Capturing advance demand information from project delivery networks for demand supply planning

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D4 Julkaistu kehittämis- tai tutkimusraportti taikka -selvitys
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Helsinki University of Technology, Laboratory of Industrial Management report, 2006/1
This work reports an explorative study on the front-end of demand planning in project business, conducted for an international mobile telecom equipment supplier. The main research question of the study is: How can advance demand information be captured from project delivery networks for demand supply planning? Advance demand information is defined as any information beyond orders. The theory review addresses the research question by combining ideas from the fields of project management and supply chain management contributing to, among other things, a better understanding of project delivery networks and project-based demand. The empirical study describes how advance demand information is captured from the project delivery network in the execution phase of two telecommunications infrastructure projects. The emphasis is on the local context, the sources and quality of advance demand information and access to it, and, the collaborative processes in place for capturing it. The research method used in the study is inductive multiple-case study. The key data consists of 17 semi-structured interviews carried out in two projects in the United Kingdom and the United States. The main interview data was complemented with several pre-interviews, internal documentation, observation, workshops and various quantitative planning data. Both within and cross-case analyses were conducted. The main results of the research are two rich case descriptions and several propositions, arising from the current state analysis, for development and further research. A systematic and visual framework for mapping demand collection was built in the research process. In the two cases, it could be observed that the situations in the field can be highly diverse in terms of e.g. local institutional settings, the end product, project supply chain configuration, customer-supplier relationship, and the competitive situation, which implies a need for segmentation and customized value offerings. This study addresses this need by introducing a managerial framework for identifying appropriate demand-supply chain designs for varying demand visibility situations in projects. Despite the differences in the cases, also patterns could be identified. For instance, it seems that the overarching hurdle or enabler for capturing any advance demand information is that of incentive alignment between partners.
project delivery networks, demand supply planning, advance demand information, telecomminications infrastructure projects, interview studies, information flow
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