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My favourites » This Life - academic?

July 03, 2008

What is WMG? a short video

Writing about web page animoto

Who knows the answer?


March 19, 2008

More on Wii

I have talked about the Nintendo Wii a few times in this blog. I did not realsie or even think about some aspects of its unrealised potential until I found the following videos on youtube. Jonny Lee at Carnegie Mellon University seems to be an extremely smart cookie, his use of the Wii controller and sensor bar for various tracking applications is brilliant in my humble opinion. The Wii controller contains a infra red camera wich can track four points, (and a bluetooth signal output) A bluetooth equipped PC can then capture the tracking and do cleaver things with it as Jonny’s videos demonstrate. Check them out the head tracking for VR displays.

Also extremely clever is the finger tracking video.

Can you think of any other applications?, what about tracking for the Robot Football?


March 11, 2008

Wii Fun

I should be writing more! but I am spending my time watching great adverts such as :

Which have you chosen?


February 29, 2008

Nintendo Wii Balance Board gets you stepping in upcoming Wii Fit title

Follow-up to Obesity, Games and self service architecture from This Life - academic?

Following on from Heather’s comment about the Wii balance board, I have been thinking about additional sensors that could be added, but my thoughts were more along the line of ankle sox with motion sensors so footwork could be added, probably a belt for waist movements and maybe elbow sox for better arm manipulation detection. ( when playing tennis, my son defeats me by doing little flick shots that would not work in real tennis). There has been lots of work in this area though as a simple search will show, see
http://www.hitech-projects.com/euprojects/myheart/public/public_results_documents/
for example.

Nokia has built and tested a fitness game for children using mobile phones but it appears to be poorly reported. Involves group tasks using location detection and group pressure to get “lazy” members to complete the tasks and score group as well as individual points.
(I will add a link)

A local mobile Phone based company Socoto Studios have built a running/jogging game with similar themes, that helps you join up with other runners ( I believe!).


February 01, 2008

Obesity, Games and self service architecture

The issue of Obese children has been in the news again and the Goverment is determined to do something about it!  Mayo Clinic obesity researcher Lorraine Lanningham-Foster wanted to find out exactly how much energy some games on the market require from children.

"In this day and time, children really love to play video games," Lanningham-Foster told GameSpot. "And even though we might want children to be outside and engaged in more traditional children's play, I don't think that children are going to abandon video games anytime soon...It's important to look at it this way because video gaming may potentially be a better way for obesity researchers to develop better interventions for children."

The research involved a group of 25 children, 10 of which are described as "mildly obese". The children were tested in 5 separate states of activity...

1.      Sitting watching television

2.      Sitting and playing a traditional game (Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure)

3.      Playing activity demanding game (Nicktoons Movin (PS2)

4.      Playing activity demanding game ( Dance Revolution Ultramix 2 (Xbox)

5.      Walking on threadmill at 1.5mph while watching television

The study concluded that the children burned the same amount of calories while sitting watching TV and when playing a traditional game. However, playing the Jellyfish Jam game on Nicktoons Movin' tripled the calories burned, with the obese children burning 5 times as many calories as they would sitting watching TV.

The most energy intensive of all the activities was playing Dance Dance Revolution, with the obese children burning 6 times as many calories than when sitting still. "Activity-promoting video games have the potential to increase energy expenditure in children to a degree similar to that of traditional playtime," the researchers concluded. "We think that converting seat-based screen time to activity-associated screen time is an essential approach for promoting an active environment that is also fun for children."

Since the study was completed months before Nintendo's Wii console was released, the researchers didn't get a chance to test the effects of its activity-oriented nature. "I haven't had a chance to do some studies with it, but it's something I'd love to have the opportunity to do," Lanningham-Foster said. "The technology there is actually quite similar to some of the technology we use to monitor physical activity in children."

Howvere there has been some none fully scientific study (but pretty good in my opinion). Philadelphia resident Mickey DeLorenzo decided to see if there is anything to the belief that Nintendo's Wii console can help you to lose weight while also being fun to use. He came up with an idea for an experiment while playing the Wii Sports boxing game with his partner. "On the fly, as I was typing my blog posts, I set up a daily regimen and went at it 100 percent," said DeLorenzo

He used the Wii console for 6 weeks, at 30 minutes per day, while not altering his diet in any way or stopping himself from indulging over the holidays. When all was done, he had lost nine pounds. He chronicled his progress on his blog at WiiNintendo.net, which includes before and after pictures.

"Seeing the 'before' and 'after' pictures, I am going to keep doing it. I am going to add some weights to the next round because I don't want to shrink to nothing," said DeLorenzo. He has never dieted or exercised for weightless in his life before this. A fitness Web site already has asked him to help it create "Wii workouts" and he already owns the Internet address WiiWorkout.net, which just links to his blog for now.  (from CNN)

One has to wonder that if Nintendo's DS console armed with Brain Training exercises can have such a good effect (a fact that yours truly can vouch for), will Nintendo call up the experts and try to put together a title that aims at giving the gamer a good workout?


So whats the conclusion? It seems to be that the right kind of computer games can help fight obesity. If we accept that the addictive nature of computer games and the difficulty that children have with going out with friends to play means that children will play computer games, we can help with providing some games of the right type.

So if we were designing a game for children 5 to 15 years old to play what would it be, and on what platform?

Well the choice of platform ranges from Interactive DVD to PC's, PS2/3, X BOX, WII as well as the handhelds of which Sony PSP and Nintendo DS seem the most popular. There are also a whole batch of single game custom toys out there that come with a Camera/Processor unit, a  reflective controller ( I have the Star Wars (has a light sabre) and the Lord of the Rings (has a orc sword) versions). There is also the option of a Mobile Phone based games, making use of bluetooth capability. ( I was suprised to see that the biggest "game" in the shopping malls of Dubai was a Bluetooth based flirting and dating!)

So what kind of game on any of the main games platforms would contain the right elements? Well one game I have played in real life that made me exercise and seems to contain most of the right elements for conversion to computers is the Legoland Fire Rescue Game. See the (not very good video of it here).


The game is great fun and certainly very exausting. The motions required are fairly simple and thus easy to detect and incorporate.  Competition elements are needed but there are a whole range of possibilities.

I am also interested in the the use of facebook/myspace based games. Now that the API's are available an interactive game that schedules single and joint activities with assembled groups (assembled through Facebook). We need to make sure that they could happen at a safe place, and despite what you may think, I think MacDonalds would be a good partner for such a project. These would be based on the geo cacheing/ treasure hunt type formats.

While on the subject of soacial networking sites...... I saw a great blog about how the architecture of Facebook is actually fantastic for for the kind of customer controlled services we may see in the future. For example, the NHS, Google and Microsft are building Electronic Patients medical records systems, ( http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2007/08/google-health-prototype.html)however think about Facebook. Its keeps your records, allows you to control who can see them and to what level of detail, build communities (of Dr's, Nurses, Family) around particular topics etc. This may actually be the general model for customer driven services in the future.

See ( http://rdn-consulting.com/blog/2007/09/12/a-new-model-for-emr-software-facebook/) The following is a short extract from Bobs article.

The first question is how are the requirements for an EMR system solved though the functionality provided by a social network?

  1. Patient-centric: I think a huge missing piece in today’s EMR systems is patient interaction. Most are only concerned with data presentation, record management, and billing functions for the physician. Except for a few limited read-only web portals, the patient does not have the ability to add content or even interact with their own medical record. An important paradigm shift would be that the physician would seek out and gain permission to access the patients private medical account, not the other way around.
  2. Patient-Doctor interaction: By not allowing the patient to have interactive control over their health information you are also limiting their ability to interact with their physician(s). Also, if multiple physicians were able to have a common platform for patient consultations it would save time, confusion, and duplication. Patients and their doctors can be thought of as a group of friends that need to interact in a unique way.
  3. Multi-media: If teenagers can share music and video, why can’t patients and doctors share symptoms and test results just as easily? Also, the improved Web 2.0 interactivity holds a lot of promise for innovations in the presentation of medical data (e.g. Silverlight comes to mind).
  4. Security: Nothing is perfect, but I think the Web has already proven itself secure. Think about the number of Web sites where you’ve left your credit card number, let alone if you’re like me you do all of your banking on-line. HIPAA standards can most certainly be met with current Web technology.

As the article points out:

In Facebook’s vision of the Web, you, the user, are in control of your persona.

The same should be said for your personal health information.

Bob makes a good case for Electronic Patient Record via a Facebook type system. It is also interesting to consider it for all user controlled type of services.



November 28, 2007

Ask What you can do?

Writing about web page http://www.emarketservices.com/start/Experience-by-Region/Europe/Europe/prod/Ask-what-you-can-do.html

I had an interveiw published recently on the www.emarketservices.com which managed to capture important aspects of what govermnents should be doing to aid SME businesses.

Ask what you can do

_“It is necessary to re-think how your company can expand its business. And that can best be done by not focusing on what your are doing, but on your capabilities,” _says Dr. Jay Bal, Senior Fellow at Warwick Manufacturing Group and Project Leader at West Midlands Collaborative Commerce Marketplace.

“The role of government has traditionally been to build the infrastructure, like ports, roads and harbors, and this task must be expanded to new areas that can link regions and business,” says Jay Bal.

If the companies in a region cannot easily connect to the flow of trade, whether it be on a road, shipping lane, train line or air lane or nowdays on the Information Superhighway that region is doomed to economic stagnation. It is not enough to just have a “road”, it must have a junction that makes it possible to connect direcly to the economic flow. Jay Bal is not just talking about the flow of product, but also to the flow of information.

see the full interview at the site.
http://www.emarketservices.com/start/Experience-by-Region/Europe/Europe/prod/Ask-what-you-can-do.html


November 14, 2007

OK I am a Punjabi!

OK! I am a Punjabi (or at least I was born there!) and I love this video!


November 13, 2007

Dragons Den

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/wimrc/about/

I sat in on the engineering students Dragons Den presentations last night. Some very good ideas and most were well presented. The only drawback with some was a lack of engineering analysis! of the product/proposal. It was good practice for the IMRC dragons Den presentation that I am doing next week with Professor Smith.
We are going to propose some research around the injection moulding of thin film polymer based circuits integrated into the component.
I have lots of other ideas I would like to present, such as building a library of digital models of humans and creating composite models.
I have always wanted to work on a star wars style speeder bike, maybe it could take over from formula student?

Any other ideas on vehicles from films we would like to have?

By the way! I actually hate Dragons Den the TV show – there are a whole group of programs that are cheap because they delight in ridiculing members of the public. As Thumper said in Bambi ” If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all!”

Talking of which – Gadget Show – I think this is the best program on TV at the moment. Has taken over from TOP GEAR which is far too obviously scripted at the moment. I loved the swiss one wheel pull bike! can I have one please? and the weekly prize for the phone in competition really makes me drool- all the gadgets everybody would like!.


November 08, 2007

More on Car Insurance!

I was reading Lee’s Blog about his new car and the problems from phantom calls by car insurance companies! Not as bad as what happened to me. last year I used confused.com and got a quote for my Ford Escort ( I know its naff! but my other cars a Porsche!).
YES car insurance came up with the best quote, so I paid up. They sent me a renewal, and when I checked (this time with gocompare.com ) I found quite a few quotes $50 to £70 pounds lower, but worst of all was that the YES online quote was over £20 lower than the renewal they had sent me. So I took out an alternative which will be £100 less if they give me the extra £30 refund they have promised.
Anyway a few days after renewal day, I get a set of documentation from YES, and find out that they have charge my credit card. When I ring them up, they claim that when I signed up for insurance the previous year over the web I authorised them to automatically renew.

To get my money back, I have to send them details of my new insurance to prove that I was covered! (which I had to send by special delivery so they could not deny getting it!), then another certificate arrived that they wanted back, and I do not think they have returned my money yet. I know that the AA takes my money very year because I have a direct debit with them! , I did not sign a direct debit with YES but it appears they can take it off my credit card.
I supose I had better talk to Barclaycard.! Beware!


November 02, 2007

What a break! Hybrid Networking

Writing about web page http://www.wmccm.co.uk www.gatewaywmg.org

Well, its been about 10 months since my last blog - I was trying to agree with the trendsetters that blogging is dead and social and business networking is in! So I have been facebooking, myspacing, beeboing, linked-in-ing, eacademying and some of the more unkown ones ones as well! You know what? they are a waste of time! I do not want lots more friends (even though how come you always "loose friends but accumulate enemies") and I do not want lots of people trying to sell me things - I can't be the only one! - what we need is a hybrid site - Guess What? I created one, and now its got over two hundred members!


This site is for WMG Staff, Current Students, Past Students and Future Students, to help them:

  • To tell friends, colleagues and course mates about what they are up to :

  • To make contact with other WMG associates for help with problems and issues at work.

  • Post your CVs for job opportunties with WMG partners.

  • Search for Job opportunities listed by WMG partners.

More connections.......more possibilities............more opportunties.......more happiness..........more wealth.........what more could you want?


I hope another hundred or so people join in the next few weeks! Look out cool Frappr application on the bottom of the second page http://www.gatewaywmg.org/AlumniProfiles/tabid/62/Default.aspx

I have big plans for this site! I am hoping an MSc student will select it soon as their project. (why are they all scared of me?).

We have also made big strides on the other two applications I have been working on! The low cost supply chain visibility solution and the rating system and shop functionality for WMCCM.

Changing subject, just as the weather is turning I have decided to start cycling to work - bought a new bike just before the University Security bike auction - DOH!!!! Yesterday cycling as fast as possible down the hill by the new houses on westwood heath road - my pannier which I had not secured fully gets cought by the wind and JAMs the rear wheel - there followed a thirty yard skid, trying to avoid falling in the road and being run over! anyway I survived (obviously!). As I was stopped inspecting the damage - the panier jammed in the rear wheel! I did fall over when not one but two motorist stopped to help and offer me (and Bike) a lift to the University. To them if they are reading - Thanks for restoring my faith in Humanity!

ON the way back home in the evening, on the same hill, the chain came off and jamed between the chainwheel and frame. Its badly twisted now, so its back to the car until I can get it sorted.

Get a bike-Get a life! could be the motto of that story.


February 17, 2007

Whats Up!

Writing about web page http://www.wmccm.co.uk

Been a busy period since the last entry – a period of highs and lows.

Been busy with finding and turning away new students, not just for MSc and PhD study with me, but also for the University as a whole.
Spent four days in Jordon (Amman) typical piece of work – too busy before hand to fully check out The University of Jordon, the top rated institution in the country – we visited it and had an entaining five hours or so, discussing possible collaboration between WMG and UofJ, met some interesting University admin/academics. Great buildings and position. In the evening interviewed about 6 students wanting to study at Warwick – its amazing how little our agents know about what goes on here – maybe we should advertise the blogs more! Seemed to be really good quality students!
Also visited the University of Science and Technology Jordon, which was about one hours drive away from our Hotel. Again a very pleasant location and very friendly hosts. We did have a few hours free one afternoon whilst in Jordon, and thus had a long walk around the centre, and got a really good haircut in a barbershop in a side alley. Why are haircuts so much cheaper, less rushed, more friendly almost everywhere else I go in the world? (apart from Sweden, where they cost even more!)
We were invited to visit the University in the Lebanon, before travelling onto Jordon, luckily we declined – there where riots and several deaths centred on the University -just when we would have been there, and one of our colleagues was delayed getting to Jordon because all flights out of Lebanon were cancelled.
Nice and sunny in Jordon and we tried to soak up a bit of sunshine in the few moments outside between meetings. Then travelled onto Dubai – to meet up and discuss student recruitmet and collaboration with three more possible University partners. One of my current doctorate students is based in Abu Dhabi, he came and met us and hosted us for a couple of days, a highlight was a visit to the Dubai Global Village, a World Trade fair place combined with Disneyland. Fantastic music,laser and firework show – bought some Saudi Arabian perfume for Gunnel. (luckily she liked it!) I also bought yet another ticket for the Dubai airport raffle ( 1000 tickets at £80 a ticket) to win a Porsche 911, did not win again!
The University visits were very interesting, visited the Knowledge villiage (where a number of UK universities have offices) and also previously have visited Academic City where many of the Universities and colleges are located. Dubai (or even better Abu Dhabi) would be a good place for the Warwick to open a new campus. Hope WMG can partner with a local high quality institution. Going there on secondment would be good training for our PhDs and EngDs.
Got back to UK after 8 daYS AWAY, and then back into catching up on all the work I had missed whilst way, in particular, reading student PhD and MSc drafts as well as catching up on the WMCCM project progress. We were invited to bid fro a £221,000 grant by the IT cluster for support work to regional ICT companies, that application si still only half done! Aslo been busy designing and configuring a shop function for the WMCCM marketplace, looking at how WMG can better support and integrate its Alumin. More important than ever since over 70+ companies want to give preferential interviews and recruitment to our MSc and PhD students. The Hong Kong goverment is even giving them preferntial visas to live in Hong Kong! Have designed a new website – hope it will be up and running in a few weeks time.
Ran my MSc module on Business Information System Stragey last week. I like teaching and enjoy student interaction – but switching to it from mainly research means changing gear quite significantly! I do not think I managed that very well last week.
Still lots of student drafts to read and applications for funding to complete, plus I had also promised myself to write a conference/journal paper in February – so more hectic weeks to come!
The life of an academic hey! I did get offered a Professor post at another University last week, (to add to the one last year!), but WMG is such an exciting place to work!
So to carry on I have a work trip to India next month to sign a collaboration to develop SME relationships between the UK and India, should be interesting and fun – and I can see lots of potential for improving business in the West Midlands as a result.
bye for now.


January 03, 2007

Laser Eye Surgery and medical tourism

Writing about web page http://www.tajmedicalgroup.co.uk

Finally getting very fed up with wearing glasses! have tried contact lenses of all types, hard, soft, etc and never really managed to cope with them. So seriously considering laser eye surgery. Having investigated wavefront seems best (also most expensive!) as used by Tiger Woods (after which he went on to win his next 10 tournaments, would be happy to just win at football occasionally!

This interest has been re-ignited by a recent research grant from the department of extremely clever things (run by EB) to build a self help medical portal (we are currently calling it medigate). The idea being that with the NHS they insist on doing everything for you, but I generally believe people are more confortable when they are in control, and in the same way supermarkets are more efiicient because they make you collect you own goods, and internet sites make you do everything apart from take it home, medigate will help you with your own medical treatment arrangement, taking some load of the health system staff. There are lots of medical portal already that help with diagnosis and advice, but none (that we know about) that help you find providers and make arrangements. There was some recent research showing that googling your symtoms correctly identified the problem in approx 60+% of cases, and was partcularly good for unusual symtoms or diseases which your GP is unlikely to be familiar with. I would recomend googling before you visit your GP anyway.

There are many physical Medical Tourism providers, but it is very difficult for them to be efficient, because of the huge volume of enquiries but low coversion rates. For our project we are partnered with the Taj Medical Group, the largest and most successful provider of medical tourism to India.
(see video )
Anyway for the less than the cost of treating one eye in the UK, I can go to India and have wavfront eye surgery by the Prime Ministers surgeon. I am still slightly disturbed by the fact that they have to cut and lift a flap off my eyeball before the laser zapping!
Anyway some time in the coming year I will be getting it done.

Not sure what the effect will be – I have been wearing glasses since I was 10! will keep you informed.


January 02, 2007

Supply Chain Visibiliy

Recently I have designing and building a supply chain visibility enabling software for our WMCCM marketplace We will be more fully testing and evaluating the system in the coming year, but some of the background is introduced first. (suggest that unless you are actually interested in this background, you skip it!)

Today, globalization and intense competition are increasingly forcing corporations to reconsider their business strategies. Monopoly and centralization in the marketplace are outdated and collaborative working environments are preferred and adopted. Downsizing and Rightsizing are the new developments and strategies being followed by many organizations. Firms now prefer generally to concentrate on their core competencies and outsource other non core business functions. One method for making these judgements is by comparing the transaction cost of doing it internally and externally. Rapid developments in information technology and systems have impacted hugely on reducing the transaction cost of dealing with external firms. [1] As a result, outsourcing has now become a trend which has made the supply chain complicated and its management more critical for organizational success.

Also, customer’s demands are continuously increasing as they always want more in terms of quality and delivery, but at a less price (Kotler, 2004). So, organizations are under tremendous market pressure to reduce the costs by improving the operating efficiency. It can be argued that the internal functional improvement initiatives like Lean Management, Six Sigma, etc. across the whole supply chain are not sufficient to have a fully optimized supply chain; in fact it may sometimes hinder other member’s performance too. As supported by Ross et al. (2005) that it is necessary for the organizations to take a supply chain view of what is optimum rather than managing a collection of optimised individual functions which together may deliver a sub-optimal supply chain. Like for example, reducing inventory holdings at the customer end may require the supplier to keep extra buffer stocks, hence the overall supply chain inventory remains the same. Hence, it becomes necessary to align functional objectives with the overall supply chain objective which requires tighter integration and visibility of the supply chain operations. However, there are several problems associated with integrating and visualising the supply chain which are outlined in the following section.

1.2 Introduction to Problems

The various problems associated with supply chain integration and its visibility, are discussed in brief as follows:

1.2.1 Uncertainty of Events

On-time delivery is very important for the success of the business. However, it is highly impeded by the uncertainty of events whether it is demand uncertainty or operation uncertainty. The occurrence of the uncertain events is necessary to be communicated across the supply chain immediately so that appropriate timely actions can be taken by the supply chain members to avoid the problem or at least be prepared in advance for it. This is however difficult to achieve in most supply chains due to traditional method of information flow which is slow as it passes from OEM to 1st tier suppliers then to 2nd tier and so on. There is also insufficient visibility among the members of the supply chain regarding who to inform, when to inform, and how to inform in case of unexpected events.

1.2.2 Incompatible IT systems

Information and data sharing across supply chain is very important for integration. A typical supply chain may consist of many businesses having their own internal application systems. These different systems across the supply chain may not be compatible with each other. Hence, they may not be able to communicate with each other that efficiently which is essential for gaining deep visibility into supply chain operations.

1.2.3 Temporary Nature of Supply Chain

Large companies are increasingly outsourcing some short-term projects which require different capabilities, not present in a single company. Group of companies, mostly SME’s doing such short term projects operate by forming temporary supply chain which needs to be integrated to work efficiently. Setting up the integration and visibility system across the supply chain in such a short period is difficult and also the Return on Investment (ROI) might not be there as the supply chain members will not get the benefit from the system in short time.

1.2.4 Information Unavailability

Information sharing among the supply chain members is very important for integration. However, to make the right information available to the right person at right time and in the correct form is the key to the integration success. Information sharing is sometimes difficult to achieve across the supply chain due to various reasons like lack of infrastructural support required for information exchange or sometimes supply chain members may not like to share their internal information with the outsiders.

1.2.5 Identifying Supply Chain Inefficiencies

It is very important to have visibility to find out where exactly the inefficiency in the supply chain come from so that informed improvement decisions can be taken accordingly. Also, one member’s inefficiency may affect other members in the supply chain too, so identifying the root cause of the problem is important and difficult too.

1.2.6 Developing and Maintaining Supply Chain Relationships

Managing interpersonal relationships with other organizations can be considered as the most difficult part of the business. Successful integration requires efficient communication, coordination and more importantly co-operation among the supply chain members. This requires good business and personal relationships among people across the supply chain which is difficult to develop and maintain as different kinds of people having different objectives are involved in communication. Poor communication and improper coordination between supply chain members may fail the integration initiatives.

1.2.7 Adversarial Blockages

Supply Chain Integration involves a major change in the ways of doing business. Earlier, companies in the same supply chain were competing to get maximum benefit from other members and so had adversarial kind of relationships. While now integration asks for collaboration and co-operation among its members so as to have Win-Win relationship. However, getting this change in the relationship is difficult to achieve as dominant partners sometimes find it hard to lose some of the benefits to others due to cooperation.

1.3 Ways to Tackle the Problems

Increased importance is been given by many companies to visualise the entire supply chain because of the benefits associated with it. Also, the dynamic market environment and the globalization of business have made the supply chain very complex to manage. Hence, companies are using different and improved ways to better manage the supply chain integration and visibility problems. The following mentions some of the ways to tackle the problems mentioned in the previous section.

1.3.1 Information Exchange Systems

For better integration, members in the supply chain can use common information exchange systems like Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), CORBA, Sabre, etc. which facilitate business data and information transactions across the supply chain. Mostly large companies use these systems as they are expensive and can be used for fast and reliable information sharing among supply chain members.

1.3.2 Software Solutions

Many ERP software vendors like SAP (www.sap,com), SSA Global (www.ssaglobal.com), PeopleSoft (www.peoplesoft.com), etc. provide Supply Chain Management (SCM) solutions as a part of the total EIS package. Mostly big companies like the OEM’s buy the SCM solution to have better integration with their suppliers. Another advantage of buying this as a part of the EIS package is that it integrates well with the other internal application system. SME’s normally don’t buy these solutions as they are expensive and requires high technical capability and resources to use it.

1.3.3. Web-based Solutions

Due to extensive use of internet by the businesses, web-based supply chain integration solutions have recently gained increased acceptance as a cheaper alternative to other ways. Vendors like WeSupply (www.wesupply.com) provide web-based solutions to help their customers solve the supply chain problems.

1.3.4 E-Marketplaces

E-marketplace serves as a platform for the firms to interact and communicate over the web. It also provides various web based collaborative services which can be used to solve the supply chain problems. It is an easy and cheaper way for the SME’s to integrate and co-ordinate their activities.

Thus, there are various ways in which the supply chain problems can be solved. However, the selection of a particular way depends upon the individual supply chain requirements. Based on this, the project aims to develop a visibility application to have better integration and coordination of the supply chain activities for the Small and Medium sized Enterprises.


The best Networked Organisation buidling tool in the world?

Writing about web page http://www.wmccm.co.uk

For the past few years we have been working on the use of ebusiness to help small and medium size companies, and engineering ones in particular! Over the last year I have made an speciall attempt to find out what is happening in EU funded research in this area, guess what? lost of well written papers, but the state of actual practice appears to be very patchy. I am particularly frustrated by the EU ECOLEAD project (type that in your google search bar!). Some really good ideas, such as
“In ten years, in response to fast changing market conditions, most enterprises and specially the SMEs will be part of some sustainable collaborative networks that will act as breeding environments for the formation of dynamic virtual organizations.”
but the actual practice is that a spec for a breeding environment has only recently been listed. Why am I anoyed! because we have had such a breeding environment for the past three years! WMCCM has over 3300 company members, over 40,000 tenders adn has created oover £4m of new business for our region.
More on this subject later, but this rant to start off with.