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Partner selection and information infrastructure of a virtual enterprise network

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With the rapid development of transportation and Internet technology, more and more businesses are being organized as manufacturing networks of different units. Some of these units are wholly owned by the core company, others are outsourced to service providers. The formation of virtual enterprises is becoming a growing trend as companies concentrate on lean manufacturing, core competence and economic benefit. Study indicates that the administration and management of these networks, which involves a number of partner companies with dissimilar business natures and mostly geographically dispersed, is an important issue to be addressed. Owing to the diverse interests, competence and business culture of individual partner companies, the selection of manufacturing partners is a key success factor. In addition, the capability of the information flow infrastructure is another consideration since it affects the performance of the virtual network. This paper attempts to address both of these issues with the objective of showing how small firms can make use of the emerging technology. A case example is presented to illustrate the manufacture of electronic pagers via the virtual enterprise network.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Mechanical Engineering, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, PR China

Publication date: March 1, 2001

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