From Information Sharing to Information Utilization in Food Supply Chains
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Information sharing has been extensively studied as a key enabler for coordination and integration in supply chains. However, exactly how the shared information is utilized for decision making has only received limited scientific attention in the research literature. The aim of this study is to identify the characteristics of information sharing, and conceptualize how to move from information sharing to information utilization in food supply chains. Using a case study methodology together with review of the existing literature we describe the main facets of shared information - which influence the information utilization in a supply chain - and propose a mapping notation for how these facets can be visualized together with the Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) model. Information utilization is especially important because more information sharing does not necessarily result in a better supply chain performance unless the shared information is effectively used in the relevant processes in the chain and well-aligned with the requirements for those processes. The proposed notation provides a systematic structure for mapping the information flows, their specific facets, and helps clarify what information is available and how this information can be utilized in different supply chain processes. Four facets of information sharing are identified and elaborated for food supply chains, together with a mapping tool that emphasizes the information flows and the utilization of information in a supply chains.