Manufacturing in Networks - Competitive Advantages for Virtual Enterprises
Typical aspects of the global competition are the regional differences represented in production and in the varying demands on product function, quality and performance. Apart from consequent market orientation, success is increasingly dependent on regional contributions to production and employment. Strategic success factors of major importance are co-operation, the possibility to obtain components within the country, the use of the existing infrastructure etc. Against this background many companies are building up international production capacities or shifting them from their own country to regional markets in order to be ab le to sell their products successfully not only in their home market but also in international markets. Following this strategy, they form global market-oriented networks to which independent partners contribute their individual core competence. In the following the authors describe certain aspects and approaches to be considered in order to activate performance potentials absolutely necessary in the global competition. Manufacturing in virtual enterprises enables a close-to-the-customer production which is not only located close to the market but is also offering extremely flexible capacities combined with short shipping times. Especially for small and medium-sized enterprises this is a chance to participate effectively in the global competition. The aim of this article is to show the benefits connected to the establishment of virtual enterprises. It describes the life cycle of a virtual enterprise, dealing with key aspects from the creation to the management of such an organisation.