Information Logistics and Decision Support Systems

Information Logistics and Decision Support Systems

»The right information, at the right time, at the right place.«

This page describes the goal of information logistics to optimize the planning and control of logistic processes, required for any company. Information logistics is especially relevant today since in global markets, change is the only constant. Business processes must permanently transform themselves to remain efficient and responsive. In this changing environment, important and relevant information must be available anytime, anywhere in
order to be able to make the correct decisions.

The department »Information Logistics and Decision Support Systems« developed logistic assistance systems (LAS) to support information networking with intelligent and efficient methods, such as simulation and optimization. LAS were developed for industrial clients to cope with increasingly complex tasks and decisions.

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In the design, planning, and control of logistic processes, the human planer and his decisions still remain at the center. Efficient logistics, for enterprise and beyond, can only be guaranteed if the optimal information technology resources are available. The department of »Information Logistics and Decision Support Systems« focuses on supporting decision-makers who need to perform increasingly complex tasks. The decision support systems approach reflects this focus. Information from a variety of data sources, from grand-scale ERP systems to micro-scale sensor data, are collected and incorporated into a logistic network. The result is a »Single Point of Truth«. The data can be evaluated in simulations of the processes and logistic system to depict the current situation and future scenarios. Intelligent optimization techniques assist the user in the decision-making process. Moreover, these systems are available anytime and anywhere that mobile devices and cloud services are at hand. Our customized decision support systems are based on a reliable software framework, successfully used for years, compiled with different planning modules.

© Sergey Nivens /
  • Logistics Decision Support Systems
  • Intralogistics- and Material Flow Simulation

Material Flow Transparency

The correct evaluation of decision alternatives is dependent upon complete knowledge of the transparent current situation. In addition to the information from different enterprise systems, decision support systems directly utilize sensor data from the material flow in order to determine a complete and optimal base of information. In this context, AutoID stands for Automatic Identification. The term captures different identification methods such as barcode and RFID technology, as well as optical detection with cameras. AutoID systems can provide information to assistance systems and form a basis for the "Internet of Things". The potential of the use of AutoID technologies for material flow will only be fully realized if the related data from superimposed IT systems could be delivered and made available promptly. At the moment, market systems are only partially compatible with AutoID. Therefore, part of the assistance system framework of the department of »Information Logistics and Decision Support Systems« is the AutoID3 interfacing software to integrate the AutoID technologies into superimposed assistance or control systems.

© Benjamin Haas /
  • AutoID
  • Smart Devices

Risk and Quality Management

Quality Management (QM) is now understood as necessary for all sectors of a business organization. The quality of not only the products, tools, and resources, but also the processes, is a key factor in optimizing for low-cost, high-performance efficient business operations. Planning and operational decisions are strongly influenced by the quality of the processes and the effectiveness of quality measurement. As a result, deficient quality checks disturb the flow of materials, business processes, and short-term decision making. Against this background, quality control is a central part of decision support systems. The department of »Information Logistics and Decision Support Systems« provides advisory services on all aspects of quality management by experienced quality experts and auditors. Administration software, optimally adapted to the needs of SMEs, is packaged with the Fraunhofer QM Logistics Portal. Planning and management support is also available in conjunction with decision support systems. Each company is part of a value-added network. Risks for the company arise from the interactions of complex business processes and highly cross-linked structures. In global markets, local events may cause global repercussions. Technical problems, supplier bankruptcies, changes in consumption patterns and natural disasters are all examples of different risks. Any company that seeks survival in the market must therefore systematically deal with risks and reliably assess their own situation. Risks therefore are an essential element in increasing the complexity of any decision. The decision-maker, the human factor, should both plan and decide on the basis of highly complex uncertainties, and consider the correct alternative course of action. Risk management, the consideration of risk, is an important component of assistance systems. The department of »Information Logistics and Decision Support Systems« provides support for risk identification and assessment and provides assistance systems for risk management, fault evaluation, and risk-aware product management.

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  • Quality Management
  • Risk Management
  • Resource Management

Automotive Industry Experts

The automotive industry, from a logistics perspective, is one of the most complex industries. As part of the Fraunhofer Automotive Logistics & IT Center, the staff of the department of »Information Logistics and Decision Support Systems« has worked closely with German and international automotive manufacturers and producers, and logistics service providers, since the 90s, in research and industrial projects. From this close cooperation, the automotive industry developed comprehensive enterprise wide knowledge about planning and execution processes. Thus, various solutions have already been developed that contributed to the increase in overall corporate success. Renowned manufacturers are already planning numerous assistance systems in the field of order processing.

© – kromkrathog
  • Automotive Logistics