Supply chain management (SCM) refers to the processes of creating and fulfilling demands for goods and services. It encompasses a trading partner community engaged in the common goal of satisfying end customers.
In order to understand how a SOA testing project is aligned with the logistics domain, it’s important to analysis current trends in the usage of SOA technologies and the distributed concept in the SCM. According to the Hype Cycle for Supply Chain Execution 2013, by Gartner, there are two trends to become a reality in the industry in 2-5 years, like: i) Software-as-a-Service Supply Chain Execution, and; ii) SCM BPaaS.
Regarding trends in the field of Logistics, according to Gartner, in their report “Predicts 2014 Global Logistics Differentiating for the Future”, leaders of global logistics organizations must innovate and invest in new processes and technologies to remain relevant and competitive. Focusing myopically on cost reduction is no longer a valid strategy; logistics organizations must concentrate more on enhancing differentiation. According to this report, through 2018, 75% of companies will struggle to realize their end-to-end supply chain visibility vision due to deployment challenges. For this reason, the lack of end-to-end visibility continues to be one of the top barriers to supply chain organizational success. As a conclusion, one recommendation is to resolve to address the need to, and importance of, improving supply chain transparency through adoption of end-to-end visibility capabilities.
End-to-End visibility is identified as a challenge in the field of SCM. IT should be the main enabler to achieve this by generating interoperable SOA-based systems of systems solutions. How to test these SOA solutions was the main contribution of MIDAS project to this use case.
Regarding the existing standard, GS1 LIM is the most promising specification to achieve an end-to-end interoperability at business process and IT levels. As there is no GS1 LIM certification program, MIDAS can help to perform testing of GS1 LIM compliance of SOA solutions.
For this reason we propose to define, set-up, develop and deploy a GS1 LIM test-bed service infrastructure, and make use of MIDAS to test deployed services architectures. Our proposal is to develop a simplified version of a GS1 LIM supply chain, as follows:
We propose to adapt the current specification to run a simulated living lab with following SC nodes:
- Manufacturer: provisioning, production.
- Transport: route & distribution planning.
- Logistic Distribution Centre: warehouse.
- Retailer: point of sale, ecommerce, and vendor managed inventory.
- Customer: final buyer.
The business case will be deployed in the National Demonstration Center of IT applied into Logistics, and will help to run the following real-world use case:
- A customer buys some product in the shop or e-commerce.
- An out-of-stock is triggered and an order is sent to the manufacturer.
- The manufacturer composes the order.
- The order is delivered by a transport to a warehouse.
- The warehouse receives the freight, prepares the quantity required and stock the rest.
- The parcel is sent by transport to the shop.
- The shop receives the parcel, verifies it and fills in the gaps in the shelf.