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A Competence Repository for Small and Medium Enterprises

: Dobermann, M.

European Commission, Directorate-General for Telecommunications, Information Industries and Innovation:
Product Data Technology Europe 1999. 8th Symposium. Proceedings
Sandhurst, Berkshire: Quality Marketing Services, 1999
ISBN: 1-901782-03-4
Product Data Technology Europe <8, 1999, Stavanger>
Product Data Technology Days (PDT Days) <1999, Stavanger>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IGD ()
Internet; Competence Management; B2B

For setting up Virtual Enterprise Networks an enterprise has the free choice of its partners and possible co-designers. Today, partners are chosen based on experiences gained in former projects while regional companies are still preferred. If a particular task, e.g. supplying a certain part for the final product, can not be fulfilled by already known partners an enterprise has to look for new partners. But how can a company be sure that another company will be able to supply a part or service with certain requirements ? Information available from already existing sources like the Yellow Pages, Who is Who or from Chambers of Commerce allow to restrict the choice to a certain number of companies of a certain business line which could be able to fulfil the required task - but all have to be contacted to make sure. The Competence Repository wants to provide services to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to find the right partners in less time. To answer queries like "Which companies are able to produce a part for my product with this requirements in the shortest period of time and which of them are closely located to my site ?" an competence model has been defined in EXPRESS. It contains detailed information about a company, product catalogues and service descriptions. It is intended to set up this services for different regions throughout Europe - first in Modena/Italy and Rostock/Germany in July 1999. Each Repository will focus on regional companies. All databases will be clustered to allow a non-regional search. Repositories will be operated as Internet Services accessible with ordinary Web-Browsers. To use extra functionality of the service (e.g. Maintaining White and Black Lists of partners) the SCM-Client is needed.
The development of the Competence Repository is part of the CoWork project which is funded by the European Commission (Esprit
25360). CoWork is targeted at developing a framework of software tools enabling SMEs to cooperate in a distributed engineering
environment to dramatically save time and reduce products engineering costs.