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1.1 The different areas where SMEs collaborate

 

Beneficial collaborations and networks happen through sharing and jointly creating knowledge and skills along the three-knowledge intensive dimensions that are relevant for the competitiveness:
• entering and serving markets;
• design or development of product and services;
• design or development of business processes.

Depending on which of the three dimensions the collaboration is focused, one can differentiate eight different types of strategic objectives of a network or collaboration:

Beneficial collaborations and networks happen through sharing and jointly creating knowledge and skills along the three-knowledge intensive dimensions that are relevant for the competitiveness:
• entering and serving markets;
• design or development of product and services;
• design or development of business processes.

Depending on which of the three dimensions the collaboration is focused, one can differentiate eight different types of strategic objectives of a network or collaboration:

Type Focus of collaboration Targets for collaboration
Business process Market Product
Process Innovation

X

Reducing costs of planning and learning for innovation or improving of business processes
Marketing

X

Reducing fixed costs in marketing, entering new markets together
New Product Development

X

Reducing costs for design and development of new products
Customer service

X

X

Development or improving market relevant business processes or services as a joint operation
Training

X

Reduce costs of training staff, develop tailored specific training solutions for industry needs
Automation

X

X

Reducing costs of planning and learning for designing products/services and their production processes
Coupling of brands

X

X

Creating a shared product brand and image strategy, development and joint marketing of products with common customer needs
Globalization

X

X

X

Products/services, their production processes and their marketing processes are jointly developed and implemented