Conference Paper

Non-hierarchical Collaboration in Dynamic Business Communities

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-15961-9_73 Conference: Collaborative Networks for a Sustainable World - 11th IFIP WG 5.5 Working Conference on Virtual Enterprises, PRO-VE 2010, St. Etienne, France, October 11-13, 2010. Proceedings
Source: DBLP


A business community where communication can be streamlined, information shared and trust can be built can be considered as
a collaborative network promoting SMEs long term sustainability by assuring quick response, fast time to market, differentiated
offerings and competitive prices. This collaboration could be orchestrated both in hierarchical and non-hierarchical forms
depending on the firms size, capacity and objectives. In this research, we have considered non-hierarchical networking among
firms, especially for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), where the basic requirements are related with choosing appropriate
business partners, building trust and sharing valuable information among them. In order to articulate the concept of this
non-hierarchical collaboration, six pilot SMEs were analyzed and a methodological approach to manage these environments is
proposed. A generic overview of different variables or factors necessary to build such business collaboration are presented
and discussed critically in this study.

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Available from: Petri Helo, Oct 09, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Markets today are characterized by enormous uncertainty in demand that combined with the increasing complexity of new products and competition, has forced companies to adopt new collaboration strategies with its business partners. SMEs need to form non-hierarchical networks where they can complement their capabilities and resources, achieve higher added value and higher control of the business. In these environments, decision making becomes decentralized and operations’ planning presents new challenges and becomes more collaborative. An integrated solution for non-hierarchical networks collaborative planning is presented in this paper. The solution proposed includes two collaborative planning scenarios (aggregate and detailed), applied in different phases of non-hierarchical networks’ lifecycle, which allows SME’s to negotiate prices and delivery times in a collaboratively way. The solution considers requirements from companies belonging to three different industrial sectors, assuring its wide applicability.
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    ABSTRACT: In the recent years, it has been confirmed both by theory and by practice that organisational models need to include networking strategies to cope with the current competitive environment. Different collaboration levels can characterise supply chains, virtual organisations (VO) and business communities; however, managing different networking scenarios is extremely important to allow SMEs to respond to market opportunities, ensuring a quick response, unique products with competitive prices and high product quality. This paper proposes an innovative methodological approach to support collaboration amongst SMEs for customised product design and manufacturing based on the VO concept. The work is based on mapping the methodology with the most important processes characterising the life of a VO and defining the operative practices to be performed within this type of network. This paper presents two case studies in the fashion industry, where the proposed approach for network management was tested and analysed.
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