A Service-oriented Methodology for Supporting Business Process Architecture Layers in Supply Chain Management

A Service-oriented Methodology for Supporting Business Process Architecture Layers in Supply Chain Management

Mohsen Mohammadi (Esfarayen University of Technology, Department of Computer Engineering, Esfarayen, Iran) and Muriati Mukhtar (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Faculty of Information Science and Technology, Selangor, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/IJISSCM.2017100102
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Abstract

The uncertainties in Supply Chain Management (SCM) have increased the business requirement changes, which increase the complexity in the supply chain processes (SCP). As a result, different technologies of IT system have been emerged based on companies' business processes. Hence, managing the business process is crucial in SCM in which process modeling plays key role for analyzing and redesigning of process. Consequently, many methodologies in SCM have been developed to support the requirements for the modeling of SCP. However, they cannot cover the details of the business process in the lower level, i.e. the coordination of the SCP and their interaction, which can be addressed by service-oriented approach. Therefore, this paper aims at proposing a service-oriented methodology, which provides a new approach for supporting the business process architecture layers. The findings prove that the methodology narrows the gap between process analysts and information system developers, using the combination of modeling languages.
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Introduction

In today’s business environment, uncertainties in supply chain management (SCM) increase the business requirement changes, which result in further complexity of the supply chain process. Recent research on supply chain integration has focused on information integration, application integration, and business process integration (Trkman, Štemberger, Jaklic, & Groznik, 2007). Accordingly, companies have started to implement integrated information systems (IS) for supporting their business process (Mili, Jaoude, & Tremblay, 2010). Whenever integration is a matter of concern, it is crucial to share information throughout the supply chain that requires coordinating the flow of information and linking their business processes by connecting information systems to the different participants in supply chain (de la Fuente, Ros, & Ortiz, 2010). In this regard, Service-oriented Architecture (SOA), as a fast-growing paradigm in IT, has been widely applied to SCM and enterprise information systems which use Web service technologies and provide new pattern integration and interoperability in processes, services, and data in order to increase flexibility and agility in inter-organization network. In the service-oriented approach, the activities of supply chain process models can be supported by web services in such a way that a new business process is altered without application change. Besides, a company’s information systems can establish new interconnections (Verdouw, 2010).

Process model is the outcome of mapping a business process which is either the result of a real-world business mapping or one designed based on a conceptualized model (Mendling, 2009). With the delimitation of the scope of Business Process Management (BPM), ‘process models’ become fundamental elements for managing business processes. Furthermore, process modeling facilitates the analysis and redesign of process, deployment of automation process, and monitoring of the performance process (Dumas, La Rosa, Mendling, & Reijers, 2013). For industrial and enterprise information systems, since SOA became a standard approach (Komoda, 2006), the modeling of supply chain process in service-oriented approach has acquired considerable importance in solving the supply chain integration issue. Hence, on the problem of Supply Chain process modeling, tools and methodologies and the formal modeling languages are required to procure an interpretable, methodic, structural, and comprehensive explanation for information and varied characteristics about the processes (Kalpic & Bernus, 2002). Consequently, many reference models have been developed in the field of supply chain process. The currently utilized reference models for supply chain process only support the decomposition of the upper level of the process model. Furthermore, the existing reference models do not support the service-oriented approach in supply chain process modeling. Not only is there a need for a plausible methodology for representing the necessary details of supply chain process, but also the methodology must be applicable for IT experts, process analysts, and business managers. Yet, such modeling methodology for SCM which provides the details of the process model has not been practically proposed so far. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to propose a modeling methodology in the service-oriented approach.

This paper is organized in six sections. The following section provides the literature review and lays the theoretical foundation of this research; the third part presents the research methodology. The exposition of the proposed methodology is the content of the fourth section; the fifth part pertains to the application of the method in a given case study. Finally, the proposed methodology is evaluated in section six; and limitations and suggestions for further research are included in the concluding section of this paper.

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