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What is SME Networking?

......Identification of Potential Clients, Providers, and Competitors in Supply Chain Networks

A set of SMEs that cooperate by exchanging goods or information to reach a common objective.

In the last years Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) were driven to aggregate in industrial networks, due to the need to compete in a globalized market, but also to the aspiration to provide sufficient stability for their own small business.

SMEs belonging to networks share objectives and strategies with the other SMEs, while preserving their own individual autonomy. One of this network type is the supply chain, where companies collaborate with one or more other companies depending on the sector they belong. A typical problem in this context is to evaluate the place of a new SME inside the network, i.e., the number of potential clients, suppliers and competitors that the SME would have. The goal of this work is to offer an method to analyze the potentiality of existing SME networks based on public information available on the Web.

One of the most significant paradigm of modern business management is that individual businesses no longer compete as solely autonomous entities, but rather as supply chains. In today’s global marketplace, rapid technology development, globalization and customers’ varied expectations are changing the type of markets' competitions and firms no longer compete as independent entities with unique brand names, but rather as integral part of supply chain links.

In this work, an ontology representing the relationships among activities performed in a supply chain is defined and used to detect the potential relationships among SMEs in a network.