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Durham e-Theses
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Digital enterprise technology implementation A methodology to facilitate the innovation process in SMEs

Woy, Udisien (2008) Digital enterprise technology implementation A methodology to facilitate the innovation process in SMEs. Masters thesis, Durham University.

Full text not available from this repository.
Author-imposed embargo until 21 April 2014.

Abstract

A technology-led innovation methodology was developed for small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the made-to-order (MTO) manufacturing environment. This methodology was used to demonstrate how businesses can be transformed to stimulate innovation, supported by fact-based systems, in a sustainable and flexible approach. Digital Enterprise Technologies (DET) such as Enterprise resource planning (ERP) and computer aided design (CAD) technologies are used in the vast majority of manufacturing environments and manage data and metadata, which are vital sources of business intelligence. When properly managed, these fact-based systems can lead to technology-led innovation by keeping businesses informed; information leads to in sight, which can potentially be transformed to innovation and exploited by businesses to increase efficiency, maintain competitiveness and increase their profit margins. However, managing these DET systems to successfully achieve sustainable innovation requires a number of resources of which, time has been identified as the most critical. Although, the innovative process is a high value added process that requires a lot of time and due attention, MTO SMEs struggle to meet due to the numerous demands on their resources, particularly time. However, due the potential benefits that can be accrued from pursuing innovation, it will be useful to MTO SMEs to prioritise this activity. Analyzing the ERP and CAD systems used in a typical MTO manufacturing enterprise, the issues faced were highlighted: evaluation and selection of suitable technology; implementation and integration with existing technology; customization and configuration; personnel development and increased proficiency; and the implementation of standardized working procedures. Other issues such as the scope of activities and available management support for technology innovation were also explored. The issue identified were addressed by developing a framework for technology assessment and selection; defining the strategic priorities and actions required to stimulate innovation; integration of overall business strategy with DETs to facilitate technology innovation; and a framework to support technology innovation management in SMEs. By addressing the main issues identified, it is anticipated that DETs implemented by MTO SMEs where required, will be strategically targeted at managing time consuming routine tasks thus freeing up valuable creative time that can be dedicated to innovations and the innovative process

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Science
Thesis Date:2008
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:26

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