Virtual enterprise brokerage: a structure-driven strategy to achieve build to order supply chains uri icon


  • This paper proposes the concept of the virtual enterprise broker as an innovative model to design and create build to order supply chains. The build to order supply chain responds to the demands of new global manufacturing economy offering high level of customisation, high customer driven design, volume flexibility, short cycle time, no inventory costs, minimal total cost and supply chain integration. A review of different manufacturing operational models, including make to stock, make to order, assembly to order, engineer to order and configure to order, is presented to set the context for the requirements of build to order operations. The virtual enterprise broker is proposed as a structure driven strategy to support the creation of dynamic supply chains to satisfy build to order requirements. The virtual enterprise broker strategy is described in terms of core processes and competencies. We also demonstrate of how the virtual enterprise broker strategy has been implemented in various industrial scenarios related to supply maintenance tooling for the aerospace industry, standard parts for capital goods equipment, and design and manufacturing of medical devices.

Publication date

  • September 1, 2007