Addressing the Need for Agility and Dynamism in OEM Supply Chains

The way OEM supply chains are configured is changing. Key drivers for these changes are the market needs for mass-customisation and lot-size-one manufacturing. These two market needs demand more agility from manufacturing companies and correspondingly more dynamism in production and supply processes.

Virtual enterprises in DIGICOR

More agility allows companies to adopt a proactive approach towards identifying and taking advantage of business opportunities. Examples include bidding for contracts across different domains such as aerospace and automotive or forming collaborative networks to jointly submit a bid against large tenders.

However, agility in is not a superficial concept, being agile requires companies to be more flexible in the way available systems and resources are used. Agile companies also need technological support for interactions (with internal and external systems) and more standardised approaches for exchanging information, resources and products.

In the DIGICOR project, agility has been identified as one of the most salient issues of contemporary supply chain management. While addressing this issue, the DIGICOR platform provides tools and interfaces for Virtual Enterprise (VE) formation. The end-to-end technology support covers all phases of VE formation from quickly detecting business opportunities (e.g. DIGICOR Tender Search service) to accessing and exchanging data between collaborative partners. Other dimensions of supply chain agility are also strengthened through the relevant service brokering and matchmaking tools

Similarly, dynamism in production and supply processes requires more modularity and flexibility not only in the way horizontal workflows (example shown below) are designed but also in the activties that vertically feed into the different steps of the workflow.

Here again DIGICOR’s tools for tender decomposition, distributed production planning and secure information exchange can support dynamic enactment of workflows and the ad-hoc configuration of distributed horizontal activities performed in collaborative networks.

The subsequent blog posts will focus on the innovative nature of specific DIGICOR tools, providing more insight into their innovative features and the market needs that they aim to address.

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