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Collaborative Communication Driven Decision Management in Non Hierarchical Supply Chains of the Electronic Industry (CONVERGE)
Start date: Jun 1, 2009, End date: Nov 30, 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The European electronic industry faces strong competition with far eastern and US manufacturers. European companies have to respond with improved flexibility to changing requirements and collaborate across the supply chain effectively capitalizing on collaborative decision making, shorter distances, high skill levels and shared cultural understanding. To do so in the electronic industry a number of non-hierarchical networks are forming The new collaboration level requires a higher level of coordination on tactical and strategic management level and therefore a new level of data and information sharing with network partners. Managers have to distinguish in a new manner between shareable and non shareable information. As they weren’t obliged to do this in the past tools and methods are missing. The CONVERGE project closes this gap by providing a framework and tools for exchanging tactical and strategic information for decision making in non-hierarchical supply chain networks. CONVERGE delivers a de-centralized decision support system for production planning and resource optimization based on 1) a new reference model for inter-organizational decision taking, 2) deployment methods to adapt the generic reference model to application fields, networks and companies and 3) existing software supporting customer and supplier relations. Besides scientific and technological experts the CONVERGE consortium involves a) four manufacturing companies addressing directly their network problems and b) a supply chain interest group (non funded) representing the companies’ network partners. This ensures a high industrial impact and dissemination level. In about 5 years the expected cost saving is in the order of 180 Mio. € just assuming a diffusion rate of 10% of the 600 European Electronic Manufacturing Service companies.
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