a small but active research field. Railway business can be divided in passenger and cargo traffic, i.e. transporting people in regional or long-distance trains and transporting freight in cargo trains. Although both branches are dealing with railway traffic, they have significant differences in their business model and revenue management models have to be adapted on these special properties.

    Since a working paper of Armstrong, Meissner (2010) is currently the only paper that gives an overview of RM in the rail industry, the objective is to do a literature review for railway RM with a focus on recent contributions in renowned journals. The literature review should include explanations of the different approaches in research and compare/distinguish them among each other.

     

    The relations­hip between income and happiness

    Sustainability in general terms is about maximizing social well-being in the world, from today to infinite future. Well-being can be well characterized by happiness of people. While for long income was assumed to improve happiness, doubts have risen in (recent) past. The research on happiness topics thus experienced a major attention. For example, the aspiration-based theory was developed, claiming that income only leads to short-term but not to long-term happiness. The goal of this thesis is thus to examine the “income-happiness” relations­hip from different perspectives.

    Aim of the bachelor thesis should be to

    • Present a brief historical development of the “income-happiness” beliefs in scientific world
    • Classify the literature on the “income-happiness” relations­hip
      • Differentiate between qualitative and quantitative literature and classify quantitative literature according to Bertrand and Fransoo (2002)
      • Identify the latest status of scientific view on the “income-happiness” relation
      • Conclude with ideas for future research in this field
    • Discuss, how a good prescriptive model for the relations­hip between income and happiness could look like
    • Highlight the 5 most relevant contributions to this field of research from your personal perspective. Point out the facts that lead you to the selection of these contributionsto discuss a specific model in detail,
    • to create an academical example in Excel (optional),
    • to provide open research gaps and future trends. 

     

    Does human dynamism and thrust for new truly drive growth?

    Sustainability in general terms is about maximizing social well-being in the world, from today to infinite future. Economic growth was for long believed to be the main (and sometimes the only) driver of well-being increase. Economic growth of course directly translates to growth of the corporate sector in the industrialized world. One of the main claims is as follows: “Growth and profitability on corporate level are driven by two factors: 1) The human self-interest and dynamism in terms of innovativeness and thrust for the new; 2) The human desire of increasing power compared to their peers”

    The goal of this thesis is to examine the above-mentioned claims and develop an own qualitative model of growth drivers.

    Aim of the bachelor thesis should be to,

    • Review the literature for drivers of growth and profitability on corporate level
    • Identify potential corporate concepts and approaches in pursuit for growth
    • Classify the literature on the growth drivers
      • Differentiate between qualitative and quantitative literature and classify quantitative literature according to Bertrand and Fransoo (2002)
      • If applicable: Has the perspective or the focus changed over time?
      • Identify the latest status of scientific view on the growth drivers
      • Conclude with ideas for future research in this field
    • Develop an own qualitative model on the interplay between human dynamism, human desires, growth and other factors
    • Highlight the 5 most relevant contributions to this field of research from your personal perspective. Point out the facts that lead you to the selection of these contributions

    The throwaway mentality in the developed world and the influence of planned obsolescence

    Slade (2009) described that in North America over 100 million cell phones and 300 million personal computers were discarded each year in the beginning of the 20th century. Certainly, North America is not alone with such a development. The throwaway mentality is already in place in Europe and other regions. Planned obsolescence is a policy of designing a product with an artificially limited useful life, so it will become obsolete, i.e. no longer functional after a certain period of time. The rationale behind the strategy is to generate long-term sales volume by reducing the time between repeat purchases.

    The objective of the thesis is to provide a review on the topic of throwaway mentality, its drivers, development over time and impact on environment and humans. A guiding question is to identify the main products and industries, this phenomenon occurs most in and the reasons for this observation.

    Aim of the bachelor thesis should be to,

    • Review the development of throwaway mentality in the world
    • Identify main products and industries, this phenomenon occurs most in
    • Highlight statistical development of throwaway mentality in different regions of the world and identify the regions where this mentality is most advanced
    • Identify empirical evidence regarding consumer attitudes driving this phenomenon
    • Discuss…
      • Implications of this phenomenon on environment and humans
      • Potential strategies that can help to mitigate this phenomenon and its harmful effects
      • What future research in this field should focus on
    • Optional: Highlight the 5 most relevant contributions to this field of research from your personal perspective. Point out the facts that lead you to the selection of these contributionsto provide open research gaps and future trends. 

     

    Literature review on transportation planning process aiming for environmental impact reduction

    The transportation industry plays an important role in today’s world. Not only does it transport products and goods, it also connects people and nations. A downside of the growing transportation practice is the impact on environment, in terms of emissions. Belobaba, Odoni and Barnhart (2016) describe the Airline planning process (Chapter 7), which can be generalized to the transportation industry. It aims at planning all relevant processes. Operations research typically focuses on the four-step Scheduling Process (Chapter 8) and Barnhart and Cohn (2004) argue that the schedule is the main product.

    The objective of the thesis is to critically review and classify the literature regarding the route planning and schedule design and approaches to manage emissions, present the state-of-the-art, and assess the potential to achieve environmental improvements. Focus should be placed on quantitative Operations Management or Operations Research models.

     

    Aim of the bachelor thesis should be to,

    • Review the importance of transportation industry (focus on aviation) for GHG emissions
    • Describe the Planning Process and point out the importance of Route planning and Schedule Design with respect to the environmental impact
    • Review literature on Route Planning and Schedule Design with regard to environmental impact reduction and classify the literature (for example, Bertrand and Fransoo (2002))
      • Differentiate between qualitative and quantitative literature and classify quantitative literature according to Bertrand and Fransoo (2002)
      • Review the different approaches of incorporating two objectives (economic and environmental) into the same model
      • Conclude with ideas for future research in this field
    • Optional: Highlight the 5 most relevant contributions to this field of research from your personal perspective. Point out the facts that lead you to the selection of these

     

    The Potential of leasing/servicizing as a sustainable business model

    Sustainability in general terms is about maximizing social well-being in the world, from today to infinite future. Economic growth was for long believed to be the main (and sometimes the only) driver of well-being increase. However, the increasing number of products manufactured and sold increases the impact of the economy on the environment. Leasing or servicization is a business strategy to sell the functionality of a product rather than the product it-self. It has been argued that leasing/servicizing business models are environmentally friendly as they encourage manufacturers to take more responsibility for their products and to offer products with higher efficiency. Motivated by these arguments, an increasing number of papers investigate the economic and environmental potential of leasing/servicizing business models.

    The objective of the Thesis is to critically review and synthesize the scientific literature, assess the potential of leasing/servicizing as a sustainable business model, and identify open questions as future research opportunities.

    The objectives of this thesis are to

    • Review and classify the literature for leasing/servicizing business models and identify key characteristics of these business models
    • Highlight the links of such business models to sustainability and assess their potential as sustainable business models
    • Develop an own qualitative model on the interplay between business model, economic success and environmental impact
    • Identify open questions as future research opportunities
    • Optional: Highlight the 5 most relevant contributions to this field of research from your personal perspective. Point out the facts that lead you to the selection of these contributions

     

    Finding the best sequence of events – theory and applications

    The sequence of events plays a crucial role for the customers’ evaluation of a service experience. With the optimal sequence, both repurchase and positive word-of-mouth can be maximized. Companies can alter the sequence of their service events in order to influence the retrospective global evaluation of their service experience. This remembered utility is either directly calculated using psychological constructs like memory decay and acclimation or estimated using sequence effects like peak-effect or end-effect.

    This bachelor thesis should review both of these approaches and explain the diverse ways of calculating remembered utility. A simple application example might illustrate the differences of the approaches and make them more transparent. In a last step, the thesis should derive guidelines on how companies should schedule their service events.

     

    A methodological overview on measuring schedule preferences

    To further improve customers’ likelihood to (re)purchase, a company can focus on the utility of its products or services. For products, utility is usually measured through conjoint analysis, a popular technique in the field of multi-attribute utility theory. According to this theory, every product can be described through different attributes and the respective attribute levels. The same logic can also be applied to services with some limitations. Alternatively, there is also an incident-based approach that is especially designed for services. Every service is here interpreted as a series of events and the goal is to find the right order and time of events to maximize the utility of the schedule.

    The objective of this thesis is to provide a review on both fundamental and most recent literature on attribute-based and incident-based utility measurement. The focus should be on finding, explaining and evaluating empirical studies that try to measure customers’ utility for a schedule or series of events. A broad focus should be set without restrictions to service design or scheduling.

     

    Service design as an interdisciplinary research discipline

    Services play a significant role in our economy in terms of number of employees, sales volumes and market size. Any company competing for these goals should set high priorities on designing and optimizing its services. Traditional methods of product design can only be adapted to some extent – leading to the establishment of service design as a research field. Researchers working in this field usually just focus and problems and research questions within their respective research discipline. Nevertheless, only by analyzing service design decisions integratively new holistic approaches can be derived.

    This bachelor thesis should first provide an overview of the research disciplines working on questions of service design and present their key interest in that topic. Based on that the focus should be set on the interface of marketing and operations research by presenting current research papers linking tools and techniques from both areas. In a final step, the importance and strength of such an integrated perspective should be discussed and future research opportunities should be presented.

     

  • Themen im FSS19 für Studierende der „B.Sc. Wirtschafts­pädagogik“

    Industry 4.0 and the Circular Economy for Sustainable Operations

    What is the circular economy (CE) and how can Industry 4.0 and Digitization help to manage in line with CE principles and make operations more sustainable? The objective of the thesis is to critically review and classify the empirical and normative literature, present the state-of-the-art, and assess the potential of Industry 4.0 to achieve sustainable operations.

    Planned Obsolescence in Product Design - Critical Review and Servicizing Opportunities

    Planned obsolescence is a policy of designing a product with an artificially limited useful life, so it will become obsolete, i.e. no longer functional after a certain period of time. The rationale behind the strategy is to generate long-term sales volume by reducing the time between repeat purchases. The objective of the thesis is to provide a literature review on the topic and thereby, answer the following question: which products/industries typically apply the policy of planned obsolescence? What is the economic rationale for planned obsolescence? What are the pitfalls and critical assumptions underlying the planned obsolescence rationale? What empirical evidence of consumer attitudes to product obsolescence do we have? What other strategies such as service differentiation could help to mitigate product obsolescence?

    Methoden zur Präferenzmessung von Zeitplänen 

    Der Nutzen eines Produktes oder einer Dienstleistung stellt ein wichtiges Konstrukt für jedes Unternehmen dar und hat direkte Auswirkungen auf die (Wieder-) Kaufwahrscheinlichkeit der Kunden und somit auch auf Absatz und Gewinn des Unternehmens. Bei Produkten wird dieser Nutzen mit Hilfe der Conjoint-Analyse gemessen, die einen weitverbreiteten Ansatz im Bereich der multiattributiven Nutzentheorie darstellt. Demnach lässt sich jedes Produkt durch verschiedene Attribute beschreiben, die jeweils wiederum unterschiedliche Ausprägungen annehmen können. Auch wenn sich die Methodik mit einigen Einschränkungen auch auf Dienstleistungen anwenden lässt, gibt es mit der ereignis­basierten Nutzen­modellierung einen speziell für Dienstleistungen entwickelten Ansatz. Demnach wird jede Dienstleistung im Sinne eines Zeitplans als Serie von einzelnen Ereignissen interpretiert, die dann zur Maximierung des Nutzens in die richtige Reihenfolge gebracht und zum richtigen Zeitpunkt terminiert werden. Trotz der Vorteile dieses neuen Ansatzes stellt gerade die immense Anzahl an alternativen Zeitplänen / Dienstleistungs­konfigurationen eine große Schwierigkeit dar. 

    Im Rahmen der Bachelor­arbeit sollte zunächst die grundlegende und aktuellste Literatur zur ereignis­basierten Nutzen­modellierung zusammengetragen werden. Darauf aufbauend gilt es, empirische Studien vorzustellen, die den Kunden­nutzen von Zeitplänen versuchen zu messen. Inhaltlich sollte die Suche einen breiten Fokus haben und nicht zwingend auf das Gebiet der Dienstleistungs­gestaltung begrenzt sein. Abschließend sollte die Eignung der verschiedenen Lösungs­ansätze zur Reduzierung der oben dargestellten Komplexität diskutiert und nach Möglichkeit verglichen werden.

    Dienstleistungs­gestaltung an der Schnittstelle zwischen Marketing und Operations 

    In unserer Wirtschaft, in der der tertiäre Sektor eine maßgebliche Rolle in Bezug auf Mitarbeiterzahlen, Absatzvolumen und Markt­ausdehnung einnimmt, ist die Gestaltung und Optimierung von Dienstleistungen von großer Bedeutung. Klassische Methoden der Produktgestaltung lassen sich nicht oder nur eingeschränkt übertragen, so dass sich ein eigenes Forschungs­feld – das Service Design – entwickelt hat. Wissenschaft­ler verschiedener Disziplinen haben sich dem Thema angenommen und beantworten Fragestellungen, die sich meist auf ihr jeweiliges Forschungs­gebiet fokussieren. Gerade aber durch die Verknüpfung verschiedener Bereich können ganzheitlichere Ansätze entwickelt werden. 

    Diese Bachelor­arbeit sollte zunächst eine grundlegende Einführung in das Service Design geben und die verschiedenen Disziplinen aufzeigen, die sich dem Thema annehmen. Anschließend sollte der Fokus jedoch ausschließlich auf die Schnittstelle zwischen Marketing und Operations Management gelegt werden. Hier gilt es, aktuelle Studien und Forschungs­beiträge zusammenzutragen, die beide Sichtweisen miteinander verknüpfen und so integrierte Lösungs­ansätze aufzeigen. Abschließend sollten die Bedeutung der ganzheitlichen Betrachtungs­weise bewertet und zukünftige Forschungs­felder an der Schnittstelle diskutiert werden.

    Modelle im Störungs­management von Airlines

    In der Airline Industrie gibt es vier Planungs­schritte, um den Flugplan, die Routen für einzelne Flotten sowie die Einteilung der einzelnen Flugzeuge und Crew­mitglieder festzulegen – alle mit dem Ziel, den Gewinn zu maximieren bzw. die Kosten zu minimieren. Diese Pläne sind optimal für den Fall, dass die Umweltzustände wie erwartet eintreten und keine Störungen durch Wetter, Defekte, Staus oder Streiks auftreten. Wenn Störungen auftreten, ist es wahrscheinlich, dass durch die vielen operativen Regeln der ursprünglich optimale Plan nicht mehr zulässig ist und umgeplant werden muss. Dies betrifft sowohl die Flüge als auch Flugzeuge, Crews und Passagiere. Hierfür wurden schon zahlreiche Optimierungs­modelle aufgestellt, die sich entweder auf einzelne Planungs­schritte fokussieren oder mehrere ineinander integrieren. Außerdem liegt der Fokus auf der schnellen Lösung der Probleme, weil sofort eine Entscheidung getroffen werden muss. 

    Ziel der Bachelor­arbeit ist es, 

    • neue wichtige Quellen nach Clausen et al. (2010) zu finden und aktuelle Trends aufzuzeigen,
    • das Modell von Barnhart und Vaze (2016, Seite 274) zu diskutieren,
    • ein akademisches Beispiel aufzusetzen (optional),
    • offene Forschungs­felder und –lücken darzustellen.
  • Themen im FSS18 für Studierende der „B.Sc. Betriebs­wirtschafts­lehre“

    Franchise Distribution Systems: International Service Network Expansion

    In the 1950s, the setting stone of modern day business format franchising was laid with the foundation of the two fast-food restaurant franchises, well-known today and growing till date: Burger King and McDonald’s (Rajiv2014 JMC). The profit-driven, Franchise Distribution Systems (FDS), benefit in terms of increasing sales; primarily by adding superior locations to their service network. This is evident from the current expansion trends of the veteran brands (Ikea, Subway, KFC) to the US-based restaurant franchise, Sweetgreen, blowout hair salon franchise Drybar and many more upcoming franchises.

    The objectives of this thesis are: a) to review closely the objectives and decision making process of FDS, when expanding internationally and b) comment theoretically, on the importance to strike balance between maximizing system revenue and minimizing the cannibalization of sales of existing outlets, when a firm expands its FDS. Provide academic examples from the franchise industry to support the findings of the thesis.

    Convenience in Service Industry

    In highly competitive businesses, offering similar services or products, the service provider needs to strengthen its position in the market with respect to its competitors; by offering a unique and convenient service experience.  In order to attract a new market segment, or gain a competitive advantage in serving an existing segment, service providers often focus on delivering the ultimate convenient product or service. For example, a pizza delivery service can offer convenience to its customer at different steps of its service process: ordering (phone and online), payment (cash, credit/debit card, online payment (e.g. paypal)) and delivery (pleasant wait times).

    With the increase in number of dual-worker families, the service industry has witnessed a rise in convenience consumption. The desire to save, or at least to manage time better, is an important factor in convenience consumption.

    The objectives of this thesis are: a) to review how the definition of convenience has evolved in the convenience literature and b) discuss measures/methods, adopted by service providers, to offer and improve service convenience. Provide academic examples from the service industry to support the findings of the thesis.

    Customer’s Purchasing Behavior, when Wait-times Infer Quality

    Customers enco­unter queues in everyday life, whether queuing up virtually for ordering food online or physically while withdrawing cash at ATM. Due to demand and service time uncertainty at a service station, queues are unavoidable. Therefore, it becomes important for the service provider to understand a customer’s threshold (or satisfaction) in terms of waiting time.

    In case of service facilities, e.g. supermarket, wait times at checkout are perceived negatively. Huge volume of OR/OM literature focuses on strategies and technology used by service providers to minimize wait times. On the other hand, long shipping delays of Apple’s iPad is associated with high demand and superior quality. Also, tourists while selecting a restaurant are more confident about the restaurant in terms of quality, if it has longer wait times.

    The objective of the thesis is to review observational learning literature, to derive relations between wait times and customer purchasing behavior, along with academic examples from service industry.

    Competitive Stochastic Location Models with Congestion

    Stochastic location models are facility location models where consumers generate streams of stochastic demands for service and service times are stochastic. This combination leads to congestion. Therefore, each facility in these models can be modeled as a queuing system. This bachelor thesis only focuses on immobile servers i.e. server is fixed and customers has to visit the facility to use the services offered by the server. Retail stores (e.g. supermarkets, IKEA etc.), ATM machines, government offices and hospitals are examples of immobile servers. The main decisions involved in designing such a network is where to locate these facilities and what should be the capacities of the servers at these selected facility locations. Some of the models in literature do not consider the competition due to the existing facilities in the region of interest.

    The aim of thesis is to review literature streams which capture competition due to existing facilities in stochastic location models with congestion. The thesis should present a review of the existing models with the focus on objective function, queuing model and decisions involved.

    Assortment Planning in Retail Industry

    The physical distribution channel stores in the retail category sell products ranging from specialty retail industry, like electronic goods, automotive, home furnishing, and apparel to products of daily usage at convenience stores.

    A retailer’s assortment is the set of products carried in each store at each point in time. The objective of assortment planning is to specify an assortment that maximizes sales or gross margin subject to various constraints, such as a limited budget for purchase of products, limited shelf space for displaying products, and a variety of miscellaneous constraints such as a desire to have at least two vendors for each type of product.

    The objective of this thesis is to review the academic literature on assortment planning, to overview the approaches to assortment planning used by several retailers and to suggest directions for future research.

    Modelling Remembered Utility Using Psychological Constructs

    The utility of its products or services is very important for any company. It directly affects consumers’ likelihood to buy a product and thus has a crucial impact on economic success. Considering the process characteristic of services event-based utility modelling is a new approach to better align customer preferences and services. According to this perspective, a service can be described as a series of events, each generating instant utility to the customer. In order to derive an aggregate measure of service utility, a remembered utility value needs to be calculated as a function of these instant utilities. In this formulation different psychological constructs like acclimation or memory decay might play a role. 

    The first goal of this thesis is to come up with a short introduction to sequence-based service design. In a second step, the thesis should present a broad range of psychological constructs and their impact on the remembered utility. The pros and cons of these constructs might add additional value to the thesis.

    Menu-based Conjoint-Analysis as a Tool for Service Design

    One way of increasing the attractiveness of products or services is to maximize the respective utility from a customer’s point of view. According to the attribute-based utility modelling concept every product or service can be described with a list of determinant attributes and their levels. In order to derive utility values for each attribute level, conjoint analysis (CA) is an established tool in theory and practice. During the past decades a variety of different CA techniques like conjoint value analysis (CVA) or choice-based conjoint (CBC) has emerged. One technique that best reflects the menu-type of choice situation of different services or products is menu-based conjoint analysis.

    In a first step of this bachelor thesis, an introduction to the concept and different forms of conjoint analysis should be presented. Afterwards, a deep-dive into the technique of menu-based conjoint analysis is required. In a last step, current and future areas of application of this approach should be analyzed and discussed – with a strong focus on the strengths and weaknesses compared to other related techniques.

    Current State and Future Research of Service Bundling

    A service bundle can be defined as a combination of several different services, which are sold in one single package. Examples are widespread and range from telecommunication providers offering phone, mobile and TV solutions to season subscriptions for sports events. The concept of bundling is already well established in a product or goods context with several years of research in this area.

    The goal of this bachelor thesis is to provide and introduction to the topic of bundling in general and to compare similarities and differences between the bundling of goods and services. Beside of key concepts and important quantitative models in this field, the thesis should also collect and present ideas for future research.

    Revenue Management for Ski Resorts 

    During the last years, ski resorts started to use revenue management techniques. With different prices for their tickets (dependent on booking time, validity etc.) they try to attract customers and therefore increase revenues. The goal of this thesis is to analyze the current situation in the ski resort market, analyze the business model of ski resorts and describe how/why revenue management can be applied. Furthermore, a concept for a fictional ski resort should be developed and explained. Optionally the thesis can include a survey/interviews with ski resort representatives to get deeper insights and describe the topic from a practical perspective.

    Revenue Management for Small Enterprises

    Revenue Management (RM) techniques are typically applied in medium or large sized companies. Still RM could also be beneficial for smaller companies like a family-run hotel, local concert hall or a small car rental company. The thesis should analyze if and how RM techniques can be used in small enterprises. This includes the analysis of selected business models (e.g. hotel, ticket office), analysis of necessary data for RM models and interviews with owners of such companies. The goal is to develop a blueprint for RM in small companies.

    Airline Crew Scheduling: Current state of research

    The Airline Crew Scheduling problem is one of the most complex crew scheduling problems in transportation due to various reasons: Airlines often have a large number of flights to be covered and many operational requirements due to union agreements, regulatory agencies and the flight network infrastructure which all impose constraints in the problem. As Kasirzadeh, Saddoune and Soumis (2017) point out, the two major techniques to solve the Airline Crew Scheduling problem are the Set Covering Problem and the Set Partitioning Problem. Furthermore, they point out that the whole Airline Crew Scheduling Problem is split in two sub­problems: The Crew pairing problem creates pairings by deciding which flights are combined to become a work schedule of several days for a crew while in the crew assignment problem these pairings are assigned to particular crew members for a planning period such as a month. E.g. a bidding approach, where each crew member bids on vacation times and particular flights, is used. 

    Task of the thesis is to compare the different current approaches in the Airline Crew Scheduling Problem and to provide current research gaps as well as trends in research. Optionally, a small academical example of a crew pairing problem may be modelled.

    Behavioral Scheduling: Current state of research

    The Airline Crew Scheduling problem helps to decide which pilot is assigned to which flight and vice versa. It is one of the most complex crew scheduling problems in transportation due to various reasons: Airlines often have a large number of flights to be covered and many operational requirements due to union agreements, regulatory agencies and the flight network infrastructure which all impose constraints in the problem. While the basic problem is well discussed and solved by various contributions, Yildiz, Gzara, and Elhedhli’s (2017) provided a new aspect by including behavioral factors such as sleepiness into a model. The aim of their model is to avoid assigning duties which are especially tiring for pilots in order to decrease the risk of accidents in the airline industry; therefore they go beyond the single objective of only minimizing cost.

    Task of the thesis is to recap Yildiz, Gzara, and Elhedhli’s (2017) model with focus on the scheduling part and to compare it to other scheduling models from the Airline Crew Scheduling Problem or other scheduling problems. These models should include sleeping and/or other behavioral factors. Optionally, a small academical example of a crew pairing problem may be modelled.

    Railway Rescheduling - Using Passenger Feedback for Dispatching Decisions

    The main goal of railway rescheduling is to take dispatching decisions if the actual timetable is no longer feasible, e.g. after disruptions. But to determine what the best decision is, depends from case to case and even from passenger to passenger. Therefore it could be very helpful to have further information about the passengers’ travel plans. In Stelzer et al. (2016) the exchange of information between passengers and transportation companies is analyzed. The thesis should describe how they can use the customer feedback for dispatching decisions and to improve the service quality.

    Delay Propagation in Railway Networks

    Punctuality is an important topic in railway scheduling. Delays cause a lot of problems for railway companies and inconvenience for passengers. Several models exist to cope with delays, e.g. taking wait-depart decisions, creating robust timetables, etc. But to improve solution models or timetables it is helpful to understand the propagation of delays in networks. The goal of the thesis is to explain how the delay propagation can be quantified and included in delay management models.

    Buffer Allocation for Robust Railway Timetables

    Timetables for railways are often periodic so they can be easily kept in mind. But this is not always the best structure to cope with unforeseen events like disruptions. In literature several approaches exist to create robust timetables or to make a timetable more robust against disruptions. This can be done e.g. by adding buffer times in the schedule. The thesis should contain an overview of buffer allocation methods for timetables and a comparison of them.

    Railway Timetable Adaptions by Optimizing Stopping Patterns

    Railway operators create timetables for customer needs and in regard to the infrastructure of train lines. Sometimes these timetables have to be adapted due to unforeseen events. In the case of e.g. insufficient capacity of a train it might be necessary to pass a station without stopping. In literature several works exist that analyze train stopping patterns. The goal of the thesis is to explain the different patterns and their use for timetable adaptions.

  • Themen im FSS18 für Studierende der „B.Sc. Wirtschafts­pädagogik“

    Key Performance Indicators (KPI) in Revenue Management

    To measure the performance of a company, typically predetermined KPIs are used. As these KPIs are also very interesting for financial investors/stockholders, companies started to publish them in their annual reports. In companies that use revenue management techniques (e.g. airlines, hotels) the Yield or RASK are popular KPIs.

    The thesis should 1. present, explain and discuss possible KPIs in RM context, 2. study annual reports and press releases of companies that typically use Revenue Management techniques and present the findings to give an overview of used KPIs in practice. 3. Analyze if there is a relations­hip between financial performance of the company and the amount/relevance of Revenue Management content in the annual report.

    Attribut-basierte Nutzen­modellierung im Dienstleistungs­bereich

    Ein elementares Mittel, um Güter oder Dienstleistungen attraktiv für den Kunden zu gestalten und das entsprechende Absatzpotenzial zu entfalten, ist die Maximierung des Nutzens aus Kunden­sicht. Je größer der Kunden­nutzen ist, desto höher sind Kaufwahrscheinlichkeit und Zahlungs­bereitschaft der Kunden. Um diesen Nutzen zu erfassen, kann die Attribut-basierte Nutzen­modellierung als ein mögliches Konzept herangezogen werden. Güter oder Dienstleistungen werden demnach durch mehrere Attribute beschrieben, wobei jedes dieser Attribute verschiedene Ausprägungen annehmen kann. Unterschiedliche Ausprägungen können entsprechend unterschiedlich große Nutzen für den Kunden entfalten. Die dem Modell zugrundeliegende Datenerhebung erfolgt dabei meist mithilfe einer Conjoint-Analyse.

    Die vorliegende Arbeit sollte zunächst eine kurze theoretische Einführung sowohl in die Grundlagen der Attribut-basierten Nutzen­modellierung, als auch in die Empirie der Conjoint-Analyse geben. Darauf aufbauend gilt es, Anwendungs­beispiele im Dienstleistungs­bereich zu sammeln und strukturiert darzustellen. Abschließend sollten dann Stärken und Schwächen der Modellierung im Dienstleistungs­kontext gerade auch im Hinblick auf den Prozess-Charakter von Dienstleistungen aufgezeigt werden.

    Ereignis-basierte Nutzen­modellierung – Grundlagen der Psychologie und ihre Anwendbarkeit auf Dienstleistungen

    Der Nutzen von Gütern oder Dienstleistungen ist ein zentrales Entscheidungs­kriterium in jedem Unternehmen. Er bestimmt, wie gut das Angebot vom Kunden angenommen wird und ist entsprechend ein Wegbereiter für den wirtschaft­lichen Erfolg eines Unternehmens. Während im Allgemeinen zur Modellierung des Kunden­nutzens meist Attribut-basierte Modelle und Erhebungs­methoden wie die Conjoint-Analyse eingesetzt wurden, hat sich speziell im Bereich der Dienstleistungen eine neue Herangehensweise etabliert. In dieser Ereignis-basierten Perspektive wird eine Dienstleistung als Prozess gesehen, der sich über mehrere Ereignisse hinweg abspielt. Jedes dieser Ereignisse generiert einen bestimmten direkt messbaren Nutzen beim Kunden. Um übergeordnet für die Dienstleistung einen Gesamtnutzen zu ermitteln, braucht es jedoch Regeln, die über die rein additive Modellierung hinausgehen.

    Das Ziel dieser Arbeit ist es entsprechend im ersten Schritt, die unterschiedlichen Formen des Nutzens (erwarteter, unmittelbarer und erinnerter Nutzen) zu definieren. Im Speziellen soll dann ein Fokus auf den erinnerten Nutzen gelegt werden. Hierzu gilt es, die unterschiedlichen Regeln zusammenzutragen, mit denen sich der retrospektive Nutzen modellieren lässt. Der Fokus sollte dabei möglichst breit gewählt und auch Studien fernab des Dienstleistungs­bereiches untersucht werden. Interessante Ansätze lassen sich dabei u.a. in Studien aus dem Umfeld der Psychologie bzw. Medizin finden.

    Railway Rescheduling - Using Passenger Feedback for Dispatching Decisions

    The main goal of railway rescheduling is to take dispatching decisions if the actual timetable is no longer feasible, e.g. after disruptions. But to determine what the best decision is, depends from case to case and even from passenger to passenger. Therefore it could be very helpful to have further information about the passengers travel plans. In Stelzer et al. (2016) the exchange of information between passengers and transportation companies is analyzed. The thesis should describe how they can use the customer feedback for dispatching decisions and to improve the service quality.

  • Themen im FSS17 für Studierende der „B.Sc. Betriebs­wirtschafts­lehre“

    Bridging the Gap between Facility Location Models and Supply Chain Management

    Given a set of customer demand nodes and potential facility locations, the location of new facilities and allocating customer demand to newly located facilities are main decisions of facility location models. Supply Chain Management (SCM) is the process of planning, implementing and controlling the operations of the supply chain; spanning from the point-of-origin to the point-of-consumption in an efficient way. Researchers in (service) system design often discuss the design of distribution systems without taking into account the whole supply chain. The output of the facility location problem is strategic input for supply chain network design. Therefore, it is important to study features and decisions most important for supply chain planning; and need to be captured in facility location models.

    The aim of thesis is to review role of facility location models in SCM, with academic examples from various application industries. The thesis should point out drawbacks of existing facility location models with respect to the decision-making process in integrated supply chain planning.

    Competitive Stochastic Location Models with Congestion

    Stochastic location models are facility location models where consumers generate streams of stochastic demands for service and service times are stochastic. This combination leads to congestion. Therefore, each facility in these models can be modeled as a queuing system. This bachelor thesis only focuses on immobile servers i.e. server is fixed and customers has to visit the facility to use the services offered by the server. Retail stores (e.g. supermarkets, IKEA etc.), ATM machines, government offices and hospitals are examples of immobile servers. The main decisions involved in designing such a network is where to locate these facilities and what should be the capacities of the servers at these selected facility locations. Some of the models in literature do not consider the competition due to the existing facilities in the region of interest.

    The aim of thesis is to review literature streams which capture competition due to existing facilities in stochastic location models with congestion. The thesis should present a review of the existing models with the focus on objective function, queuing model and decisions involved.

    Stochastic Location Models with Congestion for mobile servers

    Stochastic location models are facility location models where consumers generate streams of stochastic demands for service and service times are stochastic. This combination leads to congestion. This bachelor thesis only focuses on mobile servers i.e. server travels to customer’s location to provide service. Delivery services (food, grocery, online purchased goods etc.), emergency medical and firefighting services are examples of mobile servers.

    The aim of thesis is to review stochastic location models for mobile facilities subject to congestion. The review should classify different existing mathematical models based on the objective function, involved decision variables, congestion modeling (explicit or implicit) and solution procedures (exact or heuristic).

    Response Time in Public Services

    In day to day life, in cases of natural calamities, criminal enco­unter, medical emergency, and fire, responsiveness of the concerned public service provider plays a vital role in deciding the fate of human life at risk. In other public (or formerly public) services like telephone, electricity, and consumer gas supply, maintenance of water supply and sewage disposal systems responsiveness of service provider is a competitive priority and hence an important element for creating value for the customer.

    Responsiveness being a measure of delivery performance can be measured in terms of the average response time to a random call for service. In Operations Research terminology, this problem can be rephrased as estimating average response time for spatially distributed networks of demand nodes serviced by mobile servers. The demand nodes can be thought of as representing city neighborhoods connected by roads. Each node represents demands for service originating from that neighborhood. The demands are generated stochastically and the service units, stationed in service centers, go and service these calls according to a preselected policy.

    The aim of thesis is to review mathematical formulations related to response time approximations for public services.

    Service Process Improvement: the Customer’s Waiting Experience

    Customers enco­unter queues in everyday life, whether queuing up virtually for ordering food online or physically while withdrawing cash at ATM. Due to demand and service time uncertainty at a service station, queues are unavoidable. Therefore, it becomes important for the service provider to understand a customer’s threshold (or satisfaction) in terms of waiting time.

    Promptness of service and the customer’s perceived waiting experience (e.g. at checkout) or related service attributes can have a significant impact on value-to-the-customer. Therefore, service process improvement should include proactively managing the customer’s wait in a better way to improve customer’s perception of wait times and hence strengthen the competitive position of service provider.

    The objective of thesis is to review strategies and technology used by service providers to make customer’s waiting experience a pleasant one.

    Modern Trends in Revenue Management

    The increasing availability of data in businesses like e-commerce, online advertising, retailing etc. made it possible to apply new methods for price optimization (like Google’s way of selling advertising space or grocery stores with electronic shelf labels). This thesis should identify and analyze these new approaches and compare it to traditional revenue management techniques to derive implications for the field of revenue management.

    Customer Choice Behavior in Revenue Management

    Traditional Revenue Management models typically assume that customer’s buying decision only depends on the price of the sold product. During the past years, customer choice behavior (i.e. applying additional criteria like quality of the product compared to other products) was integrated in many RM-models to capture the effects of a more complex buying decision. This thesis should review and explain current approaches of customer choice behavior in Revenue Management and identify differences compared to traditional RM models.

    Overbooking in Revenue Management

    One important aspect in many Revenue Management models is to determine the optimal number of overbookings (i.e. number of sold tickets beyond the available fixed capacity). For example it is quite common in the airline industry to sell a number of tickets that exceeds the available seat capacity on the airplane. This thesis should explain the idea of overbooking in Revenue Management and give an overview about current approaches in literature. In addition it should be briefly discussed how these approaches could be applied in different industries.

    Network Revenue Management

    Companies with a complex structure of products (Lufthansa or Deutsche Bahn with many flights/connections in the network) face the problem that multiple products use the same capacity.  For example, the Lufthansa flights from Hamburg to Bangkok (via FRA) and from Düsseldorf to Bangkok (via FRA) both use the Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Bangkok. A Network Revenue Management model addresses this sharing of capacity and finds optimal prices for both connecting flights.

    This thesis should explain the idea of Network Revenue Management in more detail and give an overview of current Network Revenue Management models in literature.

    Conjoint Analysis with Experiential Attributes – A Literature Review

    Conjoint analysis is a well-established tool to evaluate customers’ attitude towards a product or service. The disciplines of application are widespread – ranging from engineering and architecture to medicine and business. Using verbal representations, 2D or 3D models as well as prototypes each discipline takes advantage of this technique differently. Studying these applications raises two questions with high importance for business in general and service design in specific: 1) Are new procedures of conjoint analysis superior to classical forms? And if so, 2) how can a service process alternatively be described instead of a verbal representation? Advances in technology might improve realism of the hypothetical situation and help to better capture process attributes. Virtual reality techniques may be of interest in this context putting the customer in an active role instead of a passive observer.

    Thus, the thesis should elaborate on the following questions and tasks: What forms of representations of a product or service with experiential attributes have been used in conjoint analysis independent of a specific research area? Did these studies prove a benefit of a certain technique over the other? How can virtual reality help to better capture process attributes and which studies did already apply it? Which implications can be drawn with regard to the research design? Are there any methodological changes beyond the interviewing technique itself?

    On the Concepts of Outcome and Process Utility

    The health care sector plays an important role in service research and is often an excellent area of application for general models and methods of service design. One such example is a study conducted by Ryan (1999). With a conjoint analysis based approach the author tries to find an empirical evidence for both outcome and process utility. The underlying idea is that any service might not only be evaluated based on the outcome itself, but additionally on the process executed to achieve the outcome.   

    The goal of this thesis is to analyze the constructs of outcome and process utility, while the literature to be analyzed does not necessarily need to be related to a service context. In specific the questions are: What studies have been conducted to analyze and measure these constructs? Are there any other constructs related to this topic and need to be considered for further analysis? What implications could be derived from these studies and which future research is needed to advance this field?

    Sequence Effects in Service Design – Background, Importance and Implications

    The sequence of events plays an important role in a customer’s evaluation of an overall service experience. Different sequences of positive and negative experiences during a service enco­unter can have different influences on the overall evaluation. The peak-end-rule for example suggests that incidents that occurred at the end of an enco­unter have a much stronger effect on the overall evaluation than the incidents during the rest of the experience.

    The goal of this thesis is to analyze these sequence effects with a strong focus on the psychological aspects. The literature to be analyzed does not necessarily need to be related to a service context. Detailed questions are: What experimental, quantitative studies have been conducted to analyze these sequence effects? How did those studies measure the occurrence and implications of this phenomenon? How do consumers combine memories of a sequence of pleasant and unpleasant moments to form an evaluation of the experience as a whole?

    Rerouting Railways versus Rerouting Aircrafts – A Comparison

    In case of disruptions, scheduled flight resp. railway trips are sometimes no longer feasible. Due to missing capacities it can be necessary to use other routes. In the literature exist rerouting models for aircraft as well as for railways. The goal of the thesis is to compare both streams. Illustrate similarities and differences concerning the contents. Which industry is further developed?

    Railway Scheduling – Capacity Analysis

    A railway network underlies several restrictions. To yield a feasible model, considering capacities, such as capacities of stations, lines, etc. is necessary. In Abril et al. (2008) a capacity analysis for railway networks is done. The thesis should provide an overview of the different kinds of capacity. Furthermore, influence factors on capacities should be analyzed and methods for evaluation be explained.

    Demand Oriented Timetables for Railways

    A basis for running a railway system among a network of tracks is a timetable. Creating railway timetables can be subject to several objectives, e.g. minimal trip times or cyclicity. Some models in the literature try to focus on demand for railways. The goal of the thesis is to explain how passenger demand is measured in Canca et al. 2014 and to compare their method with further examples from literature.

  • Themen im FSS17 für Studierende der „B.Sc. Wirtschafts­pädagogik“

    Revenue Management für den Schienenpersonenfernverkehr

    Das Themengebiet Revenue Management (RM) ist in bestimmten Industrien (Luftverkehr, Hotels, Mietwagen) bereits seit Jahren etabliert. Auch im Schienenverkehr werden Revenue Management Methoden genutzt, um die Kapazität der Züge möglichst umsatzmaximierend zu verkaufen. Jedoch wurde dieser Industrie vor allem in der Forschung bisher deutlich weniger Aufmerksamkeit geschenkt. Ziel ist es, neben einem Literatur­überblick zu Revenue Management (im Allgemeinen sowie im speziellen Fall des Schienenverkehrs), zu analysieren, welche aktuellen RM-Ansätze sich aus anderen Industrien auf den Schienenpersonenfernverkehr übertragen lassen.

    On the Importance and Impact of Customers’ Experiencing and Remembering Self

    When analyzing customer experiences, one important criterion is the point in time of the evaluation. Every event can be assessed either in real time or retrospectively, reflecting the actual experienced utility and the way it is summarized afterwards, respectively. Each event is associated with a stream of affective states that may vary in intensity from moment to moment within a single episode. A summary evaluation is attached to events in past experiences: customers may remember them as more or less good or bad, and are accordingly prone to seek or avoid repeated enco­unters, or to recommend or not recommend the experience to others.

    This bachelor thesis should present the current state of research with a strong focus on the psychological aspects of the problem mentioned above. Key questions are: What experimental, quantitative studies have been conducted to analyze the impact of the time of evaluation? How did those studies measure the occurrence and implications of this phenomenon? How does the evaluation during the experience differ from the overall evaluation after the experience? What are reasons and implications?

    Dynamic Impact Factors on the Customer – Service-Provider – Relations­hip

    A customer-company-relations­hip is rather a dynamic process than a static construct. Different parameters like customer satisfaction or experiences from former service enco­unters may have an impact on length and strength of such a relations­hip.

    This seminar thesis should first review the empirical literature on dynamic relations­hip modeling. It should clearly describe the influencing factors and the studies performed to gain these research insights. In a second step, the thesis should discuss how service designers may take advantage of these finding to increase retention and profitability in the long-run. The thesis should conclude by deriving implications for future research.

    A review on railway crew scheduling

    One topic of the tactical level of railway planning problems is crew scheduling. Each train running in a network needs an appropriate crew to operate it. After disruptions it can be possible to reschedule plans of action. In the literature, several works about crew scheduling respectively crew rescheduling already exist. The topic of this thesis is to survey the literature about crew scheduling and to summarize the respective contents.

    Railway rescheduling – minimizing passengers’ discomfort

    Rescheduling trains in case of disruptions has to be done with regard to a feasible solution for the infrastructure. But other topics, e.g. solution quality or minimizing waiting times for passengers, play also important roles. In the paper of Corman et al. (2015), the model aims at minimizing passengers’ discomfort, more precisely the quality of service perceived by passengers after rescheduling decisions. The thesis should describe this model and explain the heuristics used to find solutions as well as the associated numerical study.

  • Themen im FSS16 für Studierende der „B.Sc. Betriebs­wirtschafts­lehre“

    Exact Solution Procedures for Stochastic Location Models with Congestion

    Stochastic location models are facility location models where consumers generate streams of stochastic demands for service and service times are stochastic. This combination leads to congestion. Therefore, each facility in these models can be modeled as a queuing system. This bachelor thesis only focuses on immobile servers i.e. server is fixed and customers has to visit the facility to use the services offered by the server. Retail stores (e.g. Supermarkets, IKEA etc.), ATM machines, government offices and hospitals are examples of immobile servers. The literature streams based on stochastic location models with immobile facilities and congestion (SLMIFC) can be divided into two types of models on the basis of solution procedures: exact and heuristic.

    The aim of thesis is to study exact solution procedures for SLMIFC. The thesis should present a review of the exact solution procedures in the literature with focus on methodology, parameters, decisions, maximum size of the problem solved and computational times.

    Heuristic Solution Procedures for Stochastic Location Models with Congestion

    Stochastic location models are facility location models where consumers generate streams of stochastic demands for service and service times are stochastic. This combination leads to congestion. Therefore, each facility in these models can be modeled as a queuing system. This bachelor thesis only focuses on immobile servers i.e. server is fixed and customers has to visit the facility to use the services offered by the server. Retail stores (e.g. Supermarkets, IKEA etc.), ATM machines, government offices and hospitals are examples of immobile servers. The literature streams based on stochastic location models with immobile facilities and congestion (SLMIFC) can be divided into two types of models on the basis of solution procedures: exact and heuristic.

    The aim of thesis is to study heuristic solution procedures for SLMIFC. The thesis should present a review of the heuristic solution procedures in the literature with the focus on methodology, parameters, decisions, maximum size of the problem solved, nearness to optimality and computational times.

    Stochastic Location Models with Congestion modeled using G/G/1

    Stochastic location models are facility location models where consumers generate streams of stochastic demands for service and service times are stochastic. This combination leads to congestion. Therefore, each facility in these models can be modeled as a queuing system. This bachelor thesis only focuses on immobile servers i.e. server is fixed and customers has to visit the facility to use the services offered by the server. Retail stores (e.g. Supermarkets, IKEA etc.), ATM machines, government offices and hospitals are examples of immobile servers. The literature streams based on stochastic location models with immobile facilities and congestion (SLMIFC) comprises of different types of models, modeled assuming different queuing systems.

    The aim of thesis is to study SLMIFC modeled using G/G/k  (k is the number of servers) queuing systems. The thesis should present a review of SLMIFC modeled using G/G/k in the literature. The thesis should also review how the performance measures related to G/G/k queuing system are modeled in the existing mathematical models from the literature. These performance measures could be the expected waiting time in queues or expected number of entities waiting in the queue.

    Preventive Healthcare Facility Network Design with Congestion

    Preventive Healthcare Facility Network Design (PHFND) models with congestion are a special case of Stochastic Location models with Congestion (SLC). SLC are facility location models where consumers generate streams of stochastic demands for service and service times are stochastic. This combination leads to congestion. Therefore, each facility in these models can be modeled as a queuing system. The servers could be categorized as mobile servers and immobile servers. Immobile servers are those in which server is fixed and customers has to visit the facility to use the services offered by the server. Retail stores (e.g.  Supermarkets, IKEA etc.), ATM machines, government offices and hospitals are examples of immobile servers. This seminar thesis only focuses on PHFND with congestion at immobile servers.

    Preventive healthcare is much needed for early detection of life-threatening diseases like breast cancer in women. The aim of the thesis is to review PHFND models with congestion. 

    Competitive Stochastic Location Models with Congestion

    Stochastic location models are facility location models where consumers generate streams of stochastic demands for service and service times are stochastic. This combination leads to congestion. Therefore, each facility in these models can be modeled as a queuing system. This bachelor thesis only focuses on immobile servers i.e. server is fixed and customers has to visit the facility to use the services offered by the server. Retail stores (e.g. Supermarkets, IKEA etc.), ATM machines, government offices and hospitals are examples of immobile servers. The main decisions involved in designing such a network is where to locate these facilities and what should be the capacities of the servers at these selected facility locations. Some of the models in literature do not consider the competition due to the existing facilities in the region of interest.

    The aim of thesis is to review literature streams which capture competition due to existing facilities in stochastic location models with congestion. The thesis should present a review of the existing models with the focus on objective function, queuing model and decisions involved.

    On the impact of behavioral aspects on operations research

    The term operations research describes a discipline using mathematical models to support company decision making. Since its emergence at the beginning of the 20th century most formal analytical models have assumed that participants in a process behave fully rationale. The new stream of behavioral operations is challenging this perspective by incorporating more realistic behavioral attributes into analytical models.

    This bachelor thesis should provide a structured overview of the concept of behavioral operations. Key questions to be answered are: How can behavioral operations be defined? What are the origins and in which specified areas can this new research stream be subdivided? What is the current state of research in these areas and what are potentials topics for future research? Throughout the whole thesis the major focus should be on service operations.

    Customer-Oriented Service Design – Fundamentals and Methods

    Designing services is a key success factor in every modern business. The final design must effectively meet the needs and desires of the targeted customer groups. At the same time, it must be aligned with the internal company perspective and its processes. To achieve these goals both qualitative (e.g. QFD) and quantitative (e.g. optimization) approaches can be used. Each class of tools has its own strengths and weaknesses, which should be analyzed in this bachelor thesis. The analysis should be based on a profound overview of tools for service design from both categories. In the second step each tool should be evaluated according to the extend that it integrates the customer perspective.

    Simulating Service Processes

    Simulation is a powerful tool to analyze complex problems from all scientific fields. Even in business, the areas of application are widespread ranging from production, through logistics to services. Depending on the context and goal of the respective simulation, different approaches might be used. Beside discrete-event simulation and the system-dynamic approach, agent-based modelling accounts for the latest development. This bachelor thesis is intended to provide a service-focused overview of simulation applications. Key questions are: In which industries and for which scenarios has simulation already been applied in services? Which simulation techniques are most common in service simulation? Based on the answers, the root causes for these trends should be analyzed. The thesis will conclude with an outlook on the future of simulation in service research.

    Multilevel Service Design (MSD) – Minor progress or groundbreaking evolution?

    In order to design services, people in both research and business have a variety of tools at hand – service blueprinting, PCN-Analysis, QFD, conjoint analysis, and optimization are just a few to mention. Each tool has its own strengths and weaknesses that the user has to consider before and during the application. The most promising approach is often a sophisticated combination of several techniques. One such integrated approach was presented in 2011 by Patrício et al. and is called Multilevel Service Design (MSD). Instead of designing all service aspects simultaneously, the authors suggest a three-step-approach. In each of the three hierarchical layers the level of detail increases from a general conceptual perspective to the detailed design of the service enco­unter.

    This bachelor thesis should critically assess the Multilevel Service Design technique. Key questions might be: What are the strengths and weaknesses of this technique? What tools have been integrated into MSD and would there have been other alternatives to achieve the respective goals? For which services or industries is the tool best suited? What is the future of MSD and how can it be further improved?

    Railway Delay Management: Online vs. Offline Solutions

    In der klassischen Optimierung wird davon ausgegangen, dass Daten, die zum Lösen eines Problems benötigt werden, vollständig vorliegen. Aufbauend auf diesem vollständigen Wissen wird dann die optimale (oder approximative) Lösung berechnet. Durch diese Art der Optimierung werden Situationen aus der Praxis oft jedoch die nur ungenügend modelliert. Zahlreiche Problemstellungen erfordern Entscheidungen, die unmittelbar und ohne Wissen zukünftiger Ereignisse getroffen werden müssen. Die Daten zum Lösen eines Problems liegen also nicht vollständig vor. Im Rahmen dieser Arbeit soll das Railway Delay Management Problem diesbezüglich untersucht werden. Beispielsweise wird die Entscheidung ob ein verspäteter Zug warten soll (oder nicht) häufig unmittelbar getroffen. Die Frage, unter welchen Annahmen das Problem in der Literatur gelöst wird, ist in Form eines Literatur­überblicks zu beantworten. Bestehende Literatur soll basierend auf den Annahmen zur Datenverfügbarkeit (online vs. offline) untersucht und klassifiziert werden.

    The Concept of Lookahead in Railway Delay Management

    In the Online Delay Management Problem the number of delayed passengers who want to board the train is not known beforehand but revealed in an online fashion once the train arrives at the corresponding station. The goal is to decide at which station a train should wait in order to minimize the total delay of all passengers. In this thesis two approaches of Bender, M.; Büttner, S. & Krumke, S. (2013) that overcome the often criticized pessimism of standard competitive analysis, namely lookahead and comparative analysis, should be presented and illustrated by an example. These approaches extend the classical worst-case approach of competitive analysis in different aspects.

    Average-case Analysis in Railway Delay Management

    In the Online Delay Management Problem the number of delayed passengers who want to board the train is not known beforehand but revealed in an online fashion once the train arrives at the corresponding station. The goal is to decide at which station a train should wait in order to minimize the total delay of all passengers. In this thesis the average-case analysis approach of Bender, M.; Büttner, S. & Krumke, S. (2013) to overcome the often criticized pessimism of standard competitive should be presented and illustrated by an example. This method extends the classical worst-case approach of competitive analysis in different aspects.

    Uncertain multi-product newsboy problem

    In the uncertain multi-product newsboy problem demands for the products are estimated by experts and assumed to be independent uncertain variables. Uncertainty theory, which is a new mathematical tool to deal with human uncertainty, is employed to model demand distributions. A fixed setup cost and a linear ordering cost are incurred if products are ordered. The focus of this thesis is to present and illustrate the methodology of Ding, S. & Gao, Y. (2014) for determining an optimal ordering policy. A two-product example should be provided to show how to design an optimal policy in a realistic situation.

    A portfolio approach to the multi-product newsboy problem

    When solving the multi-product newsboy problem via a portfolio approach, a procurement strategy for each newsboy product is designed as portfolio contract. A portfolio contract consists of a fixed-price contract and an option contract. In this thesis the portfolio solution procedure with budget constraint of Zhang, B. & Hua, Z. (2010) should be illustrated and compared to three different existing procurement contracts: fixed-price contract, option contract, and portfolio contract. Additionally, an illustrative example should be provided to show the practical applicability in a realistic situation.

    Iterative optimization of railway delay management

    Railway companies are often confronted with delayed trains that can cause a disarranged timetable. If the connecting train waits for a delayed feeder train, delays get transferred, else passenger miss their connection. Delay management models try to answer the question if connections should be maintained in case of delays. Dollevoet et al. 2014 present an iterative optimization model including macroscopic and microscopic points of view. How this model works should be explained in the thesis.

    Robust timetable optimization for railways

    Railways are often confronted with disturbances that cause delays which make it impossible to keep the original timetable. Therefore more robust timetables need to be planned to cope with several delays. In the literature exist some approaches to create robust timetables by using stochastic respectively dynamic optimization models. These approaches should be explained and compared in the thesis.

    Models for passenger’s choice of railway services

    For service companies such as Deutsche Bahn it is important to find out what passengers’ needs are. With the information obtained it is possible to create more passenger oriented timetables. Therefore exist so called choice models to demonstrate passenger’s behavior for e.g. service type, run and class. The goal of the thesis is to describe these choice models and to compare them.

  • Themen im FSS16 für Studierende der „B.Sc. Wirtschafts­pädagogik“

    Railway Delay Management: Online vs. Offline Solutions

    In der klassischen Optimierung wird davon ausgegangen, dass Daten, die zum Lösen eines Problems benötigt werden, vollständig vorliegen. Aufbauend auf diesem vollständigen Wissen wird dann die optimale (oder approximative) Lösung berechnet. Durch diese Art der Optimierung werden Situationen aus der Praxis oft jedoch die nur ungenügend modelliert. Zahlreiche Problemstellungen erfordern Entscheidungen, die unmittelbar und ohne Wissen zukünftiger Ereignisse getroffen werden müssen. Die Daten zum Lösen eines Problems liegen also nicht vollständig vor. Im Rahmen dieser Arbeit soll das Railway Delay Management Problem diesbezüglich untersucht werden. Beispielsweise wird die Entscheidung ob ein verspäteter Zug warten soll (oder nicht) häufig unmittelbar getroffen. Die Frage, unter welchen Annahmen das Problem in der Literatur gelöst wird, ist in Form eines Literatur­überblicks zu beantworten. Bestehende Literatur soll basierend auf den Annahmen zur Datenverfügbarkeit (online vs. offline nature) untersucht und klassifiziert werden.

    On the impact of behavioral aspects on operations research

    The term operations research describes a discipline using mathematical models to support company decision making. Since its emergence at the beginning of the 20th century most formal analytical models have assumed that participants in a process behave fully rationale. The new stream of behavioral operations is challenging this perspective by incorporating more realistic behavioral attributes into analytical models.

    This bachelor thesis should provide a structured overview of the concept of behavioral operations. Key questions to be answered are: How can behavioral operations be defined? What are the origins and in which specified areas can this new research stream be subdivided? What is the current state of research in these areas and what are potentials topics for future research? Throughout the whole thesis the major focus should be on service operations.

    Agent-based modelling as a tool for behavioral operations

    At the beginning of the 21st century a new stream called behavioral operations has emerged from classic operations management. Instead of assuming rational behavior among all participants in a system, it integrates more realistic actions among all. Due to its broad perspective areas of interest are widespread. To get enable a detailed analysis this thesis should focus on one specific area – the simulation of (service) processes. While classical forms like discrete-event simulation neglect the distinctiveness of any individual, agent-based modelling is challenging this perspective since its development ten years ago.

    The following bachelor thesis should evaluate to what extend agent-based modelling can be seen as a tool for behavioral operations. Besides performing a profound literature review in both fields of interest, the application of agent-based modelling to a simplified service process might offer additional insights for this thesis.   

    Macroscopic vs. microscopic dispatching analysis for railways

    Railways are often confronted with delay problems. In the literature, many different approaches to deal with delays are known. They can be divided into macroscopic and microscopic models. Some models compute solutions for the whole railway network, other models decide what to do just for the current station. The thesis should explain the difference between macroscopic and microscopic dispatching. Furthermore, examples for both approaches should be illustrated.

    Service design for railways

    One challenge for railway companies is the design of services that fit customer needs. Different methods exist in order to find out which preferences customers have. One method is the so called conjoint analysis. Attributes can be defined and ranked for services or customers can choose a service with a certain bundle of attributes. The thesis should describe the conjoint analysis and how it has been used in the literature with focus on railways.

  • Themen im FSS15 für Studierende der „B.Sc. Betriebs­wirtschafts­lehre“

    Quality Function Deployment for Customer-Oriented Service Design – Method and Case Study

    The challenge of service design begins with design. It must effectively meet the needs and desires of the targeted customer groups. Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a systematic planning methodology for product and service development that translates customer needs into technical specifications and business process activities. In this thesis, the general method should be presented and applied to a real-world case study, in particular to the development of ideas for the potential redesign of an MBA program.

    Robust Airline Fleet Composition

    Recently, researchers have developed advanced decision support models to assist airlines in strategic airline fleet planning and dynamic capacity allocation. The approach explicitly accounts for the stochastic nature of passenger demand in the fleet composition problem, e.g. through scenario analysis. The thesis should give an overview of the recent literature and provide insights into the basic idea by presenting the underlying mathematical model and developing an academic example.

    Planned Obsolescence in Product Design - Critical Review and Servicizing Opportunities

    Planned obsolescence is a policy of designing a product with an artificially limited useful life, so it will become obsolete, i.e. no longer functional after a certain period of time. The rationale behind the strategy is to generate long-term sales volume by reducing the time between repeat purchases. The objective of the thesis is to provide a literature review on the topic and thereby, answer the following question: which products/industries typically apply the policy of planned obsolescence? What is the economic rationale for planned obsolescence? What are the pitfalls and critical assumptions underlying the planned obsolescence rationale? What empirical evidence of consumer attitudes to product obsolescence do we have? What other strategies such as service differentiation could help to mitigate product obsolescence?

    Price and shelf-space dependent demand models in decision modeling

    The demand models use certain types of functional forms, such as linear, power/iso-elastic, multinomial logit, and multiplicative competitive interaction. The aim of the thesis is to survey the functional forms of price and shelf-space dependent demand models and compare their advantages and disadvantages. The second objective is to investigate qualitatively the optimal shelf-space allocation problem in Martín-Herrán, Taboubi, and Zaccour (2006) with a more realistic space-dependent demand model that is sensitive to both space and price.

    Pricing models in Revenue Management

    Consider the problem faced by a seller who owns a fixed and perishable set of resources that are sold to a price sensitive population of buyers. In this framework, where capacity is fixed, the seller is mainly interested in finding an optimal pricing strategy that maximizes the revenue collected over the selling horizon. Price manipulation is an important variable to encourage or discourage demand. The objective of the thesis is to review the pricing models in RM and new potential directions of research.

    Dynamic Pricing and Learning

    Dynamic pricing is the study of determining optimal selling prices of products or services, in a setting where prices can easily and frequently be adjusted. This class of problem captures trade-off between learning and instant optimization. The aim of the thesis is to survey these literature streams and provide an in-depth overview of the available literature on dynamic pricing and learning and identify the gaps for future research.

    Revenue Management in a dynamic network environment

    In situations like sequential reservations for an airline network, hotel or car rental service; the allocation of scarce inventory to stochastic demand for multiple fare classes is an interesting problem from the researcher’s point of view. The aim of the thesis is to explore dynamic policies to allocate demand to customers and maximize revenue through an algorithmic approach based on approximate dynamic programming. The functionality of the algorithm should be depicted through a small example.

    Dynamic Bid Prices in Revenue Management

    Bid-price control policies are used by many airlines for decisions like when to open and close customer fare classes for sale. The aim of the thesis is to explore a tractable model for computing a time trajectory of bid prices and to compare the model with standard deterministic linear program for bid-price control. The second objective is to qualitatively analyze the relations­hip between bid prices in revenue management and dynamic programming.

    Train Scheduling – delay resistant railway timetables

    Train timetables are scheduled in a cyclic manner to be kept in mind easily, for example, every 60 minutes. On their route, passengers often have to change their trains. If their current train is late, it could be that passengers have to wait nearly one hour. But if the connecting train waits, delays are transferred. In this thesis, the concept of a delay resistant timetable should be presented. An example should additionally be developed to demonstrate how the approach can be applied in practice.

    Delay management in railway systems

    Delayed trains can disarrange the timetable. If a connecting train waits, the passengers who have to change trains will be glad. But then the delay is transferred to the next train. In the other case, passengers probably have to wait a long time for their connecting train. A so called wait-depart decision must be made. In the Literature, an integer program formulation is often used to model this problem. In this thesis, this classical solution should be analyzed. Additionally, a short example how the integer program works should be given.

    Railway Scheduling – Optimization Models

    In the last decades, a great variety of scheduling models for the dispatching of trains were published. The underlying paper for this thesis is a survey about optimization models in train scheduling and train routing. The goal of the thesis is to expand the existing survey in one of the given scheduling fields. A short insight into the new papers should be delivered.

    Railway Scheduling – Minimizing the total travel time

    One of the goals in Railway scheduling is to find an optimal distribution of the railroad line capacity. Especially on single line tracks, an exact meet and pass plan for trains is needed to avoid deviations from the timetable. In this thesis, the underlying algorithm for an effective travel advance strategy should be explained and compared to the previous algorithm. Furthermore, a short example how the algorithm works should be given.

    Multi-market Newsvendor with Interval Demand Data

    When the newsvendor setting is applied to manufacturing the objective is to determine production planning and procurement decisions. Lin and Ng (2011) provide a solution to the multimarket newsvendor problem where demands are only known to be bounded within some given interval. Besides finding the optimal order quantity the authors assume that the newsvendor has to decide on the market, i.e., the customers it will serve. In this thesis, the concept of hybrid objectives in the context of inventory management should be presented. Furthermore, an example should be developed to demonstrate how the approach can be applied to take optimal decisions.

    Optimal Capacity Allocation under Interval Uncertainty

    The field of revenue management originates in the airline industry as a way to efficiently allocate fixed capacity to different classes of customers. Traditional models assume that future demand is unknown but can be described by a stochastic process or a probability distribution. Contrary, Perakis and Roels (2010) characterize demand only with three points, namely average-case, worst-case, and best-case scenarios, which naturally leads to an interval representation of demand uncertainty. In this thesis, the concept of interval uncertainty in the context of airline revenue management should be presented. Furthermore, an example should be developed to demonstrate how the approach can be used to solve the capacity allocation problem.

    Newsvendors Models under Biased Demand Information

    Commonly, newsvendor models under limited information assume that the demand structure is known a-priori with certainty. Zhang and Xu (2009) analyze the newsvendor problem under the assumption that the information on the demand structure might be bound to errors. In this thesis, the concept of uncertain or biased demand information in the context of inventory management should be presented. Furthermore, an example should be developed to demonstrate how the quality of information affects optimal decisions.

    Techniques for visualizing service processes

    Service Blueprints, BPMN or PCN-analysis are just three of many tools for visualizing and analyzing service processes. During the last decades researchers and practitioners have developed new tools or advanced existing ones. The aim of this thesis is to provide a comprehensive overview of the existing visualization techniques with a focus on service processes. Nevertheless, further concepts or ideas from other disciplines could strongly enhance the value of this thesis.

    Service Blueprints – Current state of the art of an established tool for service design

    The concept of service blueprinting has been introduced by Lynn G. Shostack back in 1982. Since then it has been recognized as one of the most suitable and powerful tools to visualize and analyze service processes. Besides this tremendous success in the business world, the tool has also been in focus of the scientific community. The objective of this bachelor thesis is to bring research on this topic up to date by providing an overview of the most relevant articles published during the last three decades. Based on this analysis ideas for future research on this topic should be gathered.

    Petri nets as a tool for service process design?

    The concept of petri nets has been developed by Carl Adam Petri during his dissertation in the field of mathematics in the early 1960s. While it started as a tool in information systems to model and analyze computer systems and processes it has also been applied to business processes later on. The idea of this bachelor thesis is to present to original concept of petri nets, to highlight its development during the last decades and to provide insights on how to use petri nets in a business setting, especcially with regard to the service industry.

    PCN-Analysis – Potentials and limitations of a new technique

    PNC-Analysis has been introduced by Scott Sampson in 2012. As a new tool for visualizing processes especially in the field of services, this technique tries to overcome different pitfalls of previous tools. The purpose of this thesis is to present the idea and concept of PCN-analysis, to review the literature on this new technique and to present its benefits and challenges as well as potentials and limitations. Concluding from the main findings, a plan for future research in this field should be developed.

  • Themen im FSS15 für Studierende der „B.Sc. Wirtschafts­pädagogik“

    Design von Kunden­erfahrungen mit Hilfe der PCN Analyse am Beispiel des Schienenpersonenfernverkehrs

    Anders als beim Design physischer Produkte fehlt es bei der Gestaltung von prozess­orientierten Dienstleistungen leider noch immer an systematischen Design Tools. Die PCN (Process Chain Network) Analyse ist ein einfaches aber mächtiges Instrument zur Visualisierung, Bewertung und wert­orientierten Verbesserung von Dienstleistungen und den zugrundliegenden Prozessen der Leistungs­erbringung. Mit Hilfe der PCN Analyse lässt sich systematisch untersuchen, an welchen Stellen im Prozess Wert durch eine strategische Repositionierung einzelner Prozesselemente generiert werden kann. Ziel der Arbeit ist es, eine kurze Einführung in die Methodik der PCN-Analyse zugeben und sie auf ein Beispiel im Schienenpersonenfernverkehr anzuwenden und zu diskutieren. Genauer betrachtet werden soll hierbei der Prozess von der Online Reservierung eines Zuges durch den Kunden bis hin zu seiner Ankunft am Zielort.

    Verteilungs­freie Verfahren zum Bestands­management

    Wie wird der Bestellzeitpunkt anhand der Merkmale eines Artikels ausgewählt und die optimale Bestellmenge ermittelt? Im Rahmen dieser Thesis soll ein Literatur­überblick zum sogenannten “Online Inventory Management Problem” erstellt werden. Im Gegensatz zu klassischen Modellen ist dieser Ansatz zum Bestands­management verteilungs­frei. Existierende Verfahren zur Bestands- und Beschaffungs­planung sollen untersucht werden. Hierbei stellt sich beispielsweise die Frage nach dem optimalen Sicherheitsbestand oder der optimalen Bestellpolitik vor dem Hintergrund ungewisser Nachfrage- und/oder Preisprozesse.

    Verteilungs­freie Revenue Management Verfahren

    Wer zuerst kommt, bekommt den billigsten noch verfügbaren Tarif – nach außen sieht es so aus, als würden die Preise für Flugtickets mit der Zeit steigen. Im Rahmen dieser Thesis soll ein Literatur­überblick zum sogenannten “Online Revenue Management Problem” erstellt werden. Im Gegensatz zu klassischen Modellen ist dieser Ansatz zur Preis- und Kapazitätssteuerung verteilungs­frei. Existierende Verfahren zur Preisdifferenzierung und Kontingentierung sollen untersucht werden. Hierbei stellt sich beispielsweise die Frage nach optimalen Ticketkontingenten, denn ist ein Kontingent aufgebraucht, ist der zugehörige Tarif nicht mehr verfügbar.

    Planungs­probleme von Eisenbahn­unternehmen mit verschiedenen Zeithorizonten

    Das Betreiben eines Eisenbahn­unternehmens erfordert komplexe Planungs­entscheidungen hinsichtlich Liniennetz, Fahrplan, Zügen, etc. Dabei lassen sich die unterschiedlichen Planungs­probleme in kurz-, mittel-und langfristige Probleme kategorisieren. Ziel der Arbeit ist es, eine Klassifizierung der verschiedenen Planungs­probleme nach Zeithorizonten auszuarbeiten. Außerdem soll ein Überblick diverser Methoden, die zur Entscheidungs­findung in den einzelnen Kategorien dienen, erstellt werden.

    Service design – gegenwärtige und zukünftige Forschungs­felder

    In der heutigen Wirtschaft spielen Dienstleistungen eine bedeutende Rolle und machen einen Großteil der wirtschaft­lichen Aktivitäten aus. Nur die Unternehmen mit den besten Dienstleistungen werden den Wettstreit um Kunden und Abschlüsse für sich entscheiden können. Zum Erreichen dieses Ziels nutzen Unternehmen Service Design, um neue Dienstleistungen zu entwickeln oder bestehende zu verbessern. Das Ziel dieser Arbeit ist es, einen umfassenden Überblick über die verschiedenen Schritte von und Perspektiven auf Service Design zu erarbeiten, aktuelle Literatur zu diesem Thema zu sichten und vielversprechende Ansätze für zukünftige Forschungs­arbeiten abzuleiten.

  • Themen im FSS14 für Studierende der „B.Sc. Betriebs­wirtschafts­lehre“

    Innovations in Quality Management for Service Firms

    Innovation is a necessary process in an enterprise´s life. Especially quality management offers a great variety of possible innovations. The aim of this thesis is to point out how innovations in quality management support and promote service firms. Three studies from the literature with reference to service enterprises should be given as an example.

    DMAIC method - an improvement procedure of Six Sigma

    Six Sigma helps to improve the strategic process of organizations and its services. DMAIC - Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control - is a procedure to improve the Six Sigma method by showing strengths and weaknesses in companies’ transactions. This thesis should give an introduction to Six Sigma with focus on DMAIC. Furthermore, the limitations of Six Sigma in services should be presented.

    New JIT - a novel approach of Toyota's management strategy

    Toyota is known for its lean management process. A new approach - New JIT - consists of three core elements of Toyota`s management principles (TMS, TDS and TPS) in connection with a software system (TQM-S). The goals of New JIT are a revised global production and to ensure a high quality level. This thesis should describe the implementation of this approach, especially in the service area (TMS).

    Revenue Management - The Adwords Problem

    How do search engine companies, such as Google, Yahoo or MSN, decide what ads to display with each query so as to maximize their revenue? The key problem is to find the correct trade-off between the bid and unspent budget of the advertiser. In this thesis, three algorithms solving the adwords problem should be presented. In addition, examples should be given to demonstrate the algorithms’ functionality and practical relevance.

    Revenue Management - The On-line Booking Problem

    Which booking policy guarantees the largest possible percentage of the optimum revenue, for any demands and request sequence? In this thesis, revenue management policies should be presented from the perspective of on-line algorithms. Furthermore, an example should be developed to demonstrate how the approach can be applied to find an optimal booking policy.

    Inventory Management - The On-line Problem

    What is the optimal point of time to replenish and how much raw materials to buy? The key problem is to find a strategy to fill the inventory to capacity at minimum cost without any knowledge of future prices, i.e., decisions must be taken in an on-line fashion. In this thesis, the concept of on-line algorithms in the context of inventory management should be presented. Furthermore, an example should be developed to demonstrate how the approach can be applied to take optimal decisions.

    Green products: sustainable society and network design

    The growing volume of transportation has consequences upon the environment. Countries and companies are faced with strict targets in order to reduce the level of pollution and emissions. Besides, scholars argue that to be a sustainable society developed countries need to consume less. The objective of this thesis is to give a review on the existing literature on green supply chain network design and servicizing (change of business focus from selling products to providing services): Which factors should be considered in order to optimize a network design and to reduce the level of pollution, emissions and consumption.

    Queuing-theory: balking and reneging

    Companies pay attention on positive customer experiences. Customers don't want to spend too much time waiting. If customers are faced with intolerable delays they will balk (leave without joining the queue) or renege (departs queue without being - fully - served). Why do customers balk or renerge? It is known that it is more costly to win a new customer than holding a loyal customer. What empirical evidence do we have regarding customer balking and reneging behaviour and what is the current state-of-the-art in analytical queuing models considering balking and reneging? Where do analytical models fall short of capturing the behavioral realities? How could future research close this gap?