Digital Tools and Information Needs Assessment for Efficient Deviation Handling in SMEs
Paper i proceeding, 2020

A shift to digitalization implies a high emphasis on both management and creation of data. In a time of change, when high emphasis is put on the application of technology, there is a high risk that too little is said about the compliance of internal needs. Companies and practitioners risk to not prioritizing the assessment and questioning the adoption of digital ways of working. The present paper intends to discuss the impact that digital tools may have on deviation management in Small to Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) and under which circumstances digital tools will improve deviation management in SME context. The research study employs a qualitative approach using the case study methodology. The source of data comes from five different manufacturing companies categorized as SMEs, mainly doing business in the automotive and maritime industry. A multidisciplinary team performed semi-structured interviews and fieldwork at each site, along with regular online meetings with all the partners. The study employs five dimensions from the information quality perspective to assess information utilized to support deviation handling and then connects the information quality deficiencies to the digital tools impact. The empirical data indicate the need for the companies to perform a requirement analysis, as a prerequisite for them to assess their current state in terms of data and information, before the adoption of digital systems or digital tools. The research demonstrates the value for SMEs to understand their information needs and usage, in order to better determine their data needs and how to translate data into information. Lastly, this paper intends to provide a better foundation for SMEs prior to investments on automation and digitalization in the area of disturbance handling on the production shop floor.

Deviation management

Digital transformation.


Information need

Production disturbances


Zuhara Chavez

Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH)

Jannicke Baalsrud Hauge

Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH)

Monica Bellgran

Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH)

Per Gullander

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

Mats Johansson

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Supply and Operations Management

Lars Medbo

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Supply and Operations Management

Per Medbo

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Supply and Operations Management

Mikael Ström

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

Advances in Transdisciplinary Engineering

Vol. 13 24-35
978-161499439-8 (ISBN)

9th Swedish Production Symposium SPS2020
Jönköping, Sweden,

ASPIRE - Automationslösningar för hantering av produktionsavvikelser

VINNOVA (2018-01588), 2018-04-20 -- 2020-12-31.











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