University of Oulu

Framework for analysing and developing information integration : a study on steel industry maintenance service supply chain

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Author: Uusipaavalniemi, Sari1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Technology, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2009
Publish Date: 2009-08-18
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic dissertation to be presented, with the assent of the Faculty of Technology of the University of Oulu, for public defence in Auditorium TA105, Linnanmaa, on 28 August 2009, at 12 noon
Reviewer: Professor David B. Grant
Professor Karen Spens


Information integration — sharing of pertinent information between supply chain members — is vital to cope with the uncertainty and complexity embedded in service supply chains. The aim of this study is to understand the meaning, constituents, extent, and development means of information integration in service supply chain context. The research approach is abductive, emphasising the constant interplay between theory development and empirical observations. Analysis on a single case supply chain consisting of two types of maintenance service providers and a large steel manufacturer as the focal company is provided.

A comprehensive conceptual framework for analysing and developing information integration in service supply chain is presented and applied in the case supply chain. Extent of integration is described through three levels of integration. Six information integration elements are used to define the levels: processes and activities, information technology use, information attributes, information sharing practices, collaborative foundation, and time-related issues. Service/market characteristics and supply chain relationship characteristics are deployed in explaining the differences in levels of integration. Depending on the level of integration, the performance effects sought and achieved through developing information integration range from operational to strategic level. Adopting a more structured approach to information integration in the case supply chain is suggested to address development areas in information sharing and improve performance. This can be implemented through a shared centralised maintenance information system, common procedures for information sharing, and commitment of supply chain actors.

The framework in this study offers guidelines for choosing the appropriate level of integration in a service supply chain dyad. It shows that the special characteristics of service context can be deployed in designing and managing service supply chains. Service providers should be integrated to the supply chain just like other supply chain members, as it contributes to the supply chain performance. Differentiating the level of integration in service supply chain dyads within a supply chain based on the contextual setting is recommended. This study paves the way for better understanding and control of service supply chain links and contributes to the scarce empirical research on service supply chains.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. C, Technica
ISSN-E: 1796-2226
ISBN: 978-951-42-9184-5
ISBN Print: 978-951-42-9183-8
Issue: 331
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2009. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.