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Information integration in maintenance services

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to provide a theoretical set of elements to analyze information integration in supply chains. Through a practical example to highlight the importance, it aims to describe the practices and identify some development areas of information integration in service supply chains. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The paper presents six theoretical elements contributing the level of information integration in a supply chain. These elements are then used to analyze a case supply chain that includes a steel manufacturer (the focal company), engineering offices providing maintenance-related planning services and mechanical maintenance service providers. Empirical research data gathered through structured interviews, workshops, company visits and company documents are used. Findings ‐ The paper develops a conceptual framework and criteria for analyzing the level of supply chain information integration. It describes which information, in which form, how and when is shared in the case supply chain and whether information technology is deployed. It determines the level of information integration in the case supply chain. The paper brings out development areas to be addressed. Research limitations/implications ‐ This study focuses on services related to steel industry maintenance operations and may not be applicable in other types of services or industries without paying attention to the contextual factors. Practical implications ‐ The paper gives guidelines for service supply chains on how to analyze and rationalize their information sharing. Performance implications of information sharing may be further investigated with respect to contractual arrangements in service supply chains. Originality/value ‐ A comprehensive set of theoretical aspects integral to information integration is presented. The study contributes to the limited research on service supply chains and business services.
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Keywords: Information services; Knowledge sharing; Maintenance programmes; Performance management; Supply chain management

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-12-05

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