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3 Components of a Decision Support System (DSS)

You are a chief information officer (CIO) who is employed by a corporation that generates electricity with three coal burning electric power plants located in various parts of the country. Your company's procurement VP tells you that he is in the process of reviewing 80 proposals from coal suppliers located in various parts of the country, to supply the three power plants with coal for the next 12 years. The transportation costs vary based on the requirement to use barge, rail, and truck depending on the access routes between the 80 supply locations and your three power plants. You know the quantity of coal that is required to keep each plant operating through the year. You also know any one supplier cannot meet the requirements of any one of your plants.

Your objective is to provide your procurement VP with a tool that will help him determine the least costly alternative so that all three plants are in continuous operation for the next 12 years. You decide to search for a DSS to find the optimal solution. A DSS is an organized collection of people, procedures, software, databases, and devices used to support problem-specific decision-making. What are the common characteristics of the DSS system that you will need?

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For any DSS system there are a few standard components:

1 - The data inputs from each permutation or option, these should include both variable and fixed data points
For example, in the problem supplied some of the factors would be:cost of raw materials, quantity available from each source, quantity required at each facility, distribution ...

Solution Summary

Three components of a decision support system is determined.