This paper presents a methodological approach to support the running of a temporary collaborative network through the formation and operation of a virtual enterprise (VE), where the participating enterprises, especially small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), collaborate with each other for mutual benefit. Overall VE architectural framework which is considered as the baseline to execute VE manufacturing processes is highlighted in this research. Different components within this architecture such as visualization and configuration, message exchange, process designer, forecasting and simulation, optimization, cloud-based data storage, etc., are briefly explained with respect to their corresponding interfaces with each other. Among all the components of VE architecture, the user interface component termed ‘Dashboard’ is explicitly highlighted with a case example of a VE network. This Dashboard component is implemented to visualize the VE operational activities that directly contribute to monitor and manage the associated collaborative processes successfully. Further research potential along with the general research outcomes are also highlighted in the conclusion section of this paper.

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