In Italy there are a lot of small and medium enterprises (SME) that often act as subcontractors to bigger firms.
For example, most of the Italian shoes come from industrial districts, where the organization heavily relies on subcontracting.
Many problems usually arise in this kind of organization:
Although the whole process leads to a finished product and is coordinated by a single subject, different phases are carried on by different companies, most of which are extremely small, with a very informal information system and the usage of internet rarely goes beyond simple e-mail communications.
Each district is organised in a specific way and has its own habits and rules: therefore communication between companies belonging to different districts is very difficult.
Most companies are very reluctant to technological innovation as they come from a craftsmanship culture. They can hardly perceive how a new machine or, even worse, a computer, can help them.
The lack of standard data descriptions implies that most information is tied to physical objects, e.g. the quality of a hide is “incorporated” in the hide itself. Therefore to transmit the information, it is necessary to move the physical object.
Our products can help in this situation in three ways.
- Automatic nesting system: even the most traditional company can see a possibility to save material and time, if it is properly presented and our products are simple enough so that potential users are not scared by complex interfaces, unfamiliar language, and other common problems. Moreover our products are affordable even by very small companies and can work with different brands of cutting machines.
- Data exchange: our software can easily export data that can be sent to other subjects and imported with no loss of information. This means that new possibilities of organization become possible: e.g. reports about the cutting, the nesting, the orders and other information can be easily transferred from the place where the information is created to the place where it is elaborated.
- Supply chain management: Cutweb (cutweb.string.it), our online solution, is a outstanding instrument to organize, manage and control the whole supply chain and subcontractors’ network. It is possible to instantly share data and set permissions for each data category and user, so that only the authorized subjects can see, edit or use those data. Cutweb eliminates even the need to install special software on the computers at the subcontractors’.
Using CutWeb it is possible to activate a communication network between the manufacturer and its subcontractors and reorganize the supply chain with advantages for all the subjects, shortening lead times, saving costs and allowing a better use of information.
You can find a full presentation of cutweb at http://www.string.it/
On our site you can read full case studies that show how Cutweb can enable new ways to organise your business and how you can gain competitive advantages against your competitors using this innovative tool.
A free demo (covering several industries and dealing with different material kinds) is available on line (www.string.it).
About the author
My name is Luca Vignando, I was born in 1970 and I am graduated in Economics. I work in a small but dynamic SW house in Milan (Italy) called String (www.string.it) as a software designer, tester, and I deal with some techical, economics and strategic aspects of the software production and design.