sustainability-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Digital Sustainability and Customer-Centric Project and Operations Management in Support of the People, Planet, and Profit"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2022) | Viewed by 8479

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Khaled Medini
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Ecole des Mines de Saint-Etienne, UMR LIMOS 6158, 158 Cours Fauriel, 42023 Saint-Étienne, France
Interests: industrial management; system approach; enterprise modelling; project management; service systems; sustainability
Prof. Dr. David Romero
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Advanced Manufacturing Research Group, Center for Innovation in Design and Technology, Tecnológico de Monterrey, 64849 Monterrey, N.L., Mexico
Interests: circular manufacturing; digital lean manufacturing; smart manufacturing; sustainability
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Thorsten Wuest
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA
Interests: smart manufacturing; Industry 4.0; Artificial Intelligence; machine learning; hybrid analytics; closed-loop product lifecycle management; digital supply networks
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

“Unleashing the Synergies of Digital Sustainability and Customer-Centric Project and Operations Management in Support of the People, Planet, and Profit”

Dear Colleagues,

Global environmental, social, and technological trends have changed customers’ values and expectations from the ground up and altered the way they perceive value in their products and services. On one hand, the growing demand of environmental and social values in B2C, B2B, and C2C markets has created new types of economic thinking, namely the Circular Economy and the Sharing Economy, according to which products and services should have multiple life cycles and be shared, borrowed or leased rather than owned. On the other hand, technological advances have created new ways to serve customers’ needs, wants, and desires, increasing their expectations beyond the delivery of products and services, demanding memorable experiences when they purchase or use them, giving rise to the Experience Economy. As a result, customers today expect instant gratification (also known as the Amazon effect) and increasingly personalized products and services—two developments that are difficult to satisfy in a sustainable way. Hence, customers are expecting companies to become more environmental and socially responsible in their design, production, and logistics practices.

Furthermore, the black swan event around the COVID-19 pandemic further complicated the already multidimensional problem, adding to the triple bottom line challenge the need to innovate and tailor current value propositions and business and operating models to the new normal while meeting customer expectations and keeping everyone as safe as possible.

Ensuring agile and customer-centric operations and project management has become a prerequisite to address the uncertainty in upstream and downstream supply chains in crisis contexts such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Particularly, well-thought ramp-up and ramp-down management of the production support the alignment of local and global supply networks with customers’ demands. At this point, beyond the common triple bottom line, risk analysis is at the heart of a sustainable customer-centric operations and project management.        

In this context, this Special Issue aims to explore in a synergistic way the practices of Digital Sustainability—as the corporate and supply network initiatives that seek to advance the sustainable development goals of businesses and consumers through the creative deployment of digital technologies for value creation, delivery and capture, and of Customer-centric Projects and Operations—as an approach to doing business focused on the consumer by providing a positive customer experience at the point of sale and after the sale to drive profit and gain a competitive advantage in the renovated Digitalized Experience Economy.

In this Special Issue, we invite scientific contributions addressing this challenge from various perspectives and providing innovative answers to this multidimensional problem. Guest Editors specifically welcome interdisciplinary work and encourage the submission of real-world case studies to provide empirical evidence.

Topics :

  • Sustainable production ramp-up/ramp-down management
  • Sustainable project management
  • Customer-centric project and operations management
  • Customers role in sustainable operations
  • Digital sustainability concepts, drivers, and frameworks
  • Information systems for sustainable operations and customer-centricity
  • Quality management for sustainable operations
  • Resilient (digital) supply networks
  • Sustainable mass-customization and personalization

Khaled Medini
David Romero
Thorsten Wuest
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Customer-centricity
  • Digitalization/digital transformation
  • Digital sustainability
  • Operations management
  • Project and risk management
  • Quality management
  • Sustainability management
  • Ramp-up management

Published Papers (5 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Article
An Explorative Study of Circularity Practices in Swedish Manufacturing Companies
Sustainability 2022, 14(12), 7246; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14127246 - 13 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 903
Abstract
Due to the accelerating global warming crisis, interest in the concept of circular economy (CE) has started to excel. Adapting to a CE is especially important for manufacturing companies as they play major part in the global warming crisis. Hence, studying how manufacturing [...] Read more.
Due to the accelerating global warming crisis, interest in the concept of circular economy (CE) has started to excel. Adapting to a CE is especially important for manufacturing companies as they play major part in the global warming crisis. Hence, studying how manufacturing companies are transitioning to fit in a CE is highly relevant. Thus, the research question posed in this study is: How are manufacturing companies approaching circularity and which circularity practices can be identified? To answer the research question, a document study was carried out, wherein the latest available sustainability reports of the 20 largest manufacturing companies in Sweden were studied. A four-step process was followed, including sample selection, circularity extraction, data coding and data analysis. The findings include the creation of 61 unique circularity categories based on numerous identified circularity practices. This study focused identifying circularity practices, not only from a product perspective but for all resources and assets utilized by the company; hence, whilst many of the identified circularity practices involve product design, circularity practices have also been identified related uniquely to, e.g., manufacturing, for instance, in terms of reusing resources. Practical implications for this study include a clear overview of how Swedish manufacturing companies are working towards circularity and which specific circularity practices they mention in their sustainability reports. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Fostering the Reuse of Manufacturing Resources for Resilient and Sustainable Supply Chains
Sustainability 2022, 14(10), 5890; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14105890 - 12 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 782
Abstract
In the current context characterized by turbulent market conditions and the increasing relevance of sustainability requirements, reconfigurable manufacturing systems (RMSs) offer great potentialities for supply chains and networks. While plenty of contributions have addressed RMSs from a technological and system-specific perspective since the [...] Read more.
In the current context characterized by turbulent market conditions and the increasing relevance of sustainability requirements, reconfigurable manufacturing systems (RMSs) offer great potentialities for supply chains and networks. While plenty of contributions have addressed RMSs from a technological and system-specific perspective since the mid-1990s, the research interest for the strategic potentialities of RMSs at the supply chain level is recent and mainly related to building supply chains’ resilience and sustainability. Despite the interest, methods to support supply chains to strategically exploit RMSs are still missing, while being highly needed. In this paper, a method—consisting of an index to assess machines reusability and a mixed integer programming (MIP) algorithm—is provided to support the identification of reusable and reconfigurable machine candidates at the early stage of the strategic network design. The overall method allows machines to be compared based on their reusability and geographical locations. The application of the method, as well as an example referring to the production of emergency devices during the COVID-19 pandemic are reported. The theoretical and practical implications of the study are also discussed, and, among others, strategic parameters related to machines have been identified and elaborated as enablers of supply chain reconfigurability; the proposed method supports practitioners in improving supply chain resilience and sustainability. The method also encourages practitioners towards the development and adoption of reconfigurable machines. Finally, this study also has social impacts for local communities and stimulates customer-centric collaboration among companies belonging to similar industries and sectors. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
A DMAIC Framework to Improve Quality and Sustainability in Additive Manufacturing—A Case Study
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 581; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010581 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2804
Abstract
Additive manufacturing as a key Industry 4.0 technology brings radical changes to how we execute production and services operations. However, this innovative technology has not reached maturity and research and development are still in progress to unleash its full sustainability potential. This paper [...] Read more.
Additive manufacturing as a key Industry 4.0 technology brings radical changes to how we execute production and services operations. However, this innovative technology has not reached maturity and research and development are still in progress to unleash its full sustainability potential. This paper aims to provide operational guidance to decision makers to jointly improve quality and sustainability performance of additive manufacturing processes. We propose a framework based on the DMAIC (Define/Measure/Analyze/Improve/Control) methodology and comprehensive pool of targeted key performance indicators (KPIs) and illustrate this framework through a single case study. The paper evidences the feasibility of extending DMAIC to the growing additive manufacturing domain to achieve quality and sustainability objectives. The case study uncovered some challenges, e.g., the need for customization to a company/industry context, which must be addressed in order to widely apply the proposed framework successfully. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Process Planning, Scheduling, and Layout Optimization for Multi-Unit Mass-Customized Products in Sustainable Reconfigurable Manufacturing System
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13323; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132313323 - 01 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1238
Abstract
Currently, manufacturers seek to provide customized and sustainable products, requiring flexible manufacturing systems and advanced production management to cope with customization complexity and improve environmental performance. The reconfigurable manufacturing system (RMS) is expected to provide cost-effective customization in high responsiveness. However, reconfiguration optimization [...] Read more.
Currently, manufacturers seek to provide customized and sustainable products, requiring flexible manufacturing systems and advanced production management to cope with customization complexity and improve environmental performance. The reconfigurable manufacturing system (RMS) is expected to provide cost-effective customization in high responsiveness. However, reconfiguration optimization to produce sustainable mass-customized products in RMS is a complex problem requiring multi-criteria decision making. It is related to three problems, process planning, scheduling, and layout optimization, which should be integrated to optimize the RMS performance. This paper aims at integrating the above three problems and developing an effective approach to solving them concurrently. It formulates a multi-objective mathematical model simultaneously optimizing process planning, job-shop scheduling, and open-field layout problem to improve RMS sustainability. The penalty for product tardiness, the total manufacturing cost, the hazardous waste, and the greenhouse gases emissions are minimized. Economic and environmental indicators are defined to modify the Pareto efficiency when searching the Pareto-optimal solutions. Exact Pareto-optimal solutions are obtained by brute-force search and compared with those of the non-environmental indicator model. NSGA-III is adopted to obtain the approximate Pareto-optimal solutions in high effectiveness and efficiency. A small numerical example is applied to validate the mathematical model and resolution methods. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
A Methodological Framework to Support the Sustainable Innovation Development Process: A Collaborative Approach
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9054; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169054 - 12 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1569
Abstract
The notion of sustainable innovation (SI) emerged recently in the academic literature and evokes deep changes in organizations’ products, processes, and practices to favour the creation of social and environmental value in addition to economic returns. The development of SI implies a collaborative [...] Read more.
The notion of sustainable innovation (SI) emerged recently in the academic literature and evokes deep changes in organizations’ products, processes, and practices to favour the creation of social and environmental value in addition to economic returns. The development of SI implies a collaborative process that requires the orchestration of several actors and streams of knowledge to be successful. Indeed, companies adopting the SI path need structured methodologies to guide the collaboration process with internal and external actors and support the decision process. Nevertheless, the literature has focused on the analysis of determinants and drivers of sustainable innovation development, while the process perspective has been discussed less. Through an in-depth case study in a large-sized company in France, this article proposes a methodological framework to guide the collaborative process in the early phases of sustainable innovation development. The framework relies on a combination of qualitative research and a multicriteria decision aiding method (AHP). The contributions of this work address two main aspects: (i) the conceptualization of sustainable innovation (SI) and (ii) the collaborative process between internal and external actors to develop SI. Firstly, our study leads to two additional dimensions to complete the concept of SI, traditionally based on the three pillars of sustainability (economic, environmental, and social), by adding the functional and relational dimensions. Secondly, concerning the collaborative process to develop SI, our framework proposes a structured methodology following five steps: definition of the project scope, setting actors’ motivations, defining satisfaction criteria, proposing SI solutions, and performing a decision-aiding process to define the preference profiles of the key actors. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop