Modernizing the Supply Chain: Focus on the Organic Food Order Process
von Brandenburg, Sandro (2015)
von Brandenburg, Sandro
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 1.0 Suomi
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Organic agriculture has been gradually growing in popularity for decades. Sustainable farming has become more efficient through a multitude of innovations in environmentally healthy fertilizers and cultivation techniques. However, it seems like IT solutions are not as widely adopted to organic farming as to non-organic commercial agriculture. This work is part of a group effort to research the need for a replacement for the current ordering process carried out by organic producers and restaurants in Finland. The research focuses on the hypothesis that an online business to business (B2B) web service could augment or even replace the current ordering process through sustainable solutions. Special attention is paid to the current state of the organics ordering process, both from the perspective of the restaurants and also the producers. Currently orders are mostly carried out by telephone to meet the ingredient requirements of restaurant menus. The work analyses alternative and modernized electronic B2B methods of fulfilling current organics order process requirements. Furthermore, this study aims to highlight the potential value adding features that such a service could offer. The main methods used to carry out the study are: supporting the hypothesis with a project members survey results, analysing existing literature and interviews to understand the market sector, visualizing this derived information by modelling the core processes and actors with various techniques and finally translating them to requirements and potential value adding features for a B2B service. In addition, this study briefly covers the authors experiences with the chosen modelling software. The research has some influences from the Rational Unified Process (RUP) inception and elaboration phases. The current and proposed ordering process flows are broken down to tasks and decision points with a model first, describe after approach. The results of the research are discussed and analysed so that a developer can use them in a technical system implementation. The conclusion emphasizes on the value of the most significant results, limitations and suggestions for further research and personal ambitions related to the topic. The results indicate various friction points in the current, more traditional order process and that a modernized organic food process could be implemented through a web service to facilitate business operations.