Value added logistics in supply and demand chain. Smile. Part 2. eBusiness in a service business. Case: A maintenance and operations network in forest industry
Salmela, Erno; Lukka, Anita (2005)
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VVALOSADE is a research project of professor Anita Lukka's VALORE research team in the Lappeenranta University of Technology. The VALOSADE includes the ELO technology program of Tekes. SMILE is one of four subprojects of the VALOSADE. The SMILE study focuses on the case of the company network that is composed of small and micro-sized mechanical maintenance service providers and forest industry as large-scale customers. The basic principle of the SMILE study is the communication and ebusiness in supply and demand networks. The aim of the study is to develop ebusiness strategy, ebusiness model and e-processes among the SME local service providers, and onthe other hand, between the local service provider network and the forest industry customers in a maintenance and operations service business. A literature review, interviews and benchmarking are used as research methods in this qualitative case study. The first SMILE report, 'Ebusiness between Global Company and Its Local SME Supplier Network', concentrated on creating background for the SMILE study by studying general trends of ebusiness in supply chains and networks of different industries. This second phase of the study concentrates on case network background, such as business relationships, information systems and business objectives; core processes in maintenance and operations service network; development needs in communication among the network participants; and ICT solutions to respond needs in changing environment. In the theory part of the report, different ebusiness models and frameworks are introduced. Those models and frameworks are compared to empirical case data. From that analysis of the empirical data, therecommendations for the development of the network information system are derived. In process industry such as the forest industry, it is crucial to achieve a high level of operational efficiency and reliability, which sets up great requirements for maintenance and operations. Therefore, partnerships or strategic alliances are needed between the network participants. In partnerships and alliances, deep communication is important, and therefore the information systems in the network also are critical. Communication, coordination and collaboration will increase in the case network in the future, because network resources must be optimised to improve competitive capability of the forest industry customers and theefficiency of their service providers. At present, ebusiness systems are not usual in this maintenance network. A network information system among the forest industry customers and their local service providers actually is the only genuinenetwork information system in this total network. However, the utilisation of that system has been quite insignificant. The current system does not add value enough either to the customers or to the local service providers. At present, thenetwork information system is the infomediary that share static information forthe network partners. The network information system should be the transaction intermediary, which integrates internal processes of the network companies; the network information system, which provides common standardised processes for thelocal service providers; and the infomediary, which share static and dynamic information on right time, on right partner, on right costs, on right format and on right quality. This study provides recommendations how to develop this system in the future to add value to the network companies. Ebusiness scenarios, vision, objectives, strategies, application architecture, ebusiness model, core processes and development strategy must be considered when the network information system will be developed in the next development step. The core processes in the case network are demand/capacity management, customer/supplier relationship management, service delivery management, knowledge management and cash flow management. Most benefits from ebusiness solutions come from the electrifying of operational level processes, such as service delivery management and cash flow management.