Development of a computing and information systems infrastructure for CAPM in a computer integrated manufacturing environment
The continuing failure of many CAPM implementations in the UK, despite the availability of a large and growing supply of software, gave rise to concern within the academic and user community and highlighted a need for a concerted research effort into the causes of failure. The Science and Engineering Research Council responded to this need by sponsoring a major research initiative into CAPM through its ACME (Application of Computers to Manufacturing Engineering) Directorate. The findings reported in this thesis result from the work carried out for ACME by the author as part of the joint Polytechnic South West/Sheffield Business School research programme under the direction of professors D R Hughes, I S Smith and D R Tranfield. The extent of the work included surveying a large number of manufacturing firms, interviewing suppliers of CAPM systems and services and analysing the data collected from these activities. This resulted in the identification of a number of causes of CAPM failure. A major component of the work then concerned developing an appropriate CAPM design and implementation methodology to address the issues and concerns identified as significant. A clear distinction is made in the thesis between the work carried out by the author as part of the ACME team and the author's own work. The results from the joint effort of the research team are explained together with the author's unique contribution. The concepts of operational performance envelopes and contextually bound computing and information systems infrastructures provide the theoretical foundation to the author's approach. These concepts are utilised within an approach developed by the author which offers a wider ranging approach than is currently available. Existing approaches focus on the development of single point solutions and aim to address particular and current problems only. Such solutions are inappropriate where requirements are subject to rapid and frequent change, as in the manufacturing sector. In contrast the author's approach focuses on the development of a computing and information systems capability with the necessary flexibility to accommodate changing requirements and priorities. In this way a more resilient solution is obtainable.