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Innovative networks of SMEs for complex products manufacturing (Net-Challenge)
Start date: 01 Jun 2009, End date: 29 Feb 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

European SMEs will have to adopt new business models and to establish dynamic and non-hierarchical networks to respond to market opportunities, assuring quick response, fast time to market, differentiated offerings and competitive prices. Sustainability for SMEs will be found in high-variety low-volume businesses, related with complex products manufacturing. However, there are currently no proven, effective methodologies, approaches or tools to support SMEs in creating, managing and dissolving this type of dynamic and non-hierarchical networks. Net-Challenge covers this gap with the design and development of effective methodologies, processes and ICT decision support tools. The project outcomes will be: - a methodology to help SMEs in the qualification, formation and operation of dynamic networks (able to quickly respond to market opportunities characterized by low volume, high variety and customer centred products); - reference collaboration processes for non-hierarchical networks, to be used in promoting and facilitating real collaborative business processes; - distributed decision support tools to help companies to manage, manufacturing and logistic processes, including: aggregate collaborative planning with dynamic capacity management and real-time order promising; real-time monitoring with event management and performance management; - real industrial demonstration of the new methods and tools in three business cases from the following industrial sectors: textile and apparel, footwear, and machine tools; - training materials to promote the project concepts and to train key users in pilot companies; - wide dissemination of the project results in industrial companies, technology suppliers and the scientific community; and preparation of their exploitation; - creation of links with standardization activities and relevant international research and business communities.
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