Partners search and negotiation, selection, establishment of contracts, virtual enterprise integration, monitoring and enforcement of contracts, and so forth are complex and risky activities required by the virtual enterprise (VE) model. The need to keep a close alignment with the market environment in permanent change implies the high dynamics of the organizations’ structure reconfigurability, introducing a new concept of dynamically reconfigurable global networked structures, traduced by the agile/virtual enterprise (A/VE) organizational model. In the BM_virtual enterprise architecture reference model, Putnik (2001) presents “fast adaptability” or “fast reconfigurability” as the main enabler of business alignment and the main requirement for competitiveness.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Virtual Enterprise: A dynamically reconfigurable global networked organization, networked enterprise, or network of enterprises, sharing information and/or knowledge, skills, core competencies, market and other resources and processes, configured (or constituted) as a temporary alliance (or network) to meet a (fast changing) market window of opportunity, presenting as main characteristics agility, virtuality, distributivity, and integrability
Market of Resources: An institutionalized organizational framework and service assuring the VE dynamic integration, reconfiguration, and business alignment. The operational aspect of the market of resources consists on an Internet-based intermediation service, mediating offer and demand of resources to dynamically integrate in a VE, assuring low transaction costs and the partners’ knowledge preservation. Brokers act within the market of resources as the intermediation agents for agility and virtuality.
BM_Virtual Enterprise Architecture Reference Model: BM_VEARM is a VE reference model conceived for enabling the highest organizational/structural/reconfiguration and operational inter-enterprise dynamics of VE, employing three main mechanisms for VE dynamic creation, reconfiguration, and operation: (1) market of resources, (2) broker, and (3) virtuality. Additionally, BM_VEARM implies the highest level of integration and (geographic) distribution of VE elements (partners in the VE network).