Design internet-based manufacturing system for the oversea small manufacturing companies
Global competitions and rapid changes in the customers' requirements are forcing the manufacturing companies to adopt the Information Technology (IT) for the production and the configuration of manufacturing process. With the increase in demand for more specialized products, the traditional mode of production is no more capable to meet the customers' requirements. In the present competitive market environment, more customers are increasingly demanding for custom designed products within the short time. Recently, there have been rapid changes in the manufacturing paradigms where many manufacturing companies have started to adopt new enterprises strategy to remain competitive in the present international volatile markets. To be competitive in the present volatile markets, some organizations have started to adopt the concepts such as virtual enterprises, agile manufacturing etc. (Tian, Yin, & Taylor 2001). Virtual enterprises have become the most advanced and efficient form of enterprises where organizations make use of Web to transact business and share information and data. With rapid advancement in the Information Communication Technology (ICT), Web-based manufacturing has become the latest technology that manufacturing organizations employ for business process. (Tian, Yin, & Taylor 2001).
Despite the importance of Web-based manufacturing system for the enhancement of the organizational efficiencies, many small foreign-based manufacturing companies have not yet integrated Web-based manufacturing system in their manufacturing platform (Hamill, 1997). Evidently, many small foreign-based manufacturing companies still use the email as a method of communication. Many small business owners have not yet integrated web application in their manufacturing process. Lack of awareness on the importance of web-based technology for the enhancement of business operations for the offshore small manufacturing companies generates research problem that the proposal attempts to address.
Statement of Problem
Choosing the right technology to design the web-based manufacturing system has become problem for many small business organizations. The key issue has been to design a system that would enhance the product development and information sharing without jeopardizing the security system of an organization. Many technologies have been employed to design web-based technology for businesses. The technologies such as Extensible Mark-up Language (XML), Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), Cloud computing, Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA), NET etc. have been employed to design web-based manufacturing system. Inability to identify the best and the cost effective design technology for the overseas small manufacturing companies generates research problem that the study attempts to address. The proposal will collect data to identify the best and the cost effective web-based technology for the overseas small manufacturing companies.
The proposal formulates research objective to enhance greater understanding on the importance of web-based manufacturing system for overseas small manufacturing companies.
To design Web-based technology for the small overseas manufacturing companies.
To explore the importance of web-based technology for the overseas small manufacturing companies.
To what extent overseas small manufacturing companies embrace web-technology for business process?
What is the importance of web-based technology for the overseas small manufacturing companies?
What is the best web-based technology suitable for the overseas small manufacturing companies?
To answer the research questions, the proposal will collect primary and secondary data through research methodology. The review of the literatures is very important to enhance greater understanding on the importance of web technology for the overseas small manufacturing companies.
Previous studies are reviewed to discuss the Web-based technology, and its importance for the overseas small manufacturing companies. The literatures are also reviewed to discuss various technologies to design Web-based technology for the small manufacturing companies.
Web-based technology and its importance to the small manufacturing companies.
Web-based manufacturing system is a form of remote manufacturing system where manufacturing organizations process and distribute information using web technology. Typically, Web has become a tremendous potential for the global manufacturing organizations to share high profile information. (Tian, Yin, & Taylor 2001). Yang and Xue (2003) reveal that advent of World Wide Web has led to the distribution of information to any location where users have been able to share information through the Web tools. Advent of Web technology has created dynamic advantages for the manufacturing companies to develop activities such as marketing, process planning, design, production and customer service. Yang et al. (2003) argue that the integration of web-based technology for business operations enhance product quality and reduce the product development lead-time. The major advantage of Web technologies is that it has been able to combine different functions such as multimedia, distributed computing and computer network. Unlike traditional network such as Local Area Network (LAN), Web-based technology is able to link client computers anywhere in the world, and transfer multimedia information such as video clips, sound clips and text message.
Similarly, Moen (2004) claims that Information Technology (IT) has become a dynamic tool that a small corporation uses to internationalized their business. Since many small businesses have limited resources, the only solution is to employ web technology as the gateway to internationalize their business operations. With the advent of Web technologies, small manufacturing companies have the advantages to implement electronic data transfer, and information sharing across the globe.
Although, the authors have been able to reveal the importance of web-based technologies to the manufacturing companies, however they have not been able to identify the best web technology that could enhanced the business operations of the offshore manufacturing company.
Extent Small Manufacturing Firms Embrace Web-based Technology
The UK government defines a small manufacturing company as an organization with "a turnover of not more than £6.5 million, a balance sheet total of not more than £3.26 million and not more than 50 employees." (University of Strathclyde, 2011). According to Kushwah, (2011), small businesses are very important to the economy of any country, however, to keep pace with the latest technology, businesses must adopt the latest IT tools. Despite the importance of IT tools in the contemporary business environment, many small manufacturing companies have yet to embrace the web-based system. Many small companies are having financial constraints to implement the IT tools for their business developments. Essentially, an organization is required to set aside costs for the Web design and implementation of Web-based platform. However, financial constraint is the major setback that is jeopardizing small businesses in embracing the latest technology.
Simmons, et al. (2008) supports this argument by pointing out that many overseas small manufacturing enterprises lack financial resources to implement Web-based technology. Unlike large organizations that are more focused on Web platform, some overseas small business still have technological constraints to embrace Web technology. Phaithoonbuathong et al. (2010) reveal that the traditional manufacturing system is often characterized with the rigid and centralized features that could lead to error prone and time consuming in the production process. Typically, centralized manufacturing planning is deemed insufficient to address the current market environment. With the agility to respond to the dynamic product specification, the centralized manufacturing system is insufficient to cope with the unpredictable changes. Typically, many small manufacturing companies are unable to implement the current automation system owing to its complexity and its unstructured programming.
Dai (2009) also argues that the small manufacturing companies are yet to take advantages of IT tools for e-Business. Many small businesses are not ready to commit both financial and human resources for IT investments. The author argues that many small businesses in Europe have not yet fully integrated Web-based technologies in their business operations. The reason is that many small businesses lack sufficient and huamn resources to implement Web-based system for their business advantanges.
Contrarily, Warren, & Susman (2007) argue that small foreign manufacturing companies have started adopting IT innovation. The global business competitions are forcing smaller firms to adopt IT tools. While some manufacturing companies in the developing countries may not have sophisticated IT tools to develop their business, many small manufacturing companies in Asia, and Europe have started implementing the Web-based technologies to achieve market advantages.
To assist small overseas manufacturing companies to adopt the Web-based technology that will be cost effective for their business operations, the literatures are reviewed to analyze different tools to develop Web-based business.
Review of the literatures has revealed that many overseas manufacturing companies do not have resources to develop high cost Web-based manufacturing system. To address this problem, this section reviews the literatures to identify different types of the method to develop Web-based system for the overseas small manufacturing companies. Extensive review of the literatures will assist the proposal to identify the IT tool that is cost effective for small business.
Vartiainen, et al. (2010) claims that Cloud computing is the technology that could enhance sharing of data and information over the internet. The Cloud computing allows easy flow of information using many devices to interact on the daily basis. Typically, Cloud computing allows the mobile interactive application where users have the advantages to send real time data to any location at any time. One of the important features of Cloud computing is that the users are allowed to send mobile message and access the real time date…