Service Process Modeling for Demand-driven Supply Chain Based on SOA

Service Process Modeling for Demand-driven Supply Chain Based on SOA
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  Service Process Modeling for Demand-driven Supply ChainBased on SOA 1 Mohsen Mohammadi, 2 Muriati Bt. Mukhtar    1 Corresponding  Information Science and technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi,43600, Malaysia, 2 Information Science and technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, 43600, Malaysia,  Abstract   In order to constantly meet the potential of supply towards the changing needs of demand, today’s supply chains have to be more motivated towards demand while creating a demand-driven supplychain (DDSC) is more challenging task. Despite the fact that the first step to implement a demand-driven supply chain is supply chain process modeling, existing supply chain models neither support high level decompositions of business process nor represent the control and coordination of thesebusiness processes and their interaction. This problem can be address by service oriented architecture(SOA) as a fastest growing paradigm in the domain of supply chain process modeling. This paper isbased on previous works carried out regarding the service process modeling for networked enterprises.One case is adopted to illustrate the usage of the methodical approach. It concentrates on improving or modifying methodical approach for service process modeling in the context of SOA by utilizing thetwo most commonly used modeling techniques including IDEF and UML which have been widelyapplied in industrial and enterprise modeling. The finding implies that this approach applied SOA that can transform silo business processes into more loosely coupled services, and align them withorganization structure in DDSC processes. Keywords : Demand-driven Supply Chain (DDSC), Service Process Modeling, Service Oriented  Architecture (SOA), Business Process Modeling, Function Modeling, Information Modeling  1. Introduction Supply Chain Management (SCM) coordinates vital activities such as connecting customers andsuppliers and provides services that facilitate and enhance the productivity of the business environment[1]. Consequently, supply chains have to be geared towards demand in order to constantly meet thechanging needs of demand [2]. The basic concept of Demand-driven Supply Chain (DDSC) seemsrelatively easy, however, the implementation is a more challenging task [3] and the main aim of creating a DDSC is to realize rapid and customized response to customer demand [4]. In order torespond to the various needs of different customers appropriately, customized demand requirementsshould be properly reflected in business process modeling properly and precisely [5] [6]. To do so, thesilo business process must break into recyclable services, implementing them with Service OrientedArchitecture (SOA) and infrastructure service [7]; however, existing supply chain models neither support high level decomposition of business processes [8][9] nor represent the control andcoordination of these business processes and their interaction [10]. This problem can be addressed byservice-oriented thinking, which is a fast growing paradigm in IT with relevance to industrial areassuch as SCM [7]. In this case, using the SOA approach, the activities of business process models can be supported by web services [11], however, SOA is not limited to web services [7]. Furthermore, SOAenables the dynamic reconfiguration of supply chains, making them quickly adjustable to businessmodels, escalating globalization and mounting coordination [12]. As supply chains are extremelydynamic networks consisting of various users and diverse portions of business processes [10], it iscrucial to integrate supply chain processes. In fact, SOA by providing the fundamentals in structuringand integrating business processes increases flexibility and agility in enterprise [13].In the SOA approach, different parts of business process environment can be supported by services[14][35] and data can be integrated [37] but the major construction in this approach is service modelingand design. Identifying the right and proper service followed by their specification and realization plays a major role in service modeling [15][36]. Service Process Modeling for Demand-driven Supply Chain Based on SOAMohsen Mohammadi, Muriati Bt. Mukhtar International Journal of Digital Content Technology and its Applications(JDCTA)Volume6,Number22,December 2012doi:10.4156/jdcta.vol6.issue22.3 21  The focus/primary objective of this paper is to examine the combination of service modeling and business process modeling concepts in the context of SOA thereby providing a new approach for modeling DDSC processes. The DDSC perspective considered here is limited to inventory and order’sservice processing. The rest of the paper is organized as follows: section 2 provides an overview of DDSC and the conceptual background of process modeling in the context of SOA. In section 3, theresearch method is described and an example scenario is presented. Section 4 represents the servicemodeling of order processing system for the example scenario. A concluding discussion and review of the contributions and limitations of the study are presented in Section 5. 2.  Background and related works 2.1 Demand-driven Supply Chain Supply chains thrust products towards relevant networks, which should ideally be capable of dynamically responding to information swiftly. [9]. As the demand information can be transmitted atescalating speeds all over the supply chains [16], customers and suppliers are better equipped tocollaborate towards providing adequate responses in real time [9]. A demand driven supply chain is ahighly dynamic supply chain in which all participants involved are keen on responding to the demandinformation of consumers and meeting the various demand in real time [10]. Consequently, the threecomponents of DDSC, Demand Management, Supply and Operation Management, and Product LifeCycle Management, can be utilized to develop new models for managing demand [17]. The categoriesof Demand management include Statistical Forecasting, Sales and Operation Planning (S & OP),Collaborative Planning and Forecasting and Replenishment (CPFR), and Vendor Managed Inventory(VMI) [17].Among these categories, S & OP is very vital for integrating business management; however, theleadership is essential for successful SCM [18]. On the other hand, Statistical forecasting and CPFR are based on predictions that are generally recommended for products with small demand ambiguity whiletoday’s supply chain have to maximize safety stock level or transport from one warehouse to another [17]. As a result, several organizations have started to move from a push strategy to pull system [17],for example, Wall-mart and Procter & Gamble [19], Nestle and Tesco [20] have employed the VMIsystem in their supply chain.VMI is fundamentally a system that deals with the distribution channels in which the inventory at thelevel of suppliers or retailers is supervised and organized by the manufacturer or vendor respectively[17]. Figure 1 illustrates a VMI model in which the distributor receives data related to the retailer’ssales and stock level. The supplier can see the entire items that the retailer has sold to the customer through the true point of sale (POS) data. In this model, the supplier is responsible for creating andmaintaining the inventory plan. Figure1 . The VMI model [21]Furthermore, the supplier needs to manage the order processing systems and schedule order deliveryregarding the agreement between the supplier (distributor) and customer (retailer) [22]. 2.2 Process Modeling in the context of SOA Due to uncertainties in the business environment that change business models, it is crucial to create business process models in the shortest possible time to respond to the uncertainties of the environment[23]. Furthermore, as regards SCM, business process models must conform to quick designs andflexible implementation tailored supply chain relationships [10]. As a result, the council of supply Service Process Modeling for Demand-driven Supply Chain Based on SOAMohsen Mohammadi, Muriati Bt. Mukhtar  22  chain management developed the Supply Chain Operation Reference (SCOR) as a practice and basicmodel for modeling the business process in supply chain [24] [25]. However, SCOR cannot model business process in details; moreover, it does not support implementation and it focuses on Productionand Logistic excluding commercial processes and product development [10]. [26] Presented areference model for designing business processes in a demand-driven supply chain. The model consistsof a reference-modeling framework that defines process models at different levels of abstraction andincludes a method of how they can be composed from a repository of building block. However, it didnot provide any structured assessment approach to evaluate different business segment in light of theDDSC concept [cited by 17]. [10] Proposed a framework for modeling business process in DDSC. Thisframework consists of an object system definition and generic modeling toolbox. However, both proposed reference models in [26] and framework in [10] did not support the service-oriented approach.[22] Described the role of SOA in healthcare supply chain but was limited to identifying some servicesof VMI system without modeling the services.In SOA paradigm, services need to have knowledge of each other due to interactions between them[27]. Services can communicate with each other using service description. Figure 2 shows thecommunication between two separate services by exchanging information via messages as anindependent unit and service description [27]. Figure2 . The Communication between services [14]The relationship between process and service is shown in Figure 3. The conversation among theservices can be performed by sending and receiving messages based on an interface that can be defined by a set of activities in a business process model [28]. Figure5 . The Communication between Process and Service [28] 3. Research Method Based on studies [10], [11], and [26], the study applied a design-oriented methodology, which is afundamental methodology in information system engineering [29]. Design-oriented research aims todevelop a body of knowledge that can be used in designing solutions to management problems andinvolves the “How” question, i.e. how to design a model or system that solves a certain problem [30].This research and its write up consist of three sections: (1) literature review, (2) example scenario andanalysis, and (3) design. First, the background of study and related works on demand-driven supplychain and process modeling based on SOA were reviewed. Secondly, an example scenario based on theDDSC concept is considered. Subsequent on this, the characteristics of services and processes in order  Service Process Modeling for Demand-driven Supply Chain Based on SOAMohsen Mohammadi, Muriati Bt. Mukhtar  23   processing systems are identified. Finally, a service based process model was designed for modelingthe order processes.The steps for implementing services based on SOA include service analysis, service design, servicerealization, service test, service deployment, and service maintenance [31]. The first step in the SOA paradigm is the identification of services [32]. In the process of service modeling, different aspects of enterprise modeling play different roles such as providing information models that serve as thefoundation of entity services, function models that are the basis of service operation adjustment, and business process models, which are initial inputs for service modeling [31].This research employed service process modeling based on [31] and [33]. Figure 4 shows the process of service modeling. This methodical approach in an SOA solution includes the following phases:1-   The business process is modeled with regard to business requirements. The business processmodel must be decomposed to atomic process or activities that are built by UML ActivityDiagram (UMLAD) or other business process modeling languages such as BPMN, etc.2-   The information model is captured according to the business process model, which is built inIDEF1X or IDEF1 (information modeling or data modeling in IDEF family).3-   Entity services related to the business process are identified according to the informationmodel.4-   Entity activities related to the business process point out the model function, which can befurther decomposed into structural levels based on the functions model.5-   Service operations with reference to entity activities are adjusted according to functions modelin IDEF0. 6-   Interactions between process services and identified services are expressed according to process logic, which is built by the combination of UML AD and Collaboration Diagram inUML technique.   Figure4 . The service modeling process; Source: [31] with minor modification Service Process Modeling for Demand-driven Supply Chain Based on SOAMohsen Mohammadi, Muriati Bt. Mukhtar  24  4. Service modeling of order process system Step 1: Designing the business process model The business process model for order processing that is designed based on business requirements aredepicted in figure 5. The business process model is designed with UML AD. Figure5 . The order business process modelSource: [33] with minor modification Step 2: Designing the information model Related entities that corresponded with the activities identified from the business process model(Figure 5 ) include: entity ‘order information’ which corresponded to activity ‘Get order informationto be approved’ and ‘Input order information’, entity ‘customer information’ which corresponded toactivity ‘Query FM’s credibility’ because FM unit acts as a customer in this scenario, entity ‘productinformation’ corresponded to activity ‘Query the supplied product in the GWC’ and ‘Comparesupplied product with needs’, and entity ‘Inventory information’ which corresponded to activity‘Query the supplied product in the GWC’ because the GWC unit acts as a warehouse. As the supplied product is provided by suppliers, entity ‘supplier information’ must be added in the information model.This entity is related to entity ‘product information’. The information model is depicted in Figure 6,which is described with IDEF1X. Service Process Modeling for Demand-driven Supply Chain Based on SOAMohsen Mohammadi, Muriati Bt. Mukhtar  25
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