Title: Digital collaboration within the supply chain: unlocking the hidden lean potential

Authors: Jamila Alieva; Robin Von Haartman

Addresses: Department of Industrial Economics, Gavle University, Kungsbäcksvägen 47, 801 76 Gävle, Sweden ' Department of Industrial Economics, Gavle University, Kungsbäcksvägen 47, 801 76 Gävle, Sweden

Abstract: Collaboration in a supply chain plays an important role for manufacturing companies that are simultaneously implementing lean and running enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. This research aims to discover whether the usage of ERP at a supply chain level can boost internal hidden lean potential. Empirical data were obtained from three manufacturing cases in Sweden. The results show that ERP technology usage has a significant impact on discovering hidden lean potential of three types: unlocked hidden lean potential in an unconnected ERP system, unlocked hidden lean potential in a connected ERP system, and unlocked hidden lean potential in a shared ERP system. The findings indicate manufacturers should devote more effort to ensuring active usage of ERP systems internally as well as externally with their customers and suppliers. The transparency and collaboration provided by an ERP system will help these companies become leaner.

Keywords: lean manufacturing; digital technologies; supply chain; enterprise resource planning; ERP; information exchange; waste; collaboration; business strategy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAOM.2021.113663

International Journal of Advanced Operations Management, 2021 Vol.13 No.1, pp.1 - 20

Received: 27 Jan 2020
Accepted: 31 Aug 2020

Published online: 09 Mar 2021 *

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