Title: Agent technology for supporting real-time supply chain management

Authors: Heli Helaakoski, Paivi Iskanius, Irina Peltomaa, Janne Kipina, Kaija Ojala

Addresses: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Rantakatu 5, FIN-92100 Raahe, Finland. ' Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4610, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland. ' VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Rantakatu 5, FIN-92100 Raahe, Finland. ' Department of Electrical and Information Engineering, University of Oulu, Rantakatu 5, FIN-92100 Raahe, Finland. ' Ruukki Production, P.O. Box 93, FI-92101 Raahe, Finland

Abstract: Information and communication technology is an important enabler of effective Supply Chain Management (SCM). Emerging new technologies have created new possibilities for developing SCM systems and e-business solutions. Recently, the software agent technology has been studied for supporting effective information management in business networks. This paper introduces a business network, where shared information of the network improves lead-time, cost efficiency and faculty for customer service. The research is conducted as a case study in a steel product industry network in Finland and is based on qualitative material and analysed as an entity. The supporting technical research is based on an agent-based prototype for a mutual software system for an industry network.

Keywords: agent technology applications; steel product industry; supply chain management; SCM; software agents; Finland; agent-based systems; multi-agent systems; information management; business networks; agile systems; agile management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJASM.2006.011629

International Journal of Agile Systems and Management, 2006 Vol.1 No.4, pp.360 - 375

Available online: 06 Dec 2006 *

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