1. Identify whether the shipping scenario in Section 2 is a semi-structured, structured or unstructured problem. Justify your answer. (200 words)
According to Simon in Turban’s Decision Support and Business Intelligence Systems, decision-making processes fall along a continuum that ranges from highly structured (i.e. programmed) to highly unstructured (non-programmed) decisions. Decisions where some, but not all, of the phases are structured are referred to as semi-structured. Semi-structured decisions fall between the structured and the unstructured ones (Turban 2007).
The shipping scenario in Section 2 is structured problem. The decision making process for shipping alternatives, as described four phases. Intelligence in the scenario is involved given conditions such as cargo size, goods specifications. Next in design phase, list possible shipping routines and further provide choice of shipping lines would gain optimal (maximum) incomes. Finally, after calculate the shipping costs, in phase implement will put decision in action.
The Structured decisions are those whose objectives are clear; whose procedures are standardized and for which standard solutions exist. The shipping scenario has specified necessary data values for decision makings. Since the problem is structured, the procedure for obtaining the best solution is obviously. From the capacity of the ships, shipping line to optimal the costs such as lighterage and crane, the objectives are clear defined, that is cost minimization and profit maximization (Turban 2007).
2. Why is a spreadsheet the preferred tool for this DSS? (300 words)
As part of decision making process, the spreadsheet is an important tool which is incorporate modeling with DSS to perform model solution tasks. In shipping scenario, we can use spreadsheet to simulate best solution based on DSS principle for shipping company to operate in order to obtain maximum revenues. So, DSS as an...