Researchers at City
University of Hong Kong have devised an open Web-based framework that
enables individual entities in a supply chain network to integrate into
an efficient and effective whole.
of the research project is to help all supply chain members to collaborate
on sharing business information so they can respond rapidly to agile markets
Investigator Dr Richard Y K Fung says that because links in a typical
supply chain can be geographically dispersed, the process of co-ordination
and integration can be complex.
as that, companies still rely on formal means of contact like the telephone
and fax machine to communicate between each other, Dr Fung added.
(Enterprise Integration-Supply Chain) system seeks to partner supply chain
members into a virtual enterprise.
he said, one organisation in a supply chain may be responsible for design,
while other partners take on separate functions such as engineering, marketing,
production, or distribution.
integration brings together the different functions and differentiates
the resulting virtual enterprise from traditional organisations by enabling
it to produce higher quality products at lower costs, and with shorter
lead times, said Dr Fung.
As well as
building the theory and methodology for the EI-SC system, researchers
devised management and planning functions that can rapidly plan actions
to meet specific customer requirements. Testing of a pilot system was
carried out using both simulated data, and actual data from Hong Kong
companies in the toy manufacturing and healthcare industries.
considered was how to reduce human error in electronic data interchange
important that all members of the supply chain talk the same language,
said Dr Fung. If they dont, they cant readily share
knowledge. Ways that knowledge is defined can also be imprecise, or ambiguous
and inconsistent. A set of axioms was applied to interpret commonly-used
Dr Fung said:
Traditional supply chain management tended to focus on the efficiencies
of resources within a single vertically integrated company.
the vertically integrated approach is being replaced by long-term partnerships
between enterprises forming an alliance and a virtual organisation among
systems integration and EI, a rigid inward-looking company can be transformed
into a flexible outward-looking business partner in an overall network.
Partners can also be located anywhere in the world.
Dr Richard Y K Fung : firstname.lastname@example.org