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Cost Estimating and Management in Virtual Manufacturing Networks

Management & Lessons Learned Track

Downloadable Files:

M&LL-11 Stirk Paper Virtual Manufacturing


A virtual manufacturing network is a loosely coupled enterprise, which is formed by many partners (whole or parts of real companies) enabling a group of individual real enterprises to operate more efficiently and effectively, as if it is a single global enterprise to fulfill a specific mission. We focus on the costing capabilities needed to enable two particular types of network centric solutions: rapid response to manufacturing legacy parts, and manufacturing readiness and launch of new products/processes. For legacy parts where the original supplier may not be available, a new manufacturing network must be rapidly assembled to reverse engineer, plan the manufacturing processes and supply chain, and estimate lead-time and cost. To support these activities, we will describe a web portal with an integrated suite of tools and services, including buyer should-cost models and supplier quoting capabilities. For manufacturing readiness and launch of innovative products/processes, an extended supply chain must be integrated to mature the product and/or manufacturing processes. This involves integrating cost models with the design and manufacturing engineering tools to simulate trade-offs.


Charles Stirk
Charles Stirk is the President of CostVision and has worked on cost analysis with organizations in the military and commercial sectors. CostVision is a developer of advanced cost estimating software, and provider of cost modeling and cost management services. Mr. Stirk is a member of the Target Costing Interest Group of the Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing International, and is a co-author of the their book Hitting the Target: The CAM-I Target Costing Implementation Guide published in Sept. 2005.

Dennis Thompson
Dennis Thompson is the Executive Director of the Doyle Center for Manufacturing Technology and Senior Vice President of Catalyst Connection, a Manufacturing Extension Partnership. The Doyle Center’s mission is to provide tools, services, and methods for small manufacturing companies to support large DoD prime contractors. Mr. Thompson has engineering and executive experience in manufacturing operations in the automotive, aerospace, plastics, and weapons industries.