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Abstract

Competitiveness of European Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SME) in the global marketplace is correlated to and determined by diverse factors. However, specifically SME’s ability to satisfy explicit and implicit customer requirements as well as to proactively integrate them as a driver of complex business networks is a key success factor. Although this seems to be the most obvious economic principle, it is hard to be achieved in complex networks of small actors, including vertical and horizontal supply chain dimensions, especially due to self-organisation of single network entities in relation to the continuous and dynamic adjustment of the overall network. Moreover, dynamically changing customer needs, evolving requirements (e.g. legislative demands, technology enablers) and process disturbances (e.g. delivery deviations, incompatibility of supplied semi-finished products) need to be handled.

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