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Title: Information systems design to support demand-driven supply chains
Author: Bremang, Asante
ISNI:       0000 0001 3478 3953
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2005
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Supply chains and the practise of supply chain management, especially in the automotive industry have evolved. This evolution has altered perception of supply chains and the techniques used to manage them. Fordism and vertical integration, once seen as important cornerstones of supply chain management have given way to increased outsourcing and Japanese influenced management techniques as a response to customer demands for more customisation in an increasingly competitive and global market. From an era where a Vehicle Manufacturer (VM) owned and operated every stage of car production, increasing global competition and technological and operational challenges have distributed the roles and responsibilities for vehicle production. Instead of the adversarial supplier relationships, contemporary literature extols the virtues of partnerships and strategic alliances as policies to improve supply chain performance and reduce waste. In the context of contemporary literature the principle that companies must share information (which encompasses elements of power and trust) in order to reduce waste has gained momentum and has been demonstrated in the beer game. Attempts to achieve automated information exchange with Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) have hadtheir successes, but these successes have been limited to the upper echelonsofa chain. This thesis investigated the Internet as a viable alternative for automated information exchange by proposing a generic information system topology based on Internet standards and a supply chain configuration that combined point-to-point and cross supply chain connectivity. The topology and configuration were drawn from a body of work that investigated the evolution of supply chains and their management. The use of EDI, Internet EDI andthe Internet in the automotive and two other key industry sectors, and a vendor product review to identify the "best in class" tools from leading IT vendors. Work in those areas also defined an information system specification and designed three "prevalent" topologies, which together with a generic topology were validated against the specification. The generic topology was also verified through case studies set in the automotive industry. In each case the topology replicated features of the prevalent topologies into the supply chain configuration. Three information system configurations (known as "glass pipeline") were used to represent the flow of information in the supply chain and improvements, if any, were measured using a supply chain scorecard. The scorecard was designed to quantify supply chain performance measures and included an exposition of the bullwhip effect, supply chain synchronisation and pipeline inventory. Comparingthe results from the current supply chain andthe glass pipelines provided a list of external factors that influence successful supply chain information system design and demonstrated that the level of information transparency gained through the use of the Internet (the generic topology) did provide benefits for the supply chains analysed. The benefits included a reduction in the bullwhip effect and increased synchronisation, in some instances as muchas 7.47 to 0.81 for the bullwhip measure and 31% to 78% for synchronisation. The implications of these findings were that suppliers at a much lower echelon, than current practice, could be sequenced, and overall reductions in supply chain cycle times andpipeline inventories were obtained. Such achievements are likely to be important for the success of future automotive supply chains.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral