Broker Performance for Agile/Virtual Enterprise Integration

Broker Performance for Agile/Virtual Enterprise Integration

Paulo Avila (Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Portugal), Goran D. Putnik (University of Minho, Portugal) and Maria M. Cunha (Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-405-7.ch008
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The implementation of the virtual enterprise (VE) model requires an agent, called a broker, who undertakes several functions and whose increased performance contributes to the searched agility of this organisational model. From the set of functions that the broker can provide to the VE, there are some that may explicitly contribute to the process of VE integration. One of the processes that contributes to VE integration, either in the project phase, during the resources system configuration, or in the operation phase, when the system reconfiguration is required, is the resources system selection process. We will approach, in this work, the importance of the broker in the resources system selection through the comparison of his performance in that process to the performance expected of the VE itself, if the person for whom it is responsible (or principal) performs the same process. This comparison is made based on the simulation results obtained from a numeric demonstrator specifically constructed to quantify the time and cost of the selection process for both the selectors (the broker and the principal). We demonstrate that the domain of advantage for the broker, i.e., where the broker’s performance exceeds the principal’s, grows with the dimension of the tasks plan and with the number of preselected resources, and also with the complexity of the selection method.

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