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Automating supply chains

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2 Author(s)
M. N. Huhns ; South Carolina Univ., Columbia, SC, USA ; L. M. Stephens

A recent study found that supply-chain problems cost companies between 9 and 20 percent of their value over a six-month period (T.J. Becker, 2000). The problems range from part shortages to poorly utilized plant capacity. When you place this in the context of the overall business-to-business (B2B) market expected to reach US$7 trillion by 2004 (37 percent of which is projected to be e-commerce sales), it is easy to see that effective supply-chain management (SCM) tools could save companies billions of dollars. Attempts to automate solutions to these problems are complicated by the need for the different companies in a supply chain to maintain the integrity and confidentiality of their information systems and operations. The modeling technologies currently used within the manufacturing business-to-business standards communities, such as the Open Applications Group ( and RosettaNet ( do a good job of capturing user requirements. Unfortunately, current technologies do not explicitly link the requirements to formal process models. This missing link is crucial to efficient SCM implementations

Published in:

IEEE Internet Computing  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 4 )