A framework for digitalized information management in food value chains : A study in the Swedish bread and bakery manufacturing industry
Abstract: Purpose: Information management is crucial for a food manufacturing company as it increases productivity, lowers cost, and enables traceability as well as data-driven decision-making. A lack of information management leads to consequences such as lack of customer demand and requirements, which result in high inventory or stockout. The purpose of this study is to enable digitalized information management in food value chains, and this study aims to know which information needs to be considered for data-driven decision-making. The purpose and aim align with adapting to the current trends of industry 4.0 and digitalized information management. To fulfill the purpose, two research questions are formulated: (1) What type of information needs to be considered for data-driven decision-making in food value chains? and (2) How should the parts of the value chain be digitalized to enable data-driven decision-making in food value chains? Method: The chosen approach for this study was an inductive approach and the chosen strategies were a literature review and a single case study in the Swedish food manufacturing industry. To gain an understanding of the case company’s value chain, interviews were used as a data collection technique. The interviews were then analyzed and then combined with the literature review to answer both the research questions. The quality of the study was evaluated by using thetrustworthiness criteria. There were also five principles, when it comes to research ethics, that were used during this study. Findings: After the conducted interviews, the relevant actors were identified and mapped in the case company’s value chain. It was found that the company used a lot of manual information management procedures, which led to several challenges for data-driven decision-making within the company. The mapping revealed which information was relevant for the respective actors within the case company. This provided a starting point from which empirical and theoretical data were studied to address these challenges and answer the two research questions and fulfill the purpose of this study. Analysis: To build a framework for digital information management, it was necessary to customize existing equipment and resources, adapt the process to the specific industry, and move toward the concept of industry 4.0. With these elements in mind, the framework was created using data acquired from both the literature research and the case study. The framework consists of a loop, that allows for continual improvement. Conclusion: Applying the correct technology is important for digitalized information management, and the food manufacturing industry suffers from limited technologies in this aspect. This thesis informs the reader on how to digitalize information management. The academic contribution is a theoretical framework for the digitalization of information management using industry 4.0 concepts, which can support companies to generate revenue.
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