Stage 3: Strategy and Operations Management of Business with a Super Flexible Three-dimensional Business Network Structure
1. Goal of Research
This research center aims to explore and propose a conceptual framework for corporate strategy that enables us to utilize AI(artificial intelligence) with big data and IoT(internet of things), platform, servitization, and globally distributed knowledge. The name of the framework will be called a super flexible three-dimensional business network structure. The framework works as a guideline to the following: (1) Monitoring and management of business processes with AI and IoT; (2) Find and set the future direction of servitization and platformatization of existing traditional business; (3) Forecast and evaluation of business innovation.
2. Background of Research
Around 2010 in Japan, the concept of service science was gaining both industrial and academic attention. Subsequent studies have revealed that servitization of business, including manufacturing, is completely different from “service industry” like restaurants, inns and beauty salons. For instance, “hospitality” is totally irrelevant.
The transformation of existing business into platform business seems to be typical and promising, when we can use the expert and professional knowledge of the business. Maintenance service of complex products can be evolved to servitization. We are in an era of significant changes of business models, involving manufacturers. Changes in business will lead to social changes.
In the present research, we investigate and propose a conceptual framework to capture such a new form of business process as a three-dimensional business network. A business with a super flexible three-dimensional business network structure will be supposed to realize an integration of important issues such as a variable production in small lots and short lead time, AI with big data and IoT, behavioral data of individual and business customers, integration of marketing and production, as well as O2O (online-to-off line) platform structure. Industrial Internet and industry 4.0 have strong relation to this research with respect to servitization of manufacturers.
3. Approach of Research
In this research, we break down the goal to five sub goals: (1) Innovation Strategy, (2) Marketing Strategy, (3) Supply Chain Strategy, (4) Optimization of Operation and Service Process, and (5) Design Principle of Advanced Business Process. For each, multiple researchers decide how to share the responsibility while advancing individual research by being involved in a multi-skilled manner, and periodically holding report meetings on research progress to try to integrate all aspects.
For each of these five goals, we will use appropriate methods. We will start by combining the research methodology of the representatives and members and the results in so far as the framework of a business with a super flexible three-dimensional business network structure, and comprehensively integrate them. In management strategy research, we will analyze the Power-by-the-Hour business model and develop gaming as a case. We have research achievements using many gaming simulations on BSel / YBG business game development operation platform, which has been researched and developed by Yokohama National University and is providing the environment for more than 100 educational institutions in Japan. In addition, we will compile the development and trials of meta-games to embody a linguistic qualitative game as a methodology to grow the ability to formulate strategies, at this research center. In the marketing strategy research, we will attempt to develop a system that uses customer-specific behavioral data of one supermarket. In addition to accumulating and analyzing cases of supply chain strategy, which includes new business enterprises, we will also establish basic equations with max-plus algebra that can be used for mathematical and logical characteristic design of three-dimensional business networks. These results will form a basis for business simulation. We will publish the results on our website and in conference presentations as before.