استفاده از ردیابی در مدیریت عملیات: سنتز یک برنامه تحقیقاتی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|7941||2010||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Production Economics, Volume 126, Issue 2, August 2010, Pages 267–275
The significance of tracking in operations management has been overshadowed, theoretically by the concept of supply chain visibility, and practically by the attention grabbing radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. This paper describes how uses of tracking for operations management, specifically, to improve the management of project and service supply chains, were explored and developed in a ten-year research program. Key results of the program are synthesized and linked to the relevant academic discourse in operations management using design science methodology.
The tracking of shipments, materials, and products has been recognized in the operations management literature both as a problem in practice and as a potentially important tool for improving inventory management and operations performance. Davenport and Short (1990) were the first to recognize critical importance of tracking to operations management. Among technological enablers of business process re-engineering, tracking was identified as one of the key tools for linking tasks across functions and organizations. Later studies of ways to improve various aspects of operations management have identified tracking as a practical challenge (Rho and Yu, 1998, Hyer and Brown, 1999, Dennis and Meredith, 2000, Guide, 2000, Guide et al., 2003, Yao and Carlson, 2003 and Fleisch and Tellkamp, 2005), and leading industrial companies such as Volkswagen and Boeing have recently begun in earnest to introduce individual product tracking in an effort to improve the performance of their product and service supply chains (Computerweekly., 2009 and RFID Journal, 2009). Despite recognition that tracking is important, it is a topic that only recently has become the explicit focus of operations management research (Kärkkäinen, 2003, Kovács and Paganelli, 2003, Li and Shue, 2003, McFarlane et al., 2003, Otto, 2003, Främling et al., 2007a and Ngai et al., 2007). In the domain of information management, papers dedicated to tracking and its implications date back further. Realistic proposals for applying technological solutions and designs to the tracking of products and deliveries across organizational boundaries first appeared in the 1990s (Bingham and Pezzini, 1990 and Janah and Wilder, 1997). More empirically based proposals date from the 2000s (van Dorp, 2002, Ngai and Riggins, 2008 and Alfaro and Rábade, 2009). The most recently proposed designs for tracking solutions have been presented as intelligent products and Internet of things (Meyer et al., 2009). In the context of these recent design proposals, tracking can be defined as the process of naming in a unique way, and linking to, a physical entity relevant information attributes such as handling history and instructions (Rönkkö et al., 2007 and Meyer et al., 2009). According to this definition, control and planning tasks associated with such physical entities are not part of tracking, but potential uses of tracking to improve operations management. The function of an Internet of things is to track the individual entities and provide the foundation for more advanced tracking-based services, such as tracing and condition monitoring. This paper describes how uses of tracking to improve operations management practice were explored and developed over the course of a ten-year research project. Today, with leading software providers and manufacturers developing tracking solutions, tracking is on its way to becoming established among the cadre of technological innovations (PROMISE, 2008). But despite these developments, no serious attempts have yet been made to understand theoretically the potential implications of tracking for operations management. The significance of using tracking to improve operations management is obscured both by the theoretical concepts of information sharing and visibility (Lee et al., 2000, Gunasekaran and Ngai, 2004 and Kulp et al., 2004) and by product identification and data capture technologies (Lindau, 1997, Lindau and Lumsden, 1999 and McFarlane and Sheffi, 2003). To such an extent has recent interest in radio frequency identification (RFID) overshadowed tracking that the latter is viewed in the operations management literature primarily as a particular application of RFID (for recent overviews of RFID focused research in operations management, Dutta et al., 2007 and Ngai et al., 2008). But the implications of tracking for operations management have been shown to be much broader than RFID (Kärkkäinen et al., 2003a and Meyer et al., 2009). Moreover, RFID is only rarely a requirement for tracking (Kärkkäinen, 2005). This paper finds tracking to be useful in operations management particularly in the areas of project delivery, industrial asset management, and after-sales service delivery. This is because in managerial decision-making involving highly variable customer processes and requirements, information loss can be reduced to a greater extent by making use of tracking information than by relying on standard classifications of products, customers, and events. The findings presented here are a synthesis of the constituent elements of a ten-year research program that progressed from exploratory case studies, through experimentation in real-life settings, to contributions to research and development in large scale integrated projects within the European framework programs. In the next section, we develop a methodology based on design logic and explore its suitability for studying the uses of tracking in operations management. We elaborate the results of the research program regarding uses of tracking in operations management, and explain, again using design logic, why tracking is useful in the operations management contexts we analyze.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In this section, we evaluate and relate our findings to research results and proposals in the operations management literature and related domains. In the domain of information systems design, shifting the level of control from type to individual entity is recognized to be an important mechanism for designing more effective information systems in general. Parsons and Wand (2000) show that when classification, for example, product type, is a precondition for registering and analyzing information in databases, it is difficult to later modify functions such as monitoring and control. The drawback is more complex and processing-intensive information systems (Rönkkö et al., 2007). The generative mechanism invoked by tracking presented above is simpler than the mechanism described by Parsons and Wand. But introducing tracking in the operations management contexts of the research program is sufficiently similar to enable us to venture that the introduction of tracking in such contexts will render monitoring and control easier to modify and adjust to changing customer requirements and operational objectives. Individual products and composites of individual products correspond to objects that can be classified and handled in different ways using observer links and messaging interfaces (Främling et al., 2007a). The main finding of the research program is to identify individual product tracking as a critical intervention that can improve efficiency and differentiation according to individual needs in the context of project delivery, industrial asset management, and industrial service delivery. In their paper on holonic manufacturing, van Brussel et al. (1999) similarly see control of individual entities as the basis for a control structure that is at the same time reactive and efficient. The intervention is identified as useful for creating temporal configurations of systems needed to manufacture different products. However, inter-organizational control is not explicitly identified. Petrie and Bussler (2003) explicitly identify complex projects as the context for inter-organizational control and propose an intervention based on service agents that resemble individual product tracking. But they fail to specify the mechanism that produces desired outcomes, stating only that companies should use the proposed intervention to improve responsiveness to changing conditions or to support operations in multi-company projects (Petrie and Bussler, 2003, p. 68). The use of individual product tracking for asset management was first identified by Ives and Vitale (1988) in their discussion of the role of IT in after-sales maintenance services, in which they note that information on individual products is a key enabler of effective service operations. But they do not go into detail about how introducing individual entity tracking improves operations. More recently, Borchers and Karandikar (2006) identified installed base information systems as the attempt to track down exactly where the sold products are located, who owns and/or operates them, what they are used for, under which conditions they are applied, their lifecycle status, which service actions and technical changes have been performed, which parts have been serviced or replaced, and their current technical state. This tracking intervention is in line with the intervention we proposed for the asset management contexts. However, Borchers and Karandikar do not attempt to explain the mechanisms by which the intervention supports operations in an asset management context. In a service delivery context, the desired outcome of introducing tracking of individual entities is to integrate previously disparate views of product and service performance. Individual tracking is proposed as a common basis for analyzing and improving product and service performance and enabling equipment users to outsource maintenance and repair tasks. This proposition is in line with Sampson and Froehle (2006) view that reliable input from the customer is a critical issue in service delivery operations. The importance of tracking is significant in situations in which previous service history has a bearing on how future service is to be provided. Hence, our research contributes to Sampson and Froehle's (2006) service operations theory by explicitly recognizing tracking of individual entities to be an important means for improving customer input. That individual entity tracking is useful in the operations management contexts studied because it reduces information loss in managerial decision-making is also a novel and theoretically interesting proposition. In contexts in which customer processes and requirements are highly variable, decision makers who rely on tracking information rather than standard classifications of products, customers, and events are likely better able to combine the services of many providers and more effectively share tasks and responsibilities between specialists over the asset lifecycle. Rönkkö et al. (2007) identified the need to redesign management information systems as a problem that slows the adoption of individual product tracking in different operations management contexts. Many authors (Hayes et al., 2005, p. 182) have maintained that IT system redesign is prerequisite to changing operations management, but the challenges involved in moving to individual level tracking and control have not been recognized. The challenge of moving from product type to individual level control is discussed explicitly only in the literature on holonic control of manufacturing (van Brussel et al., 1999). Further research is required on the challenges that attend transitioning operations management to reliance on individual entity tracking in the project delivery, industrial asset management, and industrial service delivery contexts.