University of Twente Student Theses


Operational Control Tower : For the after-sales service Supply Chain.

Schwagmeier, R. (2016) Operational Control Tower : For the after-sales service Supply Chain.

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Abstract:The main objective of this thesis is to develop a demarcation for the Control Tower in the Service Supply Chain, and to compare the tools for Control Tower purposes, which are being employed by the Service Parts Organization of IBM, to it. Another intention of this paper is the identification of future research areas for the Work Package 3 of the ProSeLo Next research project. In order to fulfil those objectives t four research questions are posed in this research, concerning the actual state of the Control Tower capabilities of IBM, and the overall capabilities, needed to effectively monitor the Service Supply Chain. Furthermore, is investigated what a Control Tower should be, thus which capabilities should it have, and how the tools at IBM fulfil those capabilities at the moment. To answer what a Control Tower should be, and what is necessary to monitor the Service Supply Chain, an intensive study on the available literature has been conducted. In order to clarify what the actual tools at IBM are capable of, they have been investigated, and interviews with some of the users have been conducted. An investigation of the tools, which are currently used for Control Tower purposes at IBM, has identified the capabilities of two tools, Entercoms and Servigistics. Entercoms is another company, whom IBM is in a partnership with, and who visualizes and analyzes Supply Chain data on a rather tactical level. Servigistics, is a software for which a license has been acquired and which is employed for the operational replenishment order handling. Hereby Servigistics is generating alerts, once an order deviates from prior established rules. This paper continues with a literature based concept of the control tower. The chosen form for the concept is based on a five-layer approach and filled with other concepts from literature, in order to fit the service supply chain. Those five layers are:  The Supply Chain Business Layer, which defines the processes, to control and monitor  The Data Perception Layer, which perceives the actual Supply Chain data  The Data Storage Layer, which stores the perceived data and orders it into data marts  The Application Layer, which contains the capabilities to organize, analyze, and visualize the data  The Manpower Layer, which contains the staff, taking the decisions While all five layers are important to the working of the Control Tower, the application layer contains the most functionality. From literature and interviews the following definition of Control Tower has been devised:
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:55 traffic technology, transport technology
Programme:Industrial Engineering and Management BSc (56994)
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