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    Author(s): Robert L. Smith; Robert J. Bush; Daniel L. Schmoldt
    Date: 1996
    Source: Proceedings, Forest Products Marketing Group, IUFRO XX World Congress. 53-64.
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (179 KB)


    The Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) was used to characterize the bridge material selection decisions of highway officials across the United States. Understanding product choices by utilizing the AHP allowed us to develop strategies for increasing the use of timber in bridge construction. State Department of Transportation engineers, private consulting engineers, and local highway officials were personally interviewed in Mississippi, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin to identify how various factors determine their choice of a bridge material. The Analytical Hierarchy Process was used to quantify this subjective data and to model the selection decision for different groups of decision makers (customers). Prestressed concrete was the material of choice in the majority of cases. This was followed by reinforced concrete, steel, and timber. Local highway officials chose timber more often than did either group of engineers. These results indicate that timber will remain a niche market for bridge applications.

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    Smith, Robert L.; Bush, Robert J.; Schmoldt, Daniel L. 1996. Understanding Customer Product Choices: A Case Study Using the Analytical Hierarchy Process. Proceedings, Forest Products Marketing Group, IUFRO XX World Congress. 53-64.

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