Cross-Functional Integration in the Order Fulfillment Process: Exploring Mechanisms in Engineer-to-Order Environments
Paper in proceedings, 2018
To understand how cross-functional integration (CFI) increases input data quality and enhances information processing efficiency in Engineer-to-Order (ETO) environments.
The empirical study focuses on the order acceptance phase of the order fulfilment process in two ETO-oriented companies. A literature review and a multi-case study were conducted. The within-case analysis identifies mechanisms and explores how they are used and needed in the unique contexts. The cross-case analysis addresses related similarities and differences.
Integrative coordination mechanisms relevant for the activities of problem-solving and decision-making rationalization are centralization, formalization, and information systems. Actor integrators are particularly relevant for the activities of decision-making rationalization, while cross-functional teams and task design are relevant for the activities of problem solving. Integrative coordination mechanisms increase input data quality and enhance information processing efficiency through reducing uncertainty related to, and through balancing intensities of: demand and supply.
The findings operationalize the CFI concept from a coordination perspective, and propose process-specific interpretations of CFI related to order fulfilment in ETO environment.
The findings provide guidelines for how CFI may help to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the information processing of tactical planning in an ETO environment.
CFI research is limitedly addressed in dynamic environments like ETO where new product development contributions are needed for each incoming order.