In a dynamic market of Information Technology (IT) Service and with high quality demands and high performance requirements in decreasing costs, it is imperative that IT companies invest organizational effort in order to increase the effectiveness of their Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) processes through the improvement of ITSM project management and through solid support to the strategic decision-making process of IT directors. In this article, the author presents an analysis of common issues of IT companies around the world, with strategic needs of information unmet that provoke their ITSM processes and projects management that do not achieve the effectiveness and efficiency expected of their results. In response to the issues raised, the author proposes a framework consisting of an innovative theoretical framework model of ITSM management and a technological solution aligned to the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) good practices guidance and ISO/IEC 20000-1 requirements. The article describes a research that proves the proposed framework is able to integrate, manage and coordinate in a holistic way, measurable and auditable, all ITSM processes and projects of IT organization and utilize the effectiveness assessment achieved for their strategic decision-making process increasing the process maturity level and improving the capacity of an efficient management.
The significant growth in the use of technologies in all life domains created numerous hurdles that derailed many knowledge management projects. Cloud computing choices are commencement to untangle these obstacles. Linking Cloud computing with knowledge management (KM) is a challenging task. Small amount of researches have been done regarding cloud computing and KM. In this paper, we consider Cloud-based KM as a new KM approach, and study the contribution of Cloud Computing to organizational KM. In fact, KM and cloud computing have many things in common, this similarity allows deriving very interesting features. Our approach is based on these features and focuses on the advantages of Cloud computing in the context of organizational KM. Finally, we highlight some challenges that have to be addressed when adopting a Cloud Computing approach to KM.
Landfills present long-term threats to soil, air, groundwater and surface water due to the formation of greenhouse gases (methane gas and carbon dioxide) and leachate from decomposing garbage. The composition of leachate differs from site to site and also within the landfill. The leachates alter with time (from weeks to years) since the landfilled waste is biologically highly active and their composition varies. Mainly, the composition of the leachate depends on factors such as characteristics of the waste, the moisture content, climatic conditions, degree of compaction and the age of the landfill. Therefore, the leachate composition cannot be generalized and the traditional treatment models should be adapted in each case. Although leachate composition is highly variable, what different leachates have in common is hazardous constituents and their potential eco-toxicological effects on human health and on terrestrial ecosystems. Since leachate has distinct compositions, each landfill or dumping site would represent a different type of risk on its environment. Nevertheless, leachates consist always of high organic concentration, conductivity, heavy metals and ammonia nitrogen. Leachate could affect the current and future quality of water bodies due to uncontrolled infiltrations. Therefore, control and treatment of leachate is one of the biggest issues in urban solid waste treatment plants and landfills design and management. This work presents a treatment model that will be carried out "in-situ" using a cost-effective novel technology that combines solar evaporation/condensation plus forward osmosis. The plant is powered by renewable energies (solar energy, biomass and residual heat), which will minimize the carbon footprint of the process. The final effluent quality is very high, allowing reuse (preferred) or discharge into watercourses. In the particular case of this work, the final effluents will be reused for cleaning and gardening purposes. A minority semi-solid residual stream is also generated in the process. Due to its special composition (rich in metals and inorganic elements), this stream will be valorized in ceramic industries to improve the final products characteristics.
The aim of this study was to analyze long term changes of surface water quality in Latvia, spatial variability of water chemical composition, possible impacts of different pollution sources as well as to analyze the measures to protect national water resources - river basin management. Within this study, the concentrations of major water ingredients and microelements in major rivers and lakes of Latvia have been determined. Metal concentrations in river and lake waters were compared with water chemical composition. The mean concentrations of trace metals in inland waters of Latvia are appreciably lower than the estimated world averages for river waters and close to or lower than background values, unless regional impacts determined by local geochemistry. This may be explained by a comparatively lower level of anthropogenic load. In the same time in several places, direct anthropogenic impacts are evident, regarding influences of point sources both transboundary transport impacts. Also, different processes related to pollution of surface waters in Latvia have been analyzed. At first the analysis of changes and composition of pollutant emissions in Latvia has been realized, and the obtained results were compared with actual composition of atmospheric precipitation and their changes in time.
Land-cover maps were important for many scientific, ecological and land management purposes and during the last decades, rapid decrease of soil fertility was observed to be due to land use practices such as rice cultivation. High-precision land-cover maps are not yet available in the area which is important in an economy management. To assure accurate mapping of land cover to provide information, remote sensing is a very suitable tool to carry out this task and automatic land use and cover detection. The study did not only provide high precision land cover maps but it also provides estimates of rice production area that had undergone chemical degradation due to fertility decline. Land-cover were delineated and classified into pre-defined classes to achieve proper detection features. After generation of Land-cover map, of high intensity of rice cultivation, soil fertility degradation assessment in rice production area due to fertility decline was created to assess the impact of soils used in agricultural production. Using Simple spatial analysis functions and ArcGIS, the Land-cover map of Municipality of Quezon in Nueva Ecija, Philippines was overlaid to the fertility decline maps from Land Degradation Assessment Philippines- Bureau of Soils and Water Management (LADA-Philippines-BSWM) to determine the area of rice crops that were most likely where nitrogen, phosphorus, zinc and sulfur deficiencies were induced by high dosage of urea and imbalance N:P fertilization. The result found out that 80.00 % of fallow and 99.81% of rice production area has high soil fertility decline.
Separate collection system for recyclable wastes in the Helsinki region was ranked second best of European capitals. The collection system includes paper, cardboard, glass, metals and biowaste. Residual waste is collected and used in energy production. The collection system excluding paper is managed by the Helsinki Region Environmental Services HSY, a public organization owned by four municipalities (Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen and Vantaa). Paper collection is handled by the producer responsibility scheme. The efficiency of the collection system in the Helsinki region relies on a good coverage of door-to-door-collection. All properties with 10 or more dwelling units are required to source separate biowaste and cardboard. This covers about 75% of the population of the area. The obligation is extended to glass and metal in properties with 20 or more dwelling units. Other success factors include public awareness campaigns and a fee system that encourages recycling. As a result of waste management regulations for source separation of recyclables and biowaste, nearly 50 percent of recycling rate of household waste has been reached. For households and small and medium size enterprises, there is a sorting station fleet of five stations available. More than 50 percent of wastes received at sorting stations is utilized as material. The separate collection of plastic packaging in Finland will begin in 2016 within the producer responsibility scheme. HSY started supplementing the national bring point system with door-to-door-collection and pilot operations will begin in spring 2016. The result of plastic packages pilot project has been encouraging. Until the end of 2016, over 3500 apartment buildings have been joined the piloting, and more than 1800 tons of plastic packages have been collected separately. In the summer 2015 a novel partial flow digestion process combining digestion and tunnel composting was adopted for source separated household and commercial biowaste management. The product gas form digestion process is converted in to heat and electricity in piston engine and organic Rankine cycle process with very high overall efficiency. This paper describes the efficient collection system and discusses key success factors as well as main obstacles and lessons learned as well as the partial flow process for biowaste management.
In recent years, different petrochemical complexes have been established to produce aromatic compounds. Among them, Nouri Petrochemical Complex (NPC) is the largest producer of aromatic raw materials in the world, and is located in south of Iran. Environmental concerns have been raised in this region due to generation of different types of solid waste generated in the process of aromatics production, and subsequently, industrial waste characterization has been thoroughly considered. The aim of this study is qualitative and quantitative characterization of industrial waste generated in the aromatics production process and determination of the best method for industrial waste management. For this purpose, all generated industrial waste during the production process was determined using a checklist. Four main industrial wastes were identified as follows: spent industrial soil, spent catalyst, spent molecular sieves and spent N-formyl morpholine (NFM) solvent. The amount of heavy metals and organic compounds in these wastes were further measured in order to identify the nature and toxicity of such a dangerous compound. Then industrial wastes were classified based on lab analysis results as well as using different international lists of hazardous waste identification such as EPA, UNEP and Basel Convention. Finally, the best method of waste disposal is selected based on environmental, economic and technical aspects.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is not an exception in relying on the growth of its construction industry to support rapid population growth. However, its need for infrastructure development is constrained by low productivity levels and cost overruns caused by factors such as delays to project completion. Delays in delivering a construction project are a global issue and while theories such as Optimism Bias have been used to explain such delays, in KSA, client-related causes of delays are also significant. The objective of this paper is to develop a framework-based approach to explore how the country’s construction industry can manage and reduce delays in construction projects through building information modelling (BIM) in order to mitigate the cost consequences of such delays. It comprehensively and systematically reviewed the global literature on the subject and identified gaps, critical delay factors and the specific benefits that BIM can deliver for the delay management. A case study comprising of nine hospital projects that have experienced delay and cost overruns was also carried out. Five critical delay factors related to the clients were identified as candidates that can be mitigated through BIM’s benefits. These factors are: Ineffective planning and scheduling of the project; changes during construction by the client; delay in progress payment; slowness in decision making by the client; and poor communication between clients and other stakeholders. In addition, data from the case study projects strongly suggest that optimism bias is present in many of the hospital projects. Further validation via key stakeholder interviews and documentations are planned.
This paper aims to determine the best environmental and economic scenario for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management of the Maku city by using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach. The functional elements of this study are collection, transportation, and disposal of MSW in Maku city. Waste composition and density, as two key parameters of MSW, have been determined by field sampling, and then, the other important specifications of MSW like chemical formula, thermal energy and water content were calculated. These data beside other information related to collection and disposal facilities are used as a reliable source of data to assess the environmental impacts of different waste management options, including landfills, composting, recycling and energy recovery. The environmental impact of MSW management options has been investigated in 15 different scenarios by Integrated Waste Management (IWM) software. The photochemical smog, greenhouse gases, acid gases, toxic emissions, and energy consumption of each scenario are measured. Then, the environmental indices of each scenario are specified by weighting these parameters. Economic costs of scenarios have been also compared with each other based on literature. As final result, since the organic materials make more than 80% of the waste, compost can be a suitable method. Although the major part of the remaining 20% of waste can be recycled, due to the high cost of necessary equipment, the landfill option has been suggested. Therefore, the scenario with 80% composting and 20% landfilling is selected as superior environmental and economic scenario. This study shows that, to select a scenario with practical applications, simultaneously environmental and economic aspects of different scenarios must be considered.
In recent years, citizens have become an important source of geographic information and, therefore, geo-crowdsourcing, often known as volunteered geographic information, has provided an interesting alternative to traditional mapping practices which are becoming expensive, resource-intensive and unable to capture the dynamic nature of urban environments. In order to address a gap in research literature, this paper deals with a survey conducted to assess the current state of geo-crowdsourcing, a recent phenomenon popular with people who collect geographic information using their smartphones. This article points out that there is an increasing body of knowledge of geo-crowdsourcing mobile applications in the Visegrad countries marked by the ubiquitous Internet connection and the current massive proliferation of smartphones. This article shows how geo-crowdsourcing can be used as a complement, or in some cases a replacement, to traditionally generated sources of spatial data and information in public management. It discusses the new spaces of citizen participation constructed by these geo-crowdsourcing practices.
Introduction: The application of fissure sealants is considered to be an important primary prevention method used in dental medicine. However, the formation of microleakage gaps between tooth enamel and the fissure sealant applied is one of the most common reasons of dental caries development in teeth with fissure sealants. The association between various dental biomaterials may limit the major disadvantages and limitations of biomaterials functioning in a complementary manner. The present study consists in the incorporation of a cariostatic agent – silver diamine fluoride (SDF) – in a resin-based fissure sealant followed by the study of release kinetics by spectrophotometry analysis of the association between both biomaterials and assessment of the inhibitory effect on the growth of the reference bacterial strain Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) in an in vitro study. Materials and Methods: An experimental in vitro study was designed consisting in the entrapment of SDF (Cariestop® 12% and 30%) into a commercially available fissure sealant (Fissurit®), by photopolymerization and photocrosslinking. The same sealant, without SDF was used as a negative control. The effect of the sealants on the growth of S. mutans was determined by the presence of bacterial inhibitory halos in the cultures at the end of the incubation period. In order to confirm the absence of bacteria in the surface of the materials, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) characterization was performed. Also, to analyze the release profile of SDF along time, spectrophotometry technique was applied. Results: The obtained results indicate that the association of SDF to a resin-based fissure sealant may be able to increase the inhibition of S. mutans growth. However, no SDF release was noticed during the in vitro release studies and no statistical significant difference was verified when comparing the inhibitory halo sizes obtained for test and control group. Conclusions: In this study, the entrapment of SDF in the resin-based fissure sealant did not potentiate the antibacterial effect of the fissure sealant or avoid the immediate development of dental caries. The development of more laboratorial research and, afterwards, long-term clinical data are necessary in order to verify if this association between these biomaterials is effective and can be considered for being used in oral health management. Also, other methodologies for associating cariostatic agents and sealant should be addressed.
Background: Traditional chronic disease management did not pay attention to effects of geographic factors on the compliance of treatment regime, which resulted in geographic inequality in outcomes of chronic disease management. This study aims to examine the geographic distribution and clustering of quality indicators of diabetes care. Method: We first extracted address, demographic information and quality of care indicators (number of visits, complications, prescription and laboratory records) of patients with diabetes for 2014 from medical information system in a medical center in Tainan City, Taiwan, and the patients’ addresses were transformed into district- and village-level data. We then compared the differences of geographic distribution and clustering of quality of care indicators between districts and villages. Despite the descriptive results, rate ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated for indices of care in order to compare the quality of diabetes care among different areas. Results: A total of 23,588 patients with diabetes were extracted from the hospital data system; whereas 12,716 patients’ information and medical records were included to the following analysis. More than half of the subjects in this study were male and between 60-79 years old. Furthermore, the quality of diabetes care did indeed vary by geographical levels. Thru the smaller level, we could point out clustered areas more specifically. Fuguo Village (of Yongkang District) and Zhiyi Village (of Sinhua District) were found to be “hotspots” for nephropathy and cerebrovascular disease; while Wangliau Village and Erwang Village (of Yongkang District) would be “coldspots” for lowest proportion of ≥80% compliance to blood lipids examination. On the other hand, Yuping Village (in Anping District) was the area with the lowest proportion of ≥80% compliance to all laboratory examination. Conclusion: In spite of examining the geographic distribution, calculating rate ratios and their 95% CI could also be a useful and consistent method to test the association. This information is useful for health planners, diabetes case managers and other affiliate practitioners to organize care resources to the areas most needed.
The purpose of this paper is to address the functions of sustainability dimensions in city information modelling and to present the required sustainability criteria that support establishing a sustainable planning framework for enhancing existing cities and developing future smart cities. The paper is divided into two sections. The first section is based on the examination of a wide and extensive array of cross-disciplinary literature in the last decade and a half to conceptualize the terms ‘sustainable’ and ‘smart city’, and map their associated criteria to city information modelling. The second section is based on analyzing two approaches relating to city information modelling, namely statistical and dynamic approaches, and their suitability in the development of cities’ action plans. The paper argues that the use of statistical approaches to embed sustainability dimensions in city information modelling have limited value. Despite the popularity of such approaches in addressing other dimensions like utility and service management in development and action plans of the world cities, these approaches are unable to address the dynamics across various city sectors with regards to economic, environmental and social criteria. The paper suggests an integrative dynamic and cross-disciplinary planning approach to embedding sustainability dimensions in city information modelling frameworks. Such an approach will pave the way towards optimal planning and implementation of priority actions of projects and investments. The approach can be used to achieve three main goals: (1) better development and action plans for world cities (2) serve the development of an integrative dynamic and cross-disciplinary framework that incorporates economic, environmental and social sustainability criteria and (3) address areas that require further attention in the development of future sustainable and smart cities. The paper presents an innovative approach for city information modelling and a well-argued, balanced hierarchy of sustainability criteria that can contribute to an area of research which is still in its infancy in terms of development and management.
A perfect start is a key factor for project completion on time. The study examined the effects of delayed mobilization of resources during the initial phases of the project. This paper mainly highlights the identification and categorization of all delays during the initial construction phase and their root cause analysis with corrective/control measures for the Kuwait Oil Company oil and gas projects. A relatively good percentage of the delays identified during the project execution (Contract award to end of defects liability period) attributed to mobilization/preliminary activity delays. Data analysis demonstrated significant increase in average project delay during the last five years compared to the previous period. Contractors had delays/issues during the initial phase, which resulted in slippages and progressively increased, resulting in time and cost overrun. Delays/issues not mitigated on time during the initial phase had very high impact on project completion. Data analysis of the delays for the past five years was carried out using trend chart, scatter plot, process map, box plot, relative importance index and Pareto chart. Construction of any project inside the Gathering Centers involves complex management skills related to work force, materials, plant, machineries, new technologies etc. Delay affects completion of projects and compromises quality, schedule and budget of project deliverables. Works executed as per plan during the initial phase and start-up duration of the project construction activities resulted in minor slippages/delays in project completion. In addition, there was a good working environment between client and contractor resulting in better project execution and management. Mainly, the contractor was on the front foot in the execution of projects, which had minimum/no delays during the initial and construction period. Hence, having a perfect start during the initial construction phase shall have a positive influence on the project success. Our research paper studies each type of delay with some real example supported by statistic results and suggests mitigation measures. Detailed analysis carried out with all stakeholders based on impact and occurrence of delays to have a practical and effective outcome to mitigate the delays. The key to improvement is to have proper control measures and periodic evaluation/audit to ensure implementation of the mitigation measures. The focus of this research is to reduce the delays encountered during the initial construction phase of the project life cycle.
For certification, certain goods of public interest, such as medicines and food, it is required the preparation and delivery of a dossier. For its elaboration, legal and administrative knowledge must be taken, as well as organization of the documents of the process, and an order that allows the file verification. Therefore, a virtual platform was developed to support the process of management and elaboration of the dossier, providing accessibility to the information and interfaces that allow the user to know the status of projects. The development of dossier system on the cloud allows the inclusion of the technical requirements for the software management, including the validation and the manufacturing in the field industry. The platform guides and facilitates the dossier elaboration (report, file or history), considering Mexican legislation and regulations, it also has auxiliary tools for its management. This technological alternative provides organization support for documents and accessibility to the information required to specify the successful development of a dossier. The platform divides into the following modules: System control, catalog, dossier and enterprise management. The modules are designed per the structure required in a dossier in those areas. However, the structure allows for flexibility, as its goal is to become a tool that facilitates and does not obstruct processes. The architecture and development of the software allows flexibility for future work expansion to other fields, this would imply feeding the system with new regulations.
Customer experience is increasingly the differentiator between successful companies and those who struggle. Currently, customer experiences become more dynamic; and they advance with each interaction between the company and a customer. Every customer conversation and any effort to evolve these conversations would be beneficial and should ultimately result in a positive customer experience. The aim of this paper is to analyze the evolving customer experience management landscape and the relevant challenges and opportunities. A case study on the “paper machine” companies is chosen. Hence, this paper analyzes the challenges and opportunities in customer experience management of paper machine companies for the case of “road to steel”. Road to steel shows the journey of steel from raw material to end product (i.e. paper machine in this paper). ALPHA (Steel company) and BETA (paper machine company), are chosen and their efforts to evolve the customer experiences are investigated. Semi-structured interviews are conducted with experts in those companies to identify the challenges and opportunities of the evolving customer experience management from their point of view. The findings of this paper contribute to the theory and business practices in the realm of the evolving customer experience management landscape.
The confirmatory of Total Quality Management (TQM) implementation is most vital in quality management. This paper focuses on employees' perceptions towards TQM implementation in a local automotive company supplier. The objectives of this study are first and foremost to determine the perception of TQM implementation among the staff, and secondly to ascertain the correlation between the variables, and lastly to identify the relative influence of the 10 TQM variables on the cost of poor quality (COPQ). The TQM implementation is perceived to be moderate. All correlation is found to be significant and five variables having positively moderate to high correlation. Out of 10 variables, quality system improvement, reward and recognition and customer focus influence the perceived COPQ. This study extended a discussion on these three variables contribution to TQM in general and the human resource development in the organization. A significant recommendation to lowering costs of internal error, such as trouble shooting and scraps are also discussed. Certain components of further research that would add value to this study have also been suggested and perhaps could be implemented at policy-level initiatives.
The segregation of waste of electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) in the generating source, its characterization (quali-quantitative) and identification of origin, besides being integral parts of classification reports, are crucial steps to the success of its integrated management. The aim of this paper was to count WEEE generation at the Federal University of Espírito Santo (UFES), Brazil, as well as to define sources, temporary storage sites, main transportations routes and destinations, the most generated WEEE and its recycling potential. Quantification of WEEE generated at the University in the years between 2010 and 2015 was performed using data analysis provided by UFES’s sector of assets management. EEE and WEEE flow in the campuses information were obtained through questionnaires applied to the University workers. It was recorded 6028 WEEEs units of data processing equipment disposed by the university between 2010 and 2015. Among these waste, the most generated were CRT screens, desktops, keyboards and printers. Furthermore, it was observed that these WEEEs are temporarily stored in inappropriate places at the University campuses. In general, these WEEE units are donated to NGOs of the city, or sold through auctions (2010 and 2013). As for recycling potential, from the primary processing and further sale of printed circuit boards (PCB) from the computers, the amount collected could reach U$ 27,839.23. The results highlight the importance of a WEEE management policy at the University.
The climate change causes a change in all aspects of society. While the expansion of renewable energies proceeds, industry could not be convinced based on general studies about the potential of demand side management to reinforce smart grid considerations in their operational business. In this article, a procedure model for a case-specific data-driven decision support for industrial energy management based on a holistic data analytics approach is presented. The model is executed on the example of the strategic decision problem, to integrate the aspect of renewable energies into industrial energy management. This question is induced due to considerations of changing the electricity contract model from a standard rate to volatile energy prices corresponding to the energy spot market which is increasingly more affected by renewable energies. The procedure model corresponds to a data analytics process consisting on a data model, analysis, simulation and optimization step. This procedure will help to quantify the potentials of sustainable production concepts based on the data from a factory. The model is validated with data from a printer in analogy to a simple production machine. The overall goal is to establish smart grid principles for industry via the transformation from knowledge-driven to data-driven decisions within manufacturing companies.
Bhutan is becoming increasingly dependent on Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs), especially the Internet for performing the daily activities of governments, businesses, and individuals. Consequently, information systems and networks are becoming more exposed and vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. This paper highlights the findings of the survey study carried out to understand the perceptions of cybersecurity implementation among government organizations in Bhutan. About 280 ICT personnel were surveyed about the effectiveness of cybersecurity implementation in their organizations. A questionnaire based on a 5 point Likert scale was used to assess the perceptions of respondents. The questions were asked on cybersecurity practices such as cybersecurity policies, awareness and training, and risk management. The survey results show that less than 50% of respondents believe that the cybersecurity implementation is effective: cybersecurity policy (40%), risk management (23%), training and awareness (28%), system development life cycle (34%); incident management (26%), and communications and operational management (40%). The findings suggest that many of the cybersecurity practices are inadequately implemented and therefore, there exist a gap in achieving a required cybersecurity posture. This study recommends government organizations to establish a comprehensive cybersecurity program with emphasis on cybersecurity policy, risk management, and awareness and training. In addition, the research study has practical implications to both government and private organizations for implementing and managing cybersecurity.
In the construction industry, project members are conveyor of project knowledge which is, often, not managed properly to be used in future projects. As construction projects are temporary and unique, project members are willing to be recruited once a project is completed. Therefore, poor management of knowledge across construction projects will lead to a considerable amount of knowledge loss; the ignoring of which would be detrimental to project performance. This issue is more prominent in projects undertaken through the traditional procurement system, as this system does not incentives project members for integration. Thus, disputes exist between the design and construction phases based on the poor management of knowledge between those two phases. This paper aims to highlight the challenges of the knowledge management that exists within the traditional procurement system. Expert interviews were conducted and challenges were identified and analysed by the Interpretive Structural Modelling (ISM) approach in order to summarise the relationships among them. Two identified key challenges are the Culture of an Organisation and Knowledge Management Policies. A knowledge of the challenges and their relationships will help project manager and stakeholders to have a better understanding of the importance of knowledge management.