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Improving supply chain integration using a workload control (WLC) concept and web functionality

Research output: Working paper

Published
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Abstract

The use of the Web within Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Manufacturing Planning and Control (MPC) is growing rapidly. To date, this technology has been embraced to a greater extent by large companies and rather standardized planning tools. In contrast, tools designed for customized industries have received less attention, while Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SME’s) lag behind in their adoption of the Internet. Workload Control (WLC) is a MPC concept designed for complex production environments and is particularly attractive to SME’s with limited financial resources. This paper explores the implications of enhancing an existing Decision Support System (DSS) to combine a WLC concept with web functionality in order to improve both the practical applicability of the concept and the integration of the supply chain. This extension is based on evidence gathered from the literature, a case study company and the requests of a repeat customer of the company. Ten propositions for future research emerge from this process. These propositions cover issues such as (1) the potential for interference with internal planning processes when web functionality provides customers with the opportunity to monitor the progress of jobs; (2) the potential for reducing uncertainty during customer enquiry management when more impersonalized contact encourages bid rejection information to be shared and (3) the potential effect of information sharing on the frequency of customer enquiries regarding the likely due date adherence of jobs.