Mohammed Belkhatir, Shalini Bala
Faculty of Information Technology, Monash University Sunway Campus, Malaysia
Noureddine Belkhatir
LIG-IMAG Laboratory, CNRS, France
Keywords: Supply Chain, Business Process Re-engineering, Halal Industry, Information Technology Support.
Abstract: Due to several issues arising in the rapidly-expanding Halal industry, among them the production of non-
genuine or contaminated products and meats, there is a need to develop effective solutions for ensuring
authenticity and quality. This paper proposes the specification of a formalized supply chain framework for
the production and monitoring of food and products. The latter enforces high-level quality of automated
monitoring as well as shorter production cycles through enhanced coordination between the actors and
organizations involved. Our proposal is guided by business process support to ensure quality and efficiency
of product development and delivery. It moreover meets the requirements of industrial standards by
adopting the Capability Maturity Model Integration’s highest process maturity level through establishing
quantitative process-improvement objectives, proposing the integrated support of engineering processes,
enforcing synchronization and coordination, drastic monitoring and exception handling. We then delve into
some of the important technologies from the implementation point-of-view and align it with the formalized
Halal framework. An Information Technology support instantiation is proposed leading to a use case
scenario with technology identification.
Halal is an Arabic term which means ‘permissible’
or sanctioned by Islamic law. Today, Halal certified
products are products that abide by the Islamic law
and include hygiene, sanitation and safety qualities
(SIRIM, 2004) which are important quality aspects
of food. The consumers of theses products include
Muslims and non-Muslims that hail from many
countries such as Asian countries, Middle East
countries, America, Canada, United Kingdom,
Africa and Europe. According to (AAP, 2007), the
average global Halal food trade or market is
estimated at 560 billion US dollars a year.
For manufacturers and service providers, the
Halal standard means a larger market share to be
tapped, which will simultaneously bring in more
profits. As quality is associated with the standard, it
is of utmost importance that the products and meat
sold comply with it, but many times it has been
found that this is not the case in several countries
(Halal Journal, 2006).
In the USA, Europe (including the UK), Canada
and Singapore, manufacturers and distribution
outlets such as food sellers are using fake certificates
or labels on products and meat; e.g. (IFANCA,
2002), (MUIS, 2000)… Also, there is cross-
contamination in the production of Halal and non-
Halal food at the manufacturers. As far as animal
welfare is concerned, there is clumsy slaughtering
with dull knives (PETA, 2002) which does not
comply with the MS1500:2004 standard accepted by
the United Nations. Animals are moreover reported
to be starved before the slaughtering according to
slaughterhouse officials as well as cruelly
transported by traders such as from the supplier to
the abattoir (PETA, 2002). However, ‘animals
subjected to cruelties in their breeding, transport,
slaughter, or in general welfare, meat from them is
considered impure’, in other words not Halal
Belkhatir M., Bala S. and Belkhatir N. (2009).
In Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems - Information Systems Analysis and Specification, pages 77-82
DOI: 10.5220/0001955800770082
(MUIS, 2000). All of these issues have caused the
consumers to be concerned about the quality of the
Halal food and products they purchase and eat on a
daily basis.
Today, authorized certification organizations
have been set up in many countries to monitor and
inspect the abattoirs, manufacturers and distribution
outlets in their handling of the animals and products,
and to issue the Halal certificates to them once the
inspections are approved. These certification
organizations have been successful to a certain
extent in reducing the quality problem associated
with the products delivered, but there is room for
improvement. Currently, these organizations are
carrying out their inspections manually. Some
require companies to manually submit the
application to their offices and liaise with third party
organizations/labs to test the products, which delay
the certification process and ultimately delay the
genuine products from reaching the consumers’
hands quickly.
Hence, this paper proposes a framework to better
counter the non-genuine products sold in the market
by introducing the automation of inspections, high-
level quality of monitoring, shorter certification
process, shorter production cycles in the supply
chain, enhanced coordination between the actors or
organizations in the industry and drastic exception
handling to manage and control faulty products.
Process support should guide our proposal for the
framework to accelerate quality product
development and delivery. However, development
processes must also meet the requirements of
industrial standards by adopting for example the
highest process maturity level of the Capability
Maturity Model Integration (Chrissis et al, 2006). The
framework in this paper aims to adopt some standard
practices and accomplish its proposal in the following
ways: i) establishing quantitative process-
improvement objectives, ii) integrated support of
engineering processes, iii)
synchronization/coordination, iv) monitoring, v)
exception handling.
Thus, technology is required to accomplish the
above and to enable a better control and monitoring
of the non-genuine products sold in the market,
which is presented in the following sections. In
Section 2, the supply chain framework is presented
along with its actors and business processes. Next is
section 3 which presents the Information
Technology architecture supporting the framework.
In Section 4 there is focus on related works and
Section 5 concludes the paper.
The Supply Chain Framework has been modeled to
identify the processes that need to be improved and
re-engineered to better counter the problem of non
genuine products sold in the market.
We first provide an outline of the framework and
explain its aim and objectives. We moreover list the
supply chain organizations and detail their role in
regards to the various Halal processes. Business
processes and their quantitative process-
improvement objectives are then listed.
2.1 Outline
The solution designed in Figure 1 is the general
model of the Halal Supply Chain Framework which
has several objectives to fulfill in order to achieve
this aim, as follows:
Figure 1: General Framework for the Halal Supply Chain.
ICEIS 2009 - International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems
Ensure continuous improvement of the
performance of Halal processes via incremental
and innovative technological improvements
Enhance synchronization/coordination between
the actors or organizations in the industry
Achieve high-level quality of monitoring
Shorten the certification process
Shorten the production cycles in the supply chain
2.2 Actors
The different actors that have been identified in this
framework are the Supply Chain Organizations, the
Certification Organizations and the System
Interface/Registry. The Supply Chain Organizations
include: the suppliers/breeders who supply the
animals, the abattoirs which buy these animals and
slaughter them, the manufacturers who purchase the
slaughtered meat and processes it for production and
the distribution outlets including retailers, food
sellers and butchers selling the products.
The system Interface/Registry enables the
synchronization/coordination of the organizations in
the supply chain so that they can communicate with
each other and form an electronic trading partnership
in order to better control the non genuine products.
The Certification Organization plays a very
important role in the framework that is to certify and
monitor the organizations to ensure the authenticity
of the products.
2.3 Business Processes
The first business process involved is the main
‘trading partnership’. The framework contributes to
the Halal industry by illustrating that a trading
partnership is necessary before any kind of supply
chain business or monitoring can be executed
between the actors in this diagram. There are two
types of partnership processes that can be formed
between the actors.
First, the ‘trading partnership for supply chain
business’ involves the partnership among the
supplier/breeder, abattoir, manufacturer and
distribution outlet in order to ensure fast production
and counter the non-genuine products sold in the
market. This is accomplished by accelerating the
exchange of information in the processes beginning
with the ordering of products, then their purchase,
transportation/shipping, storing in the inventory,
slaughtering, production/processing and ending with
the billing procedure.
Second is the ‘trading partnership for
certification/monitoring’ which involves the
partnership between the certification organization
and the supplier, abattoir, manufacturer and
distribution outlet to monitor the Halal problem. It
also covers the partnership between the
supplier/breeder, abattoir, manufacturer and
distribution outlet to increase the responsibility,
cooperation and communication of each of these
Let us note that among the processes mentioned,
the transportation/shipping, inventory, slaughtering
and production/processing carry an important role
since they are part of both trading partnerships.
Indeed, these core processes are meant to accelerate
product supply and are also necessary to monitor the
several issues identified in the supply chain.
The common quantitative process-improvement
objectives for these core processes are as follows:
Increase the number of electronic partnerships,
technical communications and documents
between the certification organization with the
supply chain organizations as well as among the
supply chain organizations, to enhance their
Reduce the time it takes for the certification
organizations to inspect or exchange
The specific quantitative process-improvement
objectives for the core processes are related to the
rapid decrease of the number of:
‘injured’ or ‘unhealthy’ animals certified by
veterinarians in their health reports for
transported animals as far as transportation
and shipping are concerned.
‘starved’ or ‘unhealthy’ animals certified by
veterinarians in their health reports which are
reported just before the animals are slaughtered
when handling the inventory.
animals that are not slaughtered according to
the MS1500:2004 standard .
defect products either cross-contaminated or
with fake labels attributed by manufacturers
during production and processing.
both fake certificates put up by distribution
outlets such as food sellers and defect products
that are sold with fake labels at the distribution
The Information Technology framework is designed
to model the electronic partnerships in the Halal
industry and highlight the role of the system registry
which enables these partnerships. It furthermore
illustrates how all the components come together to
support the quantitative process-improvement
objectives. This framework is based on the e-
business standard technology and in particular the
ebXML scenario 2 example framework (Webber,
2004). The e-business standard technology both
automates and standardizes business processes so
that different organizations with different systems
and business processes can exchange information or
documents quickly. In addition to this, this
technology enables the organizations in the industry
to monitor and control electronically the several
issues identified, that is from a distance and in a
secure manner. Also, it makes it possible to produce
and certify the products fast in order to reach the
consumers’ hands quickly. The facility to form
electronic partnerships among these organizations
also enables each one of them to take the
responsibility of monitoring at every stage of the
supply chain. As a matter of fact, this role is no
longer specific to the certification organization
The partnerships, system registry components and
solution to support the quantitative process-
improvement objectives are presented in detail
3.1 Partnerships
In this framework, the supply chain organizations
such as the suppliers/breeders, abattoirs,
manufacturers and distribution outlets as well as the
certification organizations have to first build a
system interface that is compliant with the system
registry, and then register with the latter before
establishing an electronic partnership with each
other. These partnerships can be formed between
organizations known to each other, or new
organizations intending to form partnerships with
one another. Once these organizations have formed a
partnership, they can proceed to communicate and
liaise extensively with each other. The dynamic
aspect of this process which allows new
organizations to find one other in the system registry
enables a vast expansion of partnerships in the
industry, with unlimited geographical boundary, to
better control the highlighted issues.
3.2 System Registry and its Components
The system registry is the system that enables
different organizations in the industry to discover
one another and register to form electronic
partnerships. The components stored in this registry
include the Library and Models, List of Scenarios,
Collaboration Protocol Profiles (CPP), Messaging
Constraints and Security Constraints.
The Library and Models component is based on
the Business Process and Information Meta Model
concept identified in a specific e-business standard
technology. It consists of the definition of business
processes as well as reusable core components that
reflect common business semantics, XML
vocabularies and actual message structures defined.
The latter are reused by organizations in the industry
to ensure sound communication of the standard
terms and formats.
The modeling of the processes and scenarios is
executed via the UN/CEFACT Modeling
Methodology (UMM) which is based on the Unified
Modeling Language (UML). The modeling includes
the class diagram modeling of the core processes.
The general model of the ‘Formalized Supply Chain
Framework’ serves as the foundation to form the
modeling of the class diagrams.
The information from the Library and Models
contributes to the formation of the Collaboration
Protocol Profile (CPP) which is registered in the
system registry. The CPP contains information such
as the industry classification, supported business
processes, requirements for interface and messaging
and service information for contact purposes. Other
registered organizations in the industry can then
discover these CPPs and find out the supported
processes and scenarios and decide to become
partners with each other. The agreement for a
partnership is called the Collaboration Protocol
Agreement (CPA). Included in the CPPs and CPAs,
are the messaging and security constraint details.
3.3 Supporting the Quantitative
Process-Improvement Objectives
The first quantitative process-improvement
objective of increasing the number of electronic
partnerships, technical communications and
documents among the organizations in the industry,
can be achieved through the electronic partnerships
and System Registry components. As more and
ICEIS 2009 - International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems
more organizations register in the system registry
and become partners with one another, the number
of CPPs and CPAs increase, which indicates that
more organizations are able to assist the
certification organization to monitor the
highlighted issues in the supply chain.
This monitoring will be executed via XML
documents that are exchanged between the supply
chain organizations and the certification
organization as well as among themselves. The
increase of XML documents designed and
exchanged would indicate extensive communication,
cooperation and coordination between these actors.
By communicating via XML, the second
quantitative process-improvement objective can be
supported which is reducing the time it takes for the
certification organizations to inspect or exchange
information. The Partnerships and System Registry
components, together, provide real-time information
access, faster information exchange and query
resolution as well as improved information flow.
They furthermore enable mutual use of the
information that has been exchanged between the
organizations in the supply chain. The monitoring is
assisted as certain aspects of the inspections are
automated and executed from a distance with speed
and security. For instance, the health reports by
veterinarians who check the animals after their
transportation from the supplier/breeder to the
abattoir can be transmitted to the certification
organization electronically, eliminating the need for
physical inspectors to look through the health
reports. Also, the submission of applications and
documents to the certification organization, and the
liaising between the latter and third party
organizations/labs to test the products can also be
achieved via XML technology. The fast exchange of
information in turn assists to shorten the certification
process and the production cycle.
The above stated solution also supports the
specific quantitative process-improvement
objectives of rapidly decreasing the number of
‘unhealthy’ animals in the transportation and
inventory process. This is because after the animals
are transported and before they are slaughtered,
health reports by veterinarians are transmitted to the
certification organization and these reports would be
recording the number of animals that are certified
‘unhealthy’. In this way, the number of ‘unhealthy’
animals can be monitored at a closer interval of
inspection due to the utilization of technology and
can be decreased at a faster pace. With the Halal
Partnerships and System Registry, the transportation
process can also be inspected by the supplier/breeder
and abattoir, not only by the certification
organization. This is because either the
supplier/breeder will engage the transportation
service or the abattoir will engage the service for
transporting the animals. Since the process involves
two different organizations in the supply chain, these
can help the certification organization by monitoring
each other via the e-business technology and
documents, and inform the certification organization
whether there is a problem in the transportation
service such as lack of room which can harm the
As for the rest of the specific quantitative
process-improvement objective in the slaughtering,
production/processing and distribution process, the
certification organization will need to physically
inspect these processes to ensure that all
requirements are met, but unlike before, all the
inspection reports will be transmitted via the e-
business system immediately after the inspection to
speed up the resolution of issues encountered.
According to Kok (Kok, 2003) and Kotinurmi et al.
(Kotinumi et al, 2003), ebXML and RosettaNet
(RosettaNet, 2007) are among prominent standards
that provide key business and technology benefits
for e-business integration (Webber, 2004) and have
a high level of general adoption across the globe.
Both standards focus on integrating different
systems and business processes in several
organizations to execute business easily with each
other. Nevertheless, the two standards differ from
one another as the RosettaNet standard specifically
targets the high-tech industry whereas ebXML does
not target any industry. In addition to the ebXML
and RosettaNet standards, OAGIS and xCBL are
also known to be among the prominent XML-based
e-business standards (Numilaakso et al, 2006) that
have high likelihood of general adoption due to their
suitability for industrial procurement, design,
production or distribution. xCBL is however
migrating in phases to UBL which has now taken a
prominent role.
To address the issues in the Halal supply chain,
we have selected the ebXML standard technology.
Following are the reasons discussed.
OAGIS and UBL (since xCBL is migrating in
phases to UBL, we will restrict ourselves to
discussing the latter) are non-proprietary and open
standards, which are major advantages. Furthermore,
they have been implemented in food industries
where they provide reasonable cost and support.
They also provide processes which are particularly
suited for the Halal industry such as the certification
of origin process which can assist in verifying
imported products. However, these technologies are
not complete and have therefore to be instantiated
along with other e-business technologies such as
ebXML messaging, registry and security
The RosettaNet technology provides many
advantages as ebXML, but is too focused on the
Electronics industry and its processes and
documents would require extensive modifications to
suit the Halal scenario. Thus, it is concluded that the
ebXML technology would be selected to address the
highlighted issues in the Halal supply chain. It is
furthermore deemed not necessary for ebXML to
work in combination with other technologies as it
has enough facilities, materials and support to work
on its own.
This paper has discussed various opportunities and
issues related to Halal industry and Halal product
process. Even though a lot of work is going on in the
business world related to Halal industry in general,
not much work has been done to formalize the
business processes.
The overall contribution of this paper is a
process-oriented framework for managing the
production of Halal products, which in particular
addresses the issue of the production and
commercialization of non-genuine or faulty
products. We have identified the main activities at
the core of the framework as well as the data and
control flows linking them.
We have moreover proposed the technological
solutions for its instantiation and in particular the
XML-based data flow allowing the unified
description of documents through a generic
formalism. After the study of the related works on
process engine, we have directed our choice towards
the use of open-source software in order to instantiate
the proposed framework and to make the highlighted
processes enactable and executable.
In future works, we will work on the modeling
aspects, i.e. the definition of a language allowing
process specification and characterization. This
language of high-level abstraction shall be
independent from any particular implementation
architecture. We will carry on a large experimental
study based on a real-world scenario, for which we
will study the feasibility of its deployment in a
distributed environment.
Chrissis, M.B., Konrad, M., Shrum, S. 2006. CMMI:
Guidelines for Process Integration and Product
Improvement (2nd Edition), Addison-Wesley
Kok, A., 2003. B2B Standards Convergence Between
RosettaNet and ebXML. In XML Conference
Proceedings, USA
Kotinurmi, P., Nurmilaakso, J. and Laesvuori, H., 2003.
Standardization of XML-Based E-Business
Frameworks. Proceedings from the MIS Quarterly
Special Issue Workshop. Seattle, USA.
SIRIM 2004. Standardisation for Halal Food. Standards &
Quality News, SIRIM Berhad Quality Standards web
site, vol. 11, no. 4,
Halal Journal 2006. Somerset Couple Launch First
Organic Halal Meat Business for Muslims. Global
Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America
(IFANCA) 2002. Current and Future Issues in Halal,
Halal Digest Newsletter, Halal Food Conference
Islamic Religious Council Singapore (MUIS) 2000. Halal food
for thought. WaritaKita, Bilangan 126.
Nurmilaakso, J., Kotinurmi, P. and Laesvuori, H. 2006.
XML-based e-business frameworks and
standardization. Computer Standards & Interfaces,
Vol 28, pp 585-599
OASIS, 2006. Members Approve Universal Business
Language (UBL) 2.0 as OASIS Standard. OASIS
International Standards Consortium web site.
PETA INDIA 2002. Maharashtra Officials, Animal
Dealers, Slaughterers Call for Central Government
Crackdown on Cruelty,
RosettaNet, 2007. Overview: Clusters, Segments and PIPs.
Version 02.01.00. RosettaNet Program Office.
Vic: Halal global trade could boost Australian
economy. 2007. AAP General News Wire October 22
Webber, D., 2004. The Benefits of ebXML for e-Business.
ebXML Web Site.
ICEIS 2009 - International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems