Sustainability is an accepted measure of business performance, with reductions in energy demand a commonly practised sustainability initiative by multinational corporations (MNCs). Traditional energy models have limited scope when applied to the entire MNC as the models exhibit high data and time intensity, high technical proficiency, specificity of application and omission of non-manufacturing activities. The purpose of this paper is to propose a process centric energy model (PCEM), which adopts a novel approach of applying business processes for business energy assessment and optimisation. Business processes are a fundamental requirement of MNCs across all sectors. The defining features of the proposed model are genericity, reproducibility, minimum user input data, reduced modelling time and energy evaluation of non-manufacturing activities. The approach forwards the adoption of Industry 4.0, a subset of which focuses on business process automation or part thereof.
A quantitative approach is applied in development of the PCEM. The methodology is demonstrated by application to the procure to pay and electroplating business processes.
The PCEM quantifies and optimises the business energy demand and associated carbon dioxide emissions of the procure to pay and electroplating business processes, validating the application of business processes. The application demonstrates minimum user inputs as only equipment operational parameters are required and minimum modelling time as business process models and optimisation options are pre-defined requiring only user modification. As MNCs have common business processes across multiple sites, once a business process energy demand is quantified, its inputs are applied as the default in the proceeding sites, only requiring updating. The model has no specialist skills requirement enabling business wide use and eliminating costs associated with training and expert’s services. The business processes applied in the evaluation are developed by the researchers and are not as comprehensive as those in actual MNCs, but is sufficiently detailed to accurately calculate an MNC energy demand. The model databases are not exhaustive of all resources found in MNCs.
This paper provides a new approach to MNC business energy assessment and optimisation. The model can be applied to MNEs across all sectors. The model allows the integration of manufacturing and non-manufacturing activities, as it occurs in practice, providing holistic business energy assessment and optimisation. The model analyses the impacts of the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies on business energy demand, CO2 emission and personnel hours.
This work is supported by the Mangosuthu University of Technology and the University of Johannesburg.
Munsamy, M., Telukdarie, A. and Fresner, J. (2019), "Business process centric energy modelling", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 25 No. 7, pp. 1867-1890. https://doi.org/10.1108/BPMJ-08-2018-0217
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