Today most existing products and services are the result of the collaboration of a large number of companies that form a value chain, sometimes known as Supply Chain (SC). Globalization and information technologies have helped that currently complex and dynamic SCs exist. Although each organization has its own goals and interests, its ability to optimize decisions is increasingly conditioned by the decisions taken by those companies that are part of its SC.
Competition no longer exists among individual organizations but among SCs. In this way, organizations collaborate to optimize decisions that go beyond single improvements. Individual process management requires a holistic vision that incorporates an inter-organizational view that supports SC decision making.
To achieve efficiency organizations manage their processes and create models for analysis, improvement, optimization and to ensure their use in a systematic way. There are many languages that support process modelling, although most of them are focused on the individual perspective rather than SC collaboration. Those which cover collaboration propose a top-down approach, based on the design of the overall process and subsequently detailing individual behavior, so that all organizations must agree on a single language which in practice prevents reuse of the individual perspective.
Therefore this thesis focuses on the need to create SC process models by reusing individual models that each organization may have created, even with different languages, including flexibility and adaptation capabilities that are inherent in collaborative scenarios.
This work provides a novel idea trying to address the problem with a new perspective, a “bottom-up” approach, reusing process models that each organization may have created with their modeling languages. Then adding to that individual view the restrictions into the process choreography according to other supply chain participants. This new approach has the following advantages: 1) allows each organization to use the best process modeling language according to their business needs; 2) reduces the risk of inconsistencies among individual and collaborative models; 3) allows a single collaboration to be seen differently by various supply chain members; 4) each company decides, for all supply chains, how to preserve its autonomy and privacy with regard to its internal process and; 5) provides dynamic models by adding new supply chain collaboration or new participants in the current chain.
Our proposal is the Collaborative Business Generation (CBG) Framework, which aims to address collaborative process and case modelling with a bottom-up approach. To this end, using new meta-models, methods and transformations, we are able to reuse an individual process model to handle: 1) a collaborative process view, maintaining privacy and autonomy in decision-making and; 2) a collaborative case view, separating the static and the dynamic behavior.
CBG framework is composed of: 1) CBGProcess metamodel which extends INROMA to support collaborative business process modelling; 2) CBGCase metamodel that, according case management paradigm, supports collaborative case modelling; 3) model-to-model transformations among the three previous metamodels; 4) methods to carry out the collaborative modelling task, and; 5) CBG-Tool, the support tool to encourage its usage in practice through model editors and model transformations automation. The proposal and its tool have been validated through real use cases derived from projects with companies.
In short, this thesis proposes the development of a framework to facilitate SC decision-making, through the collaborative process modelling from the single view of each organization, and adding flexibility and dynamic adaptation from case domain.