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Agent-based Supply Network Event Management von Zimmermann, Roland (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 16.03.2006
  • Verlag: Birkhäuser Basel
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Agent-based Supply Network Event Management

'Supply Chain Event Management (SCEM)' is one of the major topics in application-oriented Supply Chain Management. However, many solutions lack conceptual precision and currently available client-server SCEM-systems are ill-suited for complex supply networks in today's business environment. Agent-based proactive information logistics promises to overcome existing deficits by providing event-related information to all participants in the distributed environment. Hence, follow-up costs of disruptive events are significantly reduced for all network participants and performance of a supply network is increased. In this book a thorough analysis of the event management problem domain is the starting point to develop a generic agent-based approach to Supply Network Event Management. The main focus lies on practical issues of event management (e.g., semantic interoperability) and economic benefits to be achieved with agent technology in this state-of-the-art problem domain.

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Agent-based Supply Network Event Management

Chapter 7 Evaluation (p. 243.244)

An evaluation of the SNEM concept and its related prototype implementations has to consider specifics of the supply network domain, especially its structural complexity. In the following, an approach to evaluation is selected which permits to consider benefits and constraints of agent-based SNEM from different analytical perspectives. The primary focus of all evaluation activities is on economic benefits to be achieved by an agent-based solution to the SNEM problem.

7.1 Concept

Several constraints exist which prevent realization of a large-scale field trial for agentbased SNEM and thus to provide a single evaluation activity. Hence, three different perspectives ranging from a theoretical model to laboratory experiments and an assessment of an industry showcase are used to provide an overall assessment of the economic potential for agent-based event management in complex supply networks.

7.1.1 Constraints to an Evaluation

7.1.1.1 Complexity of the Domain

Evaluation of the SNEM concept is restricted by the inherent complexity of the supply network domain. The multitude of partners who cooperate in a realistic supply network and the autonomy of each of these partners (see section 2.1.2.4) prohibit testing a prototypical system in a realistic setting. A typical situation in a network consists of at least several suppliers for each single manufacturer. Each manufacturer himself is again part of an even larger supply network not to speak of logistics service providers. This results in a multitude of relationships between supply network partners. Aside from prohibitive costs of implementing prototypes in such an environment for a large number of enterprises it is likely that most partners will not agree beforehand to participate in a large-scale trial with- out any initial indication which realistic benefits a SNEM solution can provide. This situation precludes field trials that would cover multiple levels of a supply network, because empirical data on the fulfillment processes of all levels is hardly available. Only data on a limited scope (e.g. the business case depicted in section 2.4.1.3) is available for an evaluation.

7.1.1.2 Planning of Reactions

A second constraint that adds additional complexity to the evaluation of the SNEM concept is the fact that economic benefits measured in monetary units are achieved only indirectly. The following argument uses the formal specification (see section 2.1.3) of the problem: The following argument uses the formal specification (see section 2.1.3) of the problem: A SNEM system satisfies the implicit demand Dq for information on disruptive events DE by a message , Ms. is the input for any reaction that is supposed to minimize the consequences CSQ of the disruptive events DE. These negative consequences and their reduction through event management can be measured in monetary terms, as illustrated by the calculation of potential benefits in section 2.3.

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