A reference model for extended enterprise
In today's highly competitive, volatile and increasingly global manufacturing environment, manufacturing companies are increasingly aware of the need for agility and effectiveness at the supply-chain level, rather than simply at company level. Business Process Re-engineering and the resulting emphasis on core competence has influenced a move towards de-centralisation, flatter organisation structures and increased use of "outsourcing". It has been said that it is now supply-chain versus supply-chain and that this poses both opportunity and threat for SMEs. While some work has been done in relation to developing the concept of integrated supply-chains, relatively little has been published with respect to the concept of "Extended Enterprise (EE)", the "highest' 'level of inter-enterprise integration. This thesis provides a thorough review of literature with respect to supply-chain integration and Extended Enterprise. Current practice is evaluated on the basis of the literature review and an analysis of a questionnaire and some Case Study companies. A detailed description of Extended Enterprise is provided and a conceptual reference model is developed, with the aim of providing a strategic planning tool, which will help organisations to identify the extent to which they operate as part of an EE. The model is intended also to help organisations in their evolution towards more effective operation within EE. One of the key characteristics/enablers of EE is stated as the existence of an organisational structure, which supports the effective identification, rationalisation and deployment of core competence within an EE. An approach based upon the concept of a "Process Breakdown Structure" is introduced and is evaluated in the context of a Case Study Company.