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Supply chain visibility in the manufacturing industry: conditions and realisation

Time: Fri 2022-10-07 10.00

Location: C1 (Casesal), Kvarnbergagatan 12, Södertälje

Language: English

Subject area: Production Engineering

Doctoral student: Ravi Kalaiarasan , Industriell produktion

Opponent: Univ.lektor Carl Wänström, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Chalmers tekniska högskola,

Supervisor: Professor Magnus Wiktorsson, Industriell produktion; Associate professor Jannicke Baalsrud Hauge,

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Supply chain visibility (SCV) has been gaining attention as a key for supply chainperformance. The key characteristics of SCV are information accessibility, accuracy,timeliness, completeness and usage, all of which aid in the enhancement ofoperational and strategic supply chain activities. Despite the increasing acceptanceof the importance of SCV, knowledge regarding SCV is scattered. There is a needfor knowledge regarding the conditions affecting the realisation of SCV, whichmotivates this thesis.The thesis contains three research questions. First, it identifies andcategorises the conditions affecting SCV to provide a holistic view of SCV. Second,given the role of SCV in decision making, it investigates what supply chaininformation is important for SCV from a supply practitioner’s point of view. Third,it explores the possibilities and challenges of implementing technologies toimprove SCV in practice.The findings include a holistic framework on SCV based on the literature andempirical research. The framework categorises the factors affecting SCV and itsoutcome as antecedents, barriers and challenges and drivers and effects. Amongthe identified essential supply chain information for SCV, there is a consensus thatdata regarding deliveries, deviations, supplier capabilities, inventories andcapacities are the most important. In terms of approaching SCV in practice, thisthesis identifies the steps for translating SCV problem areas into technologicalsolutions to enhance supply chain performance. However, the full SCV effort willrequire a focus on people, processes and technology. Given its role in decisionmaking and performance, SCV is difficult yet important to implement.This thesis outlines four main academic contributions: i) adding to theacademic research and detailing the need for more research on SCV, ii) a state-ofthe-art understanding of SCV, iii) empirically exploring the factors influencing SCVand iv) confirming and adding to previous research on the technologies for SCV.For supply chain practitioners, the present thesis offers guidance and insights toplan, implement and further enhance SCV to attain increased levels of supply chainperformance.