Title: Small and medium sized enterprises: no longer just coping with the supply chain

Authors: Rainer A. Sommer

Addresses: Enterprise Engineering & Policy Laboratory, Mail Stop 2E4 George Mason University Fairfax, VA 22030-4444, USA

Abstract: It was not too long ago that the small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) were precluded from participating in the lucrative supply-chain transactions generated by much larger manufacturers and suppliers. In most cases, SMEs were unable, or unwilling, to spend the necessary capital for transactional system implementations, or infrastructure upgrades. SMEs were at the mercy of their large customers who dictated the transactional standards and technology interface requirements. As a result, many companies lost lucrative contracts due to their inability to meet these mandates, or they lost revenue in order to maintain a business relationship with a large customer. This research looks at the history as well as at some of the changes that have taken place in the relationship between SMEs and their supply-chain partners. Case study data was collected from SMEs participating in a large, multi-tiered supply chain.

Keywords: SMEs; public exchange; private exchange; extensible markup language (XML); electronic data interchange (EDI); supply chain management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMED.2003.003509

International Journal of Management and Enterprise Development, 2003 Vol.1 No.1, pp.4 - 10

Published online: 12 Sep 2003 *

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