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Building Relationships between Small Manufacturing Enterprises and Vendors: Findings from the TIDE Program

August 2003 Technical Note
Len Estrin, John T. Foreman

This report presents findings to help vendors, VARs, and SMEs develop mutually beneficial and successful relationships.

Publisher:

Software Engineering Institute

CMU/SEI Report Number

CMU/SEI-2003-TN-011

Abstract

Small manufacturing enterprises (SMEs) are vital to the economic and military strength of the United States. However, many SMEs struggle to keep pace with advances in software-based manufacturing technologies. Several factors contribute to this situation. SMEs often lack the business, process, and technical expertise to implement advanced technologies. Additionally, vendors and value-added resellers (VARs) are reluctant to target this market. For vendor/VAR-SME relationships to succeed, both parties must redefine many of the roles and rules that guide the sales process. This technical note describes activities of the Technology Insertion Development and Evaluation program at the Software Engineering Institute, and presents findings to help vendors, VARs, and SMEs develop mutually beneficial and successful relationships.