Modelling Decision and Data Dependencies in Engineer-to-OrderProject Management
Engineer-to-order (ETO) refers to all those product development and manufacturing projects originating from customer requests that cannot be satisfied by company’s standard offer. In this article, we propose a framework to manage ETO projects including basically three levels of collaboration: technical, mono-project and multi-project. The framework looks at information exchange between partners forming a part of a supply chain. This framework is being developed in the CONVERGE project based on four industrial cases with companies at different places of supply chains. CONVERGE is a 30-months European project of the Seventh Framework Programme (2009-2013). It has been launched in June 2009 and involves 10 academic and industrial partners. It addresses the exchange of tactical and strategic information in non-hierarchical supply chains in the electronics industry. To identify the requirements for an information exchange tool for the electronic industry in general and the project partners in particular, the GRAI (Graphs with Results and Actions Inter-related) modelling framework and CEN were chosen as the basic modelling tools. GRAI particular focus lies on modelling the control system in business processes, as it maps decisions points on strategic, tactical and operations level and the information flows between them. It is based on the assumption that decisions will be reviewed at regular intervals varying with the scope of the decision. The top level GRAI model expresses the periodicity of these decisions, mapped onto the functional group that takes them and the time it takes for the decision to be updated. Used together, these models express existing dependencies between decisions made in various nodes of the supply chain. The CONVERGE modelling framework makes use of these techniques.