In the actual context of fast change, uncertainty, and competition, one of the most important factors of competitiveness is the organizations’ capability of fast adaptability to the market, which implies the ability of flexible access to the optimal resources (products, operations, services) for each of the functions that the organization undertakes in order to produce a product that meets the market requirements. This factor, together with the capability to manage all business and manufacturing functions, independently of distance, is achieved through the emerging agile/virtual enterprise (A/VE) organizational model, a particular case of the virtual enterprise organizational model. Partners (resources providers) search, negotiation, selection of optimal solutions, establishment of contracts and integration of the A/VE, enforcement of contracts, and so forth are complex and risky activities required by this model (see the articles “Market of Resources for Virtual Enterprise Integration” and “Market of Resources: Cost and Effort Model” in this publication).
Key Terms in this Chapter
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).
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.
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