SUPPLY CHAIN CONTROL TOWER REFERENCE ARCHITECTURE FOR EXCEPTION MONITORING AND REAL-TIME INCIDENT MANAGEMENT

Student thesis: Master

Abstract

With the increasing importance of data, visibility has reached widespread importance within the logistics industry. Current efforts however focus on granular visibility, taking into consideration a small piece of the pool of available data. Being able to analyze and integrate available data in real-time also known as Control Tower, however, remains uncharted territory. This thesis aims to 1) clarify the concept of control tower within the supply chain sector by providing a standardized definition, 2) provide a generalizable reference architecture for the supply chain control tower to assist transition toward it, 3) design a prototype for real-time incident data collection and monitoring. The main goal of this research is as follows: To improve <end-to-end visibility> by designing a <Supply Chain Control Tower Reference Architecture> that <can monitor incidents in real-time> in order to <increase supply chain efficiency, reduce delays and unnecessary costs> Conducting stakeholder analysis as well as literature review has helped in designing the reference architecture for the supply chain control tower that covers essential elements. The reference architecture has been validated by applying it to a logistics case. This has formed the basis for the design of the incident handling tool at Emons Group. The tool has been successfully implemented and used. Our tool helps with 1) real-time data acquisition, 2) consolidated data storage, 3) real-time incident monitoring. Since the data acquisition part has been of an issue prior to our research, a preliminary analysis of available data has been performed to 1) generate insight when possible, 2) detect improvement areas for our prototype. Our prototype has been validated by using expert opinion. The validation has been performed in two phases. First, the MoSCoW model has been filled to understand design requirements prior to the implementation. The final artifact has been assessed based on the MoSCoW requirements and interviews. The contribution of our work to the academic community is in two folds. First, a standard definition for the concept has been provided. Our work clarified the difference among types and elements of control tower which has caused enormous issues previously. Second, a generalizable reference architecture has been provided. The reference architecture elaborates on the common vocabulary and elements necessary for implementation. This work can also be a starting point for practitioners. We have started moving toward implementing the desired components of the architecture. The prototype has been designed to collect data and assist the real-time exception detection. Our prototype can be further improved by expanding its coverage to the external processes of collaborative organizations.
Date of Award29 Oct 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
SponsorsEmons Group
SupervisorMaria Iacob (Supervisor 1), Marten J. van Sinderen (Supervisor 2), Sebastian Piest (Coach), Gerard Alders (External coach) & Marcel Wouterse (External coach)

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