PhD student Alice Frantz Schneider from DIGENT participated at the 26th European Operations Management Association (EurOMA) Conference in Helsinki, Finland. EurOMA is a European-based network and is considered Europe’s leading professional association for Operations Management (OM). To extend the OM arena worldwide, it works together with its American (Production and Operations Management Society – POMS) and Japan-based (Japanese Operations Management and Strategy Association – JOMSA) counterparts.
The conference theme of this year was “Operations adding value to society”, which aimed at extending manufacturing and services to the wider societal and community implications. It focused on the move beyond goods manufacturing to considerations such as of the supply chain, critical infrastructure, and circular economy. Among the keynotes who highlighted such concepts, an inspirational talk was given by Professor Jan Godsell from the University of Warwick. Papers at the conference addressed sustainability aspects in several tracks, such as “Humanitarian and Development” and “Sustainable supply chain management”.
Alice presented the paper entitled “Managing change in operations: The case of the wire stripping machine in Agbogbloshie, Ghana” in the section of “Change management”. In this paper, she applied the theory of constraints to the wire stripping process in Agbogbloshie. The presentation was well received with several comments from the audience, in which it was pointed out the importance of the topic and the many challenges involved in changing operations.
The abstract of the paper follows:
This paper investigates the cable processing in Agbogbloshie, Ghana, one of the best-known informal electronic waste management sites worldwide. Wire stripping machines have been installed on site, but are scarcely used. Instead, environmentally eroding and health hazard inducing, open-air burning continues in order to extract metals from the cables. To investigate the machines’ lack of use, the theory of constraints is applied to empirical data collected in Agbogbloshie in 2017. Financial, policy, and market are identified as the system’s constraints. The subsequent suggestions aim to increase the use of the machines, which would ultimately lead to environmental and socio-economic improvements.