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Content archived on 2024-05-24

Promoting virtual enterprises out of SME's


The new market trends force companies to look for high flexibility, reactive systems and high quality standards. The need to cluster and co-operate constituting Virtual Enterprises (VEs), supported by opportune technological tools and organisational methodologies, is the challenge that Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) especially very small sized, must face since now. Overcoming the critical mass in terms of employees, productive resources and competence, will be the key to become qualified partner of big enterprises, consequently without losing the SMEs lean structure. The successful experience matured in past R&D European Projects focused on VE, that has carried out methodologies and technologies to support VE problems, can finally be tested on the field and formalised by best practices. The summing up of the current SMEs way to work and the benefits produced by the proposed best practices will constitute the project.

Objective of the project is to define and experiment best practices to put very small enterprise with high collaboration potential in a position to constitute real Virtual Enterprises (VEs) able to compete in a market context with bigger enterprises, whose internal organisational models are well formalised. To do this, it is necessary to supply efficient methodological and technological supports, both during the delicate phase of VE constitution and during its normal operative phases. The ultimate objective of the project is to guarantee a wide adoption of the achieved results. In particular, the dissemination will take advantage of an effective presentation of the considered business cases. This will describe the general frame, the tested scenarios, the lesson learnt, the experiences, the expected and obtained benefits.

Work description:
The project aims to develop best practices addressed to Very Small Enterprise groups with the aim of testing and improving their conditions for participating in Virtual Enterprises (VE).
The project will last 15 months, the project work is organised in macro-phases:
(1) Requirements specification: user requirements and needs are collected identifying the actual problems and work conditions affecting enterprises, the phase foresees the participation of all partners;
(2) Tools choice and tuning, pilot cases preparation: the most suitable Interned based tools are selected and tuned, and the pilot cases are studied and issued on the basis of user needs and of the methodologies carried out in past European Project. Catalysts play a basic role;
(3) Pilot cases experimentation: the defined pilot cases are experimented in three different VEs in Italy and Spain, intermediates and end-users are in charge of fulfil the main operations;
(4) Dissemination and results exploitation: the dissemination strategy is defined and applied, in particular to promote the lesson learnt towards further interested enterprises.

The catalysts, in collaboration with the intermediates undertake to organise public events for results dissemination.

The project foresees two main milestones, that is at month 5 when the user needs collection will be completed, and at month 10 when the pilot cases experimentation will start thanks to their preliminary preparation. The project will produce 8 deliverables. They cover the user specification, the tools selected and the indication for pilot cases, the pilot cases experimentation indications and lesson learnt, and dissemination strategy.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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41100 MODENA

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Total cost
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Participants (11)