Information for Decision Support, Information for Performance Evaluation - But Don’t Mix Your Drinks

James E. Everett, M. Kamperman, T. Howard
InSITE 2002  •  Volume 2  •  2002
When the same information is used to support decisions and to evaluate performance, a falsely optimistic view of performance may result. An example occurs in quality control during ship loading for iron ore export. Ore quality depends upon consistent composition. Ore is sampled periodically during reclamation from stockpiles. The ship loader was moved from between source stockpiles when the sample assays differed from target composition. Each ship loader move incurred costly delays. We found the apparent variations in composition could be largely ascribed to measurement error, and that intended correction during ship loading might even be harming quality. The policy was changed, to load ships from a single stockpile without interruption. Sample assays were used to evaluate performance, not to drive decisions. Data are analyzed from 466 shiploads, spanning the years before and after the change of policy, to compare quality performance, as measured by the exporter and by the customer.
MIS, DSS, Mining, Quality Control, Performance Evaluation
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