Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 160

Search results for: Competitiveness

100 Barriers to Competitive Tenders in Building Conservation Works

Authors: Yoke-Mui Lim, Yahaya Ahmad

Abstract:

Conservation works in Malaysia that is procured by public organisation usually follow the traditional approach where the works are tendered based on Bills of Quantities (BQ). One of the purposes of tendering is to enable the selection of a competent contractor that offers a competitive price. While competency of the contractors are assessed by their technical knowledge, experience and track records, the assessment of pricing will be dependent on the tender amount. However, the issue currently faced by the conservation works sector is the difficulty in assessing the competitiveness and reasonableness of the tender amount due to the high variance between the tenders amount. Thus, this paper discusses the factors that cause difficulty to the tenderers in pricing competitively in a bidding exercise for conservation tenders. Data on tendering is collected from interviews with conservation works contractors to gain in-depth understanding of the barriers faced in pricing tenders of conservation works. Findings from the study lent support to the contention that the variance of tender amount is very high amongst tenderers. The factors identified in the survey are the format of BQ, hidden works, experience and labour and material costs.

Keywords: Building Conservation, Malaysia, bill of quantities, tender

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99 Port Governance in Santos, Brazil: A Qualitative Approach

Authors: Guilherme B. B. Vieira, Rafael M. da Silva, Eliana T. P. Senna, Luiz A. S. Senna, Francisco J. Kliemann Neto

Abstract:

Given the importance of ports as links in the global supply chains and because they are key elements to induce competitiveness in their hinterlands, the number of studies devoted to port governance, management and operations has increased in the last decades. Some of these studies address the port governance model as an element to improve coordination among the actors of the portlogistics chain and to generate a better port performance. In this context, the present study analyzes the governance of Port of Santos through individual interviews with port managers, based on a conceptual model that considers the key dimensions associated with port governance. The results reinforce the usefulness of the applied model and highlight some existing improvement opportunities in the port studied.

Keywords: model, port governance, Port of Santos, Managers’ Perception

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98 Sustainability and Promotion of Inland Waterway Transportation Projects in Colombia: Case of the Magdalena River

Authors: David Julian Bernal Melgarejo

Abstract:

Inland Waterway Transportation (IWT) is playing an important role in national transport systems, water transportation is considered to be safe, energy efficient and environmentally friendly mode of transport, all benefits of IWT cause national awareness increase, for instance the Colombian government is planning to restore the navigability of the most important river of the country, the Magdalena’s River navigability, embrace waterway transportation in Colombia could strength competitiveness while reduce most of the transport externalities. However, the current situation of the Magdalena is deplorable, the most important river of Colombia has been abandoned for decades and the solution is beyond of a single administrative entity. This paper analyzes the outcomes of the Navigation And Inland Waterway Action and Development in Europe program (NAIADES) as a prospective to develop a similar program in Colombia with similar objectives and guidelines, considering sustainability, guarantying the long-term future results and adaptability of the program. Identifying stakeholders and policy experts, a set of individual interviews were carried out; findings support the idea of lack of integration within governmental institutions and lack of importance in marketing promotion as possible drawbacks on the implementation of IWT projects.

Keywords: Logistics, Sustainability, Water Transportation, inland waterway transportation, multimodal transport systems

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97 Process of Revitalization of the City Centers in Poland: The Problem of Cooperation between Sectors

Authors: Ewa M. Boryczka

Abstract:

Contemporary city is a subject to rapid economic and social changes. Therefore, it requires an active policy designed to meet the diverse needs of their residents, build competitive position and capacity to compete with other cities. Competitiveness of cities depends largely on their resources but also to a large extent, on the policies and performance of local authorities. Cooperation with social sector also plays an important role, as it affects the use of resources and builds an advantage over other cities. The subject of this article is city's contemporary problems of development with particular emphasis on central areas. This issue is a starting point for reflection on the process of urban regeneration in medium size cities in Poland, as well as cooperation between various actors and their roles in the revitalization processes of Polish cities' centers.

Keywords: City, cooperation between sectors, revitalization, crisis of city centers

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96 Resource Efficiency within Current Production

Authors: Sarah Majid Ansari, Serjosha Wulf, Matthias Görke

Abstract:

In times of global warming and the increasing shortage of resources, sustainable production is becoming more and more inevitable. Companies cannot only heighten their competitiveness but also contribute positively to environmental protection through efficient energy and resource consumption. Regarding this, technical solutions are often preferred during production, although organizational and process-related approaches also offer great potential. This project focuses on reducing resource usage, with a special emphasis on the human factor. It is the aspiration to develop a methodology that systematically implements and embeds suitable and individual measures and methods regarding resource efficiency throughout the entire production. The measures and methods established help employees handle resources and energy more sensitively. With this in mind, this paper also deals with the difficulties that can occur during the sensitization of employees and the implementation of these measures and methods. In addition, recommendations are given on how to avoid such difficulties.

Keywords: Human Factor, Implementation, Resource Efficiency, production plant

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95 Improving Knowledge Management Practices in the South African Healthcare System

Authors: Kgabo H. Badimo, Sheryl Buckley

Abstract:

Knowledge is increasingly recognised in this, the knowledge era, as a strategic resource, by public sector organisations, in view of the public sector reform initiatives. People and knowledge play a vital role in attaining improved organisational performance and high service quality. Many government departments in the public sector have started to realise the importance of knowledge management in streamlining their operations and processes. This study focused on knowledge management in the public healthcare service organisations, where the concept of service provider competitiveness pales to insignificance, considering the huge challenges emanating from the healthcare and public sector reforms. Many government departments are faced with challenges of improving organisational performance and service delivery, improving accountability, making informed decisions, capturing the knowledge of the aging workforce, and enhancing partnerships with stakeholders. The purpose of this paper is to examine the knowledge management practices of the Gauteng Department of Health in South Africa, in order to understand how knowledge management practices influence improvement in organisational performance and healthcare service delivery. This issue is explored through a review of literature on dominant views on knowledge management and healthcare service delivery, as well as results of interviews with, and questionnaire responses from, the general staff of the Gauteng Department of Health. Web-based questionnaires, face-to-face interviews and organisational documents were used to collect data. The data were analysed using both the quantitative and qualitative methods. The central question investigated was: To what extent can the conditions required for successful knowledge management be observed, in order to improve organisational performance and healthcare service delivery in the Gauteng Department of Health. The findings showed that the elements of knowledge management capabilities investigated in this study, namely knowledge creation, knowledge sharing and knowledge application, have a positive, significant relationship with all measures of organisational performance and healthcare service delivery. These findings thus indicate that by employing knowledge management principles, the Gauteng Department of Health could improve its ability to achieve its operational goals and objectives, and solve organisational and healthcare challenges, thereby improving organisational performance and enhancing healthcare service delivery in Gauteng.

Keywords: Knowledge Management, Public Sector, public healthcare, Healthcare Service Delivery

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94 Method for Assessing Potential in Distribution Logistics

Authors: P. Nyhuis, B. Groß, P. Fronia

Abstract:

In addition to the production, which is already frequently optimized, improving the distribution logistics also opens up tremendous potential for increasing an enterprise’s competitiveness. Here too though, numerous interactions need to be taken into account, enterprises thus need to be able to identify and weigh between different potentials for economically efficient optimizations. In order to be able to assess potentials, enterprises require a suitable method. This paper first briefly presents the need for this research before introducing the procedure that will be used to develop an appropriate method that not only considers interactions but is also quickly and easily implemented.

Keywords: Distribution Logistics, Methods, model, evaluation of potential

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93 Organization of the Purchasing Function for Innovation

Authors: Jasna Prester, Ivana Rašić Bakarić, Božidar Matijević

Abstract:

Innovations not only contribute to competitiveness of the company but have also positive effects on revenues. On average, product innovations account to 14 percent of companies’ sales. Innovation management has substantially changed during the last decade, because of growing reliance on external partners. As a consequence, a new task for purchasing arises, as firms need to understand which suppliers actually do have high potential contributing to the innovativeness of the firm and which do not. Proper organization of the purchasing function is important since for the majority of manufacturing companies deal with substantial material costs which pass through the purchasing function. In the past the purchasing function was largely seen as a transaction-oriented, clerical function but today purchasing is the intermediate with supply chain partners contributing to innovations, be it product or process innovations. Therefore, purchasing function has to be organized differently to enable firm innovation potential. However, innovations are inherently risky. There are behavioral risk (that some partner will take advantage of the other party), technological risk in terms of complexity of products and processes of manufacturing and incoming materials and finally market risks, which in fact judge the value of the innovation. These risks are investigated in this work. Specifically, technological risks which deal with complexity of the products, and processes will be investigated more thoroughly. Buying components or such high edge technologies necessities careful investigation of technical features and therefore is usually conducted by a team of experts. Therefore it is hypothesized that higher the technological risk, higher will be the centralization of the purchasing function as an interface with other supply chain members. Main contribution of this research lies is in the fact that analysis was performed on a large data set of 1493 companies, from 25 countries collected in the GMRG 4 survey. Most analyses of purchasing function are done by case study analysis of innovative firms. Therefore this study contributes with empirical evaluations that can be generalized.

Keywords: Innovation, purchasing function organization, technological risk, GMRG 4 survey

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92 Web-Content Analysis of the Major Spanish Tourist Destinations Evaluation by Russian Tourists

Authors: Sergey Kazakov, Natalia Polkanova

Abstract:

In the second decade of the XXI century the role of tourism destination attractiveness is becoming increasingly important for destination management. Competition in tourism market moves from ordinary service quality to provision of unforgettable emotional experience for tourists. The main purpose of the present study is to identify the perception of the tourism destinations based on the number of factors related to its tourist attractiveness. The content analysis method was used to analyze the on-line tourist feedback data immensely available in Social Media and in travel related sites. The collected data made it possible to procure the information which is necessary to understand the perceived attractiveness of the destinations and key destination appeal factors that are important for Russian leisure travelers. Results of the present study demonstrate key attractiveness factors or destination ‘properties’ that were unveiled as the most important for Russian leisure tourists. The study targeted five main Spanish tourism destinations that initially were determined by in-depth interview with a number of Russian nationals who had visited Spain at least once. The research results can be useful for Spanish Tourism Organization Representation office in Russia as well as for the other national tourism organizations in order to promote their respective destinations for Russian travelers focusing on main attractiveness factors identified in this study.

Keywords: Content Analysis, Tourism Destination, destination attractiveness, destination competitiveness, unstructured image

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91 The Strategy for Increasing the Competitiveness of Georgia

Authors: G. Erkomaishvili

Abstract:

The paper discusses economic policy of Georgia aiming to increase national competitiveness as well as the tools and means which will help to improve the competitiveness of the country. The sectors of the economy, in which the country can achieve the competitive advantage, are studied. It is noted that the country’s economic policy plays an important role in obtaining and maintaining the competitive advantage - authority should take measures to ensure high level of education; scientific and research activities should be funded by the state; foreign direct investments should be attracted mainly in science-intensive industries; adaptation with the latest scientific achievements of the modern world and deepening of scientific and technical cooperation. Stable business environment and export oriented strategy is the basis for the country’s economic growth. As the outcome of the research, the paper suggests the strategy for improving competitiveness in Georgia; recommendations are provided based on relevant conclusions.

Keywords: Competitiveness, competitive advantage, competitiveness improvement strategy, competitiveness of Georgia

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90 Trends and Prospects for the Development of Georgian Wine Market

Authors: E. Kharaishvili, M. Chavleishvili, M. Natsvaladze

Abstract:

The article presents the trends in Georgian wine market development and evaluates the competitive advantages of Georgia to enter the wine market based on its customs, traditions and historical practices combined with modern technologies. In order to analyze the supply of wine, dynamics of vineyard land area and grape varieties are discussed, trends in wine production are presented, trends in export and import are evaluated, local wine market, its micro and macro environments are studied and analyzed based on the interviews with experts and analysis of initial recording materials. For strengthening its position on the international market, the level of competitiveness of Georgian wine is defined, which is evaluated by “ex-ante” and “ex-post” methods, as well as by four basic and two additional factors of the Porter’s diamond method; potential advantages and disadvantages of Georgian wine are revealed. Conclusions are made by identifying the factors that hinder the development of Georgian wine market. Based on the conclusions, relevant recommendations are developed.

Keywords: competitive advantage, Georgian wine market, export-import, Porter's diamond model, bio wine

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89 Concept for Determining the Focus of Technology Monitoring Activities

Authors: Guenther Schuh, Christina Koenig, Nico Schoen, Markus Wellensiek

Abstract:

Identification and selection of appropriate product and manufacturing technologies are key factors for competitiveness and market success of technology-based companies. Therefore, many companies perform technology intelligence (TI) activities to ensure the identification of evolving technologies at the right time. Technology monitoring is one of the three base activities of TI, besides scanning and scouting. As the technological progress is accelerating, more and more technologies are being developed. Against the background of limited resources it is therefore necessary to focus TI activities. In this paper we propose a concept for defining appropriate search fields for technology monitoring. This limitation of search space leads to more concentrated monitoring activities. The concept will be introduced and demonstrated through an anonymized case study conducted within an industry project at the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT. The described concept provides a customized monitoring approach, which is suitable for use in technology-oriented companies. It is shown in this paper that the definition of search fields and search tasks are suitable methods to define topics of interest and thus to align monitoring activities. Current as well as planned product, production and material technologies and existing skills, capabilities and resources form the basis for derivation of relevant search areas. To further improve the concept of technology monitoring the proposed concept should be extended during future research e.g. by the definition of relevant monitoring parameters.

Keywords: Technology Monitoring, monitoring radar, search field, technology intelligence

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88 A Lean Manufacturing Profile of Practices in the Metallurgical Industry: A Methodology for Multivariate Analysis

Authors: Jonathan D. Morales M., Ramón Silva R.

Abstract:

The purpose of this project is to carry out an analysis and determine the profile of actual lean manufacturing processes in the Metropolitan Area of Bucaramanga. Through the analysis of qualitative and quantitative variables it was possible to establish how these manufacturers develop production practices that ensure their competitiveness and productivity in the market. In this study, a random sample of metallurgic and wrought iron companies was applied, following which a quantitative focus and analysis was used to formulate a qualitative methodology for measuring the level of lean manufacturing procedures in the industry. A qualitative evaluation was also carried out through a multivariate analysis using the Numerical Taxonomy System (NTSYS) program which should allow for the determination of Lean Manufacturing profiles. Through the results it was possible to observe how the companies in the sector are doing with respect to Lean Manufacturing Practices, as well as identify the level of management that these companies practice with respect to this topic. In addition, it was possible to ascertain that there is no one dominant profile in the sector when it comes to Lean Manufacturing. It was established that the companies in the metallurgic and wrought iron industry show low levels of Lean Manufacturing implementation. Each one carries out diverse actions that are insufficient to consolidate a sectoral strategy for developing a competitive advantage which enables them to tie together a production strategy.

Keywords: Productivity, Lean manufacturing, production line management, metallurgic industry

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87 Economic Factors Affecting Rice Export of Thailand

Authors: Somphoom Sawaengkun

Abstract:

The purpose of this study was primarily assessing how important economic factors namely: The Thai export price of white rice, the exchange rate, and the world rice consumption affect the overall Thai white rice export, using historical data during the period 1989-2013 from the Thai Rice Exporters Association, and Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. The co-integration method, regression analysis, and error correction model were applied to investigate the econometric model. The findings indicated that in the long-run, the world rice consumption, the exchange rate, and the Thai export price of white rice were the important factors affecting the export quantity of Thai white rice respectively, as indicated by their significant coefficients. Meanwhile, the rice export price was an important factor affecting the export quantity of Thai white rice in the short-run. This information is useful in the business, export opportunities, price competitiveness, and policymaker in Thailand.

Keywords: white rice, economic factors, Rice Export

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86 Strategic Management Methods in Non-profit Making Organization

Authors: P. Řehoř, D. Holátová, V. Doležalová

Abstract:

Paper deals with analysis of strategic management methods in non-profit making organization in the Czech Republic. Strategic management represents an aggregate of methods and approaches that can be applied for managing organizations - in this article the organizations which associate owners and keepers of nonstate forest properties. Authors use these methods of strategic management: analysis of stakeholders, SWOT analysis and questionnaire inquiries. The questionnaire was distributed electronically via e-mail. In October 2013 we obtained data from a total of 84 questionnaires. Based on the results the authors recommend the using of confrontation strategy which improves the competitiveness of non-profit making organizations.

Keywords: Strategic Management, Strategy, strategy analysis, Competitiveness, SWOT analysis, non-profit making organization

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85 Facilitating Factors for the Success of Mobile Service Providers in Bangkok Metropolitan

Authors: Yananda Siraphatthada

Abstract:

The objectives of this research were to study the level of influencing factors, leadership, supply chain management, innovation, competitive advantages, business success, and affecting factors to the business success of the mobile phone system service providers in Bangkok Metropolitan. This research was done by the quantitative approach and the qualitative approach. The quantitative approach was used for questionnaires to collect data from the 331 mobile service shop managers franchised by AIS, Dtac and TrueMove. The mobile phone system service providers/shop managers were randomly stratified and proportionally allocated into subgroups exclusive to the number of the providers in each network. In terms of qualitative method, there were in-depth interviews of 6 mobile service providers/managers of Telewiz and Dtac and TrueMove shop to find the agreement or disagreement with the content analysis method. Descriptive Statistics, including Frequency, Percentage, Means and Standard Deviation were employed; also, the Structural Equation Model (SEM) was used as a tool for data analysis. The content analysis method was applied to identify key patterns emerging from the interview responses. The two data sets were brought together for comparing and contrasting to make the findings, providing triangulation to enrich result interpretation. It revealed that the level of the influencing factors – leadership, innovation management, supply chain management, and business competitiveness had an impact at a great level, but that the level of factors, innovation and the business, financial success and nonbusiness financial success of the mobile phone system service providers in Bangkok Metropolitan, is at the highest level. Moreover, the business influencing factors, competitive advantages in the business of mobile system service providers which were leadership, supply chain management, innovation management, business advantages, and business success, had statistical significance at .01 which corresponded to the data from the interviews.

Keywords: business success, mobile service providers

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84 Financial Sources and Instruments for Public Grants and Financial Facilities of Smes in EU

Authors: Maciej Woźniak, Simeon Karafolas

Abstract:

Mostly of public financing programs at national and regional level are funded from European Union sources. EU can participate directly to a national and regional program (example LEADER initiative, URBAN…) or indirectly by funding regional or national funds.Funds from European Union are provided from EU multiannual financial framework form which the annual budget is programmed. The adjusted program 2007-2013 of the EU considered commitments of almost 1 trillion Euros for the EU-28 countries. Provisions of the new program 2014-2020 consider commitments of more than 1 trillion Euros. Sustainable growth, divided to Cohesion and Competitiveness for Growth an Employment, is one of the two principal categories; the other is the preservation and management of natural resources.Through this financing process SMEs benefited of EU and public sources by receiving grants for their investments. Most of the financial instruments are available indirectly through the national financial intermediaries. Part of them is managed by the European Investment Fund.The paper focuses on the public financing to SMEs by examining case studies on divers forms of public help. It tries to distinguish the efficiency of the examined good practices and therefore try to have some conclusions on the possibility of application to other regions.

Keywords: Financing, SMEs, DIFASS, grants

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83 Measurement of Innovation Performance

Authors: M. Chobotová, Ž. Rylková

Abstract:

Time full of changes which is associated with globalization, tougher competition, changes in the structures of markets and economic downturn, that all force companies to think about their competitive advantages. These changes can bring the company a competitive advantage and that can help improve competitive position in the market. Policy of the European Union is focused on the fast growing innovative companies which quickly respond to market demands and consequently increase its competitiveness. To meet those objectives companies need the right conditions and support of their state.

Keywords: Innovation, Performance, measurements metrics, indices

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82 Competitiveness of Animation Industry: The Case of Thailand

Authors: T. Niracharapa

Abstract:

The research studied and examined the competitiveness of the animation industry in Thailand. Data were collected based on articles, related reports and websites, news, research, and interviews of key persons from both public and private sectors. The diamond model was used to analyze the study. The major factor driving the Thai animation industry forward includes a quality workforce, their creativity and strong associations. However, discontinuity in government support, infrastructure, marketing, IP creation and financial constraints were factors keeping the Thai animation industry less competitive in the global market.

Keywords: Animation, Digital content, Competitiveness, Thailand

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81 The Relationships between Market Orientation and Competitiveness of Companies in Banking Sector

Authors: P. Jangl, M. Mikuláštík

Abstract:

The objective of the paper is to measure and compare market orientation of Swiss and Czech banks, as well as examine statistically the degree of influence it has on competitiveness of the institutions. The analysis of market orientation is based on the collecting, analysis and correct interpretation of the data. Descriptive analysis of market orientation describe current situation. Research of relation of competitiveness and market orientation in the sector of big international banks is suggested with the expectation of existence of a strong relationship. Partially, the work served as reconfirmation of suitability of classic methodologies to measurement of banks’ market orientation.

Two types of data were gathered. Firstly, by measuring subjectively perceived market orientation of a company and secondly, by quantifying its competitiveness. All data were collected from a sample of small, mid-sized and large banks. We used numerical secondary character data from the international statistical financial Bureau Van Dijk’s BANKSCOPE database.

 Statistical analysis led to the following results. Assuming classical market orientation measures to be scientifically justified, Czech banks are statistically less market-oriented than Swiss banks. Secondly, among small Swiss banks, which are not broadly internationally active, small relationship exist between market orientation measures and market share based competitiveness measures. Thirdly, among all Swiss banks, a strong relationship exists between market orientation measures and market share based competitiveness measures. Above results imply existence of a strong relation of this measure in sector of big international banks. A strong statistical relationship has been proven to exist between market orientation measures and equity/total assets ratio in Switzerland.

Keywords: Marketing Strategy, Competitiveness, Market Orientation, measurement of market orientation, relation between market orientation and competitiveness, banking sector

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80 Adopting Collaborative Business Processes to Prevent the Loss of Information in Public Administration Organisations

Authors: A. Capodieci, G. Del Fiore, L. Mainetti

Abstract:

Recently, the use of web 2.0 tools has increased in companies and public administration organisations. This phenomenon, known as "Enterprise 2.0", has, de facto, modified common organisational and operative practices. This has led “knowledge workers” to change their working practices through the use of Web 2.0 communication tools. Unfortunately, these tools have not been integrated with existing enterprise information systems, a situation that could potentially lead to a loss of information. This is an important problem in an organisational context, because knowledge of information exchanged within the organisation is needed to increase the efficiency and competitiveness of the organisation. In this article we demonstrate that it is possible to capture this knowledge using collaboration processes, which are processes of abstraction created in accordance with design patterns and applied to new organisational operative practices.

Keywords: Business Practices, business process patterns, collaboration tools, enterprise 2.0, knowledge workers

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79 ICCFMS - Enhancing a Competitive Advantage for Thailand’s IT Entrepreneurs

Authors: T. Niracharapa, W. Angkana

Abstract:

Since information and communication technology (ICT) plays a critical role in enhancing national competitiveness, it is a driving force for social and economic growth and prosperity. The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) will integrate this into ASEAN countries as a new mechanism and a measure that will improve economic performance as a global economy. Government policies may support or impede such harmonization. This study was to investigate, analyze the status of Thai IT entrepreneurs and define key strategies to enhance their competitive advantage. Data were collected based on in-depth interviews, questionnaires, focus groups, seminars and fieldwork on information technology excluding communication. SWOT was used as a tool to analyze the study. The results of this study can be used to enable the government to guide policy, measures and strategies for creating a competitive advantage for Thailand’s IT entrepreneurs in the global market.

Keywords: competitive advantage, ASEAN, AEC, IT entrepreneurs

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78 Evaluating the Logistic Performance Capability of Regeneration Processes

Authors: Jonas Mayer, Peter Nyhuis, Julian Becker, Thorben Kuprat

Abstract:

For years now, it has been recognized that logistic performance capability contributes enormously to a production enterprise’s competitiveness and as such is a critical control lever. In doing so, the orientation on customer wishes (e.g. delivery dates) represents a key parameter not only in the value-adding production but also in product regeneration. Since production and regeneration processes have different characteristics, production planning and control measures cannot be directly transferred to regeneration processes. As part of a special research project, the Institute of Production Systems and Logistics Hannover is focused on increasing the logistic performance capability of regeneration processes for complex capital goods. The aim is to ensure logistic targets are met by implementing a model specifically designed to align the capacities and load in regeneration processes.

Keywords: capacity planning, logistic performance, complex capital goods, regeneration process

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77 The Comparison of Competitiveness of Selected Countries of the European Economic Area

Authors: Ingrid Majerová, Michaela Horúcková

Abstract:

The concept of competitiveness is currently very frequently used term. However, the interpretation of its essence is different. In this paper, one of the many concepts of competitiveness will be analyzed and that is macroeconomic competitiveness, which is understood as a process, which is based on the productivity growth through the growth of key macroeconomic indicators such as standards of living and employment, where all of these variables must have a sustainable basis. Given the competition is a relative quantity it must be constantly compared with the development of competitiveness in other economies or regions. And this comparison method is also used in the article that compares the macrocompetitiveness of selected economies of the European Economic Area – the Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, Switzerland and Germany. The aim of the paper is to verify the hypothesis concerning the direct correlation between the size of the economy and its competitiveness.

Keywords: Competitiveness, comparison, global competitiveness index, macro-competitiveness, European Economic Area, Immeasurable Indicators of Competitiveness

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76 Strategy Research for the Development of Thematic Commercial Streets - Based On the Survey of Eight Typical Thematic Commercial Streets in Harbin

Authors: Wang Xu, Wang Zhenzhen, Hong Liangping

Abstract:

The construction of thematic commercial streets has been on the hotspot with the rapid development of cities. In order to improve the image and competitiveness of cities, many cities are building or rebuilding thematic commercial streets. However, many contradictions and problems have emerged during this process. Therefore, it is significant, for both the practice and the research, to analyze the development of thematic commercial streets and provide some useful suggestions. Through the deep research and comparative study of the eight typical thematic commercial streets in Harbin, this paper summarize the current situations, laws and influencing factors of the development of these streets, and then put forward some suggestions about the plan, constructions and developments of the thematic commercial streets.

Keywords: thematic commercial streets, laws of the development, influence factors, the constructions and developments, degrees of aggregation

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75 A Strategy Based View of Supply Chain Competitiveness

Authors: Ajay Verma, Nitin Seth

Abstract:

In this era of competitiveness, there is a growing need for supply chains also to become competitive enough to handle pressures like varying customer’s expectations, low cost high quality products to be delivered at the minimum time and the most important is throat cutting competition at world wide scale. In the recent years, supply chain competitiveness has been, therefore, accepted as one of the most important philosophies in the supply chain literature. Various researchers and practitioners have tried to identify and implement strategies in supply chains which can bring competitiveness in the supply chains i.e. supply chain competitiveness. The purpose of this paper is to suggest select strategies for supply chain competitiveness in the Indian manufacturing sector using an integrated approach of literature review and exploratory interviews with eminent professionals from the supply chain area in various industries, academia and research. The aim of the paper is to highlight the important area of competitiveness in the supply chain and to suggest recommendations to the industry and managers of manufacturing sector.

Keywords: Collaboration, cooperation, coordination, Competitiveness, supply chain competitiveness

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74 Key Strategies for a Competitive Supply Chain

Authors: Ajay Verma, Nitin Seth

Abstract:

In this era of competitiveness, there is a growing need for supply chains also to become competitive enough to handle pressures like varying customer’s expectations, low cost high quality products to be delivered at the minimum time and the most important is throat cutting competition at world wide scale. In the recent years, supply chain competitiveness has been, therefore, accepted as one of the most important philosophies in the supply chain literature and researchers have tried to identify variables of supply chain competitiveness. This paper highlights some of the concepts of supply chain competitiveness and tries to identify select variables on the basis of literature review. Further, the paper tries to highlight the importance of the identified variables in the achievement of supply chain competitiveness. The aim is to explore the concept and to motivate researchers to further investigate the unexplored areas of this important subject domain.

Keywords: Information Technology, Inventory Management, Integration, Flexibility, Demand Management, supply chain competitiveness

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73 Innovativeness of the Furniture Enterprises in Bulgaria

Authors: Radostina Popova

Abstract:

The paper presents an analysis of the innovation performance of small and medium-sized furniture enterprises in Bulgaria, accounting for over 97% of the companies in the sector. It contains advanced features of innovation in enterprises, specific features of the furniture industry in Bulgaria and analysis of the results of studies on the topic. The results from studies of three successive periods - 2006-2008; 2008-2010; 2010-2012, during which were studied 594 small and medium-sized furniture enterprises. There are commonly used in the EU definitions and indicators (European Commission, OECD, Oslo Manual), which allows for the comparability of results.

Keywords: innovation activity, competitiveness of innovation, furniture enterprises in Bulgaria

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72 Ranking of Inventory Policies Using Distance Based Approach Method

Authors: kumar Ramesh, Gupta Amit, Tewari P. C.

Abstract:

Globalization is putting enormous pressure on the business organizations specially manufacturing one to rethink the supply chain in innovative manners. Inventory consumes major portion of total sale revenue. Effective and efficient inventory management plays a vital role for the successful functioning of any organization. Selection of inventory policy is one of the important purchasing activities. This paper focuses on selection and ranking of alternative inventory policies. A deterministic quantitative model based on Distance Based Approach (DBA) method has been developed for evaluation and ranking of inventory policies. We have employed this concept first time for this type of the selection problem. Four inventory policies economic order quantity (EOQ), just in time (JIT), vendor managed inventory (VMI) and monthly policy are considered. Improper selection could affect a company’s competitiveness in terms of the productivity of its facilities and quality of its products. The ranking of inventory policies is a multi-criteria problem. There is a need to first identify the selection criteria and then processes the information with reference to relative importance of attributes for comparison. Criteria values for each inventory policy can be obtained either analytically or by using a simulation technique or they are linguistic subjective judgments defined by fuzzy sets, like, for example, the values of criteria. A methodology is developed and applied to rank the inventory policies.

Keywords: inventory policy, ranking, DBA, selection criteria

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71 WEMax: Virtual Manned Assembly Line Generation

Authors: Won Kyung Ham, Kang Hoon Cho, Yongho Chung, Sang C. Park

Abstract:

Presented in this paper is a framework of a software ‘WEMax’. The WEMax is invented for analysis and simulation for manned assembly lines to sustain and improve performance of manufacturing systems. In a manufacturing system, performance, such as productivity, is a key of competitiveness for output products. However, the manned assembly lines are difficult to forecast performance, because human labors are not expectable factors by computer simulation models or mathematical models. Existing approaches to performance forecasting of the manned assembly lines are limited to matters of the human itself, such as ergonomic and workload design, and non-human-factor-relevant simulation. Consequently, an approach for the forecasting and improvement of manned assembly line performance is needed to research. As a solution of the current problem, this study proposes a framework that is for generation and simulation of virtual manned assembly lines, and the framework has been implemented as a software.

Keywords: Simulation, Performance Forecasting, virtual manned assembly line

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