Over the course of six months, we have worked in partnership with Arizona State University and a leading producer of semiconductor chips in the United States market (referred to as the "Company"), lending our skills in finance, statistics, model building, and external insight. We attempt to design models that help predict how much time it takes to implement a cost-saving project. These projects had previously been considered only on the merit of cost savings, but with an added dimension of time, we hope to forecast time according to a number of variables. With such a forecast, we can then apply it to an expense project prioritization model which relates time and cost savings together, compares many different projects simultaneously, and returns a series of present value calculations over different ranges of time. The goal is twofold: assist with an accurate prediction of a project's time to implementation, and provide a basis to compare different projects based on their present values, ultimately helping to reduce the Company's manufacturing costs and improve gross margins. We believe this approach, and the research found toward this goal, is most valuable for the Company. Two coaches from the Company have provided assistance and clarified our questions when necessary throughout our research. In this paper, we begin by defining the problem, setting an objective, and establishing a checklist to monitor our progress. Next, our attention shifts to the data: making observations, trimming the dataset, framing and scoping the variables to be used for the analysis portion of the paper. Before creating a hypothesis, we perform a preliminary statistical analysis of certain individual variables to enrich our variable selection process. After the hypothesis, we run multiple linear regressions with project duration as the dependent variable. After regression analysis and a test for robustness, we shift our focus to an intuitive model based on rules of thumb. We relate these models to an expense project prioritization tool developed using Microsoft Excel software. Our deliverables to the Company come in the form of (1) a rules of thumb intuitive model and (2) an expense project prioritization tool.
- Prioritizing Projects on Time and Cost Savings for a more Efficient Manufacturing Process of a Semiconductor Company
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