Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/60427
Title: The development of a network strategy for continuous improvement in SMEs : a case study
Authors: Chung, WWC
Wong, TS
Keywords: Small and medium enterprises (SMEs)
Organisational transformation
Information systems
Academic and industrial collaboration
Benchmarking
World class manufacturing
Issue Date: 2002
Publisher: InterScience
Source: International journal of networking and virtual organisations, 2002, v. 1, no. 2, p. 115-124 How to cite?
Journal: International journal of networking and virtual organisations 
Abstract: The manufacturing environment is becoming increasingly competitive in the 21st century. Traditional manufacturing with a company only making products is being transformed to one that is more specialised, not limited to making products but providing a full manufacturing service. This perspective requires firms to embrace competence in product design, manufacturing process design, as well as logistics support from materials to finished goods at customers' sites. To compete in the future, information technology (IT) and information systems (IS) are crucial to support the manufacturing infrastructure to provide an "online" value added service to customers. These may include manufacturing functions to turn product ideas into product output at customers' behest where and when they want it. However it is difficult for small manufacturing enterprises (SMEs) to implement an IT/IS infrastructure to support their manufacturing functions. They are constrained by their limitations of resources in financing and technical know-how. A network strategy to align the academic world with SMEs is one of the alternatives to overcome the limitations. SMEs can adopt an industrially sponsored research project to accelerate the learning of new technology and assimilate IT/IS knowledge into job functions. A project team was formed to articulate the research objectives and implementation procedure. A few meetings, workshops and site visits in the case company were conducted for a procedure review. A part numbering system was developed as a first step to master material planning and control. A case study was used to illustrate an approach to network academia and industry in collaboration for organisational learning/continuous improvement. This paper describes the experiment and lessons learnt from the case company.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/60427
ISSN: 1470-9503
DOI: 10.1504/IJNVO.2002.002541
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