Network Analysis Advantages

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NETWORK ANALYSIS ADVANTAGES

Network analysis can be used to assist the planning and management of complex projects. The following are some of the advantages that result from using the technique: •To calculate the total project duration allows businesses to give accurate delivery dates. Customers may insist on a particular completion date and the critical time shows whether the firm can make this date or not. •Calculating each activity allows the operations manager to order special equipment or materials needed for that task at the correct time. This ties the use of network analysis in with JIT strategies and assists in the control of cash flow and working capital. •Calculating each activity provides a useful control tool for the operations manager. The manager will be able to see whether the project is up to schedule by checking the actual completion times of activities against the network. •Knowing the critical path can be very useful. If there is a delay on a critical activity, there is no float because it is critical and the delay will, unless quick action is taken, put back the whole project. This could lead to expensive damage claims from the customer. By knowing the critical path, the operations manager can see which other activities need to be speeded up if one has been delayed. For instance, in the house-building example above, if E was delayed by two days due to bad weather or non-arrival of equipment, the operations manager would know that one of the following critical activities needs to be accelerated to catch up on time lost. •The additional resources for speeding up a critical activity could come from the non-critical ones. To use the house-building example, if F is to be reduced to eight days to counter the delay, the resources of labour, materials and machinery could be taken, as they both have spare time. This will allow a better and more efficient use of the firm’s resources. This shows how the existence of float times and it allows...
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