Contemporary markets require dynamic networks of collaborating organisations. Effective collaboration inside such networks motivates optimisation during planning and flexibility at enactment time, yet these two strands are treated separately at present. This project focuses on SME suppliers within automotive ecosystems, aiming to empower them to collaboratively design and coordinate supply networks. This will be made possible by a novel approach which integrates collaborative optimisation and last-minute responsiveness of supply chains in an easy-to-use software prototype. A methodology for automotive supplier profiling and development will be created to support the implementation of the approach.
The underlying theoretical model uses principles of activity coordination and meta-management to deliver two key contributions. Firstly, innovative and emergent compositions of value-adding activities and services are made possible by separating abstract requirements for activities such as transportation or packaging from providers such as logistic suppliers. Secondly, responsiveness to last-minute changes of customer needs or transport disturbances is provided by postponing the allocation of providers to abstract activity requirements till the last possible moment, and continuously monitoring and improving the effectiveness of the supplier allocation.
To facilitate the uptake by typical SME users, visual models of supply processes, services, allocation policies, and partner profiles will be created to balance needs for formal semantics and ease-of-understanding. An agent-based infrastructure and formalised contract mechanisms will implement emergent service bundling and service-provider coalitions. Systematic value-based bid evaluation will be used, and simulated evaluations will feed into SME development using role profiling. Allocation mechanisms and evaluation criteria will be continuously adapted to marketplace changes and real-time information from mobile devices.
Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project