Customer Satisfaction and Acceptance of Relationship Marketing Concept: An Exploratory Study in QM Certified Serbian Companies
Satisfying customers and other groups of interest is the key output of relationship marketing. This paper presents the parts of the research that had been carried out by the first quarter of 2008 which included 84 quality management (QM) certified companies and 37 experts from Republic of Serbia. The goals of the research, related to this article, were: firstly, to explain customer satisfaction from the standpoint of relationship marketing concept; secondly, to show that relationship marketing concept is/can be accepted and implemented in QM certified Serbian companies - in order to integrate customer satisfaction and realionship marketing in QM concept.
The performance of tourism supply chains depends on the efficiency of all members involved, including the travel agencies. The paper addresses the analysis of relationships between the agencies’ external integration with other supply chain members on one side, and the efficiency of the agencies on the other. The data envelopment analysis is applied for the estimation of efficiencies, while the structural equation modelling (SEM) is conducted for identification of possible integration impacts on the efficiency. Results show that integration with other supply chain members indeed has some positive impacts on the agencies’ efficiency. Also, the developed SEM model implies that in-depth forms of collaboration would enable more effective exploitation of the identified relations between the integration and efficiency of the agencies. This finding could be an important guideline for the agencies’ management in the sense of achieving more satisfied customers and bigger profits, as well as reduced operational costs.
Functional Abilities as a Predictor of Specific Motor Skills of Young Water Polo Players
The purpose of this study was to assess the influence of functional abilities on specificmotor skills. A total number of 92 male water polo players (age 12±0.5 years, body height 156.96±22.3 cm, body weight 51.02±33.18 kg) with at least two years' experience, were enrolled in the study. The investigation protocol consisted of standardized anthropometric measurements, estimation of maximum oxygen uptake, determination of the lung function values, specific swim tests and swim tests with a ball. The factor analysis was used for the estimation of the structure of specific motor skills. The influence of functional abilities on specific motor skills was estimated by regression analysis. Out of 15 correlations in total between the variables of space of functional abilities of water polo players, 6 were significant at the level of 95% (between the variables of aerobic power and lung function) and all of the correlations (15) between the variables of specific motor skills in water polo players were significant at the 99% level. Only one principal component, the General factor of specific motor skills in water polo (GFSWP) was obtained by way of factorization of the tests of specific motor skills, so the GFSWP represents the latent space of specific motor skills as a criterion. The regression analysis showed that functional abilities (as group predictors) (p= 0.00) and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (as a separate variable) have a significant influence on GFSWP (the criterion). The results of the study pointed out the impact of functional abilities on specific motor skills of selected young water polo players. This may be important for the selection and effective coaching in the early period of training and can affect the development of more appropriate and specific training programmes for optimal physical fitness preparation in young water polo players.
The paper addresses an analysis of potential synergies in collaboration between an observed Port in the Mediterranean Sea and Central-European logistic railway-services based company. Both companies have established a strategic partnership. The main motive was cooperation in rail transport, with a particular emphasis on potential synergies that would a rail traffic have brought to a port’s business. For the purpose of synergies valuation under uncertain conditions, a Monte Carlo simulation-based framework with integrated discounted cash flow (DCF) model is applied. The possible values of future synergies are calculated via the DCF model by simultaneously changing values of different uncertain financial parameters at each repetition of a Monte Carlo scenario-playing mechanism. In this process, predicted forecasts of future synergetic throughputs are also used for various types of observed cargo. As it turned out, the generated synergies’ values follow the approximate normal distribution. Based on statistical inference and analysis of probability intervals it was discovered that there might indeed exist certain important synergies in the collaboration between both companies. This fact has convinced us into a belief in the correctness of companies′ decision to enter into such kind of strategic cooperation.
The paper addresses the effect of external integration (EI) with transport suppliers on the efficiency of travel agencies in the tourism sector supply chains. The main aim is the comparison of different estimation methods used in the structural equation modeling (SEM), applied to discover possible relationships between EIs and efficiencies. The latter are calculated by the means of data envelopment analysis (DEA). While designing the structural equation model, the exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses are also used as preliminary statistical procedures. For the estimation of parameters of SEM model, three different methods are explained, analyzed and compared: maximum likelihood (ML) method, Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo (BMCMC) method, and unweighted least squares (ULS) method. The study reveals that all estimation methods calculate comparable estimated parameters. The results also give an evidence of good model fit performance. Besides, the research confirms that the amplified external integration with transport providers leads to increased efficiency of travel agencies, which might be a very interesting finding for the operational management.
Electric load forecasting (ELF) is a vital process in the planning of the electricity industry and plays a crucial role in electric capacity scheduling and power systems management and, therefore, it has attracted increasing academic interest. Hence, the accuracy of electric load forecasting has great importance for energy generating capacity scheduling and power system management. This paper presents a review of forecasting methods and models for electricity load. About 45 academic papers have been used for the comparison based on specified criteria such as time frame, inputs, outputs, the scale of the project, and value. The review reveals that despite the relative simplicity of all reviewed models, the regression analysis is still widely used and efficient for long-term forecasting. As for short-term predictions, machine learning or artificial intelligence-based models such as Artificial Neural Networks (ANN), Support Vector Machines (SVM), and Fuzzy logic are favored.
Prevalence of cognitive disorders is high in maintenance hemodialysis patients. Montreal cognitive assessment (MoCA) is used for detecting and evaluation of cognitive disorder degree in this patient population. In examined patient population, only 5 (12.5%) of them had normal cognitive function (MoCA ≥26). Mild cognitive impairment (MoCA 18-26) was found in 65.9% (29) patients, while moderate cognitive disorder (MoCA 10-17) was detected in 6 (21.6%) patients. Major cognitive disorder wasn’t detected in examined population. Statistically signifi cant correlation was not established between laboratory parameters and overall MoCA score. Statistically signifi cant correlation, however, was established between MoCA item that evaluates space and time orientation and intermediate secondary hyperparathyroidism and space and time orientation and severe secondary hyperparathyroidism. Hemodynamic instability during hemodialysis and silent ischemia of the brain are increasing risk of appearance of cognitive disorders in maintenance hemodialysis patients.
Prevalence of cognitive disorders is high in maintenance hemodialysis patients. Montreal cognitive assessment (MoCA) is used for detecting and evaluation of cognitive disorder degree in this patient population. In examined patient population, only 5 (12.5%) of them had normal cognitive function (MoCA ≥26). Mild cognitive impairment (MoCA 18-26) was found in 65.9% (29) patients, while moderate cognitive disorder (MoCA 10-17) was detected in 6 (21.6%) patients. Major cognitive disorder wasn’t detected in examined population. Statistically significant correlation was not established between laboratory parameters and overall MoCA score. Statistically significant correlation, however, was established between MoCA item that evaluates space and time orientation and intermediate secondary hyperparathyroidism and space and time orientation and severe secondary hyperparathyroidism. Hemodynamic instability during hemodialysis and silent ischemia of the brain are increasing risk of appearance of cognitive disorders in maintenance hemodialysis patients.
The Effect of Aquatic Intervention on the Gross Motor Function and Aquatic Skills in Children with Cerebral Palsy
The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of an aquatic intervention on the gross motor function and aquatic skills of children with cerebral palsy (CP). Twenty-nine children with CP, aged 5 to 14, were recruited. Fourteen children completed an aquatic intervention (EG), and 13 children served as controls (CG). Two participants dropped out due to events (illness) unrelated to the intervention. The aquatic intervention lasted 6 weeks (2 sessions per week at 55 minutes per session) with a follow-up period of 3 weeks. The outcome measures were the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM) for motor function and the Water Orientation Test Alyn 2 (WOTA 2) for aquatic skills assessment. A significant improvement was observed in the secondary assessment of GMFM and WOTA 2. In contrast to the aquatic skills improvement, the GMFM change was not maintained at follow-up. Our results indicate that children with CP can improve gross motor function on dry land and aquatic skills with a 6-week water intervention. The intervention period was too short for sustainable improvement in dry-land motor skills after intervention (followup), but time was sufficient to achieve sustainable improvements in aquatic skills.
Forecasting is important in many branches of logistics, including the logistics related to Tourism supply chains. With an increasing inflow of American tourists, planning and forecasting the US tourists’ inflow to Slovenia have gained far more importance attention amongst scholars and practitioners. This study, therefore, was conducted to forecast the American tourists’ inflow to Slovenia using one of the predictive models based on the exponential smoothing approach, namely Holt-Winters damped additive (HWDA) exponential smoothing method. The model was modified by several improvements, while the obtained results were generalized to other supply chain components. The results show that the forecasting system can predict well the observed inflow, while the methodology used to derive the model might have enriched the plethora of existing practical forecasting approaches in the tourism domain. Benchmarking demonstrates that the proposed model outperforms a competitive ARIMA model and official forecasts. The practical implications are also discussed in this paper.