Organizacja GS1 Polska
Instytut Logistyki i Magazynowania, Instytut Badawczy
Instytut Logistyki i Magazynowania

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More about ESSENCE project

ESSENCE is an INTERREG CE project aiming to improve the competitiveness of small and medium sized enterprises in Europe, through the smart use of ICT. It develops eBusiness, eNetworking and eLogistics services in an effort to improve collaboration in different sectors and regions and get stakeholders more connected, in particular smaller sized enterprises. This will assist SMEs to communicate, manage, share information and documents more efficiently so to overcome current deficiencies and increase their productivity.

In the course of the project a study has been conducted in different regions of EU to check the readiness and interest of stakeholders in services offered by ICT platform being developed in the project, including assessment of the platform functionalities. These services included among others communication facility, eCatalogues of products, transport planning, performance evaluation, etc.

When investigating the regional potential towards innovation it has become evident that the more companies are large the higher innovation potential of a region. The results of the local interviews proved strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats from the use of ICT solutions such as ESSENCE. The major strengths included open-minded management and culture, quality and creativity. Whereas the current threats mostly concerned fragmentation of the market, economic crisis and high competition. Stakeholders see opportunities in better access to foreign markets, better networking and access to European projects supporting its competitiveness. In general enterprises suffer low level of innovation and low use of ICT. Interviews have pointed out the better business and science cooperation the higher innovation introduction.

The stakeholders involved in the study represented 6 regions from Europe and different sectors of the economy, including consumer goods, logistics services, FMCG, construction. The activities of these companies, mostly SMEs were very diverse and required different and specific operations.

The main set of functionalities of interest of stakeholders included:
- Communication facility
- eCatalogue of products and eServices
- What-if network shaping eServices
- Distributed process modeling eServices
- Performance evaluation eServices

From among the above „purchasing” is the most important element in the functionality of the platform. The reasons for that stems from the neccesity for saving in procurement, purchasing of transport services from small and medium-sized enterprises which strongly affects the proper functioning of the organization and reducing operating costs associated with purchasing and running a business. Moreover, transportation and logistics have been indicated relevant as well as communication facility. The respondents also refered to eCatalogue of products and eServices allowing to present the products and services on the platform to a wide range of customers. Last but not least „performance evaluation” allowing to compare and evaluate if the actions run well enough.

As to the interest in platform functions for the leaders the most highly ranked functionalities included, assigning and organisisng tasks to network members, managing and monitoring of execution of assigned tasks. It has been expressed that such a platform would allow for fast and secure flow of reliable, accurate and timely information.

Readiness and expectations of stakeholders towards platforms such a s ESSENCE depends on the region. Some see the need to use tools that will help them work operationally, and will reduce operating costs but they have different expectations depending on their specific needs. On the basis of the interviews it can be concluded that the demand for this type of ICT solution to support SMEs is and should be further developed and promoted. It is relevant to study the expectations of stakeholders towards such ICT solutions carefully to meet market needs.




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