Integral Logistics Management — Operations Management and Supply Chain Management Within and Across Companies

5.4.3 Different Views of the Business Object According to Task

Intended learning outcomes: Disclose examples of different views of a business object. Present business objects and attributes in the areas of design, release control and engineering change control, and planning & control.


The people involved in a business process generally have different view­points with regard to the business objects the process handles. Their parti­cu­lar viewpoints depend on the specific tasks their departments must per­form. This becomes very apparent whenever persons are moved from their departments to new forms of organization based on a business-process orientation. Problems in mutual understanding arise immediately, and they can only be overcome by means of appropriate training and qualifications combined with a heavy dose of goodwill. It is important that such prob­lems are resolved by the time that a common database is created for pur­poses of integration of IT-supported tools. The business objects descri­bed by the data are, after all, often the same, such as end products, com­ponents, production facilities, and so on. However, individual viewpoints in terms of use and task result in only partial descriptions of these objects.

For example, the design department will describe a particular, clearly identified item in terms of its geometry, while the manufacturing process design depart­ment — in connection with IT-supported production machines — will describe the same item in terms of numerical control techniques. Figure 5.4.3.1 shows another example, the object “operation.”

Fig. 5.4.3.1        Examples of different views of a business object (see [Schö95a]).

  • The item or article viewpoint shows the state and extract of the product to be manufactured according to the operation.
  • The material planning aspect gives the order of operations as well as a description of the operation.
  • The production facilities view shows the tools or facilities to be used.
  • The capacity viewpoint describes the workstation as a whole at which the operation will be executed.

Figure 5.4.3.2 illustrates the above with objects from design, release control and engineering change control, and planning & control. In many cases, the business objects are identical. Only the points of view differ.

Fig. 5.4.3.2        Business objects and attributes in the areas of design, release control and engineering change control, and planning & control.

To integrate business processes within the company, these viewpoints must become linked. All departments require access to data from the other areas. For example:

  • For the sake of cost and flexibility, the design engineer should preferably select, for his or her design components that are already being used in the current product family as semifinished goods, single parts, or raw materials. To do this, the design engineer needs to have a classification system for items that already exist in the planning & control database. Here see Section 17.5.3.
  • Bills of material drawn up by the design department should be automatically entered into the planning & control database in all phases as discussed in Section 5.4.2.
  • Conversely, when production orders are released, planning & control may request blueprints from design to add them to the work documents. With parametrically described items, all necessary parameter values on the customer order are passed along to the design department, so that it may create new blueprints according to the parameters for a specific order.

In spite of these differing viewpoints, can the same business objects be represented applicab­ly and comprehensively for all the departments? While there is usually no great difficulty in agreeing on the definition of the objects, this is not the case for attributes of the objects. The same content of information may be represented from the one viewpoint with two attributes, but from another aspect, the information may be represented by three or four attributes. Redundant listings of attributes are generally not a reasonable solution, because this leads to consistency problems when modifying the data. Only a common definition reached by everyone involved in the business process can remedy the matter. In addition, the definition must be supported by appropriate IT systems. Here see Section 17.5.



Course section 5.4: Subsections and their intended learning outcomes

  • 5.4 Logistics Business Methods in R&D

    Intended learning outcomes: Produce an overview on integrated order processing and simultaneous engineering. Describe release control and engineering change control. Differentiate between various views of the business object according to task.

  • 5.4.1 Integrated Order Processing and Simultaneous Engineering

    Intended learning outcomes: Differentiate between time-to-market and time-to-product. Differentiate between order processing via serial processing and with overlapping phases. Describe some aspects to consider for integrated order processing with overlapping individual phases. Produce an overview on simultaneous or concurrent engineering.

  • 5.4.2 Release Control and Engineering Change Control

    Intended learning outcomes: Describe release and engineering change control (ECC), particularly step-wise release. Present procedures in engineering for new product design or a new product release.

  • 5.4.3 Different Views of the Business Object According to Task

    Intended learning outcomes: Disclose examples of different views of a business object. Present business objects and attributes in the areas of design, release control and engineering change control, and planning & control.

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