Virtual collaborative R&D teams in Malaysia manufacturing SMEs

2nd International Conference on Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Technologies (MIMT 2011) 01/2011;
Source: OAI


This paper presents the results of empirical research conducted during March to September 2009. The study focused on the influence of virtual research and development (R&D) teams within Malaysian manufacturing small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The specific objective of the study is better understanding of the application of collaborative technologies in business, to find the effective factors to assist SMEs to remain competitive in the future. The paper stresses to find an answer for a question “Is there any relationship between company size, Internet connection facility and virtuality?”. The survey data shows SMEs are now technologically capable of performing the virtual collaborative team, but the infrastructure usage is less. SMEs now have the necessary technology to begin the implementation process of collaboration tools to reduce research and development (R&D) time, costs and increase productivity. So, the manager of R&D should take the potentials of virtual teams into account.

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    ABSTRACT: Rapidly changing customer requirements and global competition have resulted in motivated manufacturing firms, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to collaborate and cooperate among them. Traditional centralized and sequential product design and development are not adequate in today’s dynamic and competitive market. With the advancement of Web-based or Internet technologies, product development styles processes are increasingly more decentralized than ever. This business environment enhances fosters the collaborative product design, operational planning and monitoring the product development cycles. During monitoring the operational activities, monitoring abnormalities or deviations known as events within the business networked are managed by Web-based technologies among the business partners. An event can be defined as an incident or occurrence that might evolve from either internal or external sources of operations within the network. It is identified as a deviation from an existing plan or occurrence. The negative impact of an event represents risk, which needs management assessment and response. It is therefore, essential to identify a range of potential events in terms of positive or negative impact.
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