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Analysing comparative production technology

A recent project undertaken has laid the foundations for the provisional understanding of the basic concepts for different sized companies in order to compete against each other more effectively. The results of these findings would not have been possible without the 14 comparative manufacturing companies' candid disclosure of their own business strategies.
Analysing comparative production technology
Comparative analysis of extended enterprise models and related technologies (CONTENDER) is one of the first projects of its kind. Coordinated by INNOVA of Italy, five organisations were funded by the European Commission to investigate the Extended Enterprise concept in four different industrial sectors.

Within the four sectors, the consortium consulted with 14 different manufacturing companies, and used four different benchmarking models in order to present their conclusions. They studied the various parameters that drive marketing and manufacturing strategies, including organisational and new technology methodologies.

In order to develop a deeper understanding of the extended expertise in the several identified industrial foundations, the researchers believe further work should be investigated in some of the following sectors; expansion of comparative manufacturing technologies and country locations, and a more in depth knowledge of relationships between the evolution and the maturity of product technology.

Other regions to investigate include firstly the understanding of internal company operations for an integrated comprehension of the entire extended enterprise. Secondly, an expansion to transfer, diffusion and learning mechanisms in the scope of the extended enterprise. And thirdly, additional theoretical work models and tools that will help organise and make sense of multiple factors and complex processes involved in extended enterprises.

The conclusions thus far obtained have provided researchers with the belief that future trends will include the adoption of concepts, such as e-commerce and tighter supplier-producer-distribution relationships. This in turn has lead to the future recommendation that comparative manufacturing industrial sectors need to adopt various key strategies on a competitive and corporate level. The researchers also believe that a future CONTENDER project should explore the contribution of the theoretical understanding of extended enterprises, thus improving and deepening future knowledge management interfaces.
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