Enhancing the efficiency of supply chain processes through web services
Among business enterprises, keen competition is accelerating the introduction of Supply Chain Management (SCM). SCM entails the utilization of cutting-edge information technology in elaborately designing, managing and integrating supply chain processes so that participating companies’ processes are interoperational at the global level. Recently, new Business Process Management (BPM) technology has attracted much attention as an indispensable tool for managing the supply chain synthetically and systematically. This next-generation technology, a great advance on existing BPM systems, can greatly enhance overall process efficiency in run-time. The critical path(s) in a process, and the slack time of each task, being the typical determiners of supply chain process efficiency, are the basis of a method, proposed in this paper, of efficiently executing global supply chain processes. The proposed method acts as a dispatching rule that can guide prioritization of the tasks in order to improve the run-time efficiency of supply chain processes. We provide several simulated results to demonstrate the effectiveness of our method, propose a web-service-based system architecture for the communication of the run-time data of tasks among processes in heterogeneous environments, and present a prototype of the system implemented.
KeywordsBusiness Process Management Supply Chain Management Process efficiency Process interoperability Dispatching rule Web service
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