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  • 1.
    Asplund, Anna
    et al.
    University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Persson, Anne
    University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    Hilletofth, Per
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    E-procurement beyond the buyer cost perspective2010In: Proceedings of the 22nd NOFOMA Conference: Logistics and Supply Chain Management in a Globalised Economy / [ed] Jan Stentoft Arlbjørn, University of Southern Denmark , 2010, p. 483-498Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: The objective of this paper is to provide and argue for a comprehensive view of e-procurement that involves both the buyer and suppliers and that goes beyond looking at mere cost reductions on the buyer side. More specifically, the paper describes benefits and barriers of implementing e-procurement solutions for both buyers and suppliers.

    Design/methodology/approach: This paper reports on a literature review combined with a case study. The case is a public organization in Sweden, which prepares to implement an e-procurement solution. Interviews were also conducted with a selection of suppliers to the case organization.

    Findings: In e-procurement literature, drivers and barriers are often viewed only from the perspective of a buying organization. Benefits are mainly cost-related for the buying organization, while barriers often include suppliers. It is proposed that benefits and barriers should include both buyers and suppliers. The literature review and the case study findings form the basis for further investigation into this problem area.

    Research limitations/implications: This study focuses on a public organization in Sweden. Yet, it could have implications for many public or private organizations considering implementing e-procurement systems.

    Practical implications: This research suggest that organizations to a greater extent should take the supplier´s side into account when implementing e-procurement solutions.

    Originality/Value: The study highlights a full cycle view on e-procurement taking both buyer and supplier into account.

  • 2.
    Claesson, Frida
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Hilletofth, Per
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    In-transit distribution as a strategy in a global distribution system2011In: International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics, ISSN 1756-6517, E-ISSN 1756-6525, Vol. 3, no 2, p. 198-209Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Distribution has become a key factor in today’s logistics system due to companies’ desires to achieve considerable economies of scale in production, achieved by focused factories, as well as customers’ demands for shorter lead-times and customer adapted products. The purpose of this research is to investigate if the in-transit distribution strategy may offer companies a competitive advantage and may be used as a complement to the centralised distribution strategy and/or the decentralised distribution strategy. This study shows that the in-transit distribution strategy can give major competitive advantages by offering rather short lead-times for customers without having to store products locally in warehouses. This, in turn, gives lower warehousing costs, lower tied-up capital, a less interrupted manufacturing, and steady and continuous production volumes. In order to be successful with this strategy, it takes good planning, working closely with customers, good market knowledge, and an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that is able to support the strategy sufficiently. Among these factors, low variation in demand as well as manufacturing output is required, and furthermore distribution lead time needs to be predictable.

  • 3.
    Claesson, Frida
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Hilletofth, Per
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    Lappeenranta University of Technology.
    Supply Chain Planning in Automotive Sector: Swedish Case Study2011In: Conradi Research Review, ISSN 1459-0980, Vol. 6, no 2, p. 33-54Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This research aims to enhance the current level of knowledge from supply chain planning (SCP) by analyzing the importance of collaboration, information exchange and a supporting information system in its successful execution. These are examined through a case study from international manufacturing company, which operates in automotive industry with its global manufacturing network. Research reveals that collaboration is a complex and important issue of SCP, and occurs simultaneously in vertical and horizontal dimensions. It is important to select strategic partners and to develop a structured work processes and routines. The main objective of collaboration is to determine common goals and objectives and to facilitate the exchange of information; these together drive the performance of a supply chain higher. A sufficient information system supporting the SCP is vital to facilitate collaboration, and information exchange between the different supply chain participants. However, currently in the case company quite many phases of SCP are completed without appropriate and integrated information systems and the process itself contains several manual phases.

  • 4.
    Eriksson, David
    et al.
    University of Borås, Sweden.
    Hilletofth, Per
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    The importance of the retailer for an OEM developing innovative products2011In: Conradi Research Review, ISSN 1459-0980, Vol. 6, no 2, p. 63-81Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The supply chain strategy research has generated many frameworks for matching the supply chain with the nature of demand, market, consumers, or products. Recently many companies have implemented innovative new product development processes in order to increase revenue. However, research on the importance of the retailers for an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) adopting a leagile supply chain strategy for innovative products, is scarce. Using the case study method, this research investigates the need of collaboration between an OEM and its retailers. This research aims to richen the knowledge about demand supply chain management (DSCM), and the coordination of demand and supply processes between companies in the demand-supply chain. This research shows that there are several measures that may be used to monitor performance, and that collaboration is important for the case company.

  • 5.
    Eriksson, David
    et al.
    University of Borås.
    Hilletofth, Per
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    The Role of Consumer Insight in New Product Development and Its Impact on Supply Chain Management: A Swedish Case Study2010In: Innovative Process Optimization Methods in Logistics: Emerging trends, concepts and technologies / [ed] Thorsten Blecker, Wolfgang Kersten, Christian Lüthje, Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag, 2010, p. 113-126Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper seeks to explore how a profound consumer understanding may influence the early stages of a new product development (NPD) process. The issue is examined through a qualitative single case study combined with a literature review. The case study shows how the NPD process is structured and executed in a Swedish furniture company as well as the role consumer insight plays in that process. Empirical data have been collected mainly from in-depth interviews with persons representing senior and middle management in the case company. The research reveals that consumer oriented, cross-functional NPD in the case company has a strong impact on internal collaboration, and aligns the goals between different departments and functions within the company. Despite inefficiencies on departmental level, effectiveness on company level is achieved. Early indications show an expected growth in contribution margins by 8 percentage.

  • 6.
    Hedenstierna, Philip
    et al.
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre.
    Hilletofth, Per
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola, Finland.
    An Integrative Approach To Inventory Control2009In: Rapid Modelling for Increasing Competitiveness: Tools and Mindset / [ed] Gerald Reiner, London: Springer London, 2009, p. 105-118Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Inventory control systems consist of three types of methods: forecasting, safety stock sizing and order timing and sizing. These are all part of the interpretation of a planning environment to generate replenishment orders, and may consequently affect the performance of a system. It is therefore essential to integrate these aspects into a complete inventory control process, to be able to evaluate different methods for certain environments as well as for predicting the overall performance of a system. In this research a framework of an integrated inventory control process has been developed, covering all relations from planning environment to performance measures. Based on this framework a simulation model has been constructed; the objective is to show how integrated inventory control systems perform in comparison to theoretical predictions as well as to show the benefits of using an integrated inventory control process when evaluating the appropriateness of inventory control solutions. Results indicate that only simple applications (for instance without forecasts or seasonality) correspond to theoretical cost and service level calculations, while more complex models (forecasts and changing demand patterns) show the need for tight synchronization between forecasts and reordering methods. As the framework describes all relations that affect performance, it simplifies the construction of simulation models and makes them accurate. Another benefit of the framework is that it may be used to transfer simulation models to real-world applications, or vice versa, without loss of functionality.

  • 7.
    Hedenstierna, Philip
    et al.
    University of Skövde.
    Hilletofth, Per
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society. University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society. University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre.
    Design of a Framework for Inventory Control - Evaluation of Forecasting and Inventory Control Systems2009In: Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing 2009 (FAIM 2009) / [ed] Farhad Nabhani, Catherine Frost, Sara Zarei, Munir Ahmad, William G. Sullivan, Curran Associates, Inc., 2009, p. 573-580Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Managing inventories so that overall costs are kept low, while service levels are maintained is the central issue of inventory control, which only regulates two things: the size and the timing of orders. This is typically executed through a planning method, such as the reorder point system or, less frequently, the periodic order quantity system. These take into account a forecast, supposed to gauge the average future demand, and a predetermined safety stock, buffering against forecast errors and demand uncertainty. Pure demand also influences the system, as transactions affect the inventory level. It is crucial to understand how a complete system of demand, forecasts, safety stock calculations and planning methods work together to measure service level and overall cost of the system. This paper outlines a framework for the unambiguous representation of the relations between methods that interpret environmental parameters to plan orders. A number of simulations based on the framework are run to show, how the integration of the inventory control functions may affect the overall performance of the system. The usefullness of the framework lies in its ability to make a system duplicable (i.e. to transfer an inventory control system to a simulation model, or vice versa). Not only is this property important for creating simulation models that exactly depict the system being analysed, it also enables the study of a complete system for order planning, as opposed to optimising individual methods. Studying an inclusive system allow the same metrics to be used to evaluate changes to any method in the system. Another benefit of this approach is that the system's metrics directly reflect changes in the environment. Simulations based on this framework are precise and substantially easier to evaluate than models not adhering to any standard.

  • 8.
    Hedenstierna, Philip
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Hilletofth, Per
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    University of Skövde. Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola Research Unit, Kouvola, Finland.
    Integrative purchasing and inventory control at sawnwood retailer - case study2011In: International Journal of procurement management, ISSN 1753-8432, E-ISSN 1753-8440, Vol. 4, no 2, p. 139-155Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purchasing order methods and inventory control are vital elements in fulfilling customer orders and building internal performance; this is particularly the case in retailing operations. In this manuscript, we develop different scenarios for various order methods for a wood retailer, where the performance of the different methods is evaluated through simulation, whereupon the fit between environments and methods is compared. Our results indicate that only simple environments follow analytical cost and service level calculations, while increasing complexity increases the synchronisation need between forecasts and reordering methods. In our research we also compare different ordering methods, and find that while the reorder point method is the most robust solution from the retailer’s perspective, it could lead to distortion within entire wood supply chain.

  • 9.
    Hilletofth, Per
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Demand-Supply Chain Management2010Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: This research aims to enhance the current understanding and knowledge of the demand-supply chain management (DSCM) concept by determining its elements, benefits, and requirements, as well as by analyzing key elements of the concept. Methodology: This research has utilized the case study strategy and the survey strategy, however, the case study strategy dominates. The case study research has involved five companies originating from Sweden and the collection of empirical data mainly from in-depth interviews with key persons representing senior and middle management. The survey research targeted the largest firms in Sweden and Finland and empirical data was collected through an online questionnaire. 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 competiveness, enhanced demand chain performance, as well as enhanced supply chain performance, while the main requirements of DSCM include organizational competences, company established principles, demand-supply chain collaboration, and information technology support. A key element of DSCM further investigated is differentiation focused supply chain design. It has been shown that these efforts can be organized into a process of five stages. In addition, it is important that this process is addressed in parallel with the new product development (NPD) process, that information is exchanged between them, and that they are directed on the basis of the same segmentation model. Another key element of DSCM further investigated is coordination between NPD and SCM. This research has identified several significant linkages between these management directions, which motivate the use of an integrative NPD process where the NPD functions are aligned with the main supply functions in the company and other sales-related functions supporting the commercialization. A final key element of DSCM further investigated is the significance of regarding the demand processes and the supply processes as being equally important. This research has revealed that logistics outsourcing can be risky, if it results in the supply processes being considered less important. Nevertheless, if senior management regards the outsourced processes as equally important as the in-house processes, the effect of logistics outsourcing on company strategies and direction in SCM could be reduced and logistics outsourcing could instead provide an opportunity to improve the design and differentiation of the supply chain. Research limitations/implications: This research has proposed, described, and further analyzed a demand-supply oriented management approach. Such a management approach stresses that the demand processes and the supply processes have to be coordinated and directed at an overlying level, in order to gain and sustain a competitive advantage in competitive and fragmented markets. This research is mainly explorative in nature, and more empirical data, from similar and other research settings, is needed to further validate the findings. Another limitation of the research is that it is essentially limited to Swedish companies (even if some Finnish companies are involved in the survey), however, many of the case companies have a large international presence and are among the top three in their industries, facts which provide some grounds for generalization. Practical implications: This research provides researchers and practitioners with insights into how to develop a demand-supply oriented business. It shows that companies should organize themselves around understanding how customer value is created and delivered, as well as how these processes and management directions can be coordinated. In order for this to occur, the demand and supply processes must be considered as being equally important and the firm needs to be managed jointly and in a coordinated manner by the demand- and supply-side of the company. It is also important that value creation is considered in both the demand and supply processes. Originality/value: Despite strong arguments from both researchers and practitioners for a demand-supply oriented management approach only a minority of companies appear to have effectively coordinated the demand and supply processes. This might be influenced by the lack of research examining how the demand and supply processes can be coordinated, what benefits can be gained by coordinating them, and what requirements are necessary to succeed. This research contributes by investigating these types of aspects further.

  • 10.
    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.

  • 11.
    Hilletofth, Per
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Differentiated Supply Chain Strategy - Building Knowledge through Case Studies2008In: Fourth International Railway Logistics Seminar: Co-operation among Transportation Modes in Northern Europe, Lappeenranta University of Technology , 2008, p. 5-28Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Nowadays companies usually offer a wide range of products and services in various types of non-coherent business environments. It is becoming apparent that traditional ‘one-size-fits-all’ supply chain strategies does not support a wide range of products sold in a diversity of markets. Consequently, it becomes increasingly necessary to employ different manufacturing and delivery strategies concurrently in order to develop a differentiated supply chain strategy. This paper employs a descriptive multiple case study approach to illustrate how two companies has develop a differentiated supply chain strategy. Case study findings reveal that one efficient method to develop a differentiated supply chain strategy is to combine different manufacturing and delivery strategies into various supply chain solutions. By combining relatively few strategies it is possible to develop several differentiated supply chain solutions.

  • 12.
    Hilletofth, Per
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Differentiated Supply Chain Strategy - Response to a fragmented and complex market2008Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Supply Chain Management (SCM) aims to synchronize the requirements of customers with the flow of materials from suppliers, in order to satisfy the needs of the customers as costefficiently as possible. This has become a difficult task due to several developments in the market, such as increased competition, increased demand variability, increased product variety, increased amounts of customer-specific products, and shortening product life cycles. These developments, due in part to globalization, provide additional management challenges and new practices in which supply chains are designed and managed, and can eventually make the difference between companies staying competitive or not. The overall purpose of this thesis is to investigate how complexity and globalization affect supply chain design and operations. The main emphasis has been on producing descriptive results of the studied phenomenon. This research involves five case studies covering international transportation structures used in SCM, the selection of supply chain strategies in different business environments, and the role of information systems and technology in achieving the objective of SCM. In this thesis it has been concluded that in order to cope with increasingly complex and fragmented markets companies need more differentiated transportation structures, modes, and supply chains. Furthermore, to effectively manage this, information systems and advanced decision support tools are required. In addition, this thesis has shown that current taxonomies for supply chain strategy selection are too simplistic due to three major problems: they mediate that it is a question of choosing one supply chain strategy for the entire company,

    they regard markets as rather homogeneous, and they link each supply chain strategy to a specific business context. Instead, it has been concluded that in order to better satisfy differing customer needs in various markets it is increasingly necessary to develop a differentiated supply chain strategy by utilizing different manufacturing and delivery strategies concurrently. Thus, a need exists for new taxonomies for supply chain strategy selection which recognize that the markets are becoming more fragmented and complex, that customer preferences differ across customer/market segments, and that there is a need to differentiate the supply chain strategy. This thesis also highlights several requirements of a differentiated supply chain strategy. Firstly, extended supply chain collaboration is required, since a differentiated supply chain strategy will involve more supply chain partners than a traditional supply chain strategy. Secondly, there is a need for more transportation mode alternatives, particularly intermodal, both in supply and distribution operations, due to the fact that differentiation requires diversity. In this thesis, intermodal landbridge freight services are highlighted as one interesting avenue, which could potentially facilitate a more differentiated supply chain strategy. Thirdly, more integrated information systems are needed along with decision support tools. This study illustrates that agent based modeling appears to be an interesting method for developing realistic decision support tools in the context of complex supply chains. An interesting aspect for further research is to investigate how different manufacturing and delivery strategies can be used concurrently in international supply chains. Moreover, there are several requirements and opportunities of a differentiated supply chain strategy, and these have to be investigated further

  • 13.
    Hilletofth, Per
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Enterprise Resource Planning Systems in Higher Education2008In: Fourth International Railway Logistics Seminar: Co-operation among Transportation Modes in Northern Europe / [ed] Olli-Pekka Hilmola, Lappeenranta University of Technology , 2008, p. 167-180Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Information systems and technology are becoming more and more important in the industry. Consequently, it is important to include these in any modern logistics education. This paper describes how ERP-systems are utilized in logistics education programs and courses at University of Skövde (Sweden). The objective of this paper is to highlight the importance of information systems and technology in a modern logistics education.

  • 14.
    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.

  • 15.
    Hilletofth, Per
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society. University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre.
    Aslam, Tehseen
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society. University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society. University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola Research Unit, Kouvola, Finland.
    Multi-agent-based supply chain management: a case study of requisites2010In: International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations, ISSN 1470-9503, E-ISSN 1741-5225, Vol. 7, no 2/3, p. 184-206Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Supply Chains (SCs) are becoming increasingly complex, and intensified competition in the end markets has started to create a situation where cooperation requirements between companies are increasing, and old mechanistic operations management solutions are becoming obsolete. In this paper we analyse a real-life situation in Alpha’s manufacturing plant in Sweden, which serves northern European countries in consumer markets. Case study findings reveal that the product-mix flexibility requirements are high and lead-time requirements in manufacturing as well as purchasing take weeks or months, not days. Based on the empirical observations, we propose an agent system for this company and discuss different levels of decision making, operative responsibilities and decision time horizons.

  • 16.
    Hilletofth, Per
    et al.
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Claesson, Frida
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola, Finland.
    In-Transit Distribution Strategy: Hope for European Factories?2010In: Rapid Modelling and Quick Response: Intersection of Theory and Practice / [ed] Gerald Reiner, Springer London, 2010, p. 249-261Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this research the in-transit distribution strategy is investigated by determining and analyzing key principles of the strategy. It is examined through a multiple case study and simulation. This research reveals that the in-transit distribution strategy is about considering goods that are being transported as a mobile inventory and actively dispatching goods to a destination, where there is a predicted demand before any customer orders are received. It can give major competitive advantages by offering rather short lead-times for customers without having to store products locally. This, in turn, gives lower warehousing costs, lower tied-up capital, a less interrupted manufacturing, and steady as well as continous production volumes. It is a workable solution for European manufactures competing in distant market. To be successful with this strategy, it takes good planning, working closely with customers, first-class market kowledge, and a supporting enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Other highlighted requirements are low variation in demand and predictable distribution lead-time. Simulation study of one hypothetical product group verified case study findings, but we find it interesting that especially manufacturing output variance is very sensitive regarding the overall results. Also increasing average customer demand results in undesired outcomes.

  • 17.
    Hilletofth, Per
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society. Logistik.
    Ericsson, Dag
    Demand Chain Management: Next Generation of Logistics Management?2007In: Conradi Research Review, ISSN 1459-0980, Vol. 4, no 2, p. 1-18Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the literature several authors argue that there is a need for a new generation of logistics management since the business environment has changed. This new management philosophy identifies consumers and their requirements as starting point for all supply chain activities and has more properly been termed Demand Chain Management (DCM). The purpose of this paper is to analyze if DCM should be regarded as the next generation of logistics management and furthermore to illustrate its usefulness in practice through case study of Swedish appliance manufacturer. Literature review and case study findings show that DCM is not merely a development of the logistics principles, but rather an integration of marketing and supply chain operations. It is needed in volatile and consumer-oriented environments, which require higher levels of customized products, faster product development and commercialization together with supply, manufacturing and distribution on demand.

  • 18.
    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.

  • 19.
    Hilletofth, Per
    et al.
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Ericsson, Dag
    School of Engineering, University College of Borås, Sweden.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola, Finland.
    Hedenstierna, Philip
    University of Skövde.
    New Product Development in a Manufacturing Company - A Challenge for Supply Chain Management2009In: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing / [ed] Farhad Nabhani, Teesside University , 2009, p. 1169-1177Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The last decades a new type of business environments has evolved characterized by rapid and volatile demand changes, short product life cycles, and high levels of customized products. The competitiveness of a business in these environments is mostly determined by its responsiveness. This is characterized by the ability to quickly scale up or down the production volume, the presence of an innovative and fast product development, and the quick incorporation of customer requirements into the product development. This paper employs a descriptive single case study approach to illustrate how product development is structured and executed in an international manufacturing company, seeking to realize an innovative, predictable, and efficient product development. The objective is to increase the understanding of how product development and product life-cycles are connected to Supply Chain Management (SCM). Case study findings reveal that the case company after implementing a strategic and structured Product Creation Process (PCP) has improved the efficiency and effectiveness of product development. Findings also reveal that the case company has not yet developed any linkages between product development and SCM. Still, the case company has become aware of this issue due to problems associated with the lack of integration between product development and SCM.

  • 20.
    Hilletofth, Per
    et al.
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Ericsson, Dag
    University of Borås.
    Lumsden, Kenth
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Coordinating new product development and supply chain management2010In: International Journal of Value Chain Management, ISSN 1741-5357, Vol. 4, no 1/2, p. 170-192Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Effective implementation of the new product development (NPD) process not only enables management to coordinate the efficient flow of new products, but will also assist to support ramp-up of various supply chain activities and other related activities supporting the commercialisation of the product. Thus, companies need to address all these issues in parallel to be successful and this requires some kind of integrative product development approach. The purpose of this research is to increase the understanding of how NPD is connected to supply chain management (SCM) by investigating how the NPD process is structured and executed in two international manufacturing companies seeking to realise an innovative, predictable and efficient product development. Several essential linkages between NPD and SCM have been derived from case study findings concerning important issues for successful product development.

  • 21.
    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.

  • 22.
    Hilletofth, Per
    et al.
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    ERP Training through Traditional and Intensive Course Formats2009In: Networked Logistics and Production at South-East Finland, St Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast / [ed] Olli-Pekka Hilmola & Eugene Korovyakovsky, Lappeenranta University of Technology , 2009, p. 145-166Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Nowadays Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems have a important role in the performance improvement and control of a company and its entire supply chain. Therefore, this system is a vital part of a company’s competitiveness and new approaches for learning are needed to be developed in order to provide knowledge and skills in faster and more efficient manner for employees. Our aim in this manuscript is it to show, how ERP systems could be incorporated in the logistics courses of a university. This environment provides good platform to test new course formats, since most of the university students do not have any previous experience with these systems.

    In this research the structure and contents regarding ERP system usage in certain courses in the logistics curriculum at a Swedish University are being presented. Essentially, a traditional approach, where computer sessions are incorporated in ordinary courses are compared to a new intensive and flexible course format entirely dedicated to ERP systems. Additionally, the two utilized approaches are analyzed through student evaluations based on courses arranged during year 2008.

    Research shows that both of the approaches offer good opportunities; the students appreciated the traditional approach, since it allowed them to receive both theoretical and practical knowledge and skills, while they felt the intensive to be beneficial in developing practical side further. Consequently, the best alternative could be to utilize both of these formats. Still, this research shows that skilled responsible lecturer, among intensive course setting, is quite possibly one route for faster learning and higher productivity oflecturing.

  • 23.
    Hilletofth, Per
    et al.
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society. Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola Research  Unit, Kouvola, Finland.
    Role of Emerging Markets in Demand-Supply Chain Management2010In: Proceedings of the 15th annual Cambridge International Manufacturing Symposium: Innovation in global manufacturing - New models for sustainable value capture / [ed] Mike Gregory, Jagjit Singh Srai, Yongjiang Shi, Cambridge: University of Cambridge, Institute for Manufacturing , 2010, p. 1-16Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This research aims 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. In addition, it aims to shed light on the role of emerging markets in this management approach. We examine DSCM through thorough literature review, analyze second hand financial data from world-class actors, and provide single case study analysis from Swedish manufacturing company operating on an international basis in the appliance industry. 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 equally important, value creation in the demand and supply processes, differentiation in the demand and supply processes, innovativeness in the demand and supply processes, responsiveness in the demand and supply processes, and cost-efficiency in the demand and supply processes. Furthermore, it has been revealed that the main benefits of DSCM include enhanced competiveness, enhanced demand chain performance, and enhanced supply chain performance. Moreover, it has been shown that the main requirements of DSCM include organizational competences, company established principles, demand-supply chain collaboration, and information technology support. Research also shows that emerging markets are used significantly to lower costs in the sourcing and manufacturing parts of the supply chain. Based on case study DSCM approach with long implementation time and increased costs (of marketing and product development) will lead into situation, where emerging low cost producers in markets have even higher responsibility from brand supplies, so instead of component production larger entities are in their responsibility. However, this offshoring will occur only in limited extent – significant manufacturing activity of DSCM companies still remains near of most important markets, like Europe.

  • 24.
    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, Kouvola Research Unit (Finland), Kouvola, Finland.
    Role of logistics outsourcing on supply chain strategy and management: Survey findings from Northern Europe2010In: Strategic Outsourcing, ISSN 1753-8297, E-ISSN 1753-8300, Vol. 3, no 1, p. 46-61Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of logistics outsourcing in Northern Europe through survey research. Research work intends to shed more light on logistics outsourcing with other than case-based company examples.

    Design/methodology/approach – Survey was completed during late 2007 and early 2008 in Finland and Sweden for the largest companies in industrial and service sectors. Altogether 34 answers were received, and they were gained mostly from industrial and trading companies.

    Findings – The research results show that warehousing, IT, and customs brokerage outsourcing could have impact on some managerial and strategic aspects of supply chains (SC). Thus, none of the identified difference areas was found to be statistically significant. Potential impact areas of SC strategy and management are integrated IT systems of manufacturing and logistics, reverse logistics procedures, and re-engineering of logistics processes. However, research shows that in-house produced IT function, and potentially outsourced warehousing, have important roles in more international purchasing.

    Research limitations/implications – Altogether, the amount of responses in the survey was relatively low, but treating Finnish and Swedish companies as one group gives us some opportunity for statistical analysis. This grouping might be one limiting factors of our study, and especially in its generalization power; however, our earlier analysis with the data shows that these countries operate in a rather similar interest area. Another limiting factor of our research findings is the difference in respondent profiles – operating principles of logistics and trade companies are different as compared to manufacturing.

    Practical implications – Research shows that IT is potentially having an important role in both, international purchasing emphasis as well as on warehousing outsourcing activities. Contrary to the common view, this research gives some indication that in-house IT is valuable, and more integrated applications are needed for example, when warehousing is being outsourced.

    Originality/value – This is one of the seminal research works regarding North European outsourcing practices, and their affects on SC strategies and management. Both of the countries have an advanced industrial sector, which gives perspective for the readers world wide.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • 25.
    Hilletofth, Per
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    Lappeeranta University of Technology, Kouvola, Finland.
    Supply chain management in fashion and textile industry2008In: International Journal of Services Sciences, ISSN 1753-1446, Vol. 1, no 2, p. 127-147Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 26.
    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.

  • 27.
    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, Kouvola, Finland.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Teaching ERP in logistics curriculum: a case experience from Sweden2010In: International Journal of Business Information Systems, ISSN 1746-0972, E-ISSN 1746-0980, Vol. 6, no 3, p. 295-314Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The use of ERP systems in business is commonplace and often a requirement for rapid and efficient operations. The presence of ERP in higher education can be seen as a prerequisite for students to achieve necessary skills and knowledge, but how can the education be achieved in a better way? In this research, the use of ERP systems as a part of two courses of the logistics curriculum in higher education at a Swedish University are presented and analysed. The traditional approach of teaching logistics, where computer sessions are incorporated in ordinary courses, is being compared to a new intensive and flexible course format dedicated entirely to ERP education with a stronger focus on problem-oriented learning. The results show that both approaches offer opportunities, the traditional approach allows students to receive both theoretical and practical knowledge and skills, while the intensive approach provides them with significant practical knowledge and skills. This research results leaves us arguing that the best combination is to utilise both approaches to establish the needed basis for curriculum.

  • 28.
    Hilletofth, Per
    et al.
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Jäger, Kerstin
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    The role of logistics service providers in the implementation of a differentiated supply chain2011In: International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics, ISSN 1756-6517, E-ISSN 1756-6525, Vol. 3, no 2, p. 151-167Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This research investigates the role of logistics service providers in the implementation of a differentiated supply chain. The issue is examined through a multiple case study combined with a literature review. The research shows that logistics service providers can support companies with the implementation of a differentiated supply chain in sourcing and distribution parts by providing services that the company is incapable to provide, by providing certain services more efficiently or by providing complementing services. In some situations, the logistics service provider is even responsible for the entire implementation and should continuously develop the logistics process and customised service according to the company’s market situation. Eurasian transportation flows are nowadays an important part of most supply chains and needs to be considered in this differentiation work. Logistics service providers operating in these flows can support the differentiation by providing more customised and differentiated transportation services and there is a demand for more transportation alternatives in these flows.

  • 29.
    Hilletofth, Per
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Lorentz, Harri
    Logistics, Turku School of Economics, Turku, Finland.
    Savolainen, Ville-Veikko
    Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola Research Unit, Kouvola, Finland.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola Research Unit, Kouvola, Finland.
    Ivanova, Oksana
    Lappeenranta University of Technology, Section of Logistics, Lappeenranta, Finland.
    Using Eurasian Landbridge in Logistics Operations: Building Knowledge through Case Studies2007In: World Review of Intermodal Transportation Research (WRITR), ISSN 1749-4729, E-ISSN 1749-4737, Vol. 1, no 2, p. 183-201Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This research concerns about the use of Eurasia as a landbridge for container traffic. We present case study findings concerning European-Asian transportation, and this reveals that the lead time advantage of landbridges (with respect of its costs) would be suitable for a manufacturer, but malfunctioning parts of harbours and railway transports hinder the potential of this alternative. Findings from demanding manufacturing logistics are further verified with a case study concerning a Finnish retailer having increasingly important presence in Russian markets. Retailer used to favour railways (~early part of Eurasian corridor) but has nowadays configured distribution operations to favour road transports.

  • 30.
    Hilletofth, Per
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Lättilä, Lauri
    Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland.
    Agent based decision support in the supply chain context2011In: Proceedings of the 3rd Rapid Modeling Conference, Leuven, Belgium, 2011Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 31.
    Hilletofth, Per
    et al.
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Lättilä, Lauri
    Kouvola Research Unit, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Prikaatintie 9, FIN-45100, Kouvola, Finland.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    Kouvola Research Unit, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Prikaatintie 9, FIN-45100, Kouvola, Finland.
    Agent Based Decision Support in Manufacturing Supply Chain2009In: Agent and Multi-Agent Systems: Technologies and Applications: Third KES International Symposium, KES-AMSTA 2009, Uppsala, Sweden, June 3-5, 2009. Proceedings / [ed] Anne Håkansson, Ngoc Thanh Nguyen, Ronald L. Hartung, Robert J. Howlett, Lakhmi C. Jain, Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2009, p. 677-686Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Supply Chain Management (SCM) is becoming increasingly complex and an intensified competition in the end-markets has started to create a situation where co-operation requirements between companies in a Supply Chain (SC) are increasing. The old mechanistic operations management solutions are becoming obsolete and advanced decision support is increasingly needed to realize efficient and effective management of complex SCs. The objective of this research is to contribute to the understanding of how Agent Based Modeling (ABM) can advance decision making and to discuss why ABM should be regarded as method to realize Information Fusion (IF). In this research work an agent based model of SCM has been implemented in a simulation platform to provide an approach for evaluation of decision and management alternatives. Research shows that this kind of decision support system is based on IF, since it collects and fuses information from different sources into a situation image that provides effective support for human decision making

  • 32.
    Hilletofth, Per
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Lättilä, Lauri
    Ujvari, Sandor
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    Agent-based decision support in maintenance service operations2009In: Proceedings of the 16th International Annual EurOMA Conference, Göteborg, Sweden, 2009Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 33.
    Hilletofth, Per
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    Information Fusion in Maintenance Planning2007In: Proceedings of the Swedish Production Symposium,, 2007, p. 7 s.-Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Abstract: Industrial production service organisations, companies maintaining production machines and whole processes as well as factories, are in great demand of productivity and profitavility improvement. Usually performance in these organisations arises from high utilization of personnel, superior engineering knowledge and purchasing expertise/power. However, small and medium sized

    maintenance service providers mostly differate themselves with two first mentioned items. In this paper we will propose information fusion cockpit to be used in the SME maintenance organisation to enhance problem solving, demand visibility and resource need estimates – hopefully this will enhance the performance of a case organisation. As a key input variable to manage large amount of different customers we identify incoming calls to trigger information collection from vast number of different databases – the integration of this incoming “demand” is the first step to be taken in the use of more advanced systems. We also speculate in this paper, how agent based artificial intelligence could be used in order to take full benefit from more advanced system.

  • 34.
    Hilletofth, Per
    et al.
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Johansson, Ronnie
    University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    Agent-Based Simulation Fusion for Improved Decision Making for Service Operations2009In: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Information Fusion, IEEE , 2009Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We use agent-based modeling and simulation to fuse data from multiple sources to estimate the state of some system properties. This implies that the real system of interest is modeled and simulated using agent principles. Using Monte-Carlo simulation, we estimate the values of some decision-relevant numerical properties, such as utilization of resources and service levels, as a decision support for a Maintenance Service Provider. Our initial results indicate that this kind of fusion of information sources can improve the understanding of the problem domain (e.g. to what degree some critical properties influence service operations) and also generate a basis for decision-making.

  • 35.
    Hilletofth, Per
    et al.
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Lättilä, Lauri
    Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola, Finland.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola, Finland.
    Agent-based decision support for maintenance service provider2010In: International Journal of Services Sciences, ISSN 1753-1446, Vol. 3, no 2/3, p. 194-215Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Operations performed by a maintenance service provider (MSP) can include the entire maintenance function or select activities; these need to be well-balanced in terms of utilisation rate of own resources, maintenance cost incurred and the uptime of the customers’ production systems. MSPs face challenges due to the task of planning several non-associated plants and with a frequent lack of reliable information. In this research work, an agent-based decision support system of service-related maintenance has been developed. Research shows that this approach can improve the understanding of the problem domain and also generate a basis for decision-making and structural changes.

  • 36. Into, C.
    et al.
    Zetterberg, S.
    Hilletofth, Per
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Transitlager som en strategi i ett globalt distributionssystem2010In: Bättre Produktivitet, ISSN 1402-1145, no 5, p. 12-16Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Distributionen har kommit att bli en nyckelfaktor i dagens logistiksystem i och med att företag önskar uppnå skalfördelar i sin produktion genom fokuserade fabriker samtidigt som dagens kunder kräver alltmer kundanpassade produkter och leveranser till kortare ledtider. Syftet med denna studie är att undersöka om transitlagerstrategin, som ett komplement till den centraliserade och den decentraliserade distributionsstrategin, kan erbjuda företag konkurrensfördelar. Transitlagerstrategin kan ge stora konkurrensfördelar genom att den erbjuder relativt korta leveranstider utan att produkterna behöver lagerhållas lokalt, vilket ger lägre lagerhållningskostnader och en lägre kapitalbindning. För att lyckas med strategin krävs en god planering, kundsamarbete, marknadskännedom och ett informationssystem som klarar av att stödja strategin.

  • 37.
    Into, Camilla
    et al.
    University of Skövde.
    Zetterberg, Stefan
    University of Skövde.
    Hilletofth, Per
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Transitlager som en strategi i ett globalt distributionssystem2009In: PLANs forsknings- och tillämpningskonferens 2009: Effektiva och lönsamma försörjningskedjor: Artiklar från konferensen på Växjö universitet 19-20 augusti 2009, Stockholm: PLAN Logistikföreningen , 2009, p. 93-103Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    Distributionen har kommit att bli en nyckelfaktor i dagens logistiksystem i och med att företag önskar uppnå skalfördelar i sin produktion genom fokuserade fabriker samtidigt som dagens kunder kräver alltmer kundanpassade produkter och leveranser till kortare ledtider. Syftet med denna studie är att undersöka om transitlagerstrategin, som ett komplement till den centraliserade och den decentraliserade distributionsstrategin, kan erbjuda företag konkurrensfördelar. Studien visar att transitlagerstrategin kan ge stora konkurrensfördelar genom att den erbjuder relativt korta leveranstider utan att produkterna behöver lagerhållas lokalt, vilket ger lägre lagerhållningskostnader och en lägre kapitalbindning. För att lyckas med strategin krävs en god planering, kundsamarbete, marknadskännedom och ett informationssystem som klarar av att stödja strategin.

  • 38.
    Jensen, Åsa
    et al.
    Volvo Powertrain.
    Palm, Lena
    Volvo Powertrain.
    Claesson, Frida
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Hilletofth, Per
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Supply Chain Planning in Automotive Sector: Swedish Case Study2010In: Proceedings of the PLAN Research Conference / [ed] Ujvari, Sandor, Logistikföreningen PLAN , 2010, p. 53-72Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This research aims to enhance current knowledge of supply chain planning (SCP) by analyzing the importance of collaboration, information exchange and a supporting information system in its successful execution. The issues are examined through a case study from international manufacturing company, Volvo Powertrain, which operates in automotive industry through its worldwide manufacturing network. This research reveals that collaboration is a complex and important issue of SCP, and occurs simultaneously in vertical and horizontal dimensions. It is important to select strategic partners and to develop structured work processes and routines. The main objective of collaboration is to determine common goals and objectives and to facilitate the exchange of information and these together drives the performance of a supply chain. A sufficient information system supporting the SCP is vital to facilitate collaboration, and information exchange between the different supply chain participants. However, currently in Volvo Powertrain quite many phases of SCP are completed without appropriate and integrated information systems and the process itself contains several manual phases. This study is explorative in nature and more empirical data, from similar and other research settings, is needed to further validate the findings. However, its empirical findings strengthen research discipline knowhow of SCP in global manufacturing companies. This research provides insight to managers and practitioners on how to coordinate operations planning and control (OPC) across organizations within the supply chain to enhance efficiency and effectiveness. The SCP procedures described in this research work also are valuable for Volvo Powertrain and other industrial actors to further develop processes to respond on competitive pressure. This research work empirically demonstrates, as very few before have done so, how OPC can be coordinated across the supply chain.

  • 39. Jäger, K
    et al.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    Hermansson, A
    Hilletofth, Per
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Logistics actors - Key issues for a service developer2008In: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing, Skövde, Sweden, 2008, p. 1329-1336Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 40.
    Jäger, Kerstin
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Hilletofth, Per
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    From standard 3PL provider to service developer: a case study from the Swedish furniture industry2009In: World Review of Intermodal Transportation Research (WRITR), ISSN 1749-4729, E-ISSN 1749-4737, Vol. 2, no 4, p. 376-390Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The strong competition between companies has resulted in an increased outsourcing of activities that are not considered core activities. This has created an emerging business opportunity in logistics, attracting several new actors and companies to enter the market and fill the demand for new services. These actors represent several types of providers who are often called Third-Party Logistics (3PL) providers. The purpose of this study is to investigate the environment of a 3PL provider that also develops services. The focus is particularly on how the provider has evolved and identifying the key issues on how to be successful in the 3PL industry. The primary research strategy is a descriptive embedded single case study. The findings reveal that the case company has evolved from being a standard 3PL provider to a service developer, since it, in addition to traditional services, nowadays also provides more value-added services. These services involve a set of more standardised activities that can be combined according to each customer's wishes and requirements. The findings also reveal that the main requirements to be a successful service developer are a clear customer understanding and focus, value-added and customised services and reliable deliveries (both in terms of time and a low percentage of damaged goods), as well as the utilisation of Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

  • 41.
    Lättilä, Lauri
    et al.
    Lappeenranta University of Technology.
    Hilletofth, Per
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Lin, Bishan
    Louisiana State University in Shrevenport.
    Hybrid simulation models - When, Why, How?2010In: Expert systems with applications, ISSN 0957-4174, E-ISSN 1873-6793, Vol. 37, no 12, p. 7969-7975Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation (ABMS) and System Dynamics (SD) are two popular simulation paradigms. Despite their common goal, these simulation methods are rarely combined and there has been a very low amount of joint research in these fields. However, it seems to be advantageous to combine them to create more accurate hybrid models. In this research, the possible ways to combine these methods are studied. The authors have found five different situations where it will be useful to combine these methods. All of them have already been used in earlier studies, so modelers should use them as possible interfaces to combine the methodologies. By using hybrid simulation models it is possible to create more accurate and reliable Expert Systems (ES).

  • 42.
    Szekely, Bulcsu
    et al.
    Lappeenranta University of Technology.
    Hilletofth, Per
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Bakhsheshi, Amir Fazel
    Lappeenranta University of Technology.
    Role of Software Applications in Logistics Decision Making: Case of Warehouse Management Systems2009In: Networked Logistics and Production at South-East Finland, St Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast / [ed] Olli-Pekka Hilmola & Eugene Korovyakovsky, Lappeenranta University of Technology , 2009, p. 111-144Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The ability of software applications to help solving logistics related problems has become of critical importance in general and bringing about productivity improvements in particular. This research is to scrutinize the role of IT solutions in this regard with warehouse systems in focus. According to the findings, software applications will contain increasing functionalities for training and guiding in finding and implementing novel logistics operational models with the goal of increasing return on investment with fewer resources. Intelligent automatically itself-adjusting service level agreement platforms might well be in the centre of focus of attention in the near future. The case study reveals that by synchronizing warehousing processes with advanced functionalities of a wms it becomes feasible to integrate strategic tactical considerations into operational matters in logistics decisions. In this manner it will be possible to enhance capacity utilization rates in executing processes despite large scale fluctuations in demand so as to increase responsiveness towards customers. In turn these factors will bring further simplicity and transparency into the contractual relations between the parties of a supply chain.

  • 43. Szekely, Bulcsu
    et al.
    Saranen, Juha
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    Hilletofth, Per
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Globalization and International Division of Work: New Ways of Co-operation within Lean Production Networks – Evidence from Russia, Finland & Sweden2008In: Fourth International Railway Logistics Seminar: Co-operation among Transportation Modes in Northern Europe, Lappeenranta University of Technology , 2008, p. 181-198Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 44. Van Laere, Joeri
    et al.
    Nilsson, M
    Ujvari, Sandor
    Hilletofth, Per
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Reflections on fusion systems requirements analysis for maintenance planning2008In: Proceedings of the 2nd Skövde Workshop on Information Fusion planning, Skövde, Sweden, 2008, p. 5-8Conference paper (Other academic)
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