Beyond Intelligent Agents: E-Sensors for Supporting Supply Chain Collaboration and Preventing the Bullwhip Effect
Walter Rodriguez (Florida Gulf Coast University, USA), Janusz Zalewski (Florida Gulf Coast University, USA) and Elisa Kirche (Florida Gulf Coast University, USA)
Copyright: © 2008
This paper presents a new concept for supporting electronic collaboration, operations, and relationships among trading partners in the value chain without hindering human autonomy. Although autonomous intelligent-agents, or electronic robots (e-bots), can be used to inform this endeavor, the paper advocates the development of e-sensors, i.e., software based units with capabilities beyond intelligent-agent’s functionality. E-sensors are hardware-software capable of perceiving, reacting and learning from its interactive experience thorough the supply chain, rather than just searching for data and information through the network and reacting to it. E-sensors can help avoid the ‘bullwhip’ effect. The paper briefly reviews the related intelligent-agent and supply-chain literature and the technological gap between fields. It articulates a demand-driven, sense-and-response system for sustaining e-collaboration and e-business operations as well as monitoring products and processes. As a proof of concept, this research aimed a test solution at a single supply-chain partner within one stage of the process.