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Supporting partner identification for virtual organisations in manufacturing

Carl Hans (Bremer Institut für Produktion und Logistik GmbH (BIBA), Bremen, Germany)

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management

ISSN: 1741-038X

Article publication date: 2 May 2008




Virtual organisations (VOs) in manufacturing represent a promising approach for dealing with today's difficult markets. The selection of the right partners during the creation phase is a prerequisite for their success. Owing to the complexity of the underlying networks as well as the need to react immediately to market opportunities, tool support is necessary for finding a suitable consortia for a given business purpose while reducing the immanent risk of failure. The purpose of this paper is to exemplify the conception and realisation of such a tool.


The approach taken in this work consists of four steps: first of all, the requirements to be fulfilled by the tool are derived from the main characteristics of VOs. Subsequently, existing approaches which could serve as a technical basis for the tool are presented and ranked. To conclude, a tool design is introduced and applied to a brief case study.


It is shown that simulation appears as very suitable within the considered problem domain. It is further pointed out that simulation requires user‐friendly components addressing modelling, simulation execution and analysis in order to be applicable and accepted by domain experts as end‐users.


The paper presents an overview of technical approaches supporting partner identification during the establishment phase of VOs. It describes a concept for a simulation environment addressing the needs of practitioners from industry. Finally, it depicts necessary extensions for model verification and solution finding.



Hans, C. (2008), "Supporting partner identification for virtual organisations in manufacturing", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 497-513.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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