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Towards the Extended Enterprise in Project Business
This paper studies the evolution of engineering information systems towards full support of distributed operations in project business. The results reported are based on an industrial project called Connecting Distributed Competencies (CoDisCo). With multiple industrial collaborators the project brings together project management, Internet and the construction of complex products. The aim of the project is to outline the best practices, both managerial and tool-wise, on how to connect distributed partners and their competencies in such a way that the end-product is delivered in time, with right quality, reliable documentation and within the planned budget frame. From the cases ranging from complex scientific instrumentation to traditional industries such as shipbuilding it becomes evident that modern communication systems can improve efficiency and reduce mistakes, yet they do not make well-allocated face to-face reviews with collaborating parties obsolete. It is also reported that despite the sophisticated network applications the routines performed with them are trivial and that higher-level system integration between parties requires information to be structured in a coherent way. Introduction of formal data structures is laborious, but when completed project efficiency is improved. It is concluded that in order to turn project-oriented businesses into extended enterprises the deployment of Internet and WWW play a decisive role.
Configuration management, Document management, Project management, Internet, World Wide Web (WWW), Distributed product development, Networking, One-of-a-kind manufacturing, Complex products, Supply chain management
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