Assistance System for the Supply Chain presented at Virtual APMS 2020


Maria Linnartz from FIR e.V. at RWTH Aachen University attended the digital event of the APMS Conference "Advances in Production Management Systems 2020". Originally, the conference should have taken place in Novi Sad, Serbia and should have physically brought together experts from all over the world, but this year the researchers gathered in front of their laptops to virtually discuss topics such as smart manufacturing and Industrie 4.0, sustainable production management and supply chain management. Linnartz, who belongs to the specialist group Supply Chain Management in the field of Production Management, was also represented with a specialist lecture and presented current Cluster research. We asked her a few questions about it.

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Hello Ms. Linnartz. Your lecture dealt with the broad field of supply chain, please briefly break down your lecture topic and tell us about the relevance for the scientific community.

 In my lecture I presented a concept for a software-based assistance system for decisions at the supply chain level. The decision support system helps to increase the transparency of decisions in the supply chain context and their influencing factors by providing the decision-makers with the required information as required. In this way, it can help improve the quality of decisions and the efficiency of the decision-making process. The assistance system includes strategic, tactical and operational decisions in the context of procurement and distribution. To increase transparency in the decision-making process, a data model was developed which is used to calculate key figures and thus links the decisions and data.

And how is your research topic embedded in the IoP complex?

The topic helps to transfer the vision of the IoP to the inter-company context in the area of ​​supply chain management. The aim is to develop a cross-company digital shadow for supply chain management and thus create transparency across the boundaries of one's own company. It thus helps to improve processes and decisions at the interfaces between different partners in a supply chain.


The conference would have taken place in Serbia under normal circumstances. What were your personal impressions of the virtual version of APMS? How do you rate the implementation?

 It also offered the digital opportunity to listen to interesting lectures and gain an insight into the research topics of other scientists. The panel discussion by various female scientists around the world was also exciting. The organizers switched everything to a hybrid format at very short notice and the implementation of the lectures also worked well digitally. Unfortunately, there were hardly any opportunities to exchange ideas and network with the other participants outside of the large question and answer sessions following the presentations.

In the area of ​​networking in particular, most digital conferences cannot (yet) keep up with the previous status quo; so what do you miss most when you think of pre-pandemic conference operations?

 Usually, company visits are an important part of the APMS in order to gain an insight into the practice. I miss participating in the supporting program, getting to know the city and its university beyond the scope of the scientific lectures, there is usually also the opportunity to exchange ideas with the other participants.

Thank you Maria Linnartz, and we hope that regular international conference participation will be possible again in the future!