A digital transformation is felt in every fibre of the organisation. In order to deal with the challenges that come with such a transformation initiative, one-off point solutions are not enough, but a more systemic, architecture-driven approach is needed. What does digital transformation mean for the enterprise architect? Through a multiple case study approach, this research aims to gain insights into the changing role of enterprise architects in a digital transformation context, as well as to identify the new challenges and opportunities arising in this regard. Today, enterprise architects are at a crossroads: the digital transformation projects in their organisations have rendered them more valuable. However, the key question is whether they will focus on enabling and support, or whether they will move one step beyond, leading the way, becoming true opportunity architects.
Capital assets, such as manufacturing equipment, require maintenance to remain functioning. Maintenance can be performed when a component breaks down and needs replacement (i.e., corrective maintenance), or the maintenance and part replacement can be performed preventively. Preventive maintenance can be planned on a periodic basis (periodic maintenance), or it can be triggered by a certain monitored condition (condition-based maintenance). Preventive maintenance policies are gaining traction in the business world, but for many companies it is unclear what their impact is on the resulting inventory requirements for the spare parts that are used for the maintenance interventions. We study the impact of the maintenance policy on the inventory requirements and the corresponding costs for a setting that is realistic at an OEM in the compressed air industry. Preventive policies increase the total demand for spare parts compared to corrective maintenance, since the former do not exploit the entire useful life of the components. This leads to higher inventory requirements. At the same time, the preventive policies inhibit advance demand information, as the interventions, and correspondingly the spare parts demands, are planned in advance. Using a simulation study, we show that by using this advance demand information in managing the spare part inventory, the increase in inventory requirements of preventive maintenance policies can to a large extent be offset, for condition-based maintenance, we find that inventories can even be lower compared to corrective maintenance, provided that the advance demand information is used correctly when managing inventories. Our analysis sheds light on the behaviour of the inventory related costs under various maintenance policies.
Boute, Robert; Van den Broeke, Maud; Deneire, Kristof; Boute, Robert; Van den Broeke, Maud; Deneire, Kristof (2018)
In this article, we present how Barco, a global technology company, used an operations research optimization model, which was supported by an efficient solution method, to implement platforms—common structures from which sets of products could be made—for the design and production of its high-tech medical displays. Our optimization model captures all cost aspects related to the use of platforms, thus, it is an objective tool that considers the input from marketing, sales, research and development (R&D), operations, and the supply chain. This comprehensive view allowed Barco to avoid the excessive costs that may result from the implementation of an incorrect platform. Our model supported Barco in determining the elements that should comprise each platform, the number of platforms to develop, and the products to derive from each platform. The results of the project led to reductions in safety stock and increased flexibility due to the use of platforms: R&D can now introduce twice as many products using the same resources, thus increasing Barco's earnings by over 5 million euros annually and reducing product introduction time by nearly 50 percent.
Like in many other sectors, the financial services sector is impacted by the rise of the sharing economy phenomenon. Whilst once small, some platforms today have become quite sizeable and can no longer be ignored by the traditional financial institutions. Especially since they provide alternatives to the very core activities of the incumbents: payments, lending, funding and insurance. Most solutions are based on online intermediaries, enabling P2P interaction, at lower transaction costs. International money transfers are drastically improved using P2P operating models, new P2P insurance solutions are created and both lending and capital raising now take place on P2P platforms. Technological innovation is making it easier for people to connect, exchange and trade without the need of a traditional financial institution.
Greater use of multimodal transportation can substantially improve the environmental performance of freight transportation. Despite strenuous efforts by public policy-makers to alter the freight modal split, most companies still rely heavily on road transportation, and modal shifts to rail and water have remained modest at best. In this paper we argue that this is partly the result of a failure to take a holistic supply chain view of the modal shift process. Synchromodality provides a framework within which shippers can manage their supply chains more flexibly to increase the potential for shifting mode. On the basis of a literature review, we broaden the conventional focus of multimodal transportation to give it a supply chain dimension, and propose the concept of ‘Synchromodality from a Supply Chain Perspective' (SSCP). Using a case study we show that when the supply chain impacts are taken into account, it is possible to significantly increase the share of intermodal rail transportation within a corridor, without necessarily increasing total logistics cost or reducing the service level. In this way the environmental impact of freight activities can be significantly reduced.
Peters, Twan; Isik, Öykü; Tona, O.; Popovic, Alès; Peters, Twan; Isik, Öykü; Tona, O.; Popovic, Alès (2016)
Despite the recognized value that mobile BI (m-BI) brings to firms, our understanding of the use of m-BI and its determinants are limited. In this study, we suggest that m-BI system quality characteristics may be among the factors that influence m-BI use. Yet, in the information systems (IS) literature there is mixed support for the relationship between system quality and system use at the individual level. Given there is research suggesting that engaged users are an indication of the technology's success, we believe that ‘engagement' may be the key to understanding the relationship discrepancy between system quality and use. To address this gap, we conducted a quantitative study of key informants who use m-BI, to understand what the key m-BI capabilities are and other success dimensions perceived as important by users. The results indicate that m-BI system quality attributes affect m-BI use indirectly through engagement, with this finding contributing to understanding of the complexity of IS use in mobile technologies
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