The objective of the Tool-East-Project was the amplification of existing ERP-/PPS-systems with special ERP- and CRM-functions for an affordable implementation and in small and medium sized companies in Eastern Europe.
To compete and to thrive in the dynamic global markets it is imperative for the regional businesses to form sustainable collaborative networks. Further, virtual inter-organisational collaboration not only requires changes in the organisational structure but also the increase the dependence on readily available information. The efficiency and effectiveness of this information depends on suitable collaboration tools; especially on the ICT infrastructure as well a trust and cultural understanding between collaborating partners. The ability for efficient networked collaboration is of key importance for SMEs. At the moment, there are no affordable and customizable ERP tools for such a networked collaboration among SMEs.
Tool and Die making workshops provide critical support for European industry by designing and providing one-of-a-kind value added products. It is estimated that within the EU these enterprises, especially the Middle and Eastern European, are mostly organized as SMEs. Therefore the project vision was to provide Middle and Eastern European SMEs within Tool and Die making sector with an application for better, faster and cheaper inter-collaboration. This would elevate the performance and efficiency of European SMEs to enable them to be competitive within the global markets.
The main objectives of the project were to provide an efficient and effective application for inter-collaboration reducing the product´s time to market. Further, to identify and develop new business opportunities in order to support Middle and Eastern European SMEs by sharing and transfer knowledge and break through technology.
Project was coordinated by FIR, which is a research institute for operations management at RWTH Aachen involved in a number of EU projects dealing with Information and Communication Technologies.