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  • 1.
    Aslam, Tehseen
    et al.
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Engineering Science.
    Ng, Amos H. C.
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Engineering Science.
    Combining system dynamics and multi-objective optimization with design space reduction2016In: Industrial management + data systems, ISSN 0263-5577, E-ISSN 1758-5783, Vol. 116, no 2, p. 291-321Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose 

    The purpose of this study is to introduce an effective methodology for obtaining Pareto-optimal solutions, when combining System Dynamics (SD) and Multi-Objective Optimization (MOO) for supply chain problems.

    Design/methodology/approach 

    This paper proposes a new approach that combines SD and MOO within a simulation-based optimization framework to generate the efficient frontier that supports decision- making in SupplyChain Management (SCM). It also addresses the issue of the curse of dimensionality, commonly found in practical optimization problems, through design space reduction.

    Findings 

    The integrated MOO and SD approach has been shown to be very useful in revealing how the decision variables in the Beer Game affect the optimality of the three common SCM objectives, namely, the minimization of inventory, backlog, and the bullwhip effect. The results of the in-depth Beer Game study clearly show that these three optimization objectives are in conflict with each other, in the sense that a supply chain manager cannot minimize the bullwhip effect without increasing the total inventory and total backlog levels.

    Practical implications

    Having a methodology that enables the effective generation of optimal trade-off solutions, in terms of computational cost, time, as well as solution diversity and intensification, not only assists decision makers to make decisions on time, but also presents a diverse and intense solution set to choose from.

    Originality/value 

    This paper presents a novel supply chain MOO methodology that helps to find Pareto-optimal solutions in a more effective manner. In order to do so, the methodology tackles the so-called curse of dimensionality, by reducing the design space and focusing the search of the optimization to regions of interest. Together with design space reduction, it is believed that the integrated SD and MOOapproach can provide an innovative and efficient method for the design and analysis of manufacturing supply chain systems in general.

  • 2.
    Hilletofth, Per
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Demand-supply chain management: industrial survival recipe for new decade2011In: Industrial management + data systems, ISSN 0263-5577, E-ISSN 1758-5783, Vol. 111, no 2, p. 184-211Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to enhance the current understanding and knowledge of the demand-supply chain management (DSCM) concept by determining its elements, benefits, and requirements, and by illustrating its occurrence in practice.

    Design/methodology/approach – This research has utilized a literature and case study research strategy. The case study has involved an international manufacturing company from the appliance industry. Empirical data have been collected mainly from in-depth interviews with key persons representing senior and middle management in the case organization.

    Findings – This research has established that the main elements of DSCM include market orientation, coordination of the demand and supply processes, viewing the demand and supply processes as being equally important, as well as value creation, differentiation, innovativeness, responsiveness, and cost efficiency in the demand and supply processes. It has also been revealed that the main benefits of DSCM include enhanced competitiveness, enhanced demand chain performance, and enhanced supply chain performance, while the main requirements of DSCM include organizational competences, company-established principles, demand-supply chain collaboration, and information technology support.

    Research limitations/implications – This research is explorative in nature, and more empirical data, from similar and other research settings, are needed to further validate the findings. Another limitation of the research is that it is limited to one Swedish company; however, the involved case company has a large international presence and is among the top three in its industry, which provides some ground for the generalization. A final limitation of the research is that the involved company only represents one industry.

    Practical implications – This paper provides insights useful to researchers and practitioners on how to develop a demand-supply oriented business. It highlights that firms should organize themselves around understanding how customer value is created and delivered and how these processes and management directions can be coordinated. The demand and supply processes have to be considered as equally important and the firm needs to be managed by the demand side and supply side of the company jointly in a coordinated manner.

    Originality/value – The need to coordinate the demand and supply processes has been emphasized in both the demand and supply chain literature but still remained relatively unexplored; thus, this paper contributes by investigating this matter further.

  • 3.
    Hilletofth, Per
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society. University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre.
    How to develop a differentiated supply chain strategy2009In: Industrial management + data systems, ISSN 0263-5577, E-ISSN 1758-5783, Vol. 109, no 1, p. 16-33Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of supply chain (SC) design and operation by investigating how two case companies have developed and deployed differentiated SC strategies. This study primarily focuses on the operating part of the differentiated SC strategy, that is, how different manufacturing strategies – such as make-to-stock, assembly-to-order, and make-to-order – are used in contemporary manufacturing related SCs. However, this study also includes elements concerning supply and distribution parts.Design/methodology/approach – This study employs a descriptive multiple case study approach. The case organizations originate from Sweden, but they have significant international presence. Empirical data have been collected mainly from in-depth interviews with key persons representing senior and middle management in the case companies.Findings – This research shows how two case companies have developed and deployed a differentiated SC strategy. The case study findings reveal that both the case companies already are employing several manufacturing strategies and also combine these with different distribution strategies. Up to now, the supply part of the differentiated SC strategy has been neglected but probably will be incorporated in the near future. This implies that one efficient way to develop a differentiated SC strategy could be to combine different supply, manufacturing and distribution strategies into various SC solutions. By combining relatively few strategies, it is possible to develop several differentiated SC solutions.Research limitations/implications – The research work is limited to Swedish companies, however, the case companies are in top three in their respective industries measured by sales, which provides ground for the generalization of the research.Practical implications – This paper gives an insight to managers and practitioners in how to develop and deploy a differentiated SC strategy.Originality/value – Several studies have discussed the appropriate SC strategy issue but failed to address the need to utilize several SC solutions concurrently. However, this paper contributes by discussing how to develop and deploy a differentiated SC strategy and how to manage these multiple SCs.

  • 4.
    Hilletofth, Per
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society. University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre.
    Ericsson, Dag
    University of Borås.
    Christopher, Martin
    Cranfield University.
    Demand chain management: a Swedish industrial case study2009In: Industrial management + data systems, ISSN 0263-5577, E-ISSN 1758-5783, Vol. 109, no 8-9, p. 1179-1196Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to increase the understanding of demand chain management (DCM) by investigating how it has been structured and executed in an international manufacturing company. Design/methodology/approach - The main emphasis has been on producing descriptive results and the applied research strategy has been an embedded single case study. The case organization originates from Sweden, but it has significant international presence. Empirical data have been collected mainly from in-depth interviews with key persons representing senior management in the case company.Findings - This research shows that DCM is about developing synergies between the demand creation and the demand fulfillment processes. A completely implemented DCM approach should incorporate all the major demand creation and fulfillment processes. This kind of fully implemented approach probably does not exist in real life today but some companies have started to develop versions including some of the major processes, and this research provides an example of this. The ultimate goal of DCM is to gain competitive advantages by differentiating not only the products, but also the delivery process. This is necessary in markets characterized of intensive competition, high product variety, large amount of customer-adapted products, and short product life cycles. It can be concluded that DCM is not another name for demand driven supply chains (SCs) or a fad. It is rather a way to finally benefit from decade long marketing discussions on how to achieve customer focus. It highlights the interplay between marketing and supply chain management (SCM) as an enabler of value creation.Research limitations/implications - This research work is limited to one Swedish company; however the case company has large international presence and is in top three in their industry measured by sales, which provides some ground for the generalization of the research. Practical implications - This paper gives an insight for managers and practitioners to the value of coordinating marketing and SCM to develop a truly customer-driven organization and SC. Originality/value - Several studies have addressed the synergies between marketing and SCM but failed to address how to in some detail realize this in practice. This paper contributes by discussing how to realize this coordination in practice.

  • 5.
    Hilletofth, Per
    et al.
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Eriksson, David
    School of Engineering, University of Borås, Borås, Sweden.
    Coordinating new product development with supply chain management2011In: Industrial management + data systems, ISSN 0263-5577, E-ISSN 1758-5783, Vol. 111, no 2, p. 264-281Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to form an understanding of how new product development (NPD) relates to supply chain management (SCM), why the two fields should be coordinated, and how this may be done.

    Design/methodology/approach – This research uses a literature review and case study research. The case study considers a Swedish company that operates on a global basis in the furniture industry. Empirical data have been collected mainly from in-depth interviews with key persons representing senior and middle management in the case company.

    Findings – This paper stresses the need to produce innovative, value-adding products, as well as the necessity to quickly deliver them to the market. Companies that face mature business environments may encounter problems due to a high emphasis on either the value-creation processes, or on the value delivery processes. Therefore, NPD activities need to be coordinated with SCM activities on a strategic level, lest competitiveness will be lost.

    Research limitations/implications – The research is limited to one case company; replication studies would enhance understanding of the studied phenomenon. There is a wide need for research exploring how various parts of demand and supply chains should be managed in order to fully utilize the advantages of the consumer-oriented enterprise.

    Practical implications – This paper provides insights for researchers and practitioners on how to coordinate and balance NPD (demand side) with SCM (supply side) activities. It highlights that companies should organize themselves around understanding how consumer value is created and how these processes may be coordinated to provide that value. The two processes must be given equal attention and importance to avoid sub-optimization.

    Originality/value – The need for coordinating NPD and SCM activities has been emphasized in the literature but still remains relatively unexplored. This paper contributes by investigating this issue further.

  • 6.
    Hilletofth, Per
    et al.
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    Lappeenranta University of Technology.
    Claesson, Frida
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    In-transit distribution strategy: solution for European factory competitiveness?2011In: Industrial management + data systems, ISSN 0263-5577, E-ISSN 1758-5783, Vol. 111, no 1-2, p. 20-40Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – Research work describes in-transit distribution strategy by determining and analyzing key principles of it as well as by illustrating its application in practice. Emphasis on in-transit distribution strategy is to turn transportation pipeline as a mobile inventory holding place, and actively dispatching goods to a destination, where there is a predicted demand before any customer orders are actually received. The use of this strategy is supported by current trade flows: emerging market trade has increased considerably, but simultaneously Swedish export prices, for example, have significantly decreased. The paper aims to address this issue.

    Design/methodology/approach – In-transit strategy is examined through a multiple case study from industrial companies having main factory operations in Sweden as well as using a system dynamics simulation model, and Monte Carlo analysis. These are supported by the second hand data of trade flows between Sweden, and India and China.

    Findings – In order to be successful with in-transit strategy, the case studies show that excellent planning, working closely with customers, first-class market knowledge, and an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that is able to support the process sufficiently are required. Other highlighted requirements of this strategy are low variation in demand, and predictable distribution lead-time. Simulation study of one hypothetical product group verified case study findings, but the authors find it interesting that manufacturing output variance especially is very sensitive regarding to the overall results. If variation increases, then in-transit strategy is not able to deliver for customers with the necessary accuracy. Also increasing average customer demand, and longer transportation delays lead to undesired outcomes (e.g. too much inventory or out of stock situations).

    Research limitations/implications – The case study and second hand analysis is limited to one country, and further evidence is needed from other European, and possibly North American companies, to verify these findings.

    Originality/value – There has been a rather limited amount of research works completed from the use of in-transit strategy, even if increased trade activity and lower price of exported items is that of the old west in their exports to emerging markets, and continues to be so in the future (was even strong to China during credit crunch year 2009). Our research is seminal in terms of a developed system dynamics simulation model.

  • 7.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    Kouvola Research Unit, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola, Finland.
    Advanced manufacturing simulation: Minor system details can be major issues in the real world2006In: Industrial management + data systems, ISSN 0263-5577, E-ISSN 1758-5783, Vol. 106, no 8, p. 1166-1186Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – This paper aims to highlight the complex nature of automated guided vehicle (AGV) simulation model building, and especially how system modelling details affect the end results. This is an important issue in all of the transportation simulation systems, since they are service-based by their nature, and additional inefficiencies create unanticipated performance downgrading.

    Design/methodology/approach – This paper uses a simulation approach, and simulated systems are based on a real-life case study and on well accepted hypothetical simulation example.

    Findings – Simulation system boundaries are often neglected in the model building, and especially interface to inbound (and possibly outbound) material flow should be considered carefully; based on these research results, AGV investments are seen in an entirely different light, as system boundary is enlarged to contain more realistically interacting elements. Similar system boundary issues were found from the case study: interface with overhead gantry did not provide near optimal performance. The case study also revealed that high speed of AGVs is not necessarily worth additional investment; constraints exist in safety, acceleration and ability to turn in corners.

    Research limitations/implications – The findings are based on the simulation work and, to see the real implications, real-life implementations on policy level are needed.

    Practical implications – Results of this research provide more insights for manufacturing unit investments, and especially in the scope of automated transportation system use. Also changes in manufacturing flow management issues, after investing in, for example, AGV systems, are different from in less-automated manufacturing units.

    Originality/value – This research work provides more insights to simulation research work, especially from the perspective of transportation systems. Also implications arising from case study are unique as being compared to previous research in the field.

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