TANet: Manufacturing Resource Management – Networked Business Innovation

Tanet
Increase number of active facilitators. . By bringing additional functionality to the SMECluster Portal, the idea is to encourage other facilitators to use the system.
Boost the number of registered services providers. With additional functionality to pull profile data from sites such as LinkedIn, the number new service providers has been increased through ease of use of service.
Increase tenders accrued monthly. Linked to the boosting of service providers is the accrual of tenders from a number of alternate sites by automating the process for acquiring tenders.
Widen end-to-end clustering. By increasing the speed by which tenders are imported and processed to send to suppliers means that negotiation time is also decreased.
TANET KPIs

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Description of the trial

Many forums, associations and membership organisations work extremely well at Networking and representing their members. The Facilitators of these groups communicate news and events via their websites and by emailing mailshots to their membership. Whilst this is very effective and keeps members informed about events, what new and signposting to new business opportunities, the members are always looking for more for their membership fees. In order to address the issue of offering members a better service, SMECluster is a platform that Facilitators can use via their own websites to enhance the opportunities, especially to find new business opportunities for their members. Thanks to the FITMAN Project, a new Tendering platform has been enabled (http://tenders.smecluster.com/) which allows Facilitators to post opportunities to their members and allows collaboration activities to communicate between members and the Facilitator. Members can pull details from other platforms such as LinkedIn in order to pull across their public profiles in order to save time and effort.

FITMAN TANet Trial fact sheet

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Innnovative service and functionalities

  • Pluggable Software – SMECluster Platform accepts pluggable software modules (such as GE’s, SE’s or other code written with FIWARE architecture specifications) that can add functionality to the core structure

  • Ability to connect to collaboration platforms – Currently these are systems based on SharePoint but ultimately will interface to common social media platforms for collaboration such as Slack (https://slack.com/) or HipChat (https://www.hipchat.com/)

  • New Features to Sell Services – In addition to business opportunities, SMECluster can become a reseller of FIWARE GE’s and SE’s provided through the FITMAN Innovation Lab

  • Reduced time for coding - Clearly new functionality can be implemented very fast. The use of GE’s and SE’s allows code to be standardised and repeatable so that the same functionality can be implemented in several platforms which ultimately reduces time to code and more importantly the code is version controlled so any updates can be easily deployed

  • Wider community – Good Ideas generated from a wider audience so new skillsets can be introduced to the wider community. Information sharing and following good practice is always a desire for most individuals and businesses

Impact & benefits

Reduced time for coding – Clearly new functionality can be implemented very fast. The use of GE’s and SE’s allows code to be standardised and repeatable so that the same functionality can be implemented in several platforms which ultimately reduces time to code and more importantly the code is version controlled so any updates can be easily deployed. Wider community – Good Ideas generated from a wider audience so new skillsets can be introduced to the wider community. Information sharing and following good practice is always a desire for most individuals and businesses.

TANet arch

Technical challenges

The aim of the trial is to establish systems which support streamlining of data aggregation, and provide functionality to match suppliers to tender opportunities. Our implementation roadmap focused first on delivery of core systems, followed by key functionality, and finalising with supporting features. Phase 1: Delivered core systems and services via: SE 4 – Collaborative Assets Management, SE 5 – Supply Chain and Business Ecosystem Apps (SCAPP), TSC – SMECluster Platform, allow manual addition of suppliers and opportunities to the system, and allow adding of keywords to opportunities. Phase 2: Brought Implementation of functionality via SE 3 – Anlzer, SE 7 – Collaborative Business Process Management, TSC – Synergy, allow adding of keywords to suppliers, cluster searching – match appropriate groups of suppliers to tenders. Phase 3: Additional Supporting features were brought by AK 3 – MoVA, AK 24 – GeToVA, trend identification amongst tenders, and automate input of tenders and suppliers.

Business challenges

One of the biggest challenges for any network is to achieve consistent and coherent connectivity between the network members to allow an immediate response to customer demands issued in a web based commerce environment – the so called Services of Services. Major challenges include “transparent integration” of data and management systems and processes across a wide range of businesses to participate in the e-commerce environment of the Future Internet with an understanding of the business risks involved. To achieve this type of collaboration, a next-generation platform will be created within this ecosystem, which will allow partners to find relevant opportunities, to bundle efforts with other business partners and to launch the bidding process. Knowledge sharing will then extend into support of the collaborative design, manufacture and installation processes where close coordination of activities and understanding of risks is essential to business success.

11. Picture of workplace trial

IT PARTNER: Coventry University

Coventry University is a forward-looking, modern University, a provider of high quality education and multidisciplinary research, and an established presence regionally, nationally and internationally with over 20,000 Students and 2,000 staff. Committed to further strengthening its research capacity, Coventry University has devoted significant internal funding to the establishment of Research Centres in its key areas of expertise, including the Future Manufacturing Group within the Manufacturing and Materials Faculty Research Centre, which provides the research capacity for this FITMAN trial. The Faculty of Engineering Environment and Computing, with which Future Manufacturing Group is associated, is one of the largest Faculties of the University, bringing together teaching and research excellence across the disciplinary boundaries between engineering and computing.

Coventry University logo

END USER: Sematronix Limited

Sematronix joined the Technology Application Network in September 2011 so that it could get further access to SME’s UK wide and also be able to offer services to them. Sematronix Limited manages the SMECluster Portal. It was incorporated on 25th March 2010 limited by shares and has focused on consultancy services. Sematronix has focused on the concepts of clustering that have been around for many years and has connections to several organisations support the running of a cluster which include the Welsh Automotive Forum and the Aerospace Forums. Sematronix acquired the SMECluster Portal in 2011 that Control 2K had created as clustering portal around the year 2001. It was designed for the Automotive and Aerospace forums to offer a range of services such as job advertisements, member profiles for marketing purposes and opportunities. The requirements of the SMECluster portal were developed by the two companies, Control 2K retailing the rights of the software development of the SMECluster.com platform and Sematronix being able to offer broker services to a range of businesses and became the legal entity for the portal.

Sematronix