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Publication: Journal of Forest Products Business Research
Authors: 0
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Publish Year: 2005
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Title: Applying the Thinking Process of the Theory of Constraints: An Exploratory Research Methodology to Evaluate the Lack of Use of Cut-to-Length Harvesting Systems in the Southeastern United States
Although this application of the Thinking Process of the Theory of Constraints has been applied to a forestry supply chain, the Thinking Process can be applied to analyze and solve most problems. Two Thinking Process tools, the Current Reality Tree and the Future Reality Tree, are described and illustrated. The Thinking Process methodology is action research and is especially valuable in exploratory research with small populations thereby making it useful when conventional statistical methods are not appropriate. The Current Reality Tree uses cause-and-effect logic to establish relationships between the symptoms and the core problem(s); the Future Reality Tree uses cause-and-effect logic to test potential solutions for sufficiency, and positive and negative consequences before
implementation. The problem under study is why cut-to-length (CTL) harvesting systems (used to convert trees to logs) are rarely used in the southeastern United States, although CTL has many advantages over other systems in numerous parts of the world. First, 16 reasons why this problem exists were identified. Next, the Current Reality Tree was used to identify the core (primary) problem, and the Future Reality Tree was used to construct a possible solution. The complexity of CTL equipment was identified as the core problem.

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