Towards Intelligent Supply Chains: A Unified Framework for Business Process Design

Towards Intelligent Supply Chains: A Unified Framework for Business Process Design

Artur Siurdyban (Aalborg University, Denmark) and Charles Møller (Aalborg University, Denmark)
DOI: 10.4018/jisscm.2012010101
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In their struggle for operational excellence, global companies face challenges in finding a common denominator to streamline and align supply chain operations across business units. The ever growing complexity of managing global flows of products, information and capital increases the risk of deploying inapt operations leading to deterioration of profits. To address this problem, the authors propose a unified business process design framework based on the paradigm of intelligence. Intelligence allows humans and human-designed systems cope with environmental volatility, and the authors argue that its principles applied to the context of organizational processes can increase the success rate of business operations. The framework is created using a set of theoretical based constructs grounded in a discussion across several streams of research including psychology, pedagogy, artificial intelligence, learning, business process management and supply chain management. It outlines a number of system tasks combined in four integrated management perspectives: build, execute, grow and innovate, put forward as business process design propositions for Intelligent Supply Chains.
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The paper is embedded in the design thinking paradigm because design and not explanation is its primary concern (March, 1976). It operates on a meta-perspective by proposing a framework for business operations design. The framework is derived by developing and combining a set of constructs. In this sense this study follows the design science paradigm proposed by Hevner, March, Park, and Ram (2004). The design framework consisting of a set of design propositions for Intelligent Supply Chains is the central artifact and the key contribution of this study. It constitutes a set of propositions to be validated in an ongoing action research program at an industrial company (Järvinen, 2007).

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