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Factory and enterprise systems

Plan to Perform


Planning and forecasting 6 Manage Finances


Order Flow

Quote to Cash 4

2 Manage Inventory


Financial Support

Manage Production

Manage Product Lifecycle

Manufacturing Operations Product Life Cycle

Figure 1. Key business flows (Modified from [3]).

a business strategy aimed at organizing and handling the business actions connected to customer relationships through the whole life cycle of the partnership with customers [2]. CRM systems are used to support marketing, sales and service processes. Supply Chain Management systems are used to handle and manage supply chains and, especially, the supply processes. Good SCM systems include acquisition (source), manufacturing (make) and logistics (deliver), but there could also be warehousing (store) and markets (sell). SCM systems are not widely used in small and medium-sized manufacturing companies. The SME usually only has production-related information tools, not supply chain-level management tools. One method for analysing ICT in SMEs in the manufacturing industry is the process of flow analysis. Okrent and Vokurka [3] have defined the six core business processes in ERP systems: quote to cash, procure to pay, plan to perform, manufacturing operations, product life cycle and financial management (Figure 1). In our context of the traditional manufacturing industry there could be individual ICT tools to manage these processes and not only the ERP.

The lack of an existing common solution for supply chain-level in-formation, especially according to the needs of SMEs, was one of the main sources of motivation for the ESKALE project.

Development and requirements analysis of end-user companies Four end-user companies were involved in our project. Two of them were from Finland and two from Germany. Three of the end-user companies were traditional manufacturers and one a logistics service provider. All manufacturers have their own products for the global and national markets, and all of the final products from the end-user companies could be sold directly to distributors; additionally, they all took the role of supplier in business with bigger global customers. The analysis of end-user requirements and development challenges was carried out by an ‘as-is’ and ‘to-be’ process mapping analysis. The starting point of the analysis was the definition of the ‘process reference model’ (PRM). We created a common template for business processes in manufacturing companies. Then, with the end-user companies, their business


VTT Research Highlights 3  

Production matters. VTT in global trends. Kai Häkkinen (ed.)

VTT Research Highlights 3  

Production matters. VTT in global trends. Kai Häkkinen (ed.)